Thursday, January 29, 2009

Complete Block On Facts

Included in the stimulus bill originally was a measure to give $200 million for family planning services. The myth that has been spun around this proposal has taken over the media, which has mindlessly repeated accusations from the right wing. President Obama took out the proposal, as it was being used to present the entire stimulus package as liberal wedging of its 'agenda' into the very real emergency of our economic crisis.

The revulsion of many liberal bloggers that has resulted appears to me to be somewhat unrealistic. There are large numbers of the membership of the evangelicals who are unable to see past the 'right to life' mantra that has been propagated by many of its leaders, a mantra that does not allow members to think clearly on the issue. President Obama has been in the black church, which like the southern and other rural churches, has a high proportion of those who cling tenaciously to the myth that life is a touchstone of believers, and that any deviation is betrayal of the church and therefore the community. This is something that has been used by the right wing politicians for eight years, and will take some major enlightenment to unravel. It isn't something that the stimulus bill can take on, and work for the U.S. public. When President Obama removed this as a stumbling block, he did the U.S. working people a large favor.

Reading an article at, I encountered the effective use of the Big Lie that the wingers have so thoroughly developed. As if it were absolute truth, the CNN report says:

Republicans point to appropriations like $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $20 million for sodding the National Mall, $400 million for climate change research and $200 million for contraception programs as "longstanding liberal spending priorities," according to Pence.

Congressional leaders are now dropping the provision that would have provided $200 million worth of contraceptives to low-income families, according to a senior administration official and a Democratic official on Capitol Hill.

I know, and I can hear readers spluttering, unfortunately futilely, that the right wing has as usual substituted propaganda for the facts. The voluntary family planning services in the stimulus bill were not $200 million worth of contraceptives. In fact, family planning services produce more than $4 in savings for every $1 of assistance to families. This, however, is not reported by media, because it is not an easily phrased, easily presented, glib banner that the left can babble, and expect the press to catch on. It is rational. It is factual. It is thoughtful, even nuanced. For the time being, that is not going to carry a desperately needed rescue package.

It would be nice if the oppositional right wing were interested in the public interest. They have proved for twelve years as the dominant party, and now are insisting in their own internal communications, that this country's survival is not their concern. Even in public the wingers are letting it be known that they are working for the stimulus to fail.

Family planning can be brought along separately, and is not an emergency. While it is infuriating that the right wing has no conscience, and that the media has no capacity for discerning the lies they are being fed, right now we need to save a very threatened economy. If we insist on holding onto every item, just because it is right, we will be doing the public a disservice. That isn't what we do.

For now, family planning will take a back seat. Unlike the wingers, we will not throw baby, and granny, out with the bathwater, though. We can work for rational policies, and President Obama has begun that very activity. Family planning is on the table, not on the coathanger, in this administration.

A return to economic viability has to happen for the country before it can be led back to rational government.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is about as good of a take on the withdrawal of the $200 million portion of the stimulus package as I have read anywhere, and it is a take that I largely agree with. Although I share in the revulsion felt by many on the left, I also think Obama Et Al cannot allow the brain dead portion of the media to endlessly loop the abortion "specter" as being part and parcel of the current stimulus package.

I am hopeful that a time will soon arrive when a family planning legislation package can be thoroughly debated in both bodies and then sent on to the President. Of course, we will see the same lies presented as fact, but a separate and dedicated process is naturally more open to challengingly the lies, and to the media getting it "right."

12:52 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Thanks. I think the emergency the economy represents can be understood pretty easily as unemployment goes into double digits. Not that the wingers will easily give up their Obstructionism, or see reality.

3:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home