Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An Imaginary War

I've been pretty busy over at my Warhammer 40,000 blog, but it's been a while since I last posted here on the home blog. And it's been even longer since I made a political post. In fact, my last one dates back to October when I discussed a crude anonymous comment I received. Much of the reason why I enjoy politics is because I enjoy a good debate. However, more and more it seems that irrationality and emotion are dominating politics and a lot of people (especially on the Internet) simply skip the part where they actually try to argue their point and begin immediately with name calling and ad hominem attacks. It's my belief that, when people stop arguing and resort instead to personal attacks, our country is in trouble. The pre-Civil War era was rife with that kind of behavior.

The Left's current claims that the GOP has started some sort of "War On Women" fall into this category. Of course, if you were to ask a diehard leftist they would tell you that the Republican Party has always been at war with women. Now, however, professional Liberals and their media allies seem to think they can make the charge stick with nonpartisans. It's the kind of obvious political demagoguery you can expect in an election year. I guess most of this started when Glorious Leader Obama and his secretary of Health and Human Services decided that they could, and should, force religiously run institutions to cover birth control through their health plans. (I for one find it disturbing that the Executive Branch now wields enough power to actually make such diktats.) This didn't go over well with the Catholic Church since it holds birth control to be verboten and has numerous medical and charitable operations that are affected by the decree.

The subject became personalized when Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke (apparently a self-proclaimed activist who also believes that the government should mandate that insurance cover gender reassignment surgery, among other things) testified to the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee that her birth control costs upwards of $1000 a year and urged the government to require her student insurance to cover it. Georgetown University is a private Jesuit school, so the University isn't going to do any such thing willingly. Apparently Fluke and quite a few Democratic politicians think that her right to receive subsidized birth control (by means of government coercion) trumps a Catholic institution's 1st Amendment right to freely exercise its religious principles.

It should be expected that the government's trampling of religious liberty in order to give Fluke et al. an absurd "right" to have their birth control paid for by others is going to rub a lot of Conservatives the wrong way. In response to Fluke's demands and Liberals characterization of her as a hero, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh (who is an entertainer, despite Liberal's claims to the contrary) used several non-chivalrous terms and inflammatory language to describe Fluke during his show. Apparently, between Limbaugh's unfortunate language and Conservative's general support of religious liberty over the previously unrecognized right to have one's lifestyle paid for by others, Liberals claim that the GOP is engaging in a "War On Women".

The Ploesti Raids of World War II (a.k.a., an actual war)

A few observations: first off, the party that looked the other way and/or tried to justify the depredations of high profile politicians like Bill Clinton and Teddy Kennedy really can't claim the moral high ground. Limbaugh (an entertainer) was repeatedly condemned by fellow Conservatives for what he said and he eventually apologized for his statements. (Fluke, classy lady that she is, rejected his apology.) Clinton and Kennedy (elected representatives) did a lot more than call a woman unkind names. Second, since when is an unwillingness to subsidize something, or force others to subsidize it, a de facto ban or an attack on a particular group? As an engineering student I spent more on books each year than Fluke did on birth control. Did someone declare war on education or war on engineering students because they didn't subsidize my books? Finally, why are we supposed to feel bad that a law student at Georgetown University spends $1000 a year on birth control? Not only does that dollar figure suggest that she prefers an unusually pricey birth control pill, but the cost is a pittance compared to Georgetown's $40,000+ annual tuition. Seems like a case of 'poor little rich girl' to me.

When did this nation sink to the point that it doesn't reject as ludicrous the argument that one person or a group of people have the right to have their chosen lifestyle paid for by others? I love Warhammer 40,000; the hobby relives stress and improves my quality of life. Do I therefore have the right to have my rather expensive hobby supported by someone else through government coercion? As absurd as this example is, it's no worse than arguments I've heard from the Left. And at least you wouldn't have to infringe on someone's 1st Amendment rights to get them to pay for my 40K habit.

One final thought; if Fluke doesn't like the policies of the Catholic Church, why did she decide to go to a traditionally Catholic school? Oh, right, she's a professional rabble-rouser who attended the school to attack its principles. Now who's declared war on who?


  1. I had never thought about it that way. But, does Fluke take birth control to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or for other reasons. I still think Limbaugh was wrong to call her those disparaging remarks though. Even if he is an entertainer. Fluke was wrong to not accept his apology.

  2. Very nice...although your preachin' to the Choir here!!! Bravo!!! I can't stand Rush Limbaugh though!!!

  3. I think it's irrelevant why she takes birth control; her Jesuit-ran university feels it to be morally wrong to pay for it since most people will use it for its original purpose. Besides, all indications are that she cares more about her activism than anything else and she always intended to confront the school on the issue.

    What bothers me most about this situation is that, while most people are noticing that 1st Amendment rights are at stake, few people seem to notice that the Executive Branch now wields a huge amount of authority over Americans. How is it that the President or one of his cronies can determine what medicines or processes a private health care plan will cover? Isn't there a word for an Executive who has the power to dictate rules to the people?



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