Like most conservatives and libertarians I know, the majority of my friends are liberals and leftists of one stripe or another. Since the arrival of Facebook and my begrudging acceptance of social media, this means that I am regularly presented with liberal views of one sort or another and varying degrees of offensiveness. Since I have this journal for my own political thoughts, I use it to explore political and social issues, leaving Facebook for cat and kid photos and George Takei posts. I don’t comment or block anything my liberal friends post, no matter how much I might disagree with it, I just let it pass and within a few hours it disappears. What this process does is allow me stay in touch with people who might be offended
Let’s face it: social media is a terrible place to discuss or debate ideas. Most issues can’t be condensed into a Facebook post with a ‘read more’ tag beneath it, let alone a Twitter post. Federal spending in 140 chars or less. OMG! U suk! FTW!
The process is good for a political writer. It’s good because it keeps me abreast of the liberal zeitgeist from my perch out her in Exile and provides mental fodder for posts here.
The big topic among my friends is Senator-wanna-be Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments and how they support their belief in the GOP’s War on Women™. A long time ago I remember watching the GOP get all hot and bothered over flag burning. President George HW Bush said, “Flag burning is wrong. I believe the importance of this issue compels me to call for a constitutional amendment.” It fired up the base and gave them something else to rally around instead of Bush’s record which, in 1992, wasn’t all that much to tout.
I don’t think Obama is Bush I – I think he is far, far worse – more Nixon than anything. But he and his team are employing the same tactic obfuscate his terrible economic track record with the War on Women™. Let’s look at the components of this war. There are several specific efforts cited by Democrats as exemplifying the War which can be boiled down to the following points: the GOP platform banning abortion in all circumstances including rape or incest. This is the same wording that has been in the platform since 2004. Prior to that the platform was much less restrictive on the procedure. Second, attempts in Congress to de-fund Planned Parenthood and eliminate federal funds for family planning.
I don’t pay attention to party conventions for the simple reason that I’ve always thought they were pointless. So when my liberal friends became up in arms over the GOP party platform, I had to look it up. Honestly it’s easier to find pictures of dancing cats than it is to find actual platform text. Walter Russell Mead gives a withering critique of party conventions and platforms.
...the honest truth is that no party platform means anything in American politics anymore. No president refers back to the platform in framing legislation, no congressional leader uses it to set the legislative agenda, no living soul ever reads or quotes it for any purpose whatever. No historian of American party politics goes back to study them, no journalist refers to them more than a week after the convention. They are dead letters, produced out of a sense of ritual and to the extent they have any purpose whatever, they are idle playgrounds aimed at keeping clueless party zealots busy counting coup and scoring imaginary points.Party counts for very little in America today, and their platforms count for even less. Presidential candidates don’t feel bound by them in the slightest, and they shouldn’t.
The GOP platform is completely worthless. It excites zealots – both GOP and Democrat – and that’s what it did among my liberal friends.
As for Planned Parenthood, the organization was founded during the eugenics movement of the early 20th century, particularly of the racist variety. Since the ethnic stock I derive from was at various times the target of such a movement, I’m not a fan. I’m sure the KKK does some good, but given PP’s founding steeped in eugenics and racism, and the organizations continued flirtation with racism today, and I’m happy not seeing my tax dollars going to fund the organization. If people want to fund Planned Parenthood or the Klan, that’s their business but it shouldn’t be the federal government’s.
All the other examples of the supposed War are MoveOn.org talking points such as H.R. 358 which the organization claims
5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.
Unfortunately, that’s not what the bill says.
IN GENERAL- No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), including credits applied toward qualified health plans under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or cost-sharing reductions under section 1402 of this Act, may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except—
‘(A) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or
‘(B) in the case where a pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
What rankles the anti-Life crusaders is the lack of language forcing a Catholic hospital or a doctor opposed to abortion to go against their moral convictions or a transfer the woman to a hospital where the procedure could take place. But that’s not the intent of the bill. The bill covers appropriation of taxpayer dollars: it has to do with payment for the procedure, and in the case where the woman’s life is endangered, the bill authorizes such payment.
And look at the details of the case: a woman dying who can only be saved by the murder of her unborn child / excision of the fetus who is receiving care by an institution or doctors who believe it is immoral for them to harm the child/fetus. How often do such cases occur, and is it appropriate for a law to exist to cover each possible exception? This is one reason why I support legal abortion even though I am morally opposed to it. A government cannot possible create laws that cover every possible contingency without hurting someone. Yet failing to create such a contingency becomes ammunition in support of the GOP’s War on Women?
Such a run to turn an extreme event into a is common the Left, from claiming the Tea Party had blood on its hands over the Gabby Giffords shooting (perpetrated by a lunatic leftist) [h/t TheRightPlanet] to Todd Akin’s statements, where the entire Republican Party broke the sound barrier distancing themselves from his comments, to no avail from the Obama administration echo chamber in the media which pounced and portrayed every Republican as a religious zealot.
Judging by the social media comments of my liberal friends I notice that some of the same people claiming the moral high ground over the Akin episode also support Julian Assange, accused of rape in Sweden. Instead of rallying around his accusers in Sweden (both women) they cheer Assange’s flight from facing justice in the bastion of socialism often trumpeted by the Left as a moral example – except when it comes to rape then suddenly Sweden is Louisiana just with better looking rednecks I suppose. What about his accusers rights to justice? Where is the moral outrage for two women who may have been actually raped versus Akin’s statements in which no woman was harmed?
I have discussed cognitive dissonance, or the holding two opposite and conflicting opinions throughout this journal, but I’m still amazed when I see it at work among people whom I would consider otherwise intelligent. The malady is insidious, and we all must regularly question our own beliefs, especially our most deeply held, to prevent falling into its trap.
As Charles Krauthammer noted, “If you vote for Romney he will kill your mother with cancer, throw your dad out of work, prevent your sister from getting contraceptives and kick your son out of college.” There are plenty of reasons not to vote for the GOP candidate this year, but the War on Women shouldn’t be one of them.