Thanks for the emails. I should say, I guess, that one of Robert George's great strengths is his unflinching defense of his own position. He is unafraid to speak what he believes, even if it means he favors banning all abortions and, in principle, favoring laws that would make wanking a criminal offense. Ponnuru is a more slippery character, because he has to navigate the shoals of his own extremism with Beltway political maneuvring. One reader comments on the vacuousness of one of his arguments:
"What's funny to me in Ponnuru's post is his insistence that he did some sort of moral exploration in his essay. (He says he "goes through several moral distinctions that separate abortion from the murder of an adult.") While I did note a few strange exculpatory notes on the "social" distinctions between abortion and the murder of an adult, these were couched in such a way as to clearly imply that these distinctions should only be applied in the most legalistic of ways. The moral ramifications of abortion and its definition (killing of a human being) were not changed. In fact, in several instances he seemed to be saying that part of the reasoning behind the proposed lowering of criminal sentences for women and abortionists was not by dint of any moral distinction at all but merely for assuring a conviction from a wavering jury - similar to his disingenuous denouncing of the S. Dakota bill. And he says you write in bad faith..."
Ahem. I think the personal viciousness of Ponnuru is a sign that I have cut a little close to the bone. Good.