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For This They Threatened to Shut Down the Government?

The latest showdown between Obama and the Republicans was over an extremely small amount of funding for Planned Parenthood. The Republicans couldn’t help turning it into a red meat issue, screaming that they didn’t want the government paying for abortions.

This was, of course, complete and utter nonsense. The government is already prohibited from paying for any abortions by the Hyde Amendment. In fact, the funding in question was for cancer screenings and other health services.

But on Friday, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) defended the Republican’ threat to shut down the government by claiming that abortion is “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”

Of course, he just made that number up. In reality, just three percent of what Planned Parenthood does is related to abortions.

But the hypocritical part is that when Kyl’s office was contacted by CNN to ask for clarification, they responded that Kyl’s “remark was not intended to be a factual statement“. Isn’t an intended non-factual statement called a lie?

And the whole charade about reducing the deficit? Pure political theater. Doing cancer screenings saves the government money, since the earlier you catch cancer, the easier and cheaper it is to treat. Not to mention that it saves lives, so it is pro-life. And the contraceptive services provided by Planned Parenthood reduces the need for abortions.

Republicans: Claiming they want to reduce government spending and the budget deficit, but actually increasing them. Claiming to be pro-life, while costing lives and increasing abortions. And more than willing to blatantly lie about it. Pure hypocrisy.


© Joel Pett

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24 Comments

  1. No U wrote:

    What blows me away is the fact that the budget last year had, I believe, $2.7 trillion dollars in it. The Dems wanted to cut…$30 billion? The Repubs something like $60 billion. So they were arguing and bitching about something so minor compared to the budget…it’s something about 5% and it almost shut down the gov…

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 6:16 am | Permalink
  2. Dan wrote:

    That’s not the only thing. OpenCongress.org has a sample list here: http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/2259-The-Real-Problem-With-Funding-the-Government

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 8:19 am | Permalink
  3. Tim Firch wrote:

    You forgot in your face arrogant.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  4. Mad Hatter wrote:

    I don’t get it…why are Republicans and Teabaggers so unconfortable with heterosexual matters?? The other varieties don’t seem to bother them.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  5. Michael wrote:

    No U, it was not about the budget. It was never about the budget. The GOP simply used the budget process as leverage to cut programs they opposed on ideological grounds. That’s why the GOP almost shut down the government…to push an anti-social agenda.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink
  6. Patricia wrote:

    Watching the headlines over this issue, and particularly the eleventh-hour resolution of said issue, I am pretty sure that the real intent was generating news about the conflict for the various “Bases”, rather than actually coming to any sensible compromises for the good of the country in general! Kabuki Politics!

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  7. Morrius wrote:

    Nation, it’s come to my attention that many of you are alarmed by some of the bills that are making their way through Republican controlled legislatures across the country. Well I’m here to reassure you that this is not a cause for concern. The truth is, politicians don’t want to pass any bills at all.

    See, any good politician will tell you that you don’t win elections by campaigning on things like “accomplishments”. You campaign on the issues. This is a great deal, because this way you don’t actually have to do anything. The whole passing bills and improving the lives of the people is passe, even gauche. It’s a long and tedious process, and any real substance in these things is whittled away in negotiation. So why bother? Just propose any crazy type of rule to appeal to your campaign contributors or help you win elections, wait till the media picks it up, and enjoy the free advertising time.

    Let’s say I propose a bill to give every person in America a kitten. It doesn’t matter if the bill dies quietly in committee, or ridiculed by the other side’s media propaganda machine, or even if I forget to fill out the paperwork for it. What’s important is that I have established myself as being pro-kitten, and therefore I can claim that my opponents are all kitten-haters.

    The best part of it is that since it doesn’t matter whether or not these bill pass, you can propose anything you want! You can propose laws that make no sense, are unenforceable, or even completely unconstitutional. Just accuse the other side of being opposed to your wedge issue, and trying to ignore the Will of the People. Voting against my bill to outlaw Islam, senator? Calling it unconstitutional Mr. Supreme Court Justice? You must be some kind of pro-Islamic radical socialist in ACORN’s pocket who wants to destroy America!

    It doesn’t matter whether or not things get better. What’s important is that you get re-elected and the other party’s candidates don’t. Remember, ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  8. Roo wrote:

    The Hyde Amendment applies to money provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. Any woman in the armed forces can get an abortion on demand at no cost from the Department of Defense. So can any (female) dependent of a person serving in the armed forces and covered by military benefits. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many tax funded abortions are provided with DoD funds. And all those abortions completely paid for with taxes.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink
  9. Michael wrote:

    I find the suggestion that the armed military forces should adhere to “pro-life” policies vaguely humorous and ironic.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
  10. Sammy wrote:

    The conservatives I know who are adamantly opposed to any funding of Planned Parenthood don’t care about the Hyde Amendment. They don’t want any federal money going to an organization that provides those services, period, even if that’s only about 4% of the services they provide. They will not be satisfied until all abortions are made illegal; even considered murder. And don’t bother introducing such logic and fact, that without PP, abortions will RISE.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  11. EragonsMommy92 wrote:

    Seriously? i went to planned parenthood for birth control and confirmation of pregnancy. planned parenthood is not the problem here. its abortions in general. personally, i believe that the ONLY time abortion should even be considered is if both mother and baby will die if the pregnancy continues. thats just my opinion though. i still wouldn’t do it though. ever. i would rather die.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  12. EragonsMommy92 wrote:

    And yeah. it IS murder.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  13. I’m glad we live in a country where capitalizing something makes it more true.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Permalink
  14. starluna wrote:

    ROO – the military’s insurance is prohibited from paying for abortions. Military hospitals are also prohibited from providing abortions except to save the life of the female soldier. They can also provide abortions in cases of rape or incest, but the soldier will have to pay for it herself.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink
  15. Michael wrote:

    I truly despise the cheapening of powerful words. It is nonsensical to state that it’s “just my opinion” regarding when abortion is acceptable, and following that up with the assertion that abortion “IS murder.” The term murder specifically entails malice and demands punishment.

    So let me ask you, Eragonsmommy92, what should be the sentencing guideline for a woman who has an abortion? If a woman hires someone to kill her 10-year-old child, she will go to jail. Clearly, if abortion truly is murder, then a woman who hires a doctor to kill her unborn 10-week gestational age child is committing an offense that is just as grave and must also go to jail. Should it matter if the child has anencephaly? How about trisomy-13 or 18? What if the woman fears that her family may take her life in an honor killing?

    You can attempt to follow this up by claiming that the guilt of killing her child is enough, then you could apply the same logic to other forms of murder. If I shoot someone in the process of robbing a liquor store, well, the guilt of that act should be enough punishment. It makes no sense to state that an action is murder while simultaneously exempting those perpetrators from punishment.

    Or were you perhaps just being hyperbolic, and simply wished to state that you believe abortion is immoral? In that case, for the sake of families of true victims of *murder*, stop destroying the power of that word for the sake of your sanctimonious piety.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink
  16. Michael wrote:

    Starluna, but if the woman is a soldier (salary paid from DoD funds) and pays for her abortion, doesn’t that mean the taxpayers are actually funding her abortion? ;-) Hey, that gives me an idea though… If we had a ban that made it illegal for anyone receiving a publicly funded salary from paying for an abortion, then we never would have had to put up with Bob Barr, since (according to her sworn affidavit) he paid for his ex-wife’s abortion in 1983 (while employed by the CIA).

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
  17. Sammy wrote:

    What about a woman who has difficult pregnancies and is warned not to snowboard and does so anyway. Loses the child 16 weeks in. Negligent homicide? Of course, how would one know if it wasn’t going to happen anyway?

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  18. Iron Knee wrote:

    I just had to close comments on an earlier post on abortion — http://politicalirony.com/2011/02/21/fair-and-balanced/

    Sigh.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  19. Michael wrote:

    Sorry, IK, I’ll behave and stop feeding the trolls. ;-) I agree with (almost) everything you said in the last post of that thread. (I would have said, “I agree with [the right of] people [to hold the belief that] abortion is wrong.”)

    Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  20. PatriotSGT wrote:

    STARLUNA – thanks for setting the record straight on the military.

    I do think the Right’s funding attack on Planned Parenthood is strictly for political ideology. We have bigger problems to solve. From what little I know, Planned Parenthood helps many women with mostly other then abortion counseling services. I think if we focus the conversation on the organization as a whole and not 1 service out of many they provide, then the issue becomes less cloudy.

    The politicizing is predictable and used to be frustrating, but now it’s more comedic to me. Both sides attack with with demagoguery, which means neither side has an actual argument. “Democrats want to kill unborn children” and then “Republicans want women to die from cancer”, so cliche and predictable it almost laughable except that there some on both sides that actually believe themselves. IMO they need to come up with a new script.

    Monday, April 11, 2011 at 6:55 am | Permalink
  21. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    I’m not sure which came first, the right’s highly contradictory, compartmentalized philosophies, or the co-opting of the party by the fundamentalist Christians. Chicken or the egg?

    I had a brief “discussion” on one of my social sites where a friend who has been oozing his love for Mike Huckabee posted a youtube video discussing a spending cut by Obama. The youtube vid put a ton of pennies on a table representing the total debt and then showed what fraction of that pile was represented by the cut. It was tiny.

    I brought up the fact that Huckabee, not 2 months previously, had said that defunding NPR was a great first step in reducing our debt. I asked him, what would the representation of that cut be on the penny pile?

    He responded with a long paragraph explaining that if I wanted to be rude and combative, I needed to stop commenting on his stuff. Nowhere in the paragraph did he even attempt to defend Huckabee, because it was simply not possible. Instead, it is easier just to feign hurt feelings and ignore it.

    I don’t mean to say that there are no ignorant liberals, or that all Republicans are incapable of coherent arguments. I simply mean to say that far too often, the fundamental arguments put forth by the right are transparently contradictory even giving them just a few seconds glance.

    If the fetus in the womb is a child, why don’t they give it a SSN? Why don’t they investigate miscarriages as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter? Now we have a real problem because this idea is directly contradictory to the right’s “keep the government out of my life.”

    This exposes the argument for what it really is: stop people from doing things that I don’t like as long as it doesn’t affect me in any way.

    Seems to be a common thread lately. Or maybe not lately…

    I really feel that because the arguments are in no way logically consistent, those politicians have realized that in political gunfights, logic is the knife and wild, hysterical hyperbole is the gun.

    Monday, April 11, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink
  22. starluna wrote:

    Glad I missed that other discussion.

    Monday, April 11, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink
  23. Starluna: I just looked it over because IK mentioned it.

    You and me both, you and me both.

    I’m going to sit this one out too. Arguing for argument’s sake isn’t my thing, and that’s often what the abortion “discussion” ends up actually being. Frankly, if someone can’t begin to suggest solutions that work as compromises to address real needs, then, when it comes to this topic, the person mouthing off is too interested in winning, and showing him/herself to be morally superior, then that someone is in actually getting something done that might actually help.

    (Years ago, I heard about some pro-life and pro-choice groups coming together to create assistance programs with helping women give up babies for adoption. Now *that* was one start on one solution. If that sort of thing is what people want to talk about, I’m all for it. Otherwise, I’m not interested: too much posturing, too little focus on helping where help is needed.)

    Monday, April 11, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  24. starluna wrote:

    Thought dancer – I’m right there with you. My only interest is in clarifying misunderstandings.

    Monday, April 11, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink