I'm not happy about the selection of John Roberts as the next Supreme Court justice, but I agree with Markos that we should wait until the hearings before we pass judgment. In the end we could say, "he could have been much worse," but initially, his views and past opinions lock him in the Scalia/Thomas category of judges.
However, if this is all about Roe v. Wade being overturned, then we should make the issue so toxic for any politician or party to touch that it doesn't get overturned, much less even challenged again. And Juan Cole may have unwittingly provided a means of going about it (emphasis mine):
(Sandra Day O'Conner) is being replaced by a man who has no sympathy for any of the things she stood for. In particular, he wants to have men dictate to women whether they will carry to term babies that men impregnate them with. If abortion ends up being outlawed altogether, it will mean that rapists can in essence force their victims to bear their babies. In short, the more absolute forms of anti-reproductive rights philosophy is an active ally of these men against women (the daughters, nieces, wives and mothers of men):
The same juvenilization of women, the rendering of them wards of men, can be seen in Bush's Iraq. Contrary to the propaganda Bush's team is so good at producing, the secular, Arab nationalist Baath Party had passed some of the more progressive laws and regulations about women in the Middle East. Iraqi women in the 1970s had unprecedented opportunities for education and entry into the professions. The Bushies like to pose as liberators of Muslim women, but they have brought to power Muslim fundamentalists who are obsessed with subjugating women.
Bush and his officials have been scathingly critical of Iran's governmental system, including lack of rights for women. But they have cast the shadow of medieval jurisprudence over 15 million Iraqi women. And they are trying as hard as they can to ensure paternity rights for rapists here in the United States.
Let's be clear here: a complete revocation of Roe v. Wade will enable this government or various state governments to eliminate all forms of abortion - health of the mother at stake, incest, rape, etc. will no longer be a legal, viable excuse.
And given that the American public, in numbers based on polls, strongly oppose the overturning of Roe v. Wade, any political party that associates itself with it (by joining the overturning side or putting justices in the High Court that enable it) will be despised by the public. If anything, a nomination such as this should give us enough ammo to win back more than enough women from the Republican Party. The Stepford Wives will continue to be subjugated and submissive to their husbands, so they are not included - this only pertains to those who have even a microcosm of independent blood and feeling in their bodies.
Juan's declaration is now a perfectly, acceptable ground for us to ask these questions...
To men (who favor the revocation): since outlawing abortion will force women to bear the children of rapists and incestuous molesters no matter the age or health condition of the mother, why do you feel it is acceptable to grant more rights to them than to the women they inflict?
To women (who favor the revocation): why are you so content to further relinquish your rights, that so many fought for you to have many years ago, to those who would rather have complete control over you and your bodies, for better or for worse?
Could we experience yet another baby boomer generation and can our nation's economy and resources handle such a surge?
How many of these children (who may have been aborted) will grow up in unwanted homes or orphanages because no one can or will take care of them? And if we convict women because of this, would they be more thankful than sorry that we threw them in prison?
Will we start hearing stories of babies being dropped at the doorstep of politicians and ministers who oppose abortion?
These may be harsh questions, and it may make some of these folks feel uneasy or force them to shut off any potential conversation, but we have every right now to ask them. These are the issues we now have to discuss, especially if, by the nomination of Roberts, we have essentially guaranteed that the right to an abortion will no longer be a right, but a crime.
[Update]It seems I'm not the only one who agrees on what this means for the majority of Americans
We know that Justice Roberts will get voted in. But that in no way means that he should go without a fight. I'm an optimist. I say we have a basketful of lemons, let's make lemonade. This is leverage to expose the fact that the Republicans, including the President, are a bunch of far-right wingnuts who are beholden to Bible-thumpers who are single-handedly determined to ruin the lives of average Americans by taking away, first and foremost, the right to privacy that ensures that we can live as we choose.
On the abortion issue, I want everyone to memorize these words--"criminalize ordinary women". Something like 1 in 3 women will have one in their lifetime. Abortion is exceedingly common. Selling out women who obtain them for political gain is not only wrong, but it is politically stupid. Anti-abortion laws turn every woman into a potential criminal. ... Look (Democrats), quit trying to chip off a few voters from a tiny minority of Christians who hate women and look at the big picture--the vast majority of Americans use contraception and will be sorely pissed when they find out that right is in peril.