Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's For The Babies

Because she does not care one way or the other, Megan McArdle writes yet another post on the Susan G. Komen decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

Komen Changes Its Mind on Planned Parenthood, but Will Donors Come Back?
By Megan McArdle

So apparently Susan G. Komen has reversed its decision to fund Planned Parenthood. Just as it wasn't surprising that they might want to gently disconnect themselves from the abortion rights movement, it's also not shocking that once this issue became political, pro-choicers mobilized faster and harder than pro-lifers did. For one thing, as I noted yesterday, the issue of breast cancer has long been broadly within the "women's groups" umbrella that includes abortion rights, and for another, people react more strongly to losses than to possible gains. If Komen had never funded Planned Parenthood, it wouldn't have been a big deal . . . but once they did, withdrawing the money was a political statement.

Funding Planned Parenthood was partly a political decision as well. They knew that PP provided abortions from the start, of course. They obviously felt that associating with PP would draw in donations from political-minded women who support PP's abortion services. McArdle, of all people, should realize that some people will do anything for money.
And just as I wasn't outraged yesterday by the decision to withdraw money, I also think they're well within their rights to reinstate it if they think that doing so will best further their mission.

McArdle the Moderate strikes again! Despite the fact that she wants women who get abortions to suffer for their choice, she is agnostic regarding the support of PP or abortions in general and thinks people should be able to follow their conscience. But she has also written posts supporting the Catholic Church's stance on birth control, stating that it is wrong for the government to force the church to follow federal laws when receiving federal money if they disagree with those laws. It is very difficult to follow exactly what McArdle is trying to support.

Supporting organizations that provide abortions is okay.
Supporting organizations that refuse to support abortion is okay.
Refusing to pay for birth control for one's employees is okay.

So far, the only thing that McArdle has come out against is forcing organizations which receive federal funds to follow federal laws. She wants them to get the money with no strings attached, so they can force non-Catholic employees to follow Catholic dogma. The only people she actually supports are religious organizations which want to force individuals of other or no religions to follow their laws. This is utterly extraordinary, especially when you remember that McArdle is supposedly a libertarian.

And let's not even get into the fact that 98% of all women have used birth control, as we all now know. Authoritarians will say that they are pro-choice in polls but what they actually do is another matter. Authoritarians believe that they have to publicly conform to their authority's views but in private may do as they like. Public polls on abortion and contraception mean nothing. Actions do. The US passed laws making abortion and contraception legal and that is what counts.

By the way, we also know that conservative women have abortions.

In the United States a number of studies have examined the abortion rate of fetuses with Down syndrome. Three studies estimated the termination rates at 95%, 98%, and 87% respectively.

Down syndrome is not a liberal-only phenomenon, obviously. Genes do not make political decisions. Some conservative women abort their babies because they do not want to have the child. Then some lie and say that nobody should be able to have an abortion because only God can take a life, which is understandable since conservative women like McArdle want to make them miserable for making this very personal decision. Megan McArdle enjoys making others miserable for being different from Megan McArdle.

Universal health care might make raising a Down syndrome child more affordable and therefore eliminate some abortions but that reasoning is far too complex for conservative minds.

Conservative women take birth control. Conservative women have abortions. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that we should accept the right's demands regarding private reproductive choices. We should refuse to accept their moral scolding, threats, or attempts to deprive us of our basic rights. The right knows that if they push us too far they will unleash a furious backlash, which is why abortion is still legal despite numerous Republican administrations. Like Megan McArdle, they want abortion to be available but they want to make us miserable for disagreeing with their public stance. This is not a matter of religious belief or respect for life for most conservatives. It is a political battle. The right supports the mostly male power structure, which derives power in part by using religion to control the masses. Religion is merely a tool in their arsenal.

I doubt that this is over -- pro-lifers are now going to have their own round of outraged protest. And to be fair, I do think that they should offer give back any money they raised over the last two days, since that was mostly coming from pro-lifers who were voicing support for the organization's decision not to fund Planned Parenthood.

Heh. She thinks Komen will send back money if they change their minds regarding PP yet again? Good luck with that.

But other than that, I think it's their right to decide what advances their mission--and of course, every potential donor's right to decide if that's what they want to support.

Too bad Komen isn't run by Catholic clergy. Then McArdle would think that Komen's leaders could do whatever they want with the money they take in, donors' opinions be damned.
The really interesting question is this: will the pro-choice donors come back? Or has Komen damaged its brand to no purpose?

McArdle's fake moderate stance forces her to turn everything into a question since she does not dare make a decision. Making decisions means accepting responsibility for those decisions, and McArdle thinks she has reached a happy medium, in which she supports everything and nothing. She does not stand with the courage of her convictions because her convictions are whatever she is being paid to convict. So to speak.

So the answer to the oh-so-difficult question of whether or not Komen's donors will return is a big, fat "no." The left has dropped them like a stone, especially now that it has been tainted with Ari Fleischer's presence. And the right hates wishy-washy people, since they believe that the only people who can be trusted are those who think exactly like them, or rather who talk exactly like them in public. And Komen has given the women on the left something they are yearning for--a cause to pick up, a reachable enemy to fight.


Downpuppy said...

The level of willful ignorance on this one blows up the meter. With all the lies, greed, & gall shown by the Komen brass, how in the world does Megan get away with pretending this is just about them changing their minds?

Well, there are Megan's minions. If you think you can run a charity off them, good luck.

Susan of Texas said...

Especially considering they believe helping others just encourages them to be helpless.

Anonymous said...

This reads like some kind of found poem:

Supporting organizations that provide abortions is okay.
Supporting organizations that refuse to support abortion is okay.
Refusing to pay for birth control for one's employees is okay.

It has a kind of zen quality to it like

Taking a life is ok
Not taking a life is also ok
We only what is moral
when a fake economist
explains it to us

I love, love, love the way she throws in a teeny bit of econo-psych garbage like "people value losses more highly than gains" or whatever it was. Yes, yes, we've all read "Predictably Irrational" and we all know that in certain limited settings people are risk averse and notice losses more than they are willing to gamble on a gain and blah blah blah...

Honestly, Susan, I know we joke about it but I stand in awe of your ability to read McCardle. I get a buzzing sensation in my ears, a fog descends over my eyes, and a strong feeling of nausea prevents me from ever finishing one of her meretricious columns. Maybe its because I read them solely on the internet and I can't mark them up with a pen the way I would if they were printed.


Anonymous said...

That should read
"we only know what is moral..."


Downpuppy said...

Laurence Lewis at Kos finally went into the difference between corporate pinkwashing & actually dealing with toxic environments and tracing the roots of cancer-

Anonymous said...

I also really dislike the continued use of the phrase "mission" to describe Komen's fundraising and funds disbursement policy. Because it hides a multitude of sins. First of all it should go without saying that Komen is different from other private organizations and corporations because it is a publicly funded charity. Not funded by the US government public but funded by the public itself through publicly organized walks and fund drives.

So the "mission" of the organization is more or less what the funders (ie, the woman on the walks) thinks it should be. A whole shitload of people who donated to Komen either thought they money was going to research (for a cure) or for preventitive care (for the cure for an individual). Donating to Planned Parenthood in order to enable poor women to gain access to the current standard of care was well within that mission statement. There was no technical difference in donating to PP while PP also had a sideline in abortions than there was in donating to any hospital where there was a side line in heart transplants. The women served were still women who needed breast cancer care.

I just hate the way Megan and the conservatives muddle up the issues at the very outset. Even to discuss it then takes what seems like hours to cut out the crap. Komen's "mission" to help all women with breast cancer was not undercut, it was enhanced, by a partnership with PP whose "mission" is to enable lower income and uninsured women to gain access to health care. And Komen got called on it by the actual funders of their mission: the public.


Kish said...

I wonder if "Jane Galt" is even aware of what Ayn Rand's stance on abortion rights was.

Kathy said...

pro-choicers mobilized faster and harder than pro-lifers did.

I don't think so: but there are a LOT more pro-choice people than there are anti.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I had an issue with her "once the issue became political" phrase.

Guess she showed me.

And that's why I'm not a senior editor at the Atlantic, folks.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, we've all read "Predictably Irrational" and we all know that in certain limited settings people are risk averse

To be fair, I am reasonably sure she knew that before Predictably Irrational came out - or at least, she might have heard about it from somebody at Chicago, as there is a great deal of time spent on that in grad-level Microeconomics.

Awful book. It read like a caricature of what a Duke professor thinks "popular" books reads like. Lots of little words and choppy sentences.

- spencer

Ben said...

"I do think that they should offer give back any money they raised over the last two days, since that was mostly coming from pro-lifers who were voicing support for the organization's decision not to fund Planned Parenthood."

Wha . . . fuh . . . buh . . .

Did a libertarian blogger who worships the financial industry and has absolute devotion to the idea that people know what they're doing when they make economic decisions really suggest voluntary charitable donations should be refunded because they were made on a shoddy basis?

This fucking woman . . . I share aimai's incomprehension at how you can do what you do, Susan. I start reading her stuff and pretty shortly all it says is "Intellectual integrity is for you dirty plebes. I don't have to give a shit about logic and coherence because I'm rich and I'm better than you." No way I'm willingly subjecting myself to that very often. Thanks for serving in the trenches.

Anonymous said...

Kish, her explanation for the net handle Jane Galt is even worse.

At one point, she claimed she picked it up only to troll someone on the Internet, not because she's a serious Randian.

Mr.Wonderful said...

To these moralizers--e.g., M.M.--moralizing is an end in itself. They don't care about actual events in the real world, or good or bad things that befall real people.

You can bet that every one of these pious hypocrites who claim a "reverence for life" were entirely happy (if not gung-ho) about the invasion of Iraq, in which tens of thousands of actual people (who once were adorable fetuses, yes, but were no longer) died.

Having moral opinions is their hobby. They do it for fun and satisfaction (and, unlike most other hobbies, it doesn't require any cash). When it's not fun, or inconvenient--when, e.g., their daughter gets pregnant in 10th grade--their behavior changes and they at best make excuses or at worst just live in denial, to themselves and others. Oh, and to, uh, what's His name. God.

(Also: great point, Ben.)

Anonymous said...

Prepare for the inevitable blog about the results of her first triple-screen. God help us all.

Tommykey said...

As I just wrote in a post on my blog about this, I called Planned Parenthood today and doubled my monthly donation to them. Take that, Karen Handel!

Downpuppy said...

Meanwhile, Megan is putting extreme effort into trying to make her kitchen tax deductible.

& I'm pondering Kate Beckinsale.

Depite never have seen any of her movies -

The internet is a harsh mistress.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm with downpuppy, where is the patented Susan review of Megan's amazing kitchen redo? I'm panting with desire here. Tbogg was good, but I know Susan will be better.

I also want to observe that the title of this Susan post will do as well for the Kitchen post. Somehow Megan manages to imagine that she did the entire kitchen remodel and the post that describes it as a favor to her readers and people who might want to know how to remodel on the cheap. Its that special touch of humble graciousness that is the hallmark of the true Megan post--she's doing you a favor, she almost honestly believes that--by sharing her priceless insights with you.

As a person who actually did remodel an entire house, and ended up with a gorgeous kitchen (alas, no thermomix) I wish to point out that all Megan's "improvements," far from being unique or well thought out are trite cliches of a certain period of kitchen renovation glurge. Right down to the cheap wood stained and varnished to give an airy, expensive, "boat" feel to the kitchen. This is perfectly Megan--she makes expensive mistakes (someone at tbogg explains she used toxic and inappropriate stains and varnishes that are not food safe), substitutes seemingly expensive choices that are wrong for the space/lifestyle (the sink was chosen because she thought it was glamorous but incorrectly retrofitted into the cabinet), and ends up with a mess that the next owner will simply have to rip out. It will not add to the value of the house and probably, with a little serious thought and planning, they could have redone the whole thing for the price of a few thermomixes. Just as, had they waited for actual expert advice instead of relying on their own heady sense of self importance, they wouldn't have bought the crap house in the first place.
Put the entire kitchen down to another of Megan's patented "Not just a crime, a blunder" aesthetic and financial decisions.


Susan of Texas said...

Oh god. What a mess. I'll post later this morning.

Didn't I say she should get a farmhouse sink? I was wrong.

And the funniest thing is that she is poor-mouthing while spending several thousands.

No, the funniest thing is that sink hanging over the counter.

Anonymous said...

But aimai, no one can no anything ever! Certainly not experts in their field.

Also, her kitchen lacks a wine fridge now. Just saying.