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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You don't have to be a Republican to be a C Street House denizen
Posted by Jill | 5:02 AM
I don't know why I didn't see this coming. It turns out that Bart Stupak, the author of the provision in the House health care legislation that effectively eliminates all ocverage for abortion in this country, is a C Streeter:
tupak-Pitts isn't just "the biggest restriction on women's right to choose in our generation," as Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado puts it; it's also evidence that on abortion the Democratic Party is now captive, just like the GOP, to Christian conservatism. Of course, Republicans traded away their party's moderate wing for real electoral gains, a base that propelled them to power for decades. The Democrats, already in power, sucker-punched themselves, and all they have to show for it is a big fat shiner in the shape of Bart Stupak's knuckles.

But if Stupak, a former state trooper from Michigan, provided the muscle, his partner, Joe Pitts -- a Pennsylvania Republican with decades in the trenches of the antiabortion battle -- may have brought the brains, and more, a new Christian right coalition custom tailored for the Democratic Party's growing religious conservatism. Stupak is Roman Catholic; Pitts is evangelical. Both are members of the predominantly evangelical organization called the Family; Stupak lives in its C Street house. Together, they're poster boys for the evangelical/conservative Catholic alliance known as "co-belligerency," a culture war strategy designed to take territory within the Democratic Party as well the GOP.

Stupak, the Democratic co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, insists that his amendment does nothing more than ensure that the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal funds for abortions, is carried over into healthcare reform. Even some of Stupak's angriest critics within the party concede that Stupak might actually believe that -- nobody has ever accused him of being a subtle legislator. (Though Stupak himself, long known for his amiability, now boasts that he was hiding his "wolfiness" all along.) But the facts are plain: Stupak-Pitts will use the Hyde Amendment as a lever with which to radically roll back abortion rights, effectively strong-arming private insurers -- most of which will be enmeshed with the federal government now -- into abandoning coverage for abortions.

Here's what I don't understand: The C Streeters are opposed to fucking, particularly to WOMEN fucking. Scratch the surface of an anti-abortion legislator and you'll find someone who doesn't want to subsidize health care for the women carrying the babies they would force them to carry. You'll find someone who doesn't want to subsidize health care for those babies once they're born. You'll find someone who doesn't want to subsidize food for hungry children. So what's this "pro-life" stand really about? Fucking. I just have one question: If fucking is bad, and women fucking are Satan's Own Emissaries, why then do so many C Streeters end up fucking women? Or is this yet another one of those cases of God and Satan playing Skee-ball at an arcade in Keansburg, NJ and Satan gets bonus points for getting so-called religious men to have affairs?

Gay progressives have started a "Don't ask, don't give" drive to stop donations from the gay community to the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC to make the gay community heard about the Obama Administration's backtracking on gay rights. It's time for women to do the same. If the Democratic Party is going to sell out to religious nuts, sacrifice women's healthcare on the altar of people who aren't going to vote for them anyway, and be every bit as homophobic as the Republicans, then what the hell is the difference?

CBS News spoke with Jane Hamsher about progressives refusing to lift a finger or write checks to people who sell us out time after time:
Hamsher compared the current situation to the 1994 elections, when, she said, the Democratic base (including union members) was demoralized and disengaged following the passage of The North American Free Trade Agreement. Republicans took control of both the House and Senate in that contest.

She argued that the Obama administration is paying little attention to its base even as the opposition gins up support among the Republican base with events like the Tea Party protests.

"If you're suppressing your base, and the other side is revving up theirs, and midterm elections are all about turning out the base, I sort of question what their strategy is here," she said.

Hamsher has signed on to a financial boycott of the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America (the DNC-run operation to mobilize Obama supporters) and the Obama campaign. The boycott was organized by Americablog's John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay over what they see as President Obama and his party's failure to keep its commitments to the gay and lesbian community.

"LGBT Americans, our families, and our friends kept our promise at the ballot box, we now expect President Obama to keep his in the White House," they wrote. In addition to Hamsher, cosponsors include the liberal blog Daily Kos, writer and editor Dan Savage and radio host Michelangelo Signorile.

The boycott will be lifted, Aravosis and Sudbay write, when legislation is signed enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell and repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama pledged action on all these issues but has not pressed them since entering office.

Go read the rest, and read the responses from the DNC, which essentially amount to "Go ahead. Stay home."

I was never one of those who voted for Ralph Nader because "there was no difference." With Al Gore, there WAS a difference. But when Democrats are selling us out on women's health care, telling gay Americans that their rights don't count; when an Administration is continuing a Republican policy of illegal wiretaps, rendition, and torture, I really have to wonder if ultimately there really IS no difference. And if that's the case, then we might as well grab the popcorn and just watch.

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Blogger Serr8d said...
"The C Streeters are opposed to fucking, particularly to WOMEN fucking."

I'd say you've partaken of a bit much hyperbole for this early in the morning.

Obviously, the issue is not about 'women fucking', but of 'women using possibly public funding to pay for their abortions because they didn't take precautions prior to fucking'.

Think outside your statist box for a minute: why should WE, with possibly public fundings, insure that abortions are paid for, after the act of fucking; when the proper response (to avoid pregnancies) would be to use contraceptives or other measures prior to fucking? I can see public funds used in paying for birth control pills, implants, spermicides &c. but subsidizing murder?

Not on my dime.

You lefty statists should have more respect for the unborn. After all, it could've been you what was flushed.

I wonder how many proto-statists have been aborted since Roe v. Wade? Hmmmmm....maybe I should rethink my views... )

Anonymous ted said...
Surely you are not that naive! You expect politicians -- the Democrats in general and Obama in particular -- to keep their promises? Really? Why?

They are POLITICIANS. Politicians BY DEFINITION are lying conniving scoundrels who speak from both sides of mouth with forked tongue. If they could get honest work, they would! Sending them money only rewards bad behavior. There is simply no way that a few million citizens can overcome the monetary impact of corporations. For starters, citizens are not going to be the source of future excesssively paying jobs based on "who you know". If we want honest elections free from corporate "persuasion", we need to fund them absolutely and completely -- with serious penalties for non compliance -- with public money, not private contributions. And then vote for the honest candidate -- who you can be assured will NOT have corporate or party backing.

As for the other problems you mention, small, passionate, vocal minorities usually get their agandas passed over the more moderate, well-thought, intellectually viable. "Squeaky wheel" and all that! And the unspoken, undercurrent that the politician wants to continue living -- literally, given the armed wackos out there -- after office if not during. The majority of voters allows it to happen through their apathy. Very few of the 70% [isn't that the figure?] who are satisfied with their health insurance are going out of their way to change the system. Likewise with abortion and gay relationships. And since when did "it's the right thing to do" carry weight?

We deserve the government we vote for! And that's what it comes down to: we VOTE for them. If enough voted for the petitioning candidate who spends all of $5000 from his own pocket but supports and will vote our views, he would win. No amount of corporate graft could overcome that -- ES&S, Diebold, notwithstanding....

Blogger Ryan said...
I love labels... statist... leftist.. it places people, humans in general, into these neat little boxes that you can then ignore at your leisure. Disregard whatever they say just because they aren't in your group.

Ah but I'm ranting.

I do agree with Serr8d though... I think that we shouldn't insure abortions publicly... unless the health of the mother is in danger or in cases of rape.

Those are the only things the public should be helping to pay.

I think Abortion should be legal, but if Suzy-Sixteen-Year-Old wants to go have a gang bang, why should I pay for her mistake?

Blogger Interrobang said...
I think Abortion should be legal, but if Suzy-Sixteen-Year-Old wants to go have a gang bang, why should I pay for her mistake?

So that the next time you do something dumb, the public will pick up the tab for your mistake? (Also, prove that your hypothetical ever happens, voluntarily, in the real world.)

The deal is basically, who gets to decide what gets covered and what doesn't because someone thinks some legal medical procedure is icky? You think that birth control somehow magically never fails, people somehow never conceive wanted babies that have things go horribly wrong with them (or lose their jobs and their houses and wind up needing to change their minds or whatever), or whatever, and you think the public shouldn't pick up the tab because every abortion is obviously because someone just didn't give enough of a shit to use birth control.

Okay, well, given that we're now picking and choosing what healthcare gets covered, in my perfect world, abortion (which happens for tons of reasons, every one of them good as far as I'm concerned) gets covered, because I don't have a problem with that, but Viagra doesn't. I think old guys taking boner pills instead of taking the hint that impotence is nature's way of telling you your child-producing years are over is icky.

In my perfect world, if you smoke, you can pay for your own goddamn lung cancer and heart disease. We've known for 40 years that cigarettes kill you; anybody who is still smoking at this late date is obviously too stupid to live anyway.

In my perfect world, if you drive without a seatbelt or bike without a helmet, you can pay for your own surgery and rehab when you crash and mangle your head beyond recognition. You should have known better, and you can pay for your own stupid mistakes. Find that to be "nanny-statism"? Tough shit. Take better care of yourself.

In my perfect world, until every unwanted baby and foster kid in the country has a loving home, fertility treatments don't get covered. To hell with your attitudes that unless your kid is your genetically own kid, they're not good enough. As an adoptee, I find that so insulting I can barely even talk about it.

In my perfect world, if you do something dangerous and stupid like jump out of a perfectly-working aircraft, climb a mountain without adequate training and preparation, or bungee jump off a crane and mangle yourself, you can pay for your own mistakes and don't expect the taxpayer to look after you.

However, I've never heard anyone else seriously suggest any such thing. Somehow, risks that apply (equally or more predominantly) to men, and bad behaviours that don't involve slut-shaming are somehow exempt from individual responsibility, but abortion is too icky to pay for on the public dime, because needing it means that you're bad and have lousy judgement and make the kind of mistakes we need to punish you for.

Double standard much?

Blogger Ryan said...
So that the next time you do something dumb, the public will pick up the tab for your mistake?

So... I'm hearing you clearly here. If a person goes out and KNOWINGLY has unprotective sex and gets pregnant, which is of course what happens when you have unprotective sex, the tax payers are supposed to foot the bill to have the child aborted from you?

Where does personal responsibility play into this situation?

(Also, prove that your hypothetical ever happens, voluntarily, in the real world.)

Look at our abortion rates in the US. And our teen pregnancies. Among the highest of all "First World" countries.

I find it giggleworthy that you go off on a tiraid after quoting my statement that it appears you didn't read my whole statement.

I am FOR abortion in cases of Rape and if the mother's life is in danger.

The act of abortion is a horrible practice that I would never wish onto anyone just because it puts the mother through a severe trauma that sometimes ruins their uterus so badly that they are unable to have children anymore.

I just wish people were a little more responsible. I mean for crying out loud, you can make arguments against not having your safety belt on, et all (I forgot or whatever).

But if you are in the "Heat" of the moment and you forget to use a condom/diaphragm or the morning after pill or whatever and you happen to get pregnant... once again I ask, Where is the personal responsibility here?

Blogger Jill said...
Interrobang: Thank you. You are the wind beneath my wings today.


The common thread that runs through your and Anon's posts are the idea that a woman who is "irresponsible" and has unprotected sex should be somehow "punished" for her "irresponsibility" by carrying a child she doesn't want to term. Sorry, dude, but your misogyny is showing.

You know what? People fuck. They do. It's wired into us. The bottom line is that since women are the ones who get pregnant, women will always bear a disproportionate share of the burden of protecting herself from unwanted pregnancy.

I 100% believe in a world in which women have access to safe, inexpensive, reliable contraception. I also 100% believe in a world where it is recognized that women are sexual beings. I would have hoped that by now the idea that a woman being prepared to have sex by having contraception makes her a slut would have gone away. But when I look at anonymous commenters talking about girls willingly being gang-banged and worse on other blogs, there's something else going on here than just a plea for responsibility. When you have a society that brands sexually prepared women as whores, you also have a society in which the only acceptable way for women to have sex they want to have is to be "swept away by the moment" -- and that is always accompanied by the risk of pregnancy.

As for "the severe trauma that sometimes damages the uterus so badly that they are unable to have children anymore", where do you get that information, other than out of your own rectum? Are you a physician? A woman? Have you ever had an abortion? I thought not. I'm not going to debate relative rights of zygote vs. fully-formed human with you, but unless you can provide me with something that doesn't come from Operation Rescue or something similar attesting to this "severe damage", you have no credibility to me whatsoever. This claim is utter horsepuckey and you know it.

To the extent that the U.S. has a high abortion rate and a high teen pregnancy rate, it is because we are the only country in the developed world that doesn't accept that people are sexual beings, and women are people. Here in the U.S., the Christofascist Zombie Brigade has this notion of "purity" and "chastity", and we of course see how well that works in the Bible Belt.

The only reason I'm bothering with you, Ryan, is because you are clearly NOT a zealot that believes that every egg is sacred, but someone who DOES consider abortion to be permissible under certain circumstances, which means you have the door open to the rights of a fully-formed human being to take precedence over that of one that is essentially a parasite.

We all wish that people would be more responsible in many areas of life. But as Interrobang noted, folks like you and Anon seem only to want WOMEN to be punished for being "irresponsible." And for all the talk about Teh Baybeeeezzzzz, you sure do think that they constitute appropriate punishment for women whom you think are too slutty to keep their legs closed.

Blogger Serr8d said...
The purpose of Health Insurance is to cover costs for healing illnesses and diseases. A pregnancy is not a disease, Jill, at least not to sane women.

Planned Parenthood makes money from abortions; they promote abortions over prevention methods because they need the cash. There is no way I want my tax monies funneled to that murderous organization. I would pay for preventative, proactive pregnancy and disease prevention. I would not pay for abortions. That will not fly, wait and see. Maybe in China; not in America.

Blogger Jill said...
"Planned Parenthood makes money from abortions; they promote abortions over prevention methods because they need the cash."

This too is utter horseshit. Have you ever gone to a Planned Parenthood clinic? Worked at one? I've done both. I worked at one when I was in college, and I went to one when my diaphragm dried out the day before vacation and it was the only place open.

I went through extensive training before working at Planned Parenthood. This was in 1976-77, before misogynistic ghouls like you decided that evil unchaste temptresses had to be punished for their sins. Do you know what we were taught about? Birth control. What the methods were, the advantages and disadvantages of each were, and how to use them, so that we could show women who came to the clinic how to protect themselves. We also learned how to administer what was then known as the "rabbit test." A woman with an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy was counseled as to her options, which were then, as now, carrying to term and keeping the baby, carrying to term and giving the baby up, or abortion.

Some Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortion services. Some do not but offer referrals. Planned Parenthood does NOT promote abortions over prevention methods. 82% of Planned Parenthood clients receive contraceptive counseling and services, NOT abortions.

You know, Serr8d, I already knew you were an ignorant jackass. But one would think you would at least make an effort to make your case by having SOME grip on facts and reality. I realize that in the right wing now, outright lies are regarded as having the same validity as facts and truth. But when you come to THIS blog, we live in the reality-based community; and we're going to remind you about reality every damn time.

So if you want to believe in a world in which women wake up in the morning and decide to get their nails done and then get an abortion, well, be my guest. I can't stop you. But take your crap elsewhere. Because while I may believe that intelligent people of goodwill can disagree, utter horseshit does not equal truth.

Blogger Distributorcap said...
as a man who will not experience the biology and emotions of actually being pregnant - i dont think it is my right to tell ANY woman what to do with her own body and soul. that is a choice between her and her husband/partner etc - or just herself.

as for whether abortion is murder - well being pro-choice i guess that would put me on the side that i do not believe it is. but i can actually see the point of view of those who believe it is against human law. and for those that don't believe in abortion - dont get one.

as for public funding of abortions - again being pro-choice and realizing that women and teens WILL get pregnant no matter what laws are passed - the thought of the back room coathangers (i know dramatic, but to the point) - and other assorted unsafe procedures that will rear their ugly heads if poor women do not have access to affordable and safe abortions - well talk about a health care system that will get expensive - financially and emotionally.

until the schools, churches and other relevant organizations (generally run by men of course) removed their collective heads from their collective asses - and start talking about birth control, contraception, and acceptance of the fact that people are going to have sex whether they like it or not (and lets throw in tolerance of gays and lesbians) - then there are going to be unwanted births (and fetal alcohol syndrome, and the transmission of STDs etc) - and that aint gonna change.

one final point to all those who are anti-choice --- i find it remarkable how many of those people are also pro-death penalty. there must have been a lot of cheering from the randall terry crowd today when the DC sniper was put to death. I wonder how those same anti-choice feel about the fact that it is VERY likely texas put to death an innocent man.

one final point #2 - since you guys feel it is ok to not have your tax dollars pay for abortions, then i dont want ANY of my tax dollars to pay for killing people in Afghanistan and Iraq. And yes we have killed plenty of innocent people. Can you tell me how a war we were misled (and lied) into - against a country was not responsible for 9/11 and which has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians is much different than abortions?

But I am sure you think that war is ok too.

Blogger Serr8d said...
So, Miss Jill with the Vagina dentata, if you worked for Planned Parenthood, then you know of Abby Johnson, right?

Seems you're the one who needs to get a grasp on what is life and death; you've a vacuum in your heart, and a skull filled with selfishness. Look past your own hateful spitefulness. Know that which grows in a womb is not meaningless tissue that can be ripped out for a whim.

Abby Johnson is a better woman than you are, right here, right now. I hope you can deal with reality and find a way to change your evil ways.

Good luck with that. Really.

Blogger Batocchio said...
Gosh, it's been a while since I've seen a jumpin' "baby-killer" thread. How about every woman who is considering an abortion signs a "I am not a slut" waiver? The scolds and busybodies can be reassured that way. Meanwhile, does everyone who opposes over half a trillion in military spending (particularly for expensive and useless Cold War programs) get to have some of that money back for useful things?

Most of the anti-choice movement makes little sense outside a larger agenda of social control, especially of women. This is particularly true of anyone who also wants to outlaw birth control (or defund it) and opposes accurate, comprehensive sex ed. The majority of "pro-life" activists also oppose social services and universal health care. You've got a good list of the other "anti-life" positions in your post, Jill. As the saying goes, the anti-choice "commitment to life" ends at birth. In countries where abortion is illegal, they have what the U.S. used to have - women dying due to back alley abortions. And is forcing a woman to bear a child against her will somehow moral? It's pretty damn rare for an anti-choice advocate to acknowledge the actual consequences of their stance. The Stupak amendment doesn't outlaw abortion, but it's a backdoor method of making it much harder, particularly for poor women. It's callous.

The irony is that some people who describe themselves as pro-life are actually pro-choice. Meghan McCain is one example – while she may not get an abortion, she thinks abortion is a tough choice and should be left up to the woman. She's not the only one out there who doesn't realize that's the pro-choice position.

Who is possibly better suited to decide whether to have an abortion or not than a woman and her doctor? So many health issues can arise during a pregnancy. Abortion is an important and necessary medical procedure to have available, and as such needs to be part of basic medical coverage, along with basic OB/GYN. Additionally, situations like this are unconscionable. Women should be able to make these decisions.

Also, to pick up on an earlier theme, since Congress has gone this route on abortion, why not eliminate funding for erectile dysfunction. It's clearly wrong to tamper with divine will.

Blogger Jill said...
Wow, vagina dentata, eh? That'll come as a surprise to my husband. Of course it was only a matter of time before the Big Misogynist Fear came bubbling to the surface, eh, Mr. 8? That's what it's really all about, isn't it?

As for Abby Johnson, I don't know what's funnier, the idea that because I worked at a Planned Parenthood in the 1970's, that means I knew every single person who ever worked at any Planned Parenthood anywhere.

Yes, I do know who Abby Johnson is, and I also know that her story Just Doesn't Add Up.

I'll tell you something else. It's none of your business, but I'll tell you anyway. I have never had an abortion. During my fertile years I was a maniac about birth control. That doesn't mean I didn't have those months of pleading for a period and checking every hour. But I never had an unplanned pregnancy. But you know what? People are fallible. People make mistakes. Things happen. Condoms break. Diaphragms shift. Women forget a pill. Stuff happens. And I have enough compassion for other human beings to not decide what is right for another person.

I'll tell you something else that is none of your business. A woman I was very close to in my childhood had an abortion, back in the days when it was illegal. She managed to find a doctor who would do it, but it was a furtive, unpleasant process. She went on to have two perfectly healthy children and had an easy time conceiving them. And to this day she doesn't regret it one bit because the sitation was just not right to raise a child in. There are millions of women like this one. There were also millions of women like this one over the years. But I'm sure, Serr8ed, that you think that photo is just punishment for evil, irresponsible sluts with teeth in their vaginas.