Watching Biden’s abortion speech interrupted a Schadenfruede moment

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Schadenfreude is a fabulous word.

It means deriving happiness from the pain of others or in literal terms, “joy from damage.” And it’s what I felt watching Joe Biden try and make his grand promises about restoring abortion rights to supporters last week in Virginia.

The campaign appearance was supposed to be a victory walk for the president, who is garnering fairly lukewarm support from Democrats. There is no great love for a very old man who is displaying the normal physical deterioration that comes with age among many of the liberals and center-left moderates in the Democrat Party.

In fact, if Donald Trump weren’t his likely opponent in November, he probably wouldn’t even be running for a second term. That being the case, Biden decided to focus his speech on “choice.”

Biden has long been an outspoken advocate for abortion and long ago abandoned his Catholic roots even though he keeps trying to sell the idea that he’s a devout man of faith. But sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy, but he manages to do me a favor.

The people who are the most passionate about a cease-fire in Gaza tend to be liberals. In fact, they tend to be progressives.

They also tend to be the kind of person who hates Trump, Republicans in general, conservative principles, Israel, kidnapped babies and, pertinent to this discussion, abortion restrictions.

But their primary focus right now is Gaza.

Biden isn’t able to deflect attention from his support for Israel by cozying up to women who were devastated when their legal right to abort their babies was eliminated almost two years ago.

He can try, but as we all saw in Virginia, it didn’t work.

And that is where my “joy from someone else’s pain” derives.

When I see someone being slapped down in the middle of pandering to the abortion rights zealots, it really does make me smile.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing in common with people screaming about a cease-fire, ignoring the fact that there are Jewish men, women and children still being held in captivity by vicious Palestinian terrorists.

Those people do not care about life, they only care about their sterile version of “human rights.”

But I do see some commonality between the radical pro-Palestinian activists and their cohorts in the abortion rights movement.

Neither side cares about the humanity of those they cannot see, and who do not advance their political agendas.

The ones who clamor for a cease-fire ignore the humanity of Jewish women who were brutalized by Hamas, of babies who were kidnapped and have spent half of their lives as hostages, and of the elderly who deserve peace and have instead been plunged into this hell.

And the ones who clamor for abortion on demand, who talk about “bodily integrity” but refuse to recognize the existence of two separate bodies, who scream about the patriarchy but would deny fathers their right to be fathers, and who talk about “choice” but only for the mother, ignoring the humanity of the unborn child.

So when Joe Biden got up at the podium and started talking about restoring Roe and making sure that there was a federal right to abortion, it was a moment of supreme delight for me to hear him interrupted by people who likely agree with him on the abortion issue but are disgusted with his position on Gaza.

And it was equally delightful to see the faces of the females standing behind him with their signs saying “defend choice” as they realized they were being confronted with their own hypocrisy.

You might say that there is no correlation between abortion and the problems in the Middle East, and at a micro level, you are correct.

I suspect many people support Israel’s right to defend itself who are pro-choice and many who support a cease-fire who are pro-life. I know people like that myself. This is not a zero-sum game.

But I can’t deny the pleasure I feel when Joe Biden’s pandering to the abortion rights crowd backfires spectacularly.

Human rights are complicated things, and there is a thin line between joy and pain.

Biden experienced that in Virginia. I expect it won’t be the last time this election cycle.

Copyright 2024 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected].

Christine Flowers is a Philadelphian who loves the Eagles but can leave the cheesesteaks. She writes about anything that will likely annoy the majority of people, and in her spare time practices immigration law (which is bound to annoy at least some people.)