February 5th, 2011
|01:06 pm - Recent House Bills That Make Me Shiver|
Republicans introduced H.R. 358, probably best referred to as the Let Women Die Act, which indicates that women can be denied life-saving treatment because a doctor is unwilling to perform said treatment (and let's face it, it does not matter what type of treatment that is: it's wrong to deny treatment to anyone who needs it). This comes on the heels of H.R. 3, which tried to re-define what counted as "rape," indicating that "forcible" rape was somehow worse than any other kind of rape.
Essentially, in H.R. 3, the Republicans (and several idiot Democrats) tried to sell "rape by being held down" as somehow worse than "rape through roofies" or "statutory rape". . . when, in reality, "non-consent" can be the only valid measure of rape, or there is a risk that we will find ourselves saying, "Oh, well, she was only raped a little bit." That doesn't even make any sense, and even worse, it starts to tell people that rape is only sometimes a crime.
H.R. 358 allows hospitals to outright refuse treatment if they can't find a doctor willing to terminate a pregnancy, even if the woman will die without termination. Not only that, but they also don't have to transfer the patient to another hospital that will do the procedure. Essentially, the law says that they can let the woman die and not be responsible. . . and still get their federal funds.
I was under the impression that everyone voted to get the government out of their personal lives last November. . . This moralizing and hypocrisy (our local effervescent bundle-of-joy "hero-of-a-congressman," John Boehner, referred to this bill as the "will of the people" just about a week ago, tying it to the perceived mandate they got) is pretty much the furthest thing from what people were voting for.
So let's review H.R. 358 in light of "the will of the people" as expressed in the last election. The bill allows the hospital to refuse treatment and let a woman die, and still collect federal funding? I thought we were trying to reduce federal spending here, not give it to people of a "higher moral standard," as decided by Congress. (If you can honestly tell me that letting a woman die and not providing her a different option for treatment is an objectively "higher moral standard" than potentially terminating a pregnancy, you'll win a sucker.) I would be more inclined to buy the argument that the recent election indicated that all federal dollars for hospitals should be pulled than the argument that the recent election indicated that Congress (of all people) should be our moral compass.
It's one thing to have the government's hands in my pockets: that will never change, but it would be nice if they stuck their hands in my pockets a bit less. I'm all for that. But I don't have to let their hands down my wife's pants. That's not where the government's hands belong!
I rarely talk about politics in my journal (and I tend to think of myself as a "Republican who can't find his party" because of stuff just like this), but this circus act is pretty clearly out of line with what the voters want. And I'll admit that I'm a bit upset about it, though I was also pretty much expecting this. Tigers don't change their stripes, after all. This sort of thing isn't a Republican problem, not really: Democrats do some pretty dumb things (like sponsoring these bills, for instance), but I am forced to admit that the Republicans tend to pull this sort of thing a lot more often than the Democrats seem to.
What the hell is a fiscally conservative, socially liberal person supposed to do these days? I think the message is that we should just stay home, because neither party actually cares about us.
This new House of Representatives is failing at representing sanity.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: "Come Monday", -JB
Well, I've only registered officially as a Republican once: to vote in the primary against Blackwell.
But I don't generally talk politics because of two primary reasons:
1) In the end, they aren't important enough to warrant discussion: we are fortunate that this country's politicians are generally unlikely to actually have major influence on the general way we live our lives (not saying they can't affect us, but that generally the manner in which they do is minor).
2) My views, normative and middle-of-the-road as they really are, tend to piss people off around me: even mentioning that I'm conservative in my outlook (again, small spending, minimal government interference, and fairness for all) tends to unsettle Pagans about my politics because "conservativism" means something different to them than it does to me, and very few people can grasp that I might not define things the same way they do.
So, generally I keep my mouth shut about my political views. I'm firmly an independent voter who has ideals that are generally realistic, and I'm for a lot of the things that the Republicans say they stand for. The issue is that the Republicans don't stand for those things, and so I feel justified in calling myself a "Republican-Without-A-Party."
After all, there's nothing "progressive" about wanting sane marriage laws: the only ones changing the definition of marriage are those who are trying to also re-write history: I want marriage to be what it's always been in the eyes of the state, which is a social contract between two parties; denying people the right to enter into contracts is bigoted, and allowing them the right to the contract but not the ability to use a religion word for that contract is unconstitutional. There's nothing "progressive" about wanting public schools to be well-funded: that's how you ensure fairness throughout the system. There's nothing "progressive" about wanting health care for all: it brings down the currently unmitigated costs of ER visits that strain the taxpayer's resources. There's nothing "progressive" about a woman's right to choose: it's just fundamentally wrong that the government can make a decision about the health of a woman or "when life begins," which are (respectively) medical and religious questions that elected officials are not qualified (or permitted) to answer.
Really, in a sane world, I think we'd all just say "we've got common aims" and leave it at that, regardless of what I say my general political stance is. It's just that my reason for wanting those aims is generally different: my reasons are pretty conservative in nature, all told, and I respect the view of any liberal whose view compliments mine, even if their reasoning is different.
Libertarian's views are a bit wacky for my personal tastes. I can suggest that I broadly agree with some of their stuff, but I feel I'd be in the same boat with them, except that I'd have to explain to people what a Libertarian is before I explained why I didn't like certain parts of their platform. So, generally, I'll stick to avoiding political discourse. :)
we are fortunate that this country's politicians are generally unlikely to actually have major influence on the general way we live our lives (not saying they can't affect us, but that generally the manner in which they do is minor).
I think that's an excellent reason for taking the position you do regarding political involvement. It's the flipside of the same rationale that keeps me involved. If all Congress did was name bridges and shuffle pork around, I wouldn't care, either. But since I feel personally affected by seemingly every bill that comes down the pike, I feel I need to keep an eye on them. I used to enforce the laws legislators made, and I didn't want to bully people into compliance with something that seemed unfair. Now I'm in a heavily regulated industry--food production--and in a faction of it that's competing against a different faction that I think needs to be a whole lot more heavily regulated. Since the input end of my business is affected by the commodities market, I'm affected by trade laws. And since the retail end of it depends on people's spending habits, and that's affected by employment, credit, cost-of-living changes (like taxes and healthcare costs), I'm concerned about relevant policies. On top of that, I've got kids, so I want to educate them as I see fit and I don't want them drafted into an unjust war or inheriting a poisoned world.
It's for all these reasons that when people tell me they don't care about politics, I think, "How can you possibly not?!?" But I see that maybe some folks don't feel they've got as big a personal stake in it, and if that's the case, it only makes sense that they shouldn't waste their energy on it.
Libertarian's views are a bit wacky for my personal tastes.
They do seem to have more than their share of the tinfoil hat crowd. (Though one might say the same of Paganism!) I'm with them on the personal liberty and small government stuff, but then when they get into claims that the government has no constitutional right to tax people and so on, they lose me.