And I don’t mean the oxymoronic kind making the rounds in the Supreme Court. I mean the real kind, the kind that includes the biological possibility of children, the kind of marriage every society in the history of the world knew it to be, until the 21st Century that is, when for some reason in the name of equality it needs to be redefined. But I digress, even before I get started. Ruth Marcus is a Washington Post reliably liberal op-ed columnist. Her latest piece is titled, “Truth-telling on teen pregnancy.”

The article is about New York City nanny state Big Gulp Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest do-good endeavor. The city has started an ad campaign about the downside of teen pregnancy, which would seem to be something everyone could agree on. Yet Marcus shows that some liberals think pointing out something so obvious is, well, just not nice. After all, we wouldn’t want teenagers to feel bad about the choices they make, or educate them about what bad choices are.

But my interest in this is Ruth Marcus. Growing up through the heyday of radical feminism, the default position on the secular left was that the family was an inherently unjust, dysfunctional, restrictive, patriarchal mess. Since the French Revolution, the West’s intellectual class have cast a jaundiced eye on the family, mom, dad, kids, that kind of family, not the “new normal” kind. For these people, this kind of family was always more American Beauty than Father Knows Best. This was the default sense of the modern liberal up until, well fairly recently, until the evidence to the contrary became too overwhelming to ignore or distort.

So an article from a liberal in good standing that says the following kind of amazes me:

[W]e suffer from undue squeamishness about criticizing out-of-wedlock births in general. As detailed in a new report, “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America,” the country “is at a tipping point .?.?. into a new demographic reality where the majority of first births in the United States precede marriage.”

There are many devoted single parents but, overall, this is an unhealthy development. On average, the report noted, children of unmarried mothers “suffer more school failure, behavioral problems, drug use, and a greater likelihood of becoming single parents themselves.”

I’d certainly use a stronger phrase than “Unhealthy development,” but doggone it I’ll give her an A for effort! Post 1960s sexual revolution until the last decade or so liberal media figures simply would never have said this. Look at the ridicule Dan Quayle got in 1992 for chiding Candice Bergen’s character Murphy Brown for having a baby, by choice, out of wedlock. Most liberals today would agree with the character when she said “families come in all shapes and sizes,” which completely misses the point. That point would be, does this mean every shape and size of family is equally as good at raising healthy well adjusted children and happy moms and dads? As much as it pains the modern liberal to admit, all families in this regard are not created equal. Of course this doesn’t mean they don’t believe we should willy-nilly redefine marriage to mean whatever we want it to be. But hey, nobody’s every accused liberals of being consistent.


Jonah Goldberg addresses this issue in his own inimitable way today in The Wisdom of Dan Quayle: Social science vindicated him, but the marriage crisis continues to unfold.