The GOP’s Dangerous Sex Addiction

Shock the Donkey

Republicans are addicted to sex. And when I say this I’m not referring to the likes of David Vitter, John Ensign, Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Newt Gingrich and Mark Sanford, among many others. At least those men have been honest enough to act on their sexual urges. I’m talking about the legions of right-wing politicians and voters who are addicted to dark, private, obsessive thoughts about sex, and who devote so much energy to brooding about the sex lives of others.

An addiction is defined as a physical or emotional need that is all-consuming, almost impossible to resist, and has enough negative consequences to cause significant difficulties in one’s life. Consider what the Republican party is prepared to sacrifice in order to feed its addiction. They just came within a hair of shutting down the government—and thereby destroying their standing with independent voters—in order to defund Planned Parenthood, of all things. They are prepared to significantly weaken the military over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. They are rapidly losing credibility with the public over their intractable opposition to gay marriage. And yet their addiction drives them onward in a self-destructive orgy of indulgence.

Of course, Republicans will tell you none of these issues are related to sex at all; they are about “the sanctity of life” and “Christian morality.” But the facts simply do not bear this out.

First, let’s look at the issue of babies born through in vitro fertilization. Experts estimate that more than 250,000 babies are born through IVF in the US every year and because the whole process can be lengthy, difficult and often hit-or-miss, an average of ten fertilized embryos need to be created from supplied sperm and harvested ova for every successful live birth. That means over two million viable embryos annually are either destroyed during the laboratory process or discarded afterwards. An additional 400,000 embryos are being stored in fertility clinics at any given moment, almost all of which will also be eventually discarded. In fact, more fertilized embryos are routinely destroyed at fertility clinics than are “murdered” at abortion clinics. But do we see Republicans furiously picketing fertility clinics or presenting bills in Congress to get them shut down? Of course we don’t. And what is the difference? Those aborted fetuses were created not in petri dishes but in the course of sexual activity. The difference is sex.

What about contraception? Reason and common sense would dictate that the single most effective way to reduce the number of abortions and thus preserve the “sanctity of life” would be to make effective contraception more readily available to everybody. But congressional Republicans are also opposed to the provision of contraception. Their most recent salvo in the war on contraception was Bill H.R. 538, which attempted to undo the provisions of the Affordable Care Act regarding contraception. Bill H.R. 538 contained a loophole allowing states to exempt any insurance plan from a requirement under the Affordable Care Act that insurance plans cover birth control or any other essential health benefits if complying is against its—the health insurance plan’s—“moral convictions.” Also, 35% of Planned Parenthood’s activities involve provision of, and counseling about birth control (as opposed to 3% which involves abortion services.) How could any person who is strongly opposed to abortion also have “moral convictions” that oppose birth control? It seems like a baffling contradiction until you realize it’s not about abortion at all…it’s all about controlling sex.

Finally, let’s look at the Republican stance on gay rights. All of their literature, including their party platform, says they remain committed to equal rights for all Americans. Yet they continue to oppose (and attempt to forbid through legislation) the right of gay people to serve openly in the military or marry the ones they love. They persist in this policy even though their opposition puts them squarely on the wrong side of both public opinion as well as history. Polls show that 75% of Americans support the repeal of DADT and 61% of people born after 1980 see “nothing wrong with gay marriage.” Consider this position for a moment. Republicans support all the “human rights” of gay people, but oppose open service and gay marriage. Why? Because “rights” are an abstract concept relating to what a person is. Open service and gay marriage constitute an active, public, legal acceptance of what that person does. The difference is SEX.

Here's looking at you, kid

The Republican party’s dark addiction to the idea of sex, and their compulsive need to constantly be thinking about and meddling in the sex lives of others, makes it impossible for them to let go of these issues, get on with the business of sensible governance, and allow their fellow citizens to live in peace. Like all addictions, it is costing them dearly and will inevitably lead to their downfall if they can’t somehow get it under control.

Republicans simply can’t win on this one. They are fighting against an immutable, unstoppable force. Political parties may rise, ideology may fall, but sex…that’s inevitable.


About filistro

Filistro is a Canadian writer and prairie dog who maintains burrows on both sides of the 49th parallel. Like all prairie dogs, she is keenly interested in politics and language. (Prairie dogs have been known to build organized towns the size of Maryland, and are the only furry mammal with a documented language.)
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39 Responses to The GOP’s Dangerous Sex Addiction

  1. ” And yet their addiction drives them onward in a self-destructive orgy of indulgence.”

    Great comment and a great post!

  2. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    And the roots of this?

    1968 – Nixon/Thurmond “Southern Strategy” that began the process of the movement of the GOP into the Old South and the eventual concentration of it into the South and Western Plains.

    1980 – Reagan welcoming and encouragement of the Christian Right into the GOP

    The Southern muleheadedness as exemplified by it’s devotion to the “old ways”, “honor” and “duty”. The old Scots-Irish devotion to the tenets of Knox’s Presbyterianism. The “rightness” of the cause.

    Proverbs 11:29 applies to the modern-day GOP as the result.

  3. Mr. Universe says:

    I have to apologize to anyone offended by the photo. Filistro did not choose it. We did. But on the topic of sex we just couldn’t resist the imagery of an elephant (Republican) trying to screw a donkey (Democrat). We had a debate about it but decided the shock value was worth it.

  4. filistro says:

    @Mr U.. I have to apologize to anyone offended by the photo.

    If anybody is “offended” by a harmless image of animals engaging in mock sexual activity, I’ll bet they’re Republican. Attitudes like that hark back to Victorian days when pianos were draped with shawls lest the sight of the piano legs inflame evil passions… and it was considered “indecent” for books by male and female authors to be shelved next to each other.

  5. filistro says:

    When I submitted this article, Michael and I had a brief discussion about it. He took mild exception to my statement about Ensign, Vitter et al, that “at least they’re honest” about their sexual urges.

    Michael, who is a very upright guy, felt there was nothing “honest” about talking “family values” to get elected and then behaving like a hound in your private life.

    Of course he’s right… but that’s not the point of my argument. My point is that a person’s sex life is that person’s business and nobody else’s. If the excesses of these guys are tolerated by their families and their constituents, then what they do in their private sex lives is no business of mine.

    Only the deeply obsessed spend their time thinking about (and trying to control) the sex lives of other people.

  6. filistro says:

    Hmmm… none of our righties seem disposed to comment. I guess maybe they are offended by the naughty picture.

    Actually (as always) I’m most interested in the WHY. What accounts for the Republican obsession with sex?

    Is it just an artifact of repression? Or is it because control is a primary attribute of the authoritarian nature, and sexual control is the ultimate in authoritarianism?

    My personal theory is that it all harks back to overly-harsh potty-training, but I am open to other arguments 🙂

  7. TakingAmes says:

    I agree with Max. It was the entrance of the authoritarian “Christian” right into the right-wing political world that begat this obsession with controlling how other people have sex. Obviously, it’s absurd for Newtie, Larry, Diaper Dave, and any number of Florida legislators to lecture the rest of us on family values. When they can explain to me why visiting prostitutes, soliciting for gay sex in an airport bathroom/Florida park, or cheating on your terminally ill wife with a younger woman (twice!) is less harmful to marriage and family values than two men who have a loving, monogamous relationship and are raising children together, I might listen, but they can’t.

  8. drfunguy says:

    Filistro
    I enjoyed this post but I think that when we discuss the rights of gay individuals it is worthwhile to point out that they are not secure in their homes or jobs. Absent state law to the contrary one can legally be evicted or fired for no other reason than sexual orientation. Marriage and military service are emotional red herrings to distract from the magnitude of permitted discrimination.

  9. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    fili, I regretfully find it necessary to point out an error on your comment about that person’s business and nobody else’s”.

    In truth, it is at least one other person’s business (unless you are PeeWee Herman), and occasionally two, maybe even three or four others. But, outside that circle of those, shall we say, intimately involved, it IS no one else’s.

    Particularly the spouse, in the event they are not one of the intimately involved, and there is no pre-nup considering such.

  10. filistro says:

    @Doc… good point.

    Living in Canada, one tends to forget there are other places that are governed by darker and less benevolent ideological forces…. and not all of them are in the Middle East.

  11. Mule Rider says:

    If this site hadn’t already jumped the shark, it did with this post. One big empty diatribe that uses a few trivial facts to make a set of warped, broadstroke conclusions about Republicans/conservatives, and then, to top it all off, fili has the nerve to jump into the comment stream and insinuate the conservative-leaners here are too cowardly/ashamed/afraid/uncomfortable/etc. to comment with this gem (“Hmmm… none of our righties seem disposed to comment.”), completely glossing over the fact that the article was just posted earlier today and most of us are just barely entering the waking hours of our day and probably haven’t even had time to read it. You really are just like an attention-starved toddler, aren’t you?

    Seriously, is this indicative of the quality of this site? Are posts like this the kind of tone you want to set and have a discussion around? Seriously? Because I can tell you that I want no part of it, and I have a feeling that my level-headed compadres on the right side of the aisle probably don’t either. This ain’t “reasonable political discourse”; it’s a bunch of 5th grade schoolchildren giggling over farts and boogers.

    I’m out until y’all can prove you want to have a serious discussion about something….hell, anything!

  12. filistro says:

    I still don’t know why sexual rigidity and immaturity (which are really two sides of the same coin) are so endemic among the far right wing.

    The Freepers have the sexual maturity of 10-year old boys. Whenever they dislike any politician of either party, they accuse him of being “gay.” (Their abuse of poor Lindsay Graham along those lines is simply horrific.) And the entire Palin obsession is nothing more than blatantly juvenile sexual fetishism.

  13. filistro says:

    So Muley… why do YOU think Republicans aren’t out picketing fertility clinics where live embryos are destroyed every day?

    Why are Republican legislators introducing bills that limit provision of contraception?

    Just curious. These things are puzzling. If they’re not all about trying to control sexual activity, what on earth ARE they about?

  14. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Without re-inventing the wheel, I fall back on Sen. James Webb’s excellent book Born Fighting on the influence of the Scots-Irish in America. Quotes are his. Page references are from the paperback edition.

    “Organized religion led by strong ministers was the backbone of the communities,for without it (as later decades proved), many would simply regress into the decadence and spiritual emptiness of the wilderness. Just as important, the churches became vital centers of religious, social and even political activity. From these pulpits, decade after decade, strong men preached about the power of the individual, decried the evil of the government that interposed itself between God and man.” (pg 156)

    In referencing Whitelaw Reid, Webb writes: “The Puritan did not seek a new world to establish liberty of conscience-far from it. He only sought a world where he could impose his own conscience on everybody else . . . He only sought freedom for himself. (pg 161)

    On Knox and the Calvinists: “There were to be only two sacraments, baptism and Holy Communion. Every individual was to be held responsible for his own actions, and the church elders would be fierce in in enforcing notions of “godly discipline”. And as harbinger of things to come when America’s Bible Belt hit full swing, sexual misconduct of all kinds would rank high among those offences inviting such “godly discipline”. (pg 85)

    These few examples sound familiar today?
    Churches in political activity
    Impose their conscience on everybody else, only seeking freedom for himself
    Sexual misconduct ranking at the top of the list.

    If you have not yet read Born Fighting you are missing a keen insight to the influences that began a couple of millennia ago, strengthened by centuries of conflict and armored by religious fervor, that prevail in America of the 21st century.

  15. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Mule ONCE AGAIN falls back on umbrage and <i?ad hominem to attack without providing any “serious discussion” that he loves to rail about.

    It begs the question if Mule has any idea what serious discussion actually is, as he NEVER truly provides any!

    Does the points made in my last comment fit the Mule to any degree? Hmmmm.

  16. mclever says:

    @filistro

    Most men (regardless of political persuasion) have the sexual maturity of 10-year-old boys. 😉

    I’ve met many a macho liberal who thinks more with his little head than with his big one. While the attitude may be more prevalent on the Republican side of the aisle, it’s not an exclusively right-wing phenomenon. Even rich superstars like Kobe Bryant can think of nothing worse than a gay slur (to the tune of $100,000 fine) when upset…

    In my opinion, from having talked with family members who hew the conservative line, some of the objectification is due to dated gender-role expectations that make it OK to objectify women who aren’t home cooking, cleaning, and watching the kids. People are expected to conform to (old) social norms, and those that don’t are viewed with skepticism, mistrust, and disgust.

    For example, boys who like pink are bad, and even magazine articles about a mom painting her kid’s toenails will get an uproar of allegedly “blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.” What?

    To me, that’s stunning, considering that the association of pink with girls and blue with boys is less than 100 years old. (A Ladies’ Home Journal article in June 1918 said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls.”) It’s all about forcing defined sexualization as young as possible, which is actually a relatively new sociological phenomenon. Remember the picture of young FDR in a dress and golden curls? Today, people would accuse his parents of trying to “turn him gay.”

    From what I remember reading, the height of forced gender specificity on young children was during the 1940s and 1950s, when baby boomers were young children. That’s when the current pink/blue dichotomy began. And that’s when little girls and boys began dressing like their parents rather than like little kids. Since then, there’s been some push back as we try to free little girls from being confined by gender stereotypes, but we haven’t seen the same efforts to free little boys. It’s still bad for a boy to show any signs of femininity or to experiment with dress-up as anything other than a fireman or cowboy.

    Hence, (almost) all men remain sexual 10-year-olds.

  17. shortchain says:

    mclever,

    Sorry, but if all men remain sexual 10-year-olds, then all 10-year-olds have the sexual attitudes of 70-year-olds.

    I don’t have the same attitude I had toward sexual issues I had when I was 10 (none–at that age, girls had cooties) Pretty much the same since I was 17, though.

    Anyway, this isn’t a gender-distinction issue. I know a local right-wing lady with whom I’ve had many a conversation, and for her it’s all about undeserving people getting something for nothing. Whether it’s the opportunity to enjoy life or the ability to control their own destiny, her attitude was that they didn’t deserve it. Since I didn’t know the same people, I cannot comment on whether or not they did.

    Her most severe criticism was generally aimed at the women who were getting away with something. Maybe she expected it of the men, considering her conservative upbringing.

    And I think Muley’s problem with this post is the pictorial representation of interspecies sex, and we should cut him a break on this sensitive issue.

  18. mclever says:

    @shortchain

    I agree that Mule Rider’s problem probably isn’t the picture. 🙂

    I was simplifying to make my point about how we view gender identification in young children may be impacting how we view sex and gender issues today, especially considering that the phenomenon of dressing children in gender-specific clothing is relatively new. I was abusing a gender stereotype (about men being immature) to make my point about how we (even liberals) all embrace gender stereotypes, sometimes so subconsciously that we don’t even realize it.

    Sorry if it wasn’t clear that my tongue was planted firmly in cheek. No, not that cheek…

  19. Whatevs says:

    And I think Muley’s problem with this post is the pictorial representation of interspecies sex, and we should cut him a break on this sensitive issue.

    OUCH! Dayumn, dude.

  20. Mule Rider says:

    Now see, fili, was that so bad? All you had to do was pose your questions in a rational manner and express some curiousity for the Republican/conservative mindset around social issues, and specifically the subset that relates to sex. It was a bit unnecessary to go off on a rant about “obsessions over sex” and then make a series of warped conclusions based on trivial facts/evidence.

    “So Muley… why do YOU think Republicans aren’t out picketing fertility clinics where live embryos are destroyed every day?”

    I don’t think most people – and this includes many on the left – see this as one and the same as the abortion of a live and growing fetus. It’s a different psychology. Plus, I’d bet most people don’t have a clue about the sheer numbers of embryos that are destroyed each day/week/year in clinics by people trying to get help getting pregnant that way. But back to my original point, and this is the dividing line, those people are trying to get pregnant and, here’s the kicker, STAY pregnant. They want to create life. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t understand all the biology and science behind IVF and what is and is not created/destroyed/etc., but I do know about intent. And I do know that people who value unborn life and protecting it see a big difference between a careless/reckless/irresponsible woman who got knocked up by her own negligence and just want’s the baby that resulted to “go away” because it’s “convenient” and a couple really trying to bring a new life into this world and, in doing so, may use up a few of the “building blocks” they’ve been given as collateral damage.

    “Why are Republican legislators introducing bills that limit provision of contraception?”

    Some of the antipathy towards contraception baffles me, especially when people try and restrict it to consenting adults, but I’d argue it’s not a majority of people, or even Republicans, that want the most stringent restrictions on contraception. I think some people might be afraid that the more pervasive contraception is, the more likely it will force discussions of sex onto children at a tender young age, and that is a legitimate fear. But I think opposition to birth control, in the sense of outlawing it or making it very hard to source if you’re a consenting adult, is very limited.

    “Just curious. These things are puzzling. If they’re not all about trying to control sexual activity, what on earth ARE they about?”

    I could just as easily ask, with all of the liberal-backed “green” initiatives, if it’s not about trying to control how I travel or my modes of transportation, then what on earth is it about? You might say the environment, but I’d argue that all of the proposed EPA regulations/taxes regarding fossil fuels have much more of a tangible impact on how (or what?) I drive, where I go, etc. than what I can see from an environmental standpoint. So I think it’s a matter of perspective. While you might see this as all coming back to “sex” because that seems to be the common theme, I think the answer is much more nuanced than that.

  21. filistro says:

    One of the more delightful things to come out of the whole Planned Parenthod debacle was Jon Kyl’s statement on the Senate floor that “90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions”…followed by the hilarious announcement from his staff that “Senator Kyl’s words were not intended to be a factual statement.”

    That, of course, was pure fodder for Stephen Colbert who started the hashtag, “not intended to be a factual statement,” which is still drawing thousands of contributions. Some of the best can be found here.

    My favorites:

    Jon Kyl’s knees bend both ways. He’s part racehorse. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

    On weekends, Jon Kyl shoots manatees with paintball guns. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

    Legally, Jon Kyl cannot be within 100 yards of Helen Mirren. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

    Jon Kyl is one of Gaddafi’s sexy female ninja guards. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

  22. mclever,
    The historical stuff is true, as far as I know, but I don’t see how it leads to men remaining sexual 10-year-olds. Especially since we don’t have evidence that men were more mature sexually a century ago…do we?

  23. TakingAmes says:

    There actually is a (small-ish) conservative backlash against IVF becuase of the destroyed embryos. Remember the Snowflake kids that GWB trotted out whenever he wanted a good photo op? They were “adopted” as unused embryos resulting from IVF. And there are always legislators in Georgia (mah home stet) trying to limit IVF, whether it’s the number of embryos created at any one shot or whatever. So it is there.

  24. dcpetterson says:

    As someone interested in history, I’m fascinated by gender roles and how we view them.

    There seems to be a common meme today that men are obsessed with sex. In the Middle Ages, the European view held the reverse — that women are all sex addicts, constantly demanding sex from men, who wanted nothing more than to engage in intellectual pursuits (obviously, this meme could only be held by the gentry who had time to even consider the meaning of a phrase like “intellectual pursuits” — but they’re the ones who were writing the books at the time).

    Shakespeare’s plays have men crying and embracing each other and professing their love for each other quite often. Many of our founding fathers were quite the dandies. Have you ever seen that many frills on any modern woman? And what’s with the wigs?

    Anyway, I’m frequently amazed at the conservatives who want smaller government, but think it’s okay to have sodomy laws or to require parental notification for teenagers to end a pregnancy. There seems to be a disconnect there that can, as Filistro points out, only be explained by an obsession with sex.

  25. Mule,
    While I’m sure that not all Republicans, or all Tea Partiers, or all whatevers are opposed to contraception, I don’t see modern Democrats introducing anti-contraception (proception?) legislation. I do see it from multiple Republicans. So what explains this?

  26. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    The questions of men and their intellectual ages, and which head they think with, begs the question as to why the women of the GOP have the same fixation. It does nothing to explain the political positions of the Palin, Blackburn, Bachmann, etc. crowd.

    Unless someone can come up with a good argument in refutation, I can’t go along with the gender-centric theory, and continue to hold to the one I posit above.

    Excellent, Mule! I had suspicions that you had it in you, just buried deep down under the vitriol. Keep it up! I was beginning to grow tired of the prodding I was having to do.

  27. Mule Rider says:

    “….require parental notification for teenagers to end a pregnancy.”

    And you don’t see the Pandora’s box that could be opened up if the State is there to shield teenagers’ decision-making, especially concerning something of this magnitude, from the scrutiny of parents that are of a legal age?

    “I do see it from multiple Republicans. So what explains this?”

    @Michael,

    Fair enough. And all I can say as an answer is ideology. Look, that there is a portion/segment of the Republican Party that feels very strongly and is trying to alter the social contruct in a manner they see fit. I don’t necessarily agree with them – although there is some overlap in how we view the world – but then again, I don’t consider myself a Republican. But the door swings both ways; I see some things being introduced from the Democratic camp from time to time that I feel is very antithetical to the freedoms this country was founded upon, particularly from an economic perspective. And it really makes me wonder what’s their motivation….or “obsession,” if you will. And I often ask myself what explains their line of thinking….guess it’s the same as these “sex-obsessed Republicans”; just ideologically driven to enact policies they see right because of their worldview but that much of the rest of society doesn’t really endorse.

  28. dcpetterson says:

    @Mule
    And you don’t see the Pandora’s box that could be opened up if the State is there to shield teenagers’ decision-making, especially concerning something of this magnitude, from the scrutiny of parents that are of a legal age? “….require parental notification for teenagers to end a pregnancy.”

    Slippery-slope arguments are always, well, slippery. My point was that it seems inconsistent to want “smaller government” and to rail about “taking away our liberties” (as recent Teapers tend to do) and yet also want government to poke into Americans’ most private matters. I commented on that inconsistency.

    The question of whether it is a good idea to require parental notification is a different matter, and one worthy of reasoned discussion. But if this “smaller government” argument is going to be used as a a First Principle for everything from cutting taxes to de-funding health care and NPR to eliminating the EPA and privatizing Social Security, then it seems odd to not use “smaller government” as an argument to repeal DOMA and to stay out of decisions about ending pregnancies.

  29. Mule,
    Parental notification laws have some complicated side effects. For most things that a parent decides, the minor can choose to reverse that decision at the age of majority. If a parent refuses to allow the minor to have an abortion, the onus is not on the parent to raise the new child; it is on the minor who is about to become a parent herself. It is for this reason that I have serious reservations about such laws.

    As for your ideology answer, you hit the nail on the head. [T]here is a portion/segment of the Republican Party that feels very strongly and is trying to alter the social contruct in a manner they see fit. I don’t mind that they feel very strongly, but I do mind that they feel strongly enough that they are willing to dismantle the Constitution in order to achieve that social construct alteration.

    You refer to some Democratic proposals that you consider to be of a similar bent. Yes, there are some who believe that a carefully thought out centralized program will perfectly solve some given societal woe. Many such programs will fail due to some unforseen (or ignored) factor, and it is very hard to change such large programs as we learn and as society evolves. And the more proscriptive the program, the less I like it, for that very reason. Perhaps it’s because of where I sit on the political spectrum, but I don’t see that the Democratic element is causing anywhere near as much social, political, or economic damage as the Republican counterpart…at least in the post-Johnson era.

  30. Mule Rider says:

    “Perhaps it’s because of where I sit on the political spectrum, but I don’t see that the Democratic element is causing anywhere near as much social, political, or economic damage as the Republican counterpart…at least in the post-Johnson era.”

    Not sure what it says about me or where I sit on the political spectrum, but I don’t see either the Democratic or Republican parties doing much to forestall social and economic decay in this country. And I really can’t see enough difference to say on’es “better” or “worse” than the other, for what it’s worth. For every wrong-headed and destructive goal of Republicans (like giving a platform to the neo-cons to keep military bases in every corner of the world and go to war pretty much on a whim), I can come up with one of Democrats (like creating a dependent subclass of people; exempliifed by a 13% and growing share of the population on food stamps) that is unsustainable and destructive in its own way.

    Not to be a Debbie-downer, but if our fate is left to these two major parties and their leaders, we’re all f***ed….

  31. Mule,
    It’s not a good idea to use the current numbers of people on forms of welfare as a guide to long-term trends, unless you go with more of an apples-to-apples comparison. Compare 2007 to 1999, for example. I don’t know what you’ll find, by the way. I haven’t looked it up yet.

    I really have a hard time seeing that Democrats want to create a dependent subclass of people. To the extent that it’s a result, it’s an unintentional one. But it’s clear to me that the original ideas of Great Society need some reevaluating in order to wean people off. Even so, that’s a far cry from simply dismantling them with the expectation that everyone sinks or swims on their own. We’ve tried that in the past, and the results were not pretty.

  32. dcpetterson says:

    So, the Tea Party Republicans voted against the budget compromise agreement. It only passed because of the number of Democrats who voted for it.

    Republicans in the House cannot pass a reasonable bill unless Boehner gets House Democrats to vote for it.

    He should abandon the Tea Party caucus entirely and start to actually govern. I bet he won’t, though.

  33. JC2 says:

    @Michael-

    “I really have a hard time seeing that Democrats want to create a dependent subclass of people. To the extent that it’s a result, it’s an unintentional one. But it’s clear to me that the original ideas of Great Society need some reevaluating in order to wean people off. Even so, that’s a far cry from simply dismantling them with the expectation that everyone sinks or swims on their own. We’ve tried that in the past, and the results were not pretty.”

    I can imagine a strategy to accomplish the goal of strengthening the subclass you speak of in order to “wean them off”. Many would dismiss it as utopian. Such a strategy would require an effort and expense tantamount to fighting a full scale war: As a nation we could pick an entire generation of children as a starting point and make sure every member is given a superb primary education beginning at the pre-school level. Follow that with a good secondary education; then there must be an adequate number of jobs that paying a living wage for these citizens once grown and educated. Finally there must be available housing and a health care system capable of providing quality care, both at an affordable cost.

    Initially expensive and difficult to implement, I believe such a strategy would eventually pay dividends way beyond the sunk costs.

  34. JC2,
    Once upon a time, our nation believed in such superb public education (albeit mostly for caucasians), driven by fear of Russians. We have yet to have the same fear of the Chinese, though I personally feel it would be warranted. Few things get us to rally like a common enemy, sadly.

    I’m a big proponent of very high quality education. We aren’t providing it in the US these days, and I’m not sure either political party has the will to do what is truly necessary to address it.

  35. JC2 says:

    @Michae

    As a country we really should be afraid of any and every nation state who declares and acts upon an intention to surpass the USA in education, especially in hard sciences. These countries are purporting a form of perfectly fair and non-violent warfare that is, in many ways more powerful than a military invasion. It takes longer but is without the debilitating immediate costs to society.

  36. teevagirl says:

    I sit and awe the conversation. I remember the abortion wars. I see them again. To me it is so simple. This is MY body, it is my private property. PERIOD.

  37. teevagirl says:

    Thank you for the lovely green quilt.

  38. Mr. Universe says:

    @teevagirl

    Our pleasure, though it’s a random thing. You can pick your own if you’d like.

  39. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    After a day to think about the shock value:

    As the Editor said: “Dog bites man”. THAT’S no headline! “Man bites dog”. That’s a headline.”

    Elephant humps donkey. Not really shocking. But,

    The li’l burro humping the pachyderm, now THAT would have shock value!

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