With the long overdue federal budget negotiations continuing to, well — continue — the vitriol spewing out of every crevasse of Washington is stunning in both its scope and in the absolute levels of personal animus that is on display. Even more stunning than the differences of opinion are the even more spectacular distortions of both the facts and the pertinent arguments attached to elements of the debate. It is one thing to have a contrary set of opinions. It is yet another to deploy a confrontation strategy of â€œjustifiable-deceptionâ€ (what used to be called â€œliesâ€) into that debate. The proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood that was announced last week (for their use in providing abortions) brought out vast quantities of this type of pernicious and despicable political deception.
The emotionally driven hate-speech coming from the self-described and sole protectors of women (the liberal legion in Washington), came so fast and furious that one might have been concerned that someone might have gotten hurt in their stampede to the cameras and microphones. It was a scene reminiscent of the chaos of a rock concert or a soccer game where all of the adolescent fans have designs on the front row.
Of the entire list of distortions associated with the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the one most hideous is the characterization that conservatives are both anti-women, and anti-womenâ€™s rights. These liberal â€œmegaphonesâ€ should be ashamed of themselves for stooping to this level of civility and discourse. Actually, it is not discourse (and it is obviously not civil); it is just the spewage of unfiltered sewage. Here are some examples:
- Reid (D-NV) said Republicans had placed a “bull’s eye on women in America,” preventing them from getting “health services they need.”
- Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) said: “The real reason that the right-wing extremists in Congress orchestrated this outrageous government shutdown is to try and defund Planned Parenthood as part of their ideological assault on women’s health care.â€
- Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) explained that “This is a war on women. They’re trying to inject their politics and their religion into local family planning.” California liberals are a special lot, are they not? The level of hypocrisy captured in these two brief sentences is revolting to all people of intelligent thought. But we move on.
As the â€œviability of the fetusâ€ argument has now been effectively discredited, both morally and technologically, the abortionistâ€™s last redoubt is the rights-of-women argument. The absurdity of this version of the pro-abortion argument is that the issue has never been simply and singularly about the rights of women. Everyone, on all sides of this issue, is committed to the rights of women. The fact that the extremist (to use their word) liberals seem to deny that the issue is much broader than womenâ€™s rights is the reason their comments are so entirely and patently offensive. This is a much more expansive human rights issue.
The battle lines around the abortion issue are not found on the political map in an area marked â€œthe rights of women.â€ The debate is rather a long-standing and well-defined issue that pits the interests and rights of women against the interests and rights of unborn children. We all wish this did not have to be so. But to say that one party in the debate favors the rights of women, and the other does not, is at least disingenuous and likely much worse. It is reflective of a lack of character that manifests itself in a willingness to sacrifice base levels of honesty and core human decency in pursuit of their already dubious goals.
The difference between those of us who support the lives of the unborn and the Reidâ€™s, DeGetteâ€™s and Leeâ€™s of the world has nothing whatsoever with differences of opinion opposite the rights of women. It has everything to do with the rights of children. For liberals to state the contrary, or to state only one element of the argument, is morally and intellectually reprehensible. For those who choose to support abortion as a simple function of the rights of women there exists a deep moral responsibility to pursue the issue on its meritsâ€¦whatever those merits might be. Spewing unrepentant lies as a means of support for their argument is, very unfortunately, on the same moral plane as the abortionistâ€™s morally asymmetrical argument itself.
We need look no further than this to see why Americans are so completely disgusted with the whole political process. Without honesty there can be no trust. Without trust, there is no opportunity for the democratic form of governance to continue.
Process check: If you read this and see it as polemic in favor of the rights of children, please read it again. It is an argument in support of honest political discourse. This article could have been written with the federal budget, health care, educational funding, judicial activism or food safety labeling as the backdrop.