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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, November 30, 2006


The Carrot

The House REPUBLICANS, as their last piece of influential legislature, will attempt to force through an anti-abortion, anti-women's-choice bill, as early as next week. I think it's fitting that the worst congress in recent history, and probably ever, will be remembered as the one who fought the battle that even they didn't want to win.

Congress numbers 107 (which had a Democratic majority in the Senate), 108 and 109 (both completely GOP) had more than ample opportunity to push through the "Moral Majority's" agenda of removing abortions as a women's right and making its opposition a constitutional amendment. But, until now, they didn't do it.

With a REPUBLICAN majority in the House and Senate, and, what appeared to all to be a very willing president, the questions remain: Why now, and why not then?

Setting aside the fact that polls show an undeniable majority of Americans still believe in a pro-women's-choice agenda, the political Right feels that this issue is their true savior. Looking to keep a "base" which they say they cater to, without really doing anything for them, the Square, Red and Flat part of the GOP will attempt to show their patrons that they speak their names with their dying breath.

After all, they do need to keep these fish on the line until '08, don't they?

If abortion was ever brought to the floor of the House, then similarly passed in the Senate, thus making it by the 109th and, finally, signed by President Waldo (if they could find him), there would be nothing left for the GOP to use to rally their Religious Right troops. Winning this battle would be the thinning of the one-issue base who only vote to get this issue passed.

Call it the Gilligan's Island philosophy of governing: If the crew of the Minnow was ever rescued, the show would be over.

"Next year, the leadership of the House will be hardcore pro-abortion loyalists. They will block votes on even modest pro-life measures like this one."
-Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee

Now wait here just a darn minute, Mr. Johnson. I got a couple of questions for you. First, you've had your guys in office, with only the threat of a possible last-gasp filibuster as the only possible opposition, something the Democratic minority has proven that they don't want to use. You've had enough votes in your own party, and even a couple of pro-life Democrats to join your team to get this bill passed. Even if you chose to attempt to pass this anti-choice bill, you might have had enough votes and state houses to get it through.

You and your GOP servants didn't even give it a try.

And what about now? Is this all just a joke to the GOP jesters who still have the majority on both houses? With the large base of one-issue voters who only care about the choice issue, why haven't you had your minions start making phone calls to all of the congressmen and senators, not to mention the White House, to make sure your cause goes through. I'll even write you a script:

NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE MEMBER (on the phone): Hello, I'd like to speak to Congressman Ferguson, please
FERGUSON STAFF MEMBER: I'm sorry, he's indisposed at the moment. May I help you with something?
MEMBER: Yes. We'd like Rep. Ferguson to sponsor, and help get the Pro-Life bill passed or we won't support him any more. Remember, we got him elected and we can get him un-elected in 2008.

NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE MEMBER (on the phone): Hello, I'd like to speak to Senator Frist, please
FERGUSON STAFF MEMBER: I'm sorry, he's indisposed at the moment. May I help you with something?
NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE MEMBER: Yes. We'd like Senator Frist to sponsor, and help get the Pro-Life bill passed or we won't support him any more.
FERGUSON STAFF MEMBER: You realize that Senator Frist won't be in the Senate any longer as of this January, don't you?
NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE MEMBER: Yes, but if he's a man of his word, he'll get this done before the end of his term. Or was all that stuff about Terri Schiavo just a bunch of crap that he didn't mean?

We all know the truth about these phony Right-Wing leaders: They all know it's better to keep the carrot just out of reach in order to keep them hungry.

It's people like you, Mr. Johnson that tells us all the power of your crusade. Why not get the ball rolling? This is your chance, and as you pointed out, possibly your last chance to get this bill passed. Why is it that you only want to attempt to get this law by what you know will be a less-than-friendly congress instead of the one you got elected. Newt Gingrich relied on you and your people; he and his newly elected 1994 signed that Contract with America that said you were going to get what you wanted.

What happened? You ought to sue.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (REPUBLICAN-NJ) would define a 20-week-old fetus as a "pain-capable unborn child". Why aren't the Right Wing armies lining up behind people like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and even Mr. Johnson?

There are plenty of people who read this newsletter on both sides of this issue. But one fact can't be ignored: Abortions go down when people feel that there is more of a future in their lives and in the lives of their unborn child. And, over the past years, those times have proven to be better under a Democratic rule.

I am pro-choice. This is usually when my religious right friends (and I have many) tune me out. There is no compromise in this issue for them. But talking and looking at the facts should make them realize that the odds are better that a child will be born under a Democratic administration than a GOP administration.

So, does anyone care for a carrot?

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg