There has been a great wailing and gnashing of teeth over the past day or so as those who follow the healthcare debate react to the Stupak/Some Creepy Republican Guy Amendment.
The Amendment, which is apparently intended to respond to conservative Democrats' concerns that too many women were voting for the Party in recent elections, was attached to the House's version of healthcare reform legislation that was voted out of the House this weekend.
The goal is to limit women's access to reproductive medicine services, particularly abortions; this based on the concept that citizens of good conscience shouldn't have their tax dollars used to fund activities they find morally repugnant.
At first blush, I was on the mild end of the wailing and gnashing spectrum myself...but having taken a day to mull the thing over, I'm starting to think that maybe we should take a look at the thinking behind this...and I'm also starting to think that, properly applied, Stupak's logic deserves a more important place in our own vision of how a progressive government might work.
It's Political Judo Day today, Gentle Reader, and by the time we're done here it's entirely possible that you'll see Stupak's logic in a whole new light.
So let's go back a moment and reconsider what Stupak wants: his religious beliefs are offended by the concept of abortion, and he is taking steps to ensure that the government is not using his taxpayer dollars to pay for the procedure.
This precedent is fascinating--and what I'm inviting you to do today is to consider, for a moment, what our government might look like if we take his logic and...extend it a bit.
"...In the game of life, the house edge is called Time. In whatever we do, Nature charges us for doing it in the currency of time..."
--Bob Stupak, "Yes, You Can Win!"
I always try to find common ground with those I oppose, and the most logical place to start would be to consider the fact that Stupak and I are both morally offended by the idea that we use taxpayer dollars to go around killing people.
So where do we differ?
For starters, I find it morally offensive that my taxpayer dollars are used, on a daily basis, to fund the actual killing of actual, living, people by my Government...so, Congressman Stupak, in the name of finding common ground, how about if the same day your Amendment goes into effect we also stop funding any military activities that might reasonably be expected to, as I hear people say, "stop a beating heart", so as to prevent offending my religious sensibilities?
John Allen Muhammad, the so-called "Washington Sniper", is scheduled to be executed today. Are you prepared to support legislation, Congressman Stupak, which will prevent his "post-term abortion" and the potential abortions of all those other human lives on Death Rows around this country if those state-sponsored abortions are as much of an affront to my religious beliefs as they should be to yours?
During the more or less four months worth of slow-walking and stalling that we have seen so far in this process 15,000 Americans have died...or, if you prefer, five 9/11s...simply because they have no health insurance--and unless your religion is a lot more bloodthirsty than mine, the abortions of 15,000 people because of the...what's the word I'm looking for here...let's see...could it be...sloth...of your colleagues should be an act as reprehensible as the greatest of blasphemies ever recorded in The Bible.
With that in mind, are you prepared to join me in cutting off the use of my taxpayer dollars to fund the salaries, the "public option" health care, and the office operations of those legislators who are behind these killings?
What else do we do that's aborting lives on a daily basis that I'm sure Congressman Stupak would be glad to allow me, as a result of the offense to my conscience (and, presumably, his), to "negatively fund with extreme prejudice"?
There's that Drug War, of course, and whatever we're doing in those secret prisons--and public ones--and subsidies for those who clear mountains and poison lands...not to mention the tax dollars I've been providing for a company who did electrical work that's aborting soldiers.
So whaddaya think, Congressman Stupak?
Since you're so proud of your pro-life credentials, are you ready to stand up with me and defend the principle that all human lives deserve to be protected, and that we have the right to withhold funding for all those activities that are morally repugnant...or are you just another one of those "enablers" who helped kill 15,000 people this past few months?
Enquiring minds want to know.