Jonah Goldberg

Other factors included the fact that Planned Parenthood is under investigation by Congress and the obvious but unstated fact that the organization is wildly controversial. It's this last point that infuriates the left. Pro-choice activists and their allies believe that Planned Parenthood should not be controversial, nor should abortion be up for discussion, either. If you have a problem with either it is because you are an ideologue, an extremist or a zealot opposed to the interests of womankind. And any attempt to suggest that abortion should offend the consciences of mainstream Americans, never mind such a revered organization as Komen, is simply unacceptable.

It's clearly not about the money. Komen's $600,000 in donations amount to less than .01 percent of Planned Parenthood's budget (as opposed to the nearly half that comes from taxpayers). It's about making it very clear: Resistance is not just futile, but dangerous.

That was evident almost immediately. Komen's website was hacked, its Wikipedia page filled with smears. Various allegedly objective news outlets rallied to Planned Parenthood's defense as if the behemoth abortion provider was a victim of the tiny little breast cancer foundation.

Komen apologized and seemed to offer a reversal of its policy. This "just goes to show you, when women speak out, women win," responded House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

This, of course, is ridiculous propaganda. Women are not a monolithic political bloc and were not unanimously opposed to Komen's decision. Indeed, roughly half of women are pro-life and, you can be sure, Komen will lose donations from women and men who do not want to see their donations going to abortion providers. But for a certain type of upper-class liberal woman, it simply must be asserted, if not believed, that there is only one acceptable definition of a woman's perspective when it comes to issues such as abortion.

You can understand why Komen wants to get out of the culture war crossfire. It just wants to spend its finite resources on the race for a cure. But that's not good enough. The real motive behind this backlash is to make it very clear: You must choose a side -- ours. And once you choose our side, you can never change your mind without severe consequences. And what is true of liberal politics is also true of liberal public policy. As the Obama administration has made clear to the Catholic Church, there is no neutrality, no safe harbor from liberalism's moral vision. You're either with us, or against us -- which means we shall be against you.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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