just riffing off of what mustang bobby said, i think it's quite easy for people to see others to disagree with them as being dogmatic and unreasonable. it's just like how people often think their own views lie in some kind of reasonable middle, no matter how extreme they seem to others.
douthat seems to be falling into that trap. from where i sit, it's hard to see kennedy's pro-choice stance as a form of absolutism. i really don't see how letting people decide on their own whether to have an abortion fits that definition. but from the other camp, i guess that's how it looks.