A lot of people don’t remember this, but Garrison Keillor was fired from NPR in late 2017 during the outing of predators in Hollywood and the media. It started with the outing of Harvey Weinstein, and eventually predators like Matt Lauer were taken down too. Garrison Keillor was one of those predatory dudes. He basically made at least one coworker’s life hell with a campaign of sexual harassment and inappropriate, unwanted touching and sexual requests. Disgusting. Then he lied about all of it and Minnesota Public Radio pulled out all the receipts.
Anyway, I just wanted to remind everyone of that because Keillor is in the news this week. He had some thoughts about Amy Coney Barrett and Roe v. Wade.
Democratic senators peppered Barrett with questions about how she would rule on several issues – including Roe v. Wade. Though Barrett’s opposition to abortion rights is well-documented, she refused to say how she’d come down on the issue in court. Keillor chimed in with his take on Facebook.
“It seems clear that Judge Barrett will sit on the Supreme Court and this will mean the reversal of Roe v. Wade and some deep dents in the Affordable Care Act,” he began. “I don’t think Roe v. Wade is worth fighting for anymore.” Keillor thinks guaranteeing the right to a safe abortion has “torn the country asunder,” and wondered,“to what good?”
“We can accept a system of states’ rights, whereby abortion is legal in some states, illegal in others, same as you have a death penalty in some states, not in others,” Keillor wrote. “…Let South Dakota be South Dakota and if they wish to criminalize LBGTQ, then they can deal with the consequences. Let’s give the cultural war a rest and focus on the economy and tax policy and environment.”
The post has since been removed. Keillor posted again to “clarify” his thoughts later that morning. This time, he said Donald Trump, a “cynical corrupt president,” had managed to appoint three Supreme Court justices, and that meant that “Roe v. Wade is doomed,” regardless.
“But the Court is not able to make abortion illegal, only states can do that,” Keillor wrote. “So abortion will be legal most places and not others. Meanwhile, we need to focus on providing health care and support for women, that will lessen the number of women who feel forced to abort… Meanwhile, R v W is a toxic issue that has poisoned our politics for almost 50 years and succeeded in electing a great many cynical and corrupt men to public office who oppose abortion publicly but would provide it for their daughters without question.”
I’ll just say that as I watch Amy Coney Barrett’s contemptuous lying and artless sanctimommy act, I understand that there’s little to be done about HER and her eventual appointment to the Supreme Court. I think there’s a difference between understanding that “Supreme Court Justice Barrett” is fait accompli versus doing what we can to save Roe for all women. That’s not what Keillor was talking about in his first post though – he was saying “yeah, Roe is going to be overturned, but people should stop fighting about it because who cares if millions of American women won’t have access to reproductive care? They’re *just* women, it’s not like they’re even human.” Garrison Keillor, staying problematic.
Photos courtesy of Getty.