Let's talk about disingenuousness. You know, doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons? Pretending to do something nice for your enemies as a means of stabbing them in the back?
Well, poor women in this country have trouble getting access to proper prenatal care. All sorts of reasons for this, mostly revolving around our corrupt health care system. It's a big problem for all of us (poor or not, pregnant or not) because of the drain emergency care and ill babies put on the system - not to mention a humanitarian point or two.
So, Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has a novel way of making sure that all those women get access to health care: Declare the fetuses to be citizens with rights. Not that being a citizen with rights has helped any of the rest of us get decent health care. But good ol' Tommy thinks this is the solution to funding pre-natal care. Never mind that he could simply make the care available to the mothers as a right of their citizenship.
Why do I call this disingenuous? Because Tommy Thompson's (and the administration's) real goal in declaring fetuses to be citizens with rights to proper health care is an end run around Roe V. Wade. This is a side-door means of outlawing abortion. Why do it this way? Because being above-board and declaring their intentions hasn't worked. Despite all the debate and the yelling and jumping about on each side, most Americans still favor some legal access to abortion.
So they lie and try to sneak it in backwards so we think that they're leaving.
And just in case you think I'm playing favorites (either by way of political party, or side of the abortion debate), here's my rant against California Governor Gray Davis.
Gray's running unopposed in the Democratic primary for Governor. Richard Riordan (former mayor of Los Angeles) has the lead in a three-way race race for the Republican nomination. Gray (unopposed until after the primaries) has no real reason to start running TV ads, but start he has.
Gray's first ad of the season does not declare the glory of his accomplishments (there aren't any), but is a negative ad about Riordan. "Don't trust Riordan," we're told, "He claims to be pro-choice, but he's a rabid, Bork-supporting, clinic-blocking, pro-lifer from way back." It's a scare tactic - Never mind the fact that as Governor he'd have no power to make any policy in the matter of abortion rights. Gray's trying to scare us.
Why? Because if Riordan wins the Republican nomination, he's got the best chances of un-seating Gray in the November general election. If Gray can get all the pro-choice Republicans out to defeat Riordan in the primary, and nominate a weaker, more moderate candidate, Gray still has a chance (slim, but a chance) for re-election.
Negative ads in January for an election that's not happening until November. Thank you Gray Davis for lowering the bar once again. In the limbo dance of politics nobody can sink lower than that.