Predictably, the charlatans and clowns of the 112th Congress have proved themselves the textbook example of what is wrong with America today.
Consider the latest target to incur the wrath of the Republican-dominated House. In a vividly partisan vote Friday, the House decided to strip Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading sexual health care provider, of all federal funding. While the rearguard mentality of the GOP has always been pitifully myopic, never before has the moral bankruptcy of the “moral majority” been so obvious.
Those among us gullible enough to be duped into trusting such people should seriously reconsider their allegiances. What may have seemed to be fiscal responsibility last November has revealed itself to be backward moralism and spineless hypocrisy in disguise.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the bane of Planned Parenthood and architect of the cut, is guilty of this. His argument may at first appear legitimate: Why should taxpayers opposed to abortion be forced to pay for that which they find morally reprehensible?
All of this conveniently sidesteps the truth of the matter: Federal funds do not, in fact, pay for abortions. They have not done so since at least 1976. Pence and his lackeys hid behind the veil of anti-abortion vitriol to effectually defund Planned Parenthood’s preventive medical care. Meanwhile, the House affirmed that a far more fitting use of federal funds is to continue sponsoring NASCAR.
And if we were to hold our dear legislators to the high moral standard upon which they have placed themselves, we would find in them something grossly hypocritical. For discrimination on the basis of sex or sexuality is surely morally objectionable, too. Yet where are the calls to end the de facto subsidy of tax-exempt religious institutions, known perpetrators of such bigotry?
It is worth noting the context within which Pence pounced on Planned Parenthood. Anti-abortion rabble-rousing group Live Action, led by our very own alumna Lila Rose, successfully “infiltrated” various Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the country in an effort to expose the organization as enablers of child sex trafficking.
As Live Action’s churlish investigations reveal, various workers at Planned Parenthood seemed none too eager to do much when told of possible child abuse. Bring in the delightful coverage of Fox News, and you have the perfect political climate in which to decry and defame Planned Parenthood.
Whether or not these rosy activists painted an accurate portrait of the nonprofit is a topic for others to decide.
It is quite interesting, however, to contrast the organization with another one rather dear to the devout heart of our Lila: the good old Roman Catholic Church.
Both institutions have been implicated, unfairly or not, in the ugly business of child sex abuse. One key distinction remains.
Planned Parenthood reported the suspicious activity to federal authorities; the Church kept abuse private and assigned offending priests to new parishes. Guess which one continues to receive federal support unquestioned.
Let us make one thing clear: There is merit in the wish to curtail the federal budget. It is wise, not wrong, to treat with suspicion the beneficiaries of one’s unwilling purse. This is not my concern.
What worries me ““ and what should worry any self-respecting citizen ““ is the use of spineless chicanery to impose the will of others on to the public.
Such is the hypocrisy of modern conservatism. Astute readers will be quick to see the irony inherent in this philosophy of so-called “values” and “principles.”
It seems none can be wrong, however repugnant, so long as they have God and tradition on their side. Everyone else is meanwhile subject to the utmost condemnation. And now we must face at least two more years with these pharisees crowding our capitol.