I will take conservative complaints about Planned Parenthood seriously the moment someone shows me a conservative pro-life organization that does half the work it does to provide birth control, test for STDs, and generally provide for reproductive health.
This should be an easy way for social conservatives to try and seize the high-ground. Undercut Planned Parenthood by taking away its lock on the uncontroversially good things that it does, and see if public opinion prefers an organization just like Planned Parenthood but without abortion.
But as far as I know, there’s no comparable organization. Which tells me that the people complaining about Planned Parenthood are either in the grips of bizzaro-world anti-feminist arguments against birth control, or simply don’t give a damn about people getting sick from STDs.
And for that reason, not just pro-choice people like me, but also pro-life people should see the attacks on Planned Parenthood as cynical and callous.
What would an objective article on waterboarding have looked like during the Bush administration? A history of the practice would have to state that the US government considered it torture for several decades and that this status was essentially unquestioned until after September 11th. It would also record that the US had hanged Japanese soldiers for waterboarding US POWs, and perhaps that as Governor of Texas, Bush had imprisoned a sheriff for waterboarding a prisoner. It would describe the experience of being waterboarded as essentially like the experience of being drowned, and record that there were often lingering psychological effects. Against that, such an article would have to report that legal memoranda had argued that waterboarding was not torture and was legal. It might also report that some people responded to the September 11th attacks by arguing that even torture should be justified as a response to terrorism.
That article would have been objective in even the restrictive sense that the American media uses. Every claim is not only true, but unambiguous and part of the public record.
And I don’t recall seeing anything like that during the Bush era. Individual claims might appear in an article about the waterboarding debate, but I never remember seeing a single article that would give the full picture.
Journalists are sometimes criticized for treating both sides of any disagreement as equally respectable, even if the facts are squarely on one side. But we can see that it’s not just that–the media won’t even collect and report facts that aren’t in dispute, if the net effect would be to undermine the claims of one side.
Will Wilkinson’s article on Ron Paul’s reactionary nationalistic libertarianism is great stuff. So long as Paul stands no chance of being elected, he’s a welcome piece of resistance to certain evils of the Republican party, but he’s not much of a libertarian and he’d make a terrible president.
Posted in Politics
Tagged ron paul
A constitutional amendment that automatically raised taxes when there was a revenue shortfall would also be a balanced budget amendment.
I love Saint Patrick’s day. Every year, conservatives dutifully stick to their principles and explain that Saint Patrick’s day is un-American because we don’t have hyphenated identities, and everyone just needs to assimilate. It’s refreshing to note that they don’t just apply these ideas to people with darker skin.
Every couple of weeks since it was published, something has made me wish that everyone in America would read Radley Balko’s article, The American Muslim Success Story. I forget the most recent provocation, but the article continues to be relevant. Everyone should read the article, and if you can twist the arm of one Palinite Republican into reading it, so much the better.