Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oh, when the saints/Come marching in...

From George W. Bush's speech (which I find a little sad--yeah, he's dangerous to their chances, but he was sort of exiled from the convention, and I don't know, that's sad) by satellite to the Republican Convention last night:

"I am optimistic because I have faith in freedom's power to lift up all of God's children and lead this world to a future of peace."

Honestly, this explains more about his foreign policy than anything else I've heard in the last eight years.

Of course we don't need to understand history and real people's needs wherever we're going! Of course we don't need to plan for after the invasion or for exit! Of course we don't need to worry what other nations think of us! Freedom will take us there, all by itself.

Honestly, the parallel that comes to mind is the Marxist doctrine that once one nation undergoes proletarian revolution and begins its utopian transformation, all others must inevitably follow. Is there any broad political theory involving inevitability that is not unrealistic, doctrinaire, and ultimately totalitarian in its cultishness?

Guh. It gives me the shivers that mainstream political figures talk like this.

I wonder what it's like to think this way. Does one ever get confused and downbeat because it didn't happen? Does one question the ideology? Or does one just conclude that Satan's still going strong and keep on truckin'?

(It depends, obviously, I'm just trying to comprehend.)

On that note, Sarah Palin called the Iraq war a task "that is from God" when speaking to her hometown church in Wasilla. I don't like this. I need the media to stop talking about the baby drama (which is what the McCain camp wants them to do) so we can discuss the fact that she's an utter far right wingnut (which is what the McCain camp doesn't want them to do).

Also, as Michelle Cottle points out, if Sarah Palin is so anti-abortion, it should follow that she's in favor of providing support for girls and women who choose to keep their babies, no? However, while Governor of Alaska, she cut funding for a state program providing shelter and support for single teen mothers--by more than 20%.

I'm sorry, but a politician who opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest and who opposes comprehensive sex education should be at the forefront of championing support systems that make it easier for young mothers to keep their babies.

I would have assumed Palin herself felt this way. After all, she is a proud member of Feminists for Life, an anti-abortion nonprofit whose stated aim is to give women a real choice -- that is, to make certain that women faced with unplanned pregnancies have access to the information and support systems that will enable/encourage them not to have an abortion. Surely a program aimed at assisting the most desperate of young mothers -- those whose boyfriends aren't amenable to a shotgun wedding or who don't have a strong family support system -- would be something a pro-life feminist such as Palin would work to expand not destroy.

Pro-life conservatives have for years faced accusations by abortion-rights activists that they only give a damn about a woman and her baby until the moment that baby is born. After that: Best of luck! Don't come looking to us for any help! Palin's rough handling of Passage House does nothing to combat that unfortunate image.

I have nothing to add.

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