January 24, 2003

Whiplash politics

what the-- Can someone tell me what the hell that was that just flew past? First, it seems that Bush put some guy who is maybe one inch to the left of the Godhatesfags.com dude as the head of the AIDs Advisory Commission, whatever that is. There was all sorts of uproar from all over the place. Then faster than you could say "Mario Andretti in a souped-up Lamborghini" the we-should-cure-the-homosexuals (how, with a magical spell?) guy says "Nope, not me, I'm not going to do it." Bush is now I guess free to appoint some guy he really wanted as the head of this group, or maybe abandon the whole project as a revenue-suck that hasn't contributed so much as a microscope lens to the cause of curing AIDS, or maybe just look like a bumbling idiot on domestic policy which is par for the course for Republican administrations. The problem with the Republicans is they are so good at handling the foreign riffraff, and so hamfisted at dealing with their own country's problems. Here's another example of this tendency, one which has shortened their shelf life considerably. Great priorities, guys.

Posted by Andrea Harris at January 24, 2003 02:49 AM

The more I think about it, the more it seems like a Cunning Plan of the old-fashioned bait-and-switch variety.

Frodo's face helps, though. Pretty.

Posted by: A. at January 24, 2003 at 10:45 AM

We aren't going to get anywhere politically by trying to convince people that gay sex and gay households are bad ideas.

There are some issues we are never going to be able to address by political means.

I don't know how Dub dropped the ball on this one. He's usually so sharp.

Posted by: Steve H. at January 24, 2003 at 11:10 AM

Bush, and the GOP, by being successful in the Nov-02 elections and finally having power in both houses and the Presidency, now find themselves holding onto the tiger's tail of the lunatic right, which demands sops like that silly Commission appointment and a War on Abortion.

Posted by: *** Dave at January 24, 2003 at 12:29 PM

I say let them go -- they aren't worth holding onto. But nobody listens to me...

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 24, 2003 at 12:38 PM

Andrea, I'm starting to think you're engaged in a plot to make me read each end every post your put up. I would read a 12,000 page Iraqi weapon declaration, as long as it was illustrated with pictures of Frodo.

Posted by: Sean Kirby at January 24, 2003 at 01:46 PM

It's all part of the Plan. ;)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 24, 2003 at 01:56 PM

As a lifelong pro-choicer, I can observe with easy confidence that men are more pro-choice than women are, and surveys back me up on that. Furthermore, the hard core pro-choice side of the argument has been eroding steadily, year after year.

There are women who will never vote Democratic solely because they are pro-life. Indeed, go to a pro-life rally some time, and you'll notice that women, many of them women who've had abortions, tend to dominate these events, and usually outnumber the men.

The presumption that, somehow, Republicans are going to lose because they're going to ban partial birth abortions, strengthen parental notification laws, and allow hospitals and doctors the freedom of conscience to refuse to offer this procedure if they want to, is all going to somehow bring hell crashing down on Republican heads is silliness.

Most people in America--and most especially, most of America's women--are moderates on the abortion issue, and would generally support more restrictions on the procedure than Roe v. Wade has mandated. Yet most would never outlaw the procedure.

That's the reality. Getting your knickers in a twist over the abortion issue is pointless. Just because you and all your friends are pro-choice, doesn't mean that suddenly the votes of pro-life women and men (although most pro-life votes are women) should be ignored just shows an incredible naivetee--both about this as a political issue, and about how democratic politics works. Tens of millions of women vote pro-life, and many refuse to vote Democratic because of it.

Republicans aren't dumb. They know that even if you don't.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at January 25, 2003 at 05:49 AM

Um. I'm not getting my knickers on a twist over abortion. And I refuse to get into an argument over the matter. I'm just pointing out in times like this the abortion issue is not the most pressing one facing the country, and expanding upon that pointing out that the Republicans are, in my opinion, being idiots when it comes to domestic policy. Did you read the link to Kim Du Toit's article? There's one woman who certainly won't be voting Republican because of their stance. And she has kids. I'm a member of the Republican party, by the way, but if they keep on acting silly like this, I may just go back to being Independent.

By the way, if anyone starts an argument over abortion in my blog, I'm just going to delete the comments. It's not an issue I care to clog up my database with at this point. Just an administrative note.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 25, 2003 at 10:43 AM

Of course I read Mrs. Du Toit's comments. That's why I responded, since you obviously agree with her. I'm saying that you're both mistaken. Not about being pro-choice--I'm pro-choice too--but on the politics of the matter.

Just because you and Mrs. Du Toit dislike the pro-life position does not mean that there aren't tens of millions of women who disagree with you both. Starting with my wife Rosemary, for example. And my mother.

Such women believe--rightly--that they were a big part in the Republican victories of recent years. They do not deserve to have their votes taken for granted or treated with contempt.

The domestic agenda polls well. It may not be popular with everybody, but that's democracy for you. Republicans would obviously make a mistake to push too far, but this doesn't mean they should ignore those in their coalition who helped bring them to power.

This is the classic difficulty of democratic politics.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at January 25, 2003 at 10:09 PM

This is the last comment I am going to make on this. I did not say I "agreed with her," I pointed out the article as an example of the sort of response that the Republicans are courting from many members of their own party. I'm glad your wife and mother have other views. I have not outlined my own views on the matter of abortion in this post, nor am I going to do so now. I am merely pointing out that there is 1) no need to pander to the "coalition who brought them into power" at the price of dumping those newer members such as Mrs. Du Toit and myself who are more interested in other aspects of the Republican agenda than the abortion matter, and 2) that they have alienated at least one person from their party with these actions, and surely Mrs. DuToit, and rapidly, myself, are not the only two women out of the millions of female Republicans who think that the current administration should worry more at this point about keeping alive and un-blown-up by terrorists those millions of Americans who have already emerged living from the womb. Another thing no one seems to consider is that Americans don't care for social engineering from the top, whether it comes from the right or the left. Let people decide for themselves instead of running to their congressperson to enact even more intrusive laws. It has only been recently that there has even been any halfway rational conversation about abortion among people, and that is only because the government has not said much about it lately. Until now.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 26, 2003 at 12:02 AM

"Let people decide for themselves instead of running to their congressperson to enact even more intrusive laws."

This COULD be construed as an argument for overruling Roe. The zealots on both sides tend to exaggerate what that would mean, but I think it might actually help with the problem of priorities you mentioned: if abortion was no longer a federal issue at all, the federal government would have one less thing to distract it from its real job of keeping the country safe. Contentious issues like this really are best resolved at the state level.

Posted by: David Jaroslav at January 26, 2003 at 02:51 AM

"I would read a 12,000 page Iraqi weapon declaration, as long as it was illustrated with pictures of Frodo."

I want to hear Saddam's speeches voiced by Christopher Lee. Come on Andrea, do it for your fans! :^D

"No Dong" Kim on the other hand should be voiced over by Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Posted by: David Ross at January 26, 2003 at 11:16 PM

No -- Gilbert Gottfried!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 27, 2003 at 12:25 AM

The question for politicians is always, who do you most want to alienate: the Mrs. Du Toits or Mrs. Esmays?

These choices must always be made. It's just reality.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at January 29, 2003 at 01:23 AM