And why DO birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

If I were to interview, oh, say, Amanda Marcotte and then pose the question, “Why do pro-choicers think all pro-lifers are misogynists and reject any notion of finding common ground with them?”, I think pro-choicers like Steven Waldman might get a bit miffed. He might protest that Marcotte doesn’t represent the views of most pro-choicers, no matter how loudly and how often she and her fans repeat those views. He might even take the opportunity to remind us how much he personally respects people on “both sides”* of the abortion debate.

So when he asks Jill Stanek why pro-lifers oppose contraception, he might first want to take a step back and question whether, in general, they do.

Several commenters pointed out that Stanek’s views are extreme and don’t represent most pro-lifers, but apparently Waldman either didn’t read the comments or ignored them, because he was beating the same drum again few days later.

Surely one of the first principles of “common ground”, which Waldman so endlessly claims to seek, is that one must honestly engage the people with whom one is trying to find commonality, and not resort to stereotypes and holding up extremists as examples.

* Scare quotes because I think the notion that there are two neat sides is preposterous.