Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Has Ross Douthat ever, like, read a book?  This is a serious question.


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It took me a while to realize that the pro-life argument against health care reform is based on the concept of fungibility.  They argue that since every dollar can be substituted for any other dollar, providing government subsidies for health insurance plans that offer abortion coverage is de facto funding of abortion itself.  They oppose funding  Planned Parenthood and health clinics in developing countries for the same reason.

The argument breaks down pretty quickly, of course.  The Catholic Church receives a lot of federal money for its charitable endeavors, but most people don’t think of that funding as child molester money, although maybe they should for the sake of consistency.

I’m still not sure what these people want.  Would they be satisfied if federal money could only go to insurance providers that didn’t cover abortion, even on separate plans?  The trouble is, abortion can’t be easily separated from other health services for women.  Like Amanda points out, doctors who perform abortions aren’t the “abortion doctors” of pro-life caricature–they’re obstetricians and gynecologists who also do pelvic exams, STI testing, and cancer screening.  They even provide prenatal care and deliver babies!  And what about contraceptive coverage?  Something tells me that the people on this thread find the pill just as objectionable as abortion.  They’re so irate about the HCR bill that some of them are threatening to stop paying taxes:

I cannot morally buy into this health care plan, and will not pay taxes where even one cent will go to fund an abortion. Morally, I simply cannot bring myself to do so.

And others are floating the idea of emigrating to pro-life countries:

I have been researching pro-life countries, and so far Costa Rico sounds nice.

I have to say, I have no problem with these people refusing to pay taxes and moving to Costa Rica.  That level of utter craziness will only lead to the marginalization of their extreme views.

Right now, however, their views aren’t considered extreme.  Government funding for abortion is still treated as an impossibility, even by supposedly pro-choice politicians.  And few people are willing to call pro-lifers out on the fact that they want to prevent women from accessing a whole range of health care.  Honestly laying out the consequences of the pro-life position is really important, because it’s the only way moderate people will realize that, baby-killing rhetoric aside, the pro-life movement’s primary motivation is disgust with female sexuality.

It’s not really about abortion.  It’s about having the temerity to have a uterus.

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Yesterday, I made a donation to The National Network of Abortion Funds in Bart Stupak’s name.  I’ve been following the Health Care fiasco somewhat closely, and out of all the fuckery on display this past year, he’s the worst.  He’s a whiny jerk who pretends to be progressive even though he cares more about fetal life than he does about actual, breathing humans.  And he is  really, really stupid.  So, to quell my irritation, I donated money to help women pay for the abortions he doesn’t want them to have.   For good measure, I also signed the petition to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

Making the donation was so satisfying that now I’m thinking of other possible dedications.  Maybe I’ll give money to the Human Rights Campaign in the name of the LDS, or give to Planned Parenthood in honor of  the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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OK, I know everyone’s having fits about MA’s special election, but I just saw this picture for the first time today:

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Strange Bedfellows, indeed

From a pretty interesting New York Times article on the instability of American relationships:

Paradoxically, those who call for family values also tout the wonders of an unregulated market without observing the subtle cultural links between the family they seek to regulate and the market they hold free.

The author presents this as a strange fact, but is it?  Isn’t the modern Republican party the offspring of an unholy alliance between free-market Randians and social conservatives who left the Democratic party because of its stance on Civil Rights?

Sure, the religious right now follows the free market party line, and vice versa.  And both sides seem to believe that unregulated market/regulated bedrooms is a naturally winning combination.  But I think the current situation has more to do with political happenstance than any inherent affinity between Christian doctrine and free market ideology.*

*unless, of course, you believe in the whole Calvinism/free market connection, which I do.  But Calvinism =/= the 20th century brand of American bible-thumping.

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