Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing

Digby is worried about Rick Santorum's views about birth control.

[Kathryn Jean Lopez is] mischaracterizing the (very silly) article, which suggested that using birth control is causing infertility ---because women are waiting too long to get pregnant. It's idiotic but I'm guessing it's the next big paternalistic ploy by the forced childbirth brigades --- too many dizzy gals are damaged by waiting too long to conceive that the choice must be taken out of their flighty little hands.

She goes on to complain about having to pay for birth control --- which is going to be the hook these zealots will use to whittle away at women's access and then ends with this:


In this campaign, Rick Santorum has not been lecturing us about so-called social issues. But he gets asked about them, and he answers honestly. Can’t we be honest about what he is saying?

Here's what he's saying (go to the end):[snipped video]

"The state has a right to [make a law outlawing the right of married people to use birth control], I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right, the state has the right to pass whatever statues they have.

And he explained very thoroughly elsewhere that he believes birth control is wrong unless sex is procreative it "becomes deconstructed to the point where it's simply pleasure."

I think we understand him very well.

So what? It's not our responsibility to tell the president what to do. If he wants to make it harder to get birth control (like Obama) or outlaw it altogether (like Santorum, in his wet dreams) then that's his right. Making it harder to get birth control will get Obama more votes and if we make a fuss then we'll discourage Democrats from voting and Obama might lose. And then we might end up with no birth control at all. Of course that will happen anyway because the right will always demand more concessions for the sheer joy of exerting control over their ideological enemies and Obama will always give in to get more votes. Obviously he does not have to worry about losing Democratic votes because they will always choose the lesser of two evils.

I really don't care because it doesn't affect me; I can afford to work around the law and where there's an outlawed drug there's always a black market. Just like I don't care if Obama murders Muslim children because it doesn't affect anyone I know personally.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's all this about Obama making birth control less accessible?

Susan of Texas said...

"President Obama said Thursday that he supports his administration’s decision to block unrestricted sale of the morning-after pill to people younger than 17, a move that dismayed women’s advocates when it was announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Sebelius said Wednesday that she had overruled the Food and Drug Administration, which had decided to make the contraceptive available to people of all ages directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves, without a prescription.

In a surprise move with election-year implications, the Obama administration's top health official overruled her own drug regulators and stopped the Plan B morning-after pill from moving onto drugstore shelves next to other contraceptives. (Dec. 7)

Obama said he did not get involved in the decision to require a prescription for girls 16 and under before it was announced, leaving it up to Sebelius.

But, he said: “I will say this. As the father of two daughters, I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine.”

“And as I understand it, the reason Kathleen made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old, going to a drug store, should be able to, alongside bubble gum or batteries,” purchase a powerful drug to stop a pregnancy, Obama said. “I think most parents would probably feel the same way.”

Women’s groups have reacted with alarm to the decision, and Obama’s remarks did nothing to tamp down the furor."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-defends-administrations-refusal-to-relax-plan-b-restrictions/2011/12/08/gIQAJSZbfO_story.html

Anonymous said...

Oh, so, Obama didn't make it harder to access birth control, he maintained the status quo and heaped on smarm for political purposes.

Susan of Texas said...

By those standards Obama never has to do anything that changes the status quo. He does not have to offer contraceptives to all women of child-bearing age. He does not have to close GITMO or get out of Iraq or reform banking laws.

I like that reasoning. Bush already wanted bank bailouts, so it's not Obama's fault that he bailed them out. Black people had low employment rates anyway so it's not his fault that they got worse. You're right.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, so, Obama [...] maintained the status quo and heaped on smarm for political purposes"

It must be Tuesday!

-ecl.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

What's all this about Obama making birth control less accessible?

I'm from the government, and I'm here to help, nonny.
~

Anonymous said...

I don't like the plan b rules either. But you said in your post, and I quote, "if he wants to make it harder to get birth control (like Obama)..." That's a total mischaracterization.

Furthermore, I don't know what "standard" you think I'm working with, but I assure you that in this case, it's nothing more than descriptive accuracy. Obama has not made it harder than it already was to access birth control. That is all I said.

Why, then, you impute beliefs to me having to do with Guantanamo or Iraq or banking is baffling. Birth control is not Iraq is not torture. This much should be obvious to all concerned.

Substance McGravitas said...

If he wants to make it harder to get birth control (like Obama)

This isn't actually true, and in fact rules have been put in place - yet to be sold down the river thus far - that are gonna make birth control more accessible for millions. So yes the Plan B overruling is terrible, stupid, immoral, politically dumb and indefensible to all but maniacs, but the administration's been a net positive on access to birth control (again assuming they don't sell those rules out).

Susan of Texas said...

Obama blocked the FDA's attempt to offer otc birth control to girls. He made it harder for them to get birth control than if he had done nothing.

He did not maintain the status quo. He blocked the FDA. If he had done nothing they would have offered the birth control--that was the status quo. You are being dishonest. How can you just ignore the fact that the FDA was trying to provide bc for girls but Obama stopped them? He did not do nothing--he actually stopped them.

Now, if you want to say that Katherine Sebelius did this all on her own, which you did not say, you would be right and I would be wrong. But in that case Obama would be a powerless figurehead who has nothing to do with what goes on during his own administration. And that kind of clashes with what we are told about his great achievements, like ensuring gays can die for empire and that we are all required to buy health insurance.

Susan of Texas said...

Substance, when the law is enacted I will be happy to praise Obama and note that he is ensuring women with health insurance will save $25 a year, assuming that the companies don't raise rates to cover the loss.

Anonymous said...

No, Susan, I'm sorry, but now you're just fudging with the definition of "status quo." The case, prescriptions for girls 17 and under, continued to be the case. I don't like it, but describing it otherwise than it is doesn't help matters.

Even if I accept your definition of "status quo," i.e., an evolution, thanks to the FDA's intervention, of the status quo, it is not the case that Obama or anyone in his administration, including Sebelius, quote, "made it harder to get birth control."

Finally, your insistence that I'm being dishonest is perplexing, especially considering you grant that I might (unbeknownst to me) have a point. You have a lovely blog here, full of fine writing documenting important developments, etc., but for a person whose animating hobby-horse is eternal opposition to authoritarianism, you're kind of an asshole.

Susan of Texas said...

I understand how someone can say that blocking change is preserving the status quo, but preserving the status quo when someone is trying to change it is not doing nothing--it is blocking change.

Yes, I am an asshole. But nobody cared when I was an asshole to conservatives. Now, they care.

I am not going to start attacking Democrats or liberals, despite this post attacking Democrats and liberals. I realize now that almost everyone doesn't care about abuses if they are committed by their own side. That makes me angry, just like Republicans' moral indifference made me angry, but anger fades. The only question is what to do next. If I can't criticize liberals for civil rights abuses then I can't criticize conservatives for committing the same civil rights abuses. I'd be a hypocrite.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

You have a lovely blog here, full of fine writing documenting important developments, etc., but for a person whose animating hobby-horse is eternal opposition to authoritarianism, you're kind of an asshole.

Anonymous, that made no sense.
~

Anonymous said...

Oh, boo fucking hoo. Now Republicans will emerge victorious everywhere, the best will continue to lack all conviction, our civil liberties will be run roughshod over, etc. etc., and all because an anonymous internet commenter pointed out that it is not now "harder" to get birth control than it had been. Such sadness.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Anonymous, that made no sense.
~

Susan of Texas said...

Yeah, I couldn't figure out if he or she was supporting or mocking me. And that earlier remark seemed to praise my blog confused me. I dont really follow developments so much as point out authoritarianism when I run across it and act like an asshole to Megan McArdle.

fish said...

Digby is a classic gatekeeper. Expresses just enough dissatisfaction w/ Obama that it assuages the guilt of voting for him again, cuz they said mean things about him. DEVASTATING!

DocAmazing said...

Smells all Lowell-ish around here.

Anatole David said...

President Obama, in supporting this decision of a Cabinet appointee in his Executive, utilized experience as the "father of two daughters" to intervene and deny safe birth control OTC. The authoritarianism of his intervention and defense merits a parting shot.

Why hasn't President Obama thrown his paternal weight, "as a father of two daughters", behind the extra-judicial drone assassination policy that has killed hundreds, if not thousands, of children his daughters' age in 6 nations? Or that he has to force into an NDAA bill provisions to indefinitely detain Americans, but he pinky swears(signing statement) to never use powers he specifically demanded for an Office that will endure beyond the salve of his good intentions.

Surprising Susan doesn't write more about President Obama's deep authoritarian streak(Intensifying Drug War, immigration policy that has deported just over 3 million "illegals"--Pat Buchanan's green with envy, NDAA, continuing war on whistle blowers, maniacal secrecy, disregarding Congress, and War Powers, in bombing Libya, etc)

In my view Susan practices abundant Grace by Omission regarding President Obama.

Digby, unfortunately, engages in the Sisyphean labor of defending President Obama as a "lesser evil".

Susan's adherence to reality, beyond partisan posturing, is refreshing and all too rare.


Happy Belated New Year Susan!

(Pardon sloppiness, had surgery on knee, pain meds, some discomfort, but in good spirits)

KWillow said...

Anon seems to be a slyer-than-average concern troll. Maybe a "democrat" concern troll. Obama seems to really hate the legitimate criticism he's getting from former supporters. Along with blocking Plan B for no apparent reason other then maybe the squick-factor, we have to wonder if people like Glenn Greenwald, or the Firedog Lake folk, and even a few from KOS will start to "disappear", maybe taken for questioning when they try to board a plane. Creepy. Will Obama use his extraordinary powers against his Repug-Wall Street "enemies"? I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Your slyer-than-average troll intruding again, seeing less red. Just to say, because I esteem the blog, that if you're genuinely looking for a new direction, you could do worse than to leave off policing boundaries. Stop assuming positions. Let go of imputing "Obot" and/or "authoritarian" to the slightest coughs and twitches. In short, lay off the Us/Them rhetoric. Granted, you get a lot of mileage and internet plaudits for policing those boundaries, but that style of thinking has severe limitations, too. You swerve into paranoia pretty quickly, for example. Eventually you just start talking like a rube.

You've mentioned on here that you have abiding interest in developmental psychology or psychology generally; I remember you mentioned once that you're fascinated by emotional influence on economic decisions. Why not investigate some of that stuff? It sounds interesting to me, and would surely give you material enough for a quick break here and there from the McArdle grind.

fish said...

I agree that you should avoid things that Anonymous doesn't like and write about things he/she approves of. Free advice is so valuable. Also cute cat pictures with amusingly misspelled captions, as if the cats had written the captions themselves.

bulbul said...

preserving the status quo when someone is trying to change it is not doing nothing--it is blocking change.
I am but a lowly second-language speaker of English, but to me, it seems like 'blocking change' is the perfect defition of 'preserving the status quo'.

Anonymous said...

to me, it seems like 'blocking change' is the perfect defition of 'preserving the status quo'.

Yes.

That said, Susan is absolutely right to criticize Obama on any number of fronts. He's been somewhat less than advertised, and not always because those mean old Republicans threatened to take their ball and go home if he didn't play by their rules.

Keep calling bullshit where you see it, Susan. Even if it makes Sensible Liberals squirm a bit.

- spencer

Susan of Texas said...

Bulbul, you speak English better than I do.

Obama prevented the FDA from offering the morning after pill to girls. No matter what you call that--action or inaction--the result is making it harder for them to get the pill.

But that is a side issue. The main issue is obedience, and anon is telling me that it's just fine to criticize obedience to authority when others do it, but not when we do it. Anon calls me an asshole, a rube, paranoid, all because I criticized a liberal instead of a conservative.

"Your slyer-than-average troll intruding again, seeing less red. Just to say, because I esteem the blog, that if you're genuinely looking for a new direction, you could do worse than to leave off policing boundaries."

Policing boundaries is for authoritarians. I point out authoritarian behavior. I do not define, include, or exclude members of a group, except in the broadest sense--anti-authoritarian actions versus authoritarian actions. Digby is policing the border of what is acceptable liberal behavior and what is not. You can criticize abusive government as long as a conservative does it and you can make theoretical arguments against liberals, but you have to vote for your liberal leader no matter what he does.

"Stop assuming positions."

Stop having a point of view? What should I write about? Cooking? Kittens and babies? Vague platitudes about good works?


"Let go of imputing "Obot" and/or "authoritarian" to the slightest coughs and twitches. In short, lay off the Us/Them rhetoric."

I think you mean "you versus me" rhetoric. Nobody cares when the us is liberals and the them is conservatives.

"Granted, you get a lot of mileage and internet plaudits for policing those boundaries, but that style of thinking has severe limitations, too. You swerve into paranoia pretty quickly, for example. Eventually you just start talking like a rube."

Insulting me won't make me back down. I'm not that insecure.

"You've mentioned on here that you have abiding interest in developmental psychology or psychology generally; I remember you mentioned once that you're fascinated by emotional influence on economic decisions. Why not investigate some of that stuff? It sounds interesting to me, and would surely give you material enough for a quick break here and there from the McArdle grind."

That is exactly what I am doing.

Anonymous said...

Snort.