By Jonathon Van Maren
About a year ago, I wrote a column explaining why Tomi Lahren, the beach-blonde talking head who was then working for The Blaze, was wrong about abortion. Lahren had just gone on The View and announced that she was pro-choice, attempting to make the case that since she was for the Second Amendment, she also needed to be for abortion (even if she wouldn’t have one herself.) This was disingenuous, of course, and Lahren’s stumbling defence of her strange position indicated that she does not understand what abortion is, what libertarianism is, or what the pro-life position is. That embarrassing performance turned out to be the catalyst for her acrimonious departure from The Blaze.
Tomi Lahren is now back at it again, this time as a FOX News contributor (I bet you didn’t see that coming.) She is urging conservatives to stop bashing Roe v. Wade, because this makes Democrats who worship Roe v. Wade dislike us. Abortion, she says, is not a winning issue (ignoring the fact that most polls over the last twenty years have shown a steady increase in the number of Americans who identify as pro-life and a steady decrease of Americans who identify as pro-choice), and thus conservatives should stop talking about it. Talking about Roe v. Wade, says Tomi, is “a mistake,” overturning Roe would be “unconstitutional,” and any justice who would consider it would be engaging in “religious judicial activism.”
It is hard to tell where to start with that much stupid. First of all, even many pro-choice experts now admit that Roe is a constitutional disaster. The best book on this, containing an in-depth analysis of the papers of the justices involved, is Clarke D. Forsythe’s Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade, which Lahren should consider reading if she would like to continue opining on the topic of Roe. Lahren, who thinks she is a conservative originalist, managed to muster up her signature fake outrage to demand that conservatives abandon the idea of overturning Roe because it is “spitting on the Constitution.” She apparently believes that the Founders covertly wrote in the right to abort one’s offspring when they created the document—or that the Supreme Court has never issued a faulty ruling that needed to be overturned. Some history and biography should probably crop up on Lahren’s reading list, as well. Or she could Google the Dredd Scott decision.
As for “religious judicial activism,” Lahren has tipped her hand here: She apparently considers abortion to be an exclusively religious issue, and is either unaware of the fact that abortion kills a developing human being in the womb or wishes to misrepresent the position of the pro-life movement. As always, her FOX appearances would benefit enormously from the help of a research assistant. It was Roe, in fact, that constituted blatant judicial activism—but I’m glad Lahren has let American Christians know that she thinks their values should be rejected by the courts, as well as again highlighted her ignorance of the men who wrote the Constitution in the first place. In short, Lahren misunderstands the Constitution, the history of America’s founding documents, the history of Roe v. Wade, and the pro-life position. That’s not bad for a two-minute FOX segment.
One final point: Lahren consistently warns everyone that focusing on a justice who will overturn Roe is somehow a betrayal by conservatives of the Trump economic agenda, whatever that will turn out to be. What she seems to be missing is the obvious fact that Trump is only the president because he promised to appoint an originalist justice, and that to everyone but Tomi (including the SBA List, the Heritage Foundation, etc.) that means a pro-life justice. I was at a huge rally where Donald Trump laughed and told the crowd that despite many people questioning his conservative credentials, they’d all vote for him anyway—because of the Supreme Court vacancy. Pro-lifers and social conservatives are not going to ruin the appeal of Trump’s economic populism. Trump got the opportunity to implement his economic populism because he promised to appoint a pro-life Supreme Court justice.
As usual, Tomi has everything precisely backwards. Her job should be secure, though—FOX News is a lot harder to embarrass.
For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.