Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Wrong Fight

Looking back on it, Obamacare was inevitable, because President Obama made it so.  Regardless of the hurdles, the absurdities of the Democrats, the rage of the Republicans and the dollars of the corporations, he was going to exert every ounce of his power and determination until the Affordable Care Act happened.

Likewise, I believe that at some point Planned Parenthood will be defunded.  Roe v. Wade has been red meat for stupid people since it happened in 1973; politicians and corporations have been tossing it to them knowing it would guarantee power.  It took little time to create the shorthand equating Planned Parenthood with abortion with baby-killing.

Until we want our reproductive freedom more than the crazy people want to deny us, we will continue to roll down that hill to the inevitable crash.

Because the fight is not about what is rational.  Whoever organized the surveillance, the editing and distorting of the tapes and the gradual and cleverly planned distribution over the internet and feeding of the media, knew that facts had nothing to do with their cause.  Just as the ACORN blitzkrieg was orchestrated during the 2008 election season, the Planned Parenthood demolition was scheduled for the current presidential election season.  Whether PP is taken down or not, all the buzz is about the nonchalance over killing babies, and the money scandal is just the topping (the ironic cherry if you will) on the icky mess.

We may have candidates like Bernie and Hillary that can win despite this mammoth publicity stunt, but Planned Parenthood will have to continue to fight until the day our not-so-mighty Congress glady (republican) or timidly (democrat) vote to defund.  Possibly even worse, Democrats will give in to budget cuts, destroying Planned Parenthood with a death by a thousand cuts.  Which has already begun.

When you Google Planned Parenthood, today the news headline is that "due to the increased questions" about PP, a major human tissue firm has cut ties.  After the Wikipedia entry and PP's own Stand with Planned Parenthood page comes "Planned Parenthood Exposed".  Then our own NPR, itself under constant siege, grabs readers with Ben Carson's accusation on for-god's-sake Fox News that Planned Parenthood is an attempt to control the poor black population.  Like he cares.  But if Fox News can play the "Fair and Balanced" game, so can NPR.

While Planned Parenthood is fighting for its life, and trying to fight while appearing not to lose its head, why are the rest of us debating this bullshit?  I've heard Democrats calmly talk about the indiscretion of the PP employees caught on the doctored tape, or wondering why opponents just don't understand the importance of fetal tissue in health research, or defending PP because of course they are not "selling" fetal tissue for profit.  And then there is the fact that abortion is a legal procedure, which at this point in our fragile existence is the staunches defense being presented.

Bullshit.  The reason the anti-abortion brigade is not swayed by reason is because this is not about reason.  Some holding the pitchforks are screaming "god" and "faith."  Others are outraged about tax dollars whether or not they are being used on abortions because, well, they are being used for poor people.  And then of course there are those who spit out "Planned Parenthood" the way they mutter "Obama."

Fact is, we should leave the rational arguments to Planned Parenthood.  What we should be fighting about is the sneaking, spying, lying and conniving being done to this organization.  If the government was doing it, it would be considered entrapment and thrown out.  But because it is not a government investigation which would theoretically have to follow rules of ethics, this campaign of deceit is allowed to proceed, unquestioned and unchecked, cheered on by right-wing politicians, to annihilate another lifeline to women.

And we can count on the media to lead with the headlines provided by this sleazy front, without wasting time or money to investigate this attack on this women's health care organization.

So we are left with nonsense, but nonsense filled with incendiary words and accusations that will be repeated throughout the coming year.  The threat of losing Planned Parenthood will be another of those battles we must waste time chasing rather than attacking the corporations that have bought our politicians and our country.

This fight is ugly.  There are no rules.  As long as we attempt to be reasonable we are going to slowly but inevitably lose.  We should be outraged.  Men should be outraged that their families are being assaulted.  Women should be in a fury over the attempt to control their bodies; the attempt to end Planned Parenthood is a symbol, because once that goes the battle to end not just abortion but birth control will proceed with full speed, the warriors vitalized.  And that tool Ben Carson has it half right:  it is about poor African Americans, but it is his side that is destroying their lives and livelihoods.  It is about women -- and men -- being unable to determine their financial security, to care for themselves and their families, to pursue college and career without fear of disruption.  It is about a woman not having to cower when she is attacked, but being able to fight back and take back control of her life.  It is about not having to hide in the shadows, living hand to mouth, and it is about not having to go back to the back-alley abortions, coat hangers and poisons of the days before Roe v. Wade.

It is about unlawful surveillance, it is about lying and misrepresentation, the weasels responsible for it and the media that repeats the lies.  We have let our legislators get away with proposing to invade our privacy at a time when those same legislators are defending the right to carry a gun without restriction.  We have been moving toward ever greater surveillance and threats to a woman's right to live in her body without interference while guns can be carried without fear of reprisal.

I am not going to be arguing about whether those conversations should have happened, doctored or not.  It is the surveillance and lying that should not have happened.  These are the crimes that should be investigated and prosecuted.

We lost ACORN and the enemies of our freedom said, "Job well done."  We may not lose Planned Parenthood right away.  Hillary may be defending it today.  But over time, when the screams and threats of the attackers get louder rather than subside, even Hillary will make concessions to the rage and the hatred.  Because it is scary and it doesn't stop.

I hope I am wrong, but I am not seeing the outrage and passion we need to win this war.  Our elected officials need to join us in getting as apoplectic about the invasion of privacy in affairs of women's reproduction as republicans throwing red meat out at those voyeurs who harass women in front of abortion clinics. 

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