One of Amazon's newer features is a discussion thread for users to discuss each product -- even products that aren't available yet. So when I found Ramesh Ponnuru's book (below) I noticed there were already several discussion threads, even though the book won't be out for another month.
It turned out most of the commenters were liberals absolutely furious over the title of the book and the except from the jacket flap printed on Amazon. It's one thing to disagree over abortion, seemed to the be general sentiment, but writing a book titled "The Party of Death" debased political discourse and was unnecessarily inflammatory in an already divided country.
Now goodness knows, I can see worrying that our national house is becoming too divided to stand. But at the same time, those who take the "why are you pro-lifers so angry?" tack always strike me as vaguely clueless. I had a coworker a few years back who was big into politics. In most economic issues, he was very slightly on the Republican side of moderate, but on social issues he was a definite liberal. "Why don't those people just take a year off?" he wanted would demand every so often. "I'm tired of every election being sex, sex, sex, abortion, abortion, abortion. How about if everyone just agrees not to talk about the issue for a year?"
But this kind of thinking only makes sense if you either believe that abortion is no big deal, or that it's absolutely impossible for the political process to achieve any progress on the issue one way or the other. Otherwise, life advocates will never 'shut up' because being silent in the face of over a million deaths each year is impossible. And abortion advocates will never 'shut up' because if abortion is just another medical procedure which stands to make millions of women happier and healthier, then restricting it is clearly just plain cruel.
On the one hand, I do often wish that our political arena didn't so much resemble a cultural cage match. On the other hand, when we disagree on such basic and important topics, one can't expect people to 'shut up' on them unless one expects people to abandon their principles and be quiet in the face of a major perceived injustice.