Why the ACLU Will Have to Go Ahead Without Me

Tennessee is in the midst of trying to pass an amendment to the state constitution that would say that nothing in the state constitution “secures or protects right to abortion.”

Folks are up in arms, but I can’t bring myself to give a shit. Does this make me a hypocrite or a defeatist? I can’t decide. But here’s the deal. This has been in the works for a year and brought up for its first vote in the dead of night. Obviously, there’s concern that this isn’t going to be popular. And I suspect it’s not going to be popular with either side.

The Tennessee ACLU inadvertently lays out why no one’s going to be thrilled with this piece of crap:

That means that this amendment is paving the way for abortion to be outlawed in this state; were Roe overturned, and our State Constitution amended, the State Legislature could pass a bill outlawing abortion and women seeking abortion would no longer be protected by the privacy right in the State Constitution and we would not be able to pursue a successful challenge to the ban in state court.

You see? Were Roe overturned, were our State Constitution amended, then a bill outlawing abortion could be passed… And if wishes were horses, beggars could ride.

Anti-choicers who want abortions to be illegal don’t want to jump through a bunch of hoops. They want it outlawed, flat out, ASAP. And pro-choicers obviously want abortions kept legal. So, neither side is going to be in love with this piece of crap and, I have to say, this and the dildo legislation feel political pandering–a way for the legislature to look like it’s being tough on moral and ethical issues without actually cleaning up their own mess (see practically every other entry at Bob Krumm’s site for details about all the corruption).

Why should I go down there and give any legitimacy to this fiasco?

I mean, seriously. Let’s talk about how to reduce abortions. You want a sure-fire way to reduce abortions?

Here’s how to do it:

–Extensive and thorough sex-ed in schools, with accurate and complete information on how one gets pregnant and what one can do to prevent that from happening.
–A culture-wide push to do away with this “sex is wrong” nonsense. Many people–and how I wish it were just young people–think that having sex outside of marriage is wrong, so they don’t plan for it, even though they participate in it. If they get carried away in the heat of the moment, they’ve just made a “mistake” and everyone makes mistakes.
–A culture-wide moratorium on this “virginity” nonsense. I could go into a long post about this bullshit, but I’ll keep it short and sweet:

  1. Putting a high premium on virginity makes girls who can’t live up to that standard more likely to continue having risky sex, because they’re already “ruined.” For all the hokey stupidity of the abstinence-only crowd, I do think it’s good to remind kids that they can, at any time, change their behavior.
  2. Putting a high premium on virginity gives us this ridiculous state where kids are buttfucking each other and not calling that sex, which I find laughable. Buttfucking obviously has nothing to do with abortion, but I digress.
  3. Putting a high premium on virginity is the very earliest training women receive in the fine art of withholding sex from men in order to get what they want. We shouldn’t be reinforcing such negative behavior between us.

–Wide-spread and casual access to all kinds of birth control.

Anti-abortion rhetoric that isn’t coupled with realistic talk about how to lower the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place means nothing to me.

It’s just the idle chatter of folks who believe that children are the proper punishment for sex and I can’t abide such banal evilness.

Speaking of evil, and then I swear I’m done for the evening, did you see South Dakota State Senator Napoli talking about what kinds of rape and incest cases might fall under the “preservation of the woman’s life” exception to the abortion ban in South Dakota?

I feel like I should warn you that what you’re about to read is pretty vile. So, yeah, there’s your warning.

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

America, I don’t even know what to say in the face of that. I read this and I feel like I stumbled onto some vile pornographic fantasy. Seriously, when I think for very long about the possibility that some poor girl in South Dakota might have to give birth to her sibling, because there’s no incest exception, I get grossed out. I can’t think about it very long. And here’s Napoli basically encouraging everyone who hears him to imagine the worst possible thing that could happen to a woman. Under the guise of “compassion” for the violently raped, he gets to fantasize about how bad they’d have to be brutalized before he’d think it was okay for them to have an abortion.

Please. If we have to sit around and all share in the “make abortion illegal” crowd’s fantasies, can’t we go back to the one where a clump of cells that hasn’t even implanted in the uterus is the same as a person? At least in that fantasy there’s no horrific virgin sacrifice.

Anyway, I hear shit like that out of Napoli’s mouth and I’m convinced we’d be better off if government were like jury duty. You get your summons and if you can’t come up with a good reason why you can’t serve, off to the legislature you go.

Could that really be any worse than what we have now?

Using the Military for Nefarious Purposes

I’m sure you’re all aware that Republican Representative Musgrave had a couple of Marines, in uniform, on stage with her at a GOP event.

Some of you may even be aware that this is in direct violation of military regulations. I point you to section 4 of Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 and the thrilling Enclosure 3, which you may read for yourselves. I’ll just point you to the parts where it says:

4.1.2. A member on active duty shall not: Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (unless attending a convention as a spectator when not in uniform).
E3.3.3. Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (except as a spectator when not in uniform), or make public speeches in the course thereof.
E3.3.8. Speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.
E3.3.18. Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces.

As Josh Marshall points out, Bob Novak told us this was coming.

At the same time, the Bush administration is going directly to the public with its war message. Raul Damas, associate director of political affairs at the White House, has been on the phone directly to Republican county chairmen to arrange local speeches by active duty military personnel to talk about their experiences in Iraq. To some Republican members, this unusual venture connotes a desire to go directly to the people to sell the president’s position without having to deal with members of Congress.

I cannnot even begin to talk about the black humor inherent in the situation where an administration that seems to sit around dreaming up ways both to put our armed forces in untenable situations and to break the law in the name of patriotism managing to do both at the same time. It’s almost brilliant.

I’m sad I’m missing out.

To that end, I will be holding a Democratic political event in my bedroom this evening. Members of the armed forces should come in uniform and be ready to speak directly to their audience in hushed, grumbly whispers, very close to the audience’s ear. The audience also asks that members of the armed forces bring with them something for dinner–as the audience is running low groceries–and beer, and condoms.

God Bless America!