Not On Topic….

… but I couldn’t help myself.

It seems that John Boehner has an issue with the Obama Administration’s decision to not defend certain aspects of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

I got this excerpt from JoeMyGod:

House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman just issued this terse statement: “While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation.”

Forgive my profanity, but exactly what the fuck does he think the Republicans were doing when they voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood and redefine motherfucking RAPE?!

These people disgust me.

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35 Comments

Filed under dumbassery, frustrations, General Bitching, this is NOT a drill

35 responses to “Not On Topic….

  1. So, re-defining rape is not controversial and divisive, de-funding Planned Parenthood and PBS and NPR are not controversial and divisive, but deciding not to defend bias and prejudice is controversial and divisive.

    Got it Mr. Boehner, you sociopathic hypocrite.

  2. Ms. George

    You are forgetting, of course, that whatever goes against what the Republican demigods want is automatically deserving of ‘terse statements’ just like this latest one. Not that I am a big fan of O these days, with his backwards ed policies and all, but the man couldn’t catch a break from that crew if it flew up his nose and settled there. Unfortunately, what disgusts many of us about the hypocrisy of these ‘statements’ is lost on mainstream America, who is totally willing to hand over every right and freedom to the Vengeful Capitalist Right to save the US from dreaded Socialism.

    You don’t have to apologize for the language. Sometimes a well-placed F***! is what the world needs.

  3. Brandon

    I had not heard anything about redefining rape, so I went and did some digging around. At first glance it appeared to me that the term “forcible rape” was a bit of an oxymoron and that did seem troubling. As it turns out, no one was looking to redefine rape, but to be clear to exclude statutory rape from consideration for any federal abortion funding. The FBI has a long standing definition of forcible rape, which excludes statutory rape.

    It did not suddenly mean that a woman who was impregnated after being drugged, or was otherwise unconscious or unaware would no longer qualify as having been raped. It is rape as we all understand it to be. The rest is just scare tactics. It sounds like that intent needed to be made more clear in the legislation and that would be a valid point to argue, as terms used in a law should be well defined and clear. But let’s not pretend that evil Republicans were looking to change rape to anything other than what it is.

    • Brandon, I appreciate the distinction, but it’s kind of hard not to feel a target in this climate regardless. For all the trump and bluster of the Republican party about jobs, jobs, jobs, it seems disgustingly hypocritical (and profoundly insulting) that they should be screaming about the President’s decision to NOT defend discrimination while they’re busy doing everything they can to undermine services and care for people who are, in many cases, our most vulnerable.

      • Brandon

        That was my only beef. I did not want the criticism to be based on false information and hyperbole. Based on the actual understanding, well fire away. Redefining rape, not an accurate criticism and a distraction. But ultimately, this is your blog. :) I’m just a guest around these parts. Most of these statements that come out just strike me as political gamesmanship that both parties engage in as a way to respond to the opposition.

      • Agreed, and I’m NEVER bothered when someone points out to me that I’m either missing a point or seeing it in a less-than-comprehensive way; in fact, I welcome it (especially when it’s presented as respectfully as you’ve demonstrated here the last few weeks. That being said, I’m still hesitant to give a whole lot of leeway on my initial point; Boehner has no cause to weep – literally or figuratively – over the refusal of the Obama Administration to defend legalized discrimination when the party he’s leading seems hell-bent on depriving millions (of women, especially) rights, services, and care rather than creating all the jobs they promised on the campaign trail.

  4. How is NOT getting involved in court cases something that affects jobs in any way, shape, or form? Boner might as well be saying “While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stop riding his stationary bike.”

  5. Mrs. Chili, I love what you’re saying! Anyone who’s participated in speech and debate knows that evaluating policies involves defining terms in order to ascertain what is being discussed. I think it’s perfectly legitimate of you and others to use the phrase “redefine rape” to describe what the Thugs attempted. There are good analyses of the shit they tried to pull at http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0203/Did-bill-try-to-redefine-rape-GOP-backs-down-after-public-outcry. and http://www.uwmpost.com/2011/02/07/republicans-attempt-to-redefine-rape/ and http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/02/01/hr3_abortion_rape and countless others.

    Clearly, the R’s wanted to prevent funding for victims, and redefined rape to do so. It makes me furious. Brandon writes “As it turns out, no one was looking to redefine rape, but to be clear to exclude statutory rape from consideration for any federal abortion funding.” That’s bullshit. Their shenanigans hearken back to the days of Reagan defining ketchup as a vegetable in order to avoid funding decent nutritional meals for the poor.

    But I don’t want to just scream about what fucktards these people are. I will also give you a laugh: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-february-2-2011/rape-victim-abortion-funding

    • Brandon

      It is not accurate to say they were redefining rape which is why, as you said, it is important to define terms to ascertain what is being discussed. They were not trying to use some rhetorical sleight-of-hand to change the meaning and understanding of what everyone knows rape is. The use of the term forced rape was not something new that no one else had ever heard of before. That’s why I mentioned the FBI’s longstanding definition, which makes the distinction from statutory rape. Argue all you want about what should or should not be funded by the government, that would be debating the merits of the legislation, but please leave the conspiratorial hand-wringing aside.

      • I am not claiming a rhetorical sleight-of-hand. That is not what the phrase “redefining rape” means in this case. I believe those journalists and activists who use it understand that the meaning of the phrase is the Republicans are defining rape that results in a pregnancy which the victim wishes to terminate is eligible for federal funding. None of us are engaging in conspiratorial hand-wringing. We are debating the merits of the legislation, saying that the exclusion of entire categories of circumstances is unacceptable.

        But I think you’re smart enough to know all that. You’re engaging in a semantic exercise. It’s interesting to watch you employ misdirection, digression and false emphasis, but I don’t have time to play any longer.

        These funding restrictions are wrong, and our nation’s people deserve better.

      • Brandon

        I am not engaging in any sort of misdirection or false emphasis. If I have truly misunderstood what it means in this case then I will certainly own up to it. It struck me from what I read (in the initial Mother Jones article) that the debate over using the term “forcible” was interpreted as a way to eliminate a woman from consideration that had been drugged, etc. as that was implying no force was involved and wasn’t really rape.

        Hence, my reference to how the FBI defines forcible rape, as opposed to statutory rape, which does not involve the use or force and was consensual. If redefining rape is being used as you posted, then I don’t see what the controversy is. It seems like we are talking about what everyone understands rape to be – non-consensual..

        If statutory rape was eligible before and if this clarification in terms would have eliminated statutory rape from being eligible then I see how this would be a change. A change and clarification I would agree with, but certainly a change.

        I was not trying to use some kind of false emphasis to distract from the funding issues. I’ve mentioned funding in other comments and to me, this is what the debate has always been about anyway. I’ll respond to your question further down that was addressed to me and Dudley.

  6. With any luck, they will continue to argue about these things and completely forget to do the budget.

  7. Dudley

    Its interesting to see the personal attacks being launched.

    John Boehner is now a “sociopathic hypocrite” and has been renamed “Boner”

    “Sociopathic hypocrite” is redundant when being applied to a republican in a leadership position

    Republicans are “thugs” and “fucktards”

    How is any of this “civil?” How does it foster meaningful debate?

    • You’ve got a point, Dudley, but I will freely admit to operating from a place of utter frustration and ferocity about this. Sometimes, the only way I can get beyond the utter lunacy of some of this crap is to believe that the people perpetuating it are either mean or dumb; how else can we explain some of the things these people (and by “these people,” I’m talking about dumbasses of ANY affiliation) do with a straight face?

    • Ah, yeah… it is the “ad hominem fallacy” fallacy! Told you Chili-baby!

      As if there’s anything “civil” about attacking reproductive health care for poor women. Yeah, that’s fine to strip women of the ability to get affordable care, but don’t ever say something mean about the people doing it.

      What a crock of BS.

    • Brandon

      That is not a crock of BS or some kind of ad hominem fallacy fallacy. Dudley is pointing out the tone that is being used, which many times is used as a substitute for advancing an actual argument. The use of such dialog also detracts from any actual argument that may be present. To simply respond back to you by calling you some kind of a name would be in no way responding to your statement that those who are advancing this legislation think it is “fine to strip women of the ability to get affordable care…”

      That is simple incorrect. The removal of federal funds does not have to mean that Planned Parenthood can no longer offer affordable women’s health services. No one is being deprived or denied the ability to get care at Planned Parenthood simply because they might not longer receive federal money. And Planned Parenthood is not being shut down and outlawed. If they were being “banned” then there would be merit to your argument that women would be deprived of the ability to receive care.

      But that is not what is happening here. It’s essentially a debate over the use of federal funds. I imagine that Planned Parenthood would be able to make up any shortfall through the donations of their many avid supporters (even combined with other cost-saving measures) if they wanted to avoid having to increase prices in lieu of the removal of the federal funding that compromises their operating budget.

      • In fact, the practical effect of the passage of the Pence Amendment may well that a significant number of women will be denied access to affordable health care. The Pence Amendment cuts off ALL funding for Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that no federal funds can be used for abortion under the Hyde Amendment anyway. Limiting PP’s funds will necessarily limit its ability to provide services. It’s not unreasonable to expect that in their efforts to make super-duper, extra sure that NO federal money is used in anything even hinting at abortion, the sponsors of this legislation will cut a significant number of people off from the only health care they ever see. What I object to is that none of them seems to give a damn.

      • Dudley

        Chili,

        You may be entirely correct about the practical effect of the legislation. Putting that aside for the moment….

        IF one want to engage “the other side” in a meaningful way, one needs to keep the personal attacks toned down. Those attacks back someone into a corner, and they usually lash ou in return.

        If, however, the goal in not to engae, but simply to make the sparks fly, then by all means, go at it.

        Below this post IJ states “that we all know that the ultimate goal is to ban abortions and contraception, so that women who don’t maintain their “purity” will be forced to bear children as punishment. ”

        I won’t say that nobody feels this way, but I certainly do not know anyone who does. This is the type of rhetoric that keeps us all at each others throats. It’s as bad as tripe from the anti-Obama “birthers.”

      • Dudley & Brandon -

        What do you have to say about Chili’s excellent points about the implications of Pence? Let’s keep the focus on the substance of the issue.

      • Brandon

        I understand her point (if this is a type of zero-sum game) that having less money could mean that fewer services could be provided. That is why I specifically said it does not HAVE to mean they can no longer provide affordable services.

        I would assume, as any business would, that they would look for ways to make up that funding. Given the support they have I would expect donations to increase to help make up for the difference. That they would look to cut expenses where possible. I don’t know what their services cost now, but I would think that they could handle an increase that would still keep them in an affordable range.

        I don’t see why Planned Parenthood needs to receive any federal money at all. I share that view for any other business (farm subsidies, etc.) as well, not simply in this case since I am opposed to abortion (and I realize they don’t receive funding for that, except in the case of rape or incest). For me, it’s ultimately an issue of the proper role of government and the injection of funds into a private business.

        That’s the problem with suckling up to the government teet – you can’t wean yourself off and then any loss of funding is portrayed as unacceptable since it will have an impact. Of course it will have an impact, but that is hardly justification for why funding should never be removed. If that is the case, then no recipient of federal funds would ever have those removed and the spending increases just keep continuing.

      • Ah, yes, the proper role of government. Here’s a glance at the logical extension of this argument:

        Enjoy, all.

      • Brandon

        Really? I mean, really? That’s the “logical extension” of a position about the proper role of government? I’d like to think that I’m missing out on your sarcasm since this is all being written, and that you don’t seriously believe that to be the case, but I am doubtful in that regard.

        I responded in good faith when you asked me and Dudley what we had to say about Chili’s points and your request to focus on the substance of the issue. I reiterated and tried to clarify some of the points I had previously made.

        I’m not expecting you to agree or change your mind, but I did expect more than the flippant implication that the logical extension of the proper role of government means that the police force would be privatized (the clip was funny by the way). That is by no means a logical extension. That’s some weak tea you’re serving up.

      • Dudley

        Typing on the iPad. Life as a road warrior. In the short term Chili is right. The reduced funding will reduce the amount of care that Planned Parenthood can provide.

        I do not like “why” the funding was cut. I do believe that it was cut to make abortions harder to get.

        Yes, you read that right. Although I am opposed to abortion, it is currently legal, therefore legislation to make it less accessible is government intrusion into how people live their lives. It’s micromanaging, and not the proper role of govt.

        The funding should have been cut because that type of funding is not the proper use of govt. Govt spend far too much on way too many things including farm subsidies, mortgage interest tax deductions, etc, etc.

        The video posted by Fantastic Forrest is hilarious. I loved it, but it is in no way a”logical extension” of this argument.

        Very few people will argue for no government role in our lives. We argue over where to draw the line.

        The government should try to get out of our collective way.

      • Dudley, I keep thinking I want an iPad. I got a new MacBook for work instead of an iPad – it did better the things I needed a computer at work to do – but I may ask Santa for an iPad this year – they’re too cool.

        I guess what worries me is that I see all of this as part of a larger trend of culture-war politics. A number of distasteful (actually, frankly, disgusting) ideas are being forwarded straight-faced by elected officials – eliminating discrimination protections, weakening rights, cutting services to the poor and underprivileged, proposing to make legal the murder of abortion providers, that sort of thing – that have nothing whatsoever to do with our collective good. I’m all about having an ‘everybody in’ system; when times are hard, we ALL chip in a little to get ourselves back on track. That’s not what’s happening here, and I deplore (and resent the fuck out of) attempts to create or maintain second-class status for anyone in this country. I’m advocating shifting the focus away from our bedrooms (and especially our wombs) and talking about the intersections of our lives that GENUINELY affect the collective.

      • Dudley – I’ve reread all my comments and am mystified how you conclude I think you want to control women. I simply think you do not want your tax dollars going to abortion regardless of whether a woman has become pregnant due to rape. You say here that “no woman who has been raped, and become pregnant as a result of that crime should be forced to carry the child term. The choice for a safe abortion should be made available.” You then tell me “End of discussion.”

        So sorry, but that’s not the end of discussion for me. How can she have a choice if she doesn’t have sufficient funds to get the abortion? I believe it is a good use of my tax dollars to help such a person.

        In terms of the broader question of government regulation and tax expenditures, you might be very surprised to learn that I agree with much of what you say, although I do think regulating actions which impact clear air and water quality is vital to our wellbeing.

    • Ah, the healing power of laughter. I am happy you enjoyed the clip of my friends Hugh and Stephen. And I suspect they would agree with me that their piece was a good way to respond to the notion that the government has a “teat” we must “wean” ourselves from. I was actually deadly serious in endeavoring to respond to the question of where we draw the line, what the proper role of government is.

      If you reject the notion that the police force ought to be privatized, I rejoice with hope that you are not totally lost. Using our tax monies to fund a criminal justice system to protect us is okay by you? I’d suggest that assisting the victim of a rape – not just a forcible rape – to restore a woman’s body to its pre-assaulted state seems a lot closer to that function of government than farm subsidies or mortgage interest tax deductions. But perhaps your view is clouded by the notion that those who are raped are not truly victims? I see that a Georgia Republican has introduced a bill that “rape victim” should be changed to “rape accuser.” Seriously? Seriously?!?

      Words matter. Remember Frank Luntz’s work?

      When you talk about the government getting out of our collective way, you are mostly talking about them impacting your pocketbook. You’re more than happy to have government prohibit those behaviors you want to control. But let’s look at what happens to those babies born from rape and incest. Should government pay for their upbringing? It will cost a whole lot more when they’re sucking at the teat. Or will people like you, who oppose aborting them, take care of that?

      To be very clear, I think if a rape victim chooses to carry a pregnancy to term, the collective good is served by helping to pay for the delivery, and if necessary, subsidize the cost of the child through various means. It’s all part of civilized society.

      • Dudley

        Forrest

        You know nothing about me other than what I have written here,yet you seem to draw conclusions about what else I believe. I wrote that I am opposed to abortion. You seem to conclude that because of that I must therefore believe a litany of other things. I oppose abortion because I believe that the fetus is a viable human life, not because I want to control women. If you can change my mind about the fetus, you can change my mind about abortion.

        With regard to rape, no woman who has been raped, and become pregnant as a result of that crime should be forced to carry the child term. The choice for a safe abortion should be made available. End of discussion.

        No woman whose life is threatened by a pregnancy should be forced to continue that pregnancy. The choice of a safe abortion should be made available to her. End of discussion.

        I recognized, during an earlier discussion, that difficult choices are often forced upon us.

        Moving beyond abortion and on to the role of govt, I believe that govt is far too involved in micromanaging our daily lives from requiring that we use licensed contractors for work we can do ourselves, to prohibiting who we can marry (yes, I support gay marriage), to collecting too much tax money to give it to others.

      • Whoops! Looks like I clicked on the wrong link to reply to you, Dudley. I posted above. Here it is in the right spot.
        Dudley – I’ve reread all my comments and am mystified how you conclude I think you want to control women. I simply think you do not want your tax dollars going to abortion regardless of whether a woman has become pregnant due to rape. You say here that “no woman who has been raped, and become pregnant as a result of that crime should be forced to carry the child term. The choice for a safe abortion should be made available.” You then tell me “End of discussion.”

        So sorry, but that’s not the end of discussion for me. How can she have a choice if she doesn’t have sufficient funds to get the abortion? I believe it is a good use of my tax dollars to help such a person.

        In terms of the broader question of government regulation and tax expenditures, you might be very surprised to learn that I agree with much of what you say, although I do think regulating actions which impact clear air and water quality is vital to our wellbeing.

      • Dudley

        Forrest,

        I made the same mistake I accused you of making. You wrote “But perhaps your view is clouded by the notion that those who are raped are not truly victims?” I reacted to that without thinking it through.

        I was obviously not clear about my thoughts on the use of Federal funds for abortion. Let me try again.

        If abortion is legal, and considered acceptable by the majority Americans, and a woman who is covered by Medicare, Medicaid (what have you), then I see no problem with Federal funds being used. This is despite the fact that I think that abortion is wrong in almost all cases. The exceptions, for me, are rape and the life of the mother being in danger.

        I take that stance because I do not like the way our Congress uses taxpayer money to influence behavior.

      • Thanks for taking the time to clarify this, Dudley. I appreciate your response and the opportunity to hone my communication skills. I’m glad to have had this exchange.

  8. Let’s see… I used a mean word, and you are saying things that are barely true or outright false. Yeah, let’s focus on tone instead of facts. Since you don’t have facts, you can’t really focus on anything else.

    Go back to your fantasy land where money magically appears to cover government shortfalls.

    • Brandon

      I fail to see how anything I said was barely true or outright false, but I guess that is why you simple dismiss my argument by telling me to go back to fantasy land. That is one heck of a retort, especially considering that you accuse me of ignoring facts. Why can’t they make up the money? Are they rendered helpless if federal funding is removed?

      It seems yours is a world where government money can never be made up if removed. If that is the case then how can government spending ever be cut for any program? And lest you misunderstand, I’m not particularly concerned with your tone. All it does is reflect poorly on you and indicates your inability to actually engage in a civil discussion, which was the point Dudley was making all along.

  9. There’s a weird sort of doublethink going on here too…

    Note that we all know that the ultimate goal is to ban abortions and contraception, so that women who don’t maintain their “purity” will be forced to bear children as punishment. There are 3-4 right-wingers who are actually honest enough to admit what the rest of them are thinking. The rest of them know it is political suicide to admit it, but they still act towards those goals. That strange “forcible rape” nonsense was a more obvious move, but all of these waiting periods and forcing women to see ultrasounds, those sorts of things are very obviously sexist efforts to make abortions more difficult.

    Further, we know that defunding PP is about restricting abortions and contraception. It makes no impact on the deficit, creates no jobs, and does nothing positive for anyone except anti-abortion and anti-women activists. At the same time, there’s this lie that Brandon is telling, that defunding PPwon’t have any of those desired effects. If it doesn’t have the only desired affect, then why would they bother to defund it?

    “BS” was too soft a term. “Lying bullshit” is more accurate, and dirty words aren’t in the same galaxy as the dirty thoughts and deeds going on against women’s rights.

  10. I keep coming back to the conversation we were having about who “shouldn’t be forced” to carry a pregnancy to term. Does this imply, in the absence of those things, that some women SHOULD be forced to carry a pregnancy to term? Exactly whom does that serve? The mother? The child? Society? God? Who’s going to do the forcing, and under what authority can one person tell another that they must (or must not) do something with their own bodies?

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