Apparently “baby killing” is not such an effective scare tactic anymore

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and a new poll reveals that the ruling is more popular now than it’s ever been before:

Seven in 10 adults say the Supreme Court should not overturn its landmark decision establishing abortion rights, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll.

That is the highest level of support for Roe v. Wade in the poll’s 24 years of tracking the question. Only about one in four said the court should overturn its verdict.

Michael Tomasky zooms out:

Same-sex marriage approval. Marijuana legalized. Now this. It continues to amaze me how the country has flipped culturally. I think this is probably Obama’s biggest impact, more than health care or anything else. He’s changed the political culture of the country. In some senses by doing particular things–repealing don’t ask, don’t tell. But in other senses just by being Barack Obama.

In accepting him as their president (which 70 percent of Americans happily do, even when they may disagree with this or that policy), Americans appear also to have accept in some internal way that it’s a different time and a different country now. It seems natural that that psychic change would first manifest itself in certain shifting cultural attitudes, as these are low-hanging fruit compared to the big policy changes that face ferocious opposition in Washington.

It may also be that it’s not really Obama who made these changes, that they were well in formation when he just happened to come along and embody them. I think here of the Beatles as an analogy. They certainly changed the culture and the world and led a revolution, but many societal factors were lined up in harmony just waiting for someone to come along and pop the cork: the rise of the teenage demographic, the end of conscription (in Britain, which gave young males more freedom), and so on. Everything came together and boom it all went. Same kind of thing here.