Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ginning Up The Fauxtrage

Remember during the campaign when the Republicans broadcast far and wide Barack Obama's opposition to legislation pending in the Illinois' State Senate that would have forced doctors to save the life of a baby, even if the child had been delivered in the course of the mother seeking an abortion? Since the law in Illinois was quite clear that doctors are under the obligation to work to save the life of any human being, it was clear this was an anti-abortion measure by another name. It duplicated a law already on the books, and sought to do nothing more than limit abortions, especially the poorly-named "partial-birth" abortion. Yet, they got the pro-lifers frothing that Obama supported infanticide.

Well, as the Bush Administration fades in to the sunset, it is attempting to do something similar on a national scale. Under proposed rules changes for the Department of Health and Human Services, they would like to exempt from professional reprimand any individual who refuses to participate in any procedure they oppose on religious and moral grounds. Except, of course, the 1964 Civil Rights Act already does this - discrimination on religious grounds is verboten. Not to tell stories out of school, but when I had my vasectomy, my doctor had to use a different nurse because his nurse was opposed to the procedure on religious grounds.

Thankfully, Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray are introducing legislation to block this rule change. Since the sole goal of such nonsense is to reduce the already small supply of abortion providers - as well as those who assist on vasectomies, tubal ligations, sterilizations, and other such procedures - and is moot in any case due to already existing laws on the books, this is just another of those fake controversies the right loves to stir up.

This kind of thing is what Barack Obama spoke of when he spoke about "changing our politics". It is nothing more and nothing less than the politics of bullshit, using frightful images, threats of all sorts of horrors, on an issue already covered by legal protections with little consequence outside the small group of rabid anti-abortion folks who hold the fetus of far more importance than real living human beings. I will be so glad when this kind of things is but a dim, sad memory.

Virtual Tin Cup

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