Sunday, December 12, 2010

Republicans set to push anti-abortion agenda in House

Looking ahead to the next Congress, with Republicans set to take the House, the Times is, understandably, predicting a "push for stricter abortion limits":

The selection of the lawmaker, Representative Joe Pitts, Republican of Pennsylvania, as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health presages a major shift on abortion and family planning, according to opponents and supporters of abortion rights.

Opponents of abortion gained about 45 seats in the midterm elections, and they count the next speaker, Representative John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, as a staunch ally, virtually guaranteeing more conflicts with the White House on the issue.


In urging Republican leaders to choose Mr. Pitts, the National Right to Life Committee said he had "made the protection of the sanctity of innocent human life the cornerstone of his service in the House."

Representative Lois Capps, a California Democrat and an advocate of abortion rights, described Mr. Pitts as "one of the most anti-choice members" of the House. Given the midterm election results, Ms. Capps predicted that the new Congress would be "extremely hostile to a woman's right to choose."

Lest we (and they) forget, the Democrats still control the White House and the Senate, and so the Republican House won't be able to get anything done to limit abortion (and the right of access to) regardless of how much it pushes.

What we see here, though, is a blatant example of anticipated overreach. Republicans, drunk on power, even just in the House, are already going too far in terms of pushing a far-right agenda that the electorate certainly didn't validate when it handed the House to the Republicans in November.

There were many reasons why the Republicans won back the House last month. One of them was that they downplayed extremist social conservatism and presented themselves as the party of limited government at a time of widespread economic uncertainty and anti-incumbent sentiment -- thereby duping the electorate into believing that they're not what they really are.

But they're still the party of extremist social conservatism, including on abortion, which they want not to limit but to ban altogether.

Duping voters during the election campaign was one thing -- their propaganda was highly effective and, in terms of public sentiment and the state of the economy, everything was breaking their way. Continuing the charade while in power will be quite another.

Already, it seems, Republicans are revealing their true selves. Voters, looking ahead to 2012, should take note.

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  • With Baby Boomers becoming more and more conservative and religious, and living longer and longer as well, we will probably see a continuation of rightward drift in our social politics. It sucks, but that's reality. Blame it on religion, that stupid, stupid, stupid thing.


    By Blogger Jersey McJones, at 9:17 PM  

  • Politicians holding strictly to a party line is what got us into the mess we're in now - the real world is not painted in black and white - what happened to the idea of compromise? What about no abortions after a logical period of gestation, the point at which a fetus becomes viable?
    These very religious folks who want to end all abortions have yet to come forward with the money and agencies to properly care for all the unwanted,neglected,and abused children forced upon people who shouldn't be allowed to own a pet hamster!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:43 AM  

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