pecunium: (Pixel Stained)
I am sick of hearing about exceptions. If you actually think choice is a right, that people are allowed to do what they want to do with their bodies (and that women are people) then being upset that Romney, or Ryan, or Akin, or any other person doesn’t want to allow some people to have abortions while denying them to everyone else is not only inconsistent, it’s foolish.

I think it has been making the entire debate harder to have, because it cedes a vast piece of moral ground to the anti-choice side. It says that some abortions are more acceptable than others, which implies that all the rest are, in some way, not acceptable. That absent some extenuating circumstance the fetus, presumptively, has rights.

That’s not a good position to be in, if what one is arguing is the right isn’t one to life (on the part of the fetus) but the right to autonomy on the part of the woman. It makes it easier for those who are opposed to choice to get their foot in the door with those who are on the fence. It gives the waffling people a way to salve their consciences. Those people get to tell themselves they aren’t denying, “good women” the right to abortions. No, the people who are “deserving”, those who aren’t, “trying to run away from their responsibilities” will still be able to get an abortion if they, “need” one.

Well it’s not about need. It’s about freedom. Freedom to choose. Freedom to not lose one's freedom the moment one gets pregnant. Freedom to have children when one wants them, and to not have them when one doesn’t. An unwanted pregnancy is an unwanted pregnancy, no matter how loving, or hateful, the circumstances which led to it.

I have some of the same problems with people who defend non-heterosexuals having rights because, “they were born that way”. I don’t give a damn if it’s nature, nurture, a question of politics, or pure hedonistic choice. People are people. They have rights. If those rights can be stripped, because it’s a choice, then they aren’t rights.

One can argue the moral values of when legal personhood begins, that’s fine. But saying some types of abortion are legitimate, because the cause of them is squicky is an act of moral cowardice (on both sides). Choice is legit, or it isn’t. I know why the strategists chose incest and rape as the poster child for making the anti-choice people look monstrous, it’s because those are things we react to with horror, and it allows a certain type of logical fallacy to play out in the id. It allows for some guilt by association. If the anti-choicers won’t allow exceptions for rape and incest victims, then they are supporting rape and incest.

The nice thing about it, from that standpoint, is the claim doesn’t have to be overt. People’s revulsion to the concepts kicks in at a level below reason. But I think it backfires. It allows the people on the fence to think only “bad” pregnancies are deserving of choice. The better exception to be using, when the anti-choice crowd is going full-tilt, as they seem to be in this election, is the question of medical necessity.

Ryan, for example, is against it, when third-trimester abortions were being debated in the house, he said, “"The health exception would render this ban virtually meaningless.". Ryan doesn’t care if a woman will die; not if she’s pregnant. It’s a harsh thing to say; I know people will say I am exaggerating, but it’s what banning medically needed abortions means. It means that as soon as a woman becomes pregnant she is slave to the state. Her life is not her own, and it’s not her own until she is no longer legally responsible for the child.

That’s what choice is about. It’s about being your own person. The Republican Party, nor Romney, nor Ryan, nor any who accept its platform, don’t think women should be allowed to be their own persons, no exceptions.
pecunium: (Default)
Here in Grover Beach the only things on the ballot were the statewide measures of the special election.

I voted against all but two.

They all lost.

Which isn't, if you ask me, the real story.

This was a power play by Arnie.

Last year he wanted the legislature to do some things. They didn't want to. He threatened to take them to referenda. The legislature caved and he got most of what he wanted. He also got bragging rights, and an image as someone who could cut through "politics as usual."

The he pissed off the nurses and the teachers. That gave the legislature the cover they needed to tell him to piss off this time around.

So he sought the special election, despite the voters saying they didn't want to spend the $80 million it cost.

A friend of mine describes himself as "slightly to the right of Genghis Khan." He exaggerates, but he's a lot more to the right than I am. He thinks the media is liberal, the democrats are overtaxing thieves and voted for Bush (I think; he hasn't said, and I've not asked) because he didn't trust Kerry.

He told me to vote no on everything.

Not just the union initiative, not just the anti-teacher intiative (those were both no-brainers for him to be against, his wife is a teacher, and he came of age in the 60s, when unions had clout. He knows they do more good than harm).

But against the redistricting intiative (which I am sort of for, because I think the present system of districting is part of the horrid mess we are in, but that's another post), the budget initiatve and the anti-abortion intiative

He's pro-life, sorta-mostly. He thinks Roe is decent law, but would like to see them harder to get (to be fair, he wants them harder across the board. I don't think he see it as some issue of moral judgement on those who get them, but rather a thing which ought be sought only as last resort, but I digress).

Why? Because Arnold has pissed him off. He was for the recall. He voted against Gray Davis, and probably voted for Arnold (and as he wasn't going to vote for Bustamante, I can't really fault him, Arnold was the second best choice in the field, if Davis was ousted).

But Arnold hasn't lived up to his campaign.

And this became (not that Arnold will admit it) a referendum on Arnold.

And he got skunked. Not only did all of his measures get whomped (and I'd have liked to see the two I voted for pass, just because it would be spit in his eye, as well as thinking they make decent law) but (and this is the kicker) voter turnout was almost as high as in a presidential election year.

Ponder that. According to this mornings news 42 percent of registered voters went to the polls. My first chance to vote was in an off-year election. Turn out (in a year that had a mayoral race, for LA, as I recall) was something like 28 percent.

This one got 42 percent. The verdict is in, and it's that Arnold is almost certainly unelectable next year.



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Gloomy win

Aug. 3rd, 2005 09:57 am
pecunium: (Default)
We (and by that I mean liberals, moderates and those who believe in good government; run by good politicians) scored a win yesterday.

It might not feel like it, because our guy lost.

That's right, Hackett lost to Schmidt.

The margin was 52-48. Four points. Close, a squeaker even (3,500 votes). He didn't get the seat but we won nonetheless.

They tried to tar him as a lackluster patriot (a sham, someone who led a Marine Civil Affairs unit, but not a, "combat" unit, and so unfit to claim he's a combat vet [and civil affairs is no slacker, if he can't claim to be a combat vet, I certainly can't). They took his statements of disgust with the President, as a president, and tried to make it seem he was a traitor; to the Nation and the men fighting the wars. They said his opponent would pay more attention to the District, because she wouldn't be gallivanting around in Iraq.

They spent damn near a million dollars to beat him.

And it was nip-and-tuck all the way. This is a district which has been seeing the Republican win by thirty points. To get within five is a win.

Imagine, as Steve Gilliard points out, that this had been flipped, that Berkeley had a run this tight, and the Republican lost by a mere 4 points. It would be the headline on Rush: "Dems on the run!"

This is what Dean is tallking about, what Western Democrat is talking about, and; to a lesser degree, I have been talking about.

We lost the big one, and there are a lot of rear-guard actions to take to keep that loss from becoming a rout. This is the way it's done. Put someone up, from dog-catcher to President. Make the case for the things we believe. When they fling muck (as they did, and they will) scrape it off, and fling it back. Don't reward bad behavior. If they do it once, and get away with it, they'll do it again. This is no time to let the other sides cavils and complaints that we aren't taking the high road quash us when they take the low.

Make them spend the money. Make them go begging for more. When someone like Hackett needs some, pitch him 20 bucks. We can't afford to think the only local races that matter are the ones in our back yard. It isn't how the Republicans see it, it isn't how the allies of the Republicans see it.

Shaping politics from the pulpit

Evangelical Christian leaders nationwide have been emboldened by their role in re-electing President Bush and galvanized by their success in campaigning for constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, passed in 18 states so far.

Now some are organizing to build on last year's successes. They want to solidify their role in setting the political agenda and electing sympathetic public officials.

The Ohio effort isn't unique. Johnson's project - which he says has signed up more than 900 pastors in Ohio during its first 10 weeks in operation - has helped spawn the Texas Restoration Project in Bush's home state. The fledging Pennsylvania Pastors' Network has signed up 81 conservative clergy so far. Similar efforts are beginning to percolate elsewhere.

"It's maturing as a movement within the evangelical Christian community," says Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, a Pennsylvania-based group that teaches pastors how to be involved in politics.


This is no time to cry in our beer. We may have been beaten, but we didn't lose.



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