If social issues favor the left, why the deceit about the right’s stances?

For a group so certain of public support for their social-issue stances, Democrats sure are resorting to some trickeration to paint the right as extremist.

Yasmin Neal, a freshman state legislator from Jonesboro, got a lot of laughs last week for proposing to limit vasectomies to cases where a man could face death or “impairment of a major bodily function.” Neal’s legislation is a parody of an anti-abortion bill, HB 954, moving through the House. And hers would be laughable indeed, if it didn’t reflect such a serious distortion of what animates abortion opponents.

In a press release, Neal explained herself thus:

Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies. It is patently unfair that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women’s ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States.

The first sentence gives away the joke: One assumes Neal does not really believe a gamete in a man’s body is analogous to a second-trimester fetus. (The latter is the focus of HB 954, which would change the point at which abortions are illegal to 20 weeks from 24 weeks, on the premise a fetus can feel pain halfway through a pregnancy.)

But the second sentence suggests Neal fancies her satire instructive, a modern-day modest proposal. It’s instructive, all right — just not as she intends.

Either Neal misunderstands the reason for anti-abortion sentiment — to protect unborn children — or she recognizes there’s no real analogy between a pregnancy and any bodily concern of men.

So she relies on the old line that abortion restrictions are something men impose on women. In fact, the Gallup organization, which tracks public attitudes toward abortion annually, reported last year: “Men and women are nearly identical in their views about the legality and morality of abortion.”

Both sexes were narrowly more “pro-choice” than “pro-life.” But Gallup said last year was the first time since 2008 Americans were more likely to call themselves pro-choice. As recently as 2006, “pro-choice” enjoyed a 51-41 edge; in 1996, the lead was a whopping 56-33.

The change in attitudes may help explain why Democrats nationally are shifting to the issue of contraception rather than abortion, portraying the GOP as eager to ban The Pill.

Certainly, Neal’s analogy would be much more logical if she compared vasectomies to contraception. But even that would require a gross distortion of the right’s position.

Contraception made the headlines last month when the Obama administration decreed religious-sponsored entities, most notably Catholic hospitals and universities, must subsidize birth control as part of the health insurance they provide employees in accordance with Obamacare, even if the entity opposes it doctrinally.

When conservatives said the move infringed on religious freedom, the left accused Republicans of wanting to take birth control away from women. Opposing subsidies for something equals wanting to ban its use? That’s what liberals would have you believe.

The tactic doesn’t appear to be working from a political standpoint: A new poll by the nonpartisan Purple Project finds swing-state voters reject the Obama contraception mandate 49-37; independents in those dozen states are harsher, disapproving 50-34.

Maybe Americans recognize politicians are extreme when they use deceit to argue otherwise, in Washington or here.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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497 comments Add your comment

that's goofy

February 24th, 2012
6:12 pm

md

February 24th, 2012
6:12 pm

I think your “pro” paragraph is a bit mixed up. It should be “more Americans call themselves pro-life.

Linda

February 24th, 2012
6:13 pm

Democrats? Trickeration? Well, I’ll be!

Kyle Wingfield

February 24th, 2012
6:13 pm

md: Nope, last year the numbers flipped. The two years before that, “pro-life” was narrowly ahead.

Hillbilly D

February 24th, 2012
6:14 pm

So she relies on the old line that abortion restrictions are something men impose on women.

Does the lady not know that millions of women are opposed to abortion? I guess she thinks she speaks for all women.

that's goofy

February 24th, 2012
6:17 pm

thought Neal had the best piece of legislation to come out of the Dome this session.

jconservative

February 24th, 2012
6:30 pm

re the HHS mandate. Seven more lawsuits filed in Federal court this week. That makes a total of eleven to date. And the Southern Baptists suits have yet to be filed.

The sheer volumn of lawsuits will result in a quick acceptance of the cases by the SCOTUS.

Elizabeth

February 24th, 2012
6:33 pm

Or perhaps she, like a great many other Americans, just doesn’t believe that concern for the unborn is what is motivating the pro-life movement. After all, the pro-life movement really seems most concerned with any law that gives them an underhanded way to condemn women for imagined sexual immorality, which they talk about at very great length, while simultaneously seeming to oppose both methods that actually prevent abortion, such as contraception and sex education, and measures that make sure that fewer women feel like they have no other options but abortion, such as universal health care and employment protection for pregnant women. There are a great number of ways that we could all agree upon to prevent abortions, but the pro-life movement seems much more concerned with attempts to expand social control over sexuality than with ways to actually help anyone.

md

February 24th, 2012
6:34 pm

“md: Nope, last year the numbers flipped. The two years before that, “pro-life” was narrowly ahead.”

My bad……I had linked to the 2009 chart…….

Stephenson Billings

February 24th, 2012
6:37 pm

Annnnnnnd….. Elizabeth spouts the lib talking points and prove Kyle’s point…..

JF McNamara

February 24th, 2012
6:38 pm

…cause Republicans never distort the truth. Obama really is a muslim, socialist who wants death panels for senior citizens.

Republicans never will understand what freedom is. It’s not the person with the most votes. It’s allowing people to live how they see fit so long as they don’t hurt anyone outside of their family group. Instead of pushing your ideas on me, how about saying these words to yourself,

” I would never do it, but I don’t care because I don’t have to answer for it. This is America and they are free to live by their own rules, not mine.”

md

February 24th, 2012
6:40 pm

“After all, the pro-life movement really seems most concerned with any law that gives them an underhanded way to condemn women for imagined sexual immorality”

Speaking for this pro-life individual, my views are based solely on science and logic…..I really don’t care what folks want to do in the bedroom…..it’s all fun.

But back to science……humans have a starting point, and to dismiss that as irrelevant in the conversation is a bad idea. For the most part, we all agree that it isn’t right to harm other humans….but in this instance the rules change for some reason……that is what is in question.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 24th, 2012
6:42 pm

Just goes to show that both sides waste valuable time trying to social engineer society via legislation.

Get out and stay out of our bedrooms and our bodies, politicians!

md

February 24th, 2012
6:42 pm

“It’s allowing people to live how they see fit so long as they don’t hurt anyone outside of their family group.”

So hurting people inside their family group is ok? I don’t think that is what you wanted to say, but the little being is just another inside that group. That is what is being debated………

Stephenson Billings

February 24th, 2012
6:43 pm

“It’s allowing people to live how they see fit so long as they don’t hurt anyone outside of their family group. Instead of pushing your ideas on me”

Unless I want to do something like, say, not purchase health insurance because I want to pay for it myself….

Whatever

February 24th, 2012
6:45 pm

Tiberius,

I will stay out of your body but what about the body of the unborn child? Will you stay out of it?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 24th, 2012
6:46 pm

“Republicans never will understand what freedom is.”

JF McNamara, please. Republicans largely understand fiscal freedom, even if they practice it imperfectly. Just as Democrats do not understand fiscal freedom at all. And while Democrats understand the basics of social freedoms, they want us to pay for the consequences of those freedoms, which, in essence, make them no longer free. What Republicans generally do not understand is social freedom.

Your sweeping generality is simply nonsense.

md

February 24th, 2012
6:48 pm

“I will stay out of your body but what about the body of the unborn child? ”

And that is the question…….and where logic goes out the window…..for it is not a body, it’s a blob…or some other name used to assuage the minds of those that wish to call it anything but a body.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 24th, 2012
6:49 pm

“I will stay out of your body but what about the body of the unborn child? ”

Whatever, as has been repeated by me ad nauseum, I feel I have no say in the decision to abort or not, as I am a guy. I neither have nor want any part of that decision. So to answer your question directly, yes, I will stay out of the body of any unborn child I happen to sire.

Now for you. Will YOU stay out of the body of MY unborn child, or will you assert unfounded authority over it and my wife’s body?

Stephenson Billings

February 24th, 2012
6:50 pm

I believe that most social issues don’t favor the left (or it’s slipping away) and that’s why they always have to paint the right as the ones who are “extreme” to marginalize them when, in fact, the majority of the county leans more to the right.

md

February 24th, 2012
6:53 pm

Funny how we have totally different rules for those on the other end of the spectrum…….last night it was “takes a breath”, but we have old folks on artificial lungs and various other bodily function machines………and they are not deemed dead until the brain dies.

Two ends of the same spectrum……two sets of rules.

Go figure.

Stephenson Billings

February 24th, 2012
6:54 pm

“The Gallup Poll has been regularly asking Americans about their political ideology since 1992, and they compile the results of many polls each year and release an annual report. For 2011, Gallup found that the largest group of Americans identify as conservative, at 40 percent. Another 35 percent identify as moderate, while 21 percent identify as liberal.”

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 24th, 2012
6:55 pm

Funny how conservatives love to shout about freedom and equality when they really don’t mean it, right, md?

Stephenson Billings

February 24th, 2012
6:57 pm

When thinking about politics and government, do you consider yourself to be…

Very conservative ……………………………………………. 20%
Somewhat conservative ……………………………………. 41%
MODERATE (DNR) ………………………………………… 2%
Somewhat liberal …………………………………………….. 25%
Very liberal ………………………………………………………. 9%
UNSURE/REFUSED (DNR) …………………………….. 3%

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

February 24th, 2012
7:03 pm

“After testing several of the president’s economic messages, he finds the argument that the economy is back on the right track polls miserably — and ‘produces disastrous results.’” Quote… This is from the memo. I have printed it out from Greenberg. “It is weaker than even the weakest Republican message and is 10 points weaker in intensity than either Republican message. A third said this message made them less likely to support Barack Obama,” meaning the economy-is-back message.

Why do you think they want us to talk about abortion?

Stephenson Billings

February 24th, 2012
7:04 pm

Funny how liberals love to shout about tolerance and equality when they really don’t mean it, right,

FYT

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 24th, 2012
7:05 pm

Stephenson, the problem with asking general questions is that you get skewed answers in polls.

When asked specific questions regarding specific policies (as in the Libertarian Party’s “Worlds Smallest Political Quiz”), most people show up as being fiscal conservatives and social liberals by about a 40% margin, with authoritarians on each of the other four sides (social and fiscal) coming in at around 10% each.

md

February 24th, 2012
7:05 pm

“Funny how conservatives love to shout about freedom and equality when they really don’t mean it, right, md?”

Ah Grasshopper, but there you are wrong…….some are just trying to give that freedom and equality to ALL.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

February 24th, 2012
7:11 pm

“some are just trying to give that freedom and equality to ALL.”

If only that were true, instead of just a slogan . . . .

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

February 24th, 2012
7:12 pm

“But in fact, Santorum has grown more popular among women while talking about his opposition to abortion, his disapproval of birth control and his view that the federal government shouldn’t pay for prenatal screenings. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows not only that Santorum is doing better among GOP women than he was a few weeks ago, but also that he is less unpopular … among Democratic and independent women than his Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.” He is less unpopular than those two among Democrat and independent women. How is this possible?

Because lib chicks aren’t the heathen garbage that lib men think they are.

md

February 24th, 2012
7:15 pm

“If only that were true, instead of just a slogan . . . .”

Where there’s a will, there’s a way………another slogan for you.

We’ll see how it all plays out.

Stephenson Billings

February 24th, 2012
7:17 pm

‘When asked specific questions regarding specific policies (as in the Libertarian Party’s “Worlds Smallest Political Quiz”), most people show up as being fiscal conservatives and social liberals by about a 40% margin, with authoritarians on each of the other four sides (social and fiscal) coming in at around 10% each.”

If true, as Kyle said, then why the continuous attempt by those on the left to marginalize those “on the other side” of the social issues as “extreme”? If true, they should have no reason to care what the right’s social stance is since they have a majority on their side. Their actions show me that either they’re scared that they’re losing their foothold on social issues or, more likely, they never really had it in the first place and are attempting to project the illusion that they’re the ones “in the mainstream”.

rug rat

February 24th, 2012
7:18 pm

whiney THIS IS KYLES BLOG HE BROUGHT IT UP DAA!

Bruno

February 24th, 2012
7:21 pm

HilbillyD–If you poke your head back in, here’s a cool song from Ambrosia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSINZiPOVUI

Stephenson Billings

February 24th, 2012
7:22 pm

Or they’re also just trying to deflect or change the subjects of the debate to avoid having to discuss more important things like the economy and foreign policy, both of which they’re losing in the court of public opinion.

JF McNamara

February 24th, 2012
7:24 pm

md,

Why does your opinion on when it becomes a child matter to me? I can do and think what I want. It’s America. That’s the REAL issue.

I think religion should be banned completely, because it preys on the weak minded. Does my opinion matter to you? Should it? Mind your own business…

Republican Devious Stratagems Trumped By A Sister

February 24th, 2012
7:31 pm

Proposing to limit vasectomies to cases where a man could face death or “impairment of a major bodily function.”

It’s instructive, all right
************************

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Dictating to women what they should or should not do with their bodies is also intrusive.

Republican MEN are not the only people who can play that game.

BRAVO Sister Yasmin Neal YOUR BILL IS BRILLIANT.

InAtl

February 24th, 2012
7:34 pm

@JF McNamara: Republicans never will understand what freedom is. It’s not the person with the most votes. It’s allowing people to live how they see fit so long as they don’t hurt anyone outside of their family group.

Hypocritical much? Democrats want to limit what you can eat, what kind of light bulbs you use, what you can drive, make you pay for health insurance, where you can smoke, whether you can pray at school. The list goes on and on.

Linda

February 24th, 2012
7:35 pm

Elizabeth@6:33, You are either lost or delusional. You might be lost, thinking you are on the cult blog, where minions believe all the liberal talking points. You might be delusional, thinking you can comment on a conservative blog where conservatives believe NOTHING unless we check it out for ourselves, up one side & down the other.
Social conservatives are very aware what is motivating the pro-life movement, which is NOT underhanded, does NOT condemn women, is ALWAYS discussed & does NOT oppose contraception nor sex education.
Women have NO other options but abortions?
Do you really believe this stuff?

Republican Devious Stratagems Trumped By A Sister

February 24th, 2012
7:43 pm

“Maybe Americans recognize politicians are extreme when they use deceit to argue otherwise, in Washington or here.”

********************************************

You are RIGHT sir.

No pun intended.

The door swings both ways in Washington and here.

If it can be done in Washington it can be done in Atlanta.

md

February 24th, 2012
7:44 pm

“Why does your opinion on when it becomes a child matter to me? I can do and think what I want. It’s America. That’s the REAL issue.”

Doesn’t at the moment, but that changes as the definition changes…..viability is currently the standard. Then it is up to science and society as to what constitutes appropriate behavior, just as society has set the rules after that child comes out.

“I think religion should be banned completely, because it preys on the weak minded. Does my opinion matter to you? Should it? Mind your own business…”

Nope….I’m not a religious kind of guy….I tend to agree with you.

I’m in search of science and logic….nothing more.

Hillbilly D

February 24th, 2012
7:45 pm

Bruno

Excellent song, indeed.

Bruno

February 24th, 2012
7:49 pm

I never thought of these guys as a major band, but it turns out they sold a boatload of records:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voQWlL-jj5Q

Hillbilly D

February 24th, 2012
7:50 pm

I think religion should be banned completely

That would prohibit my right to free exercise.

Hillbilly D

February 24th, 2012
7:51 pm

Bruno

Dig a little deeper than the hits on LRB. Those guys understood harmonies.

Bruno

February 24th, 2012
7:53 pm

md–Why don’t you take a break and put some music up?? In my experience, abortion is one of those things that people don’t want to look at honestly. Kind of like eating meat every day and forgetting an animal had to suffer to keep us fed. Easier not to think about too much……

Republican Devious Stratagems Trumped By A Sister

February 24th, 2012
7:57 pm

@md

February 24th, 2012
6:40 pm
But back to science……humans have a starting point, and to dismiss that as irrelevant in the conversation is a bad idea. For the most part, we all agree that it isn’t right to harm other humans….but in this instance the rules change for some reason……that is what is in question.

________________________________________

Some of YOU don’t give a rats behind about harming other humans.

Give us a break.

SOME of you had relatives that hung people from trees and no one gave a rats behind then.

So now THEY want us to believe that THEY are concerned about harming other humans?

Michael H. Smith

February 24th, 2012
7:59 pm

Good article Kyle. I enjoy watching the Marxist fascist lose control and I love it when every PERSON has their life protected no matter where that PERSON happens to live.

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989), was a United States Supreme Court decision on July 3, 1989 upholding a Missouri law that imposed restrictions on the use of state funds, facilities, and employees in performing, assisting with, or counseling on abortions. The Supreme Court in Webster allowed for states to legislate in an area that had previously been thought to be forbidden under Roe.

Background of the case

The state of Missouri passed a law which, in its preamble, stated that “the life of each human being begins at conception” and “unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being.”

The statute

1)required that all Missouri state laws be interpreted to provide unborn children with rights equal to those enjoyed by other persons, subject to limits imposed by the federal constitution, and federal court rulings;

2)prohibited government-employed doctors from aborting a fetus they believed to be viable;
prohibited the use of state employees or facilities to perform or assist abortions, except where the mother’s life was in danger; and

3)prohibited the use of public funds, employees, or facilities to “encourage or counsel” a woman to have an abortion, except where her life was in danger.

The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri struck down the above provisions, and prohibited their enforcement. This decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which ruled that above provisions violated Roe v. Wade and later Supreme Court decisions. William L. Webster, then Missouri Attorney General, appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. It was argued before the Court on April 26, 1989.

The Supreme Court’s decision

The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the lower court, stating that:

1)The court did not need to consider the constitutionality of the law’s preamble, as it is not used to justify any abortion regulation otherwise invalid under Roe v. Wade.

2)The prohibitions on the use of public employees, facilities, and funds did not violate any of the Court’s abortion decisions, as no affirmative right to the use of state aid for nontherapeutic abortions existed.

3)The state could allocate resources in favor of childbirth over abortion if it so chose.
Provisions requiring testing for viability after 20 weeks of pregnancy were constitutional, but those limiting abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy were unconstitutional.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webster_v._Reproductive_Health_Services

md

February 24th, 2012
7:59 pm

Me thinks someone has some issues…..

Towncrier

February 24th, 2012
8:01 pm

“Maybe Americans recognize politicians are extreme when they use deceit to argue otherwise, in Washington or here.”

I sure hope so, Kyle. It sure doesn’t seem all that hard to detect and expose their disingenuousness. Good piece. You represent a good counter to Jay on a lot of issues.