But the lesson here is less that Dobbs is reaching to make his case in this particular instance. It’s how desperate conservatives are to marginalize some totally reasonable ideas. You can see this sort of thinking in the paranoid argument that bike lanes are part of a United Nations plot to control American communities or the extreme reaction to taxation. These are the sorts of arguments people turn to when they’re out of good, rational ideas to put up against something they just don’t want to happen, because it makes them angry or uncomfortable.What I'd add are two things. One is that if you have a partisan press which makes most of its money off of chumps who are eager to believe the wildest things out there, then you have very little incentive to try for anything better. Real policy, and even real critiques of policy or politicians or culture, is hard. Making stuff up is a lot easier, and if your audience doesn't care and no one on your side is willing to call you out on it, then there's just a lot of incentive to take the easy road.
The other thing, and I said this the other day but it bears repeating, is that this kind of junk is generated naturally on all sides of the partisan divide. The difference, and it's a huge one, is that Democrats for the most part ignore or condemn such things when they arise on the left, but Republicans? Not so much. So you have a presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, who is peddling outright fantasies about euthanasia in the Netherlands, and we have another whose entire foreign policy case to the American people is based on an complete myth about "apology tours."
So are they "out of good, rational ideas"? Or just lazy because their market encourages it? Or both? Either way, it's sad and pathetic, and not good at all for producing viable public policy, conservative or liberal.
And: great catch!