Thursday, July 22, 2010

Andrew Breitbart is a dick. That's the only thing I want you to take from this post.

I don't really know what to say about this whole Shirley Sherrod nonsense. There are so many underlying issues with the whole story that one could probably write a book about it. So where does one begin?

Do I lament the continued success story of right-wing smear campaigns to gain credibility in our media? Do I snarkily point out the strange insistence of people to give a white guy known for putting out maliciously edited videos in the past the benefit of the doubt over a black woman speaking in front of the NAACP? Do I point out the tiresome pattern of weakness with the current administration when it comes to race issues (Latoya over at Racialious has already pointed out that the same week Sherrod was fired asked to step down looked at funny fired because of her comments on race, Joe Biden was out in the media sticking up for the Tea Party after the NAACP condemned their more racist elements). Or perhaps I should take a different angle on the White House, and point out that this situation is an example that proves what we’ve kind of guessed and feared already – they are scared shitless of the right wing media machine and will do anything to keep the flying monkeys at bay. Or perhaps I could talk about the problematic trend in the media to cover only what is already part of their conventional wisdom, such as the fact that a black lady hating on white farmers is a much more gripping story then say, racist signs from white Tea Party participants, or the continued feeding of the poor oppressed white people (AKA “real racism is calling people racist”) meme. Or maybe just do some navel-gazing and talk about how it’s making me pretty feel stabby, and everything I jotted down about it yesterday didn't seem fit to post on the blog (unhinged rants full of profanity and threats to stab people in the face usually aren't).

Anything I put out would be pretty meta at this point. So let’s just pick the first option and run with that.

So, I suppose I should be pleased with this outcome. Unlike the ACORN scandal, this was resolved in record time as far as news cycles go. And I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fun to watch Breitbart flail around desperately. Flailing people are hilarious. And Breitbart’s a total dick. Based on his reaction, I'm thinking he wasn't quite expecting the full video to be posted so soon. Which isn't a surprise, given his successful track record at leveraging out these scandals and playing on the public's forgetfulness. With ACORN, he owned the videos, and could refuse to release the unedited version; there was little anyone could do about it until the lawsuit subpoenaed their release. Which meant they weren't released until long after the scandal had passed and left a trail of devastation behind it, so people had stopped caring. But his god complex brought him down on this one, he didn't own this video, and the NAACP was able to release it within 24 hours of the edited videos hitting the news.

So Breitbart had to go on damage control, which has ranged from the ranting conspiracy theorist angle (insisting that the farmer's wife, who (along with her husband) came out in support of Sherrod was a "plant") to the absolute shameless tactic of expressing "sympathy" that the NAACP and Obama Administration has "made this about her" (after continually accusing her of being a racist and advocating for her resignation on and his Twitter feed). And the domino effect begins, because once dear leader has begun the backpedal, the conservative media that was all too willing to jump on that bandwagon had to follow suit, which is going to make this year's NRO cruise pretty awkward. They also have to find a way to condemn the fake story without stepping on Breitbart's toes, because Breitbart can get pretty emo and upset when he feels threatened (he yells angry things and it makes people sad). And now no one really knows what to do. So all in all, this is a fuck-up of fail whale proportions for the Breitbart empire and the right wing media that sucks at his teat.

Yet I can't find solace in this show, because this happy and joyous event didn't end up being the leading story of the day. That Breitbart's been caught red-handed in his latest race-baiting attempt is unimportant. That this is pretty much identical to what went down with ACORN and suggests a pattern with Breitbart and his minions deliberately duping the media and public at the expense of innocent people is unimportant. You know what is important? How Obama and the NAACP totally screwed over Shirley Sherrod. And it's also important to advise anyone getting uppity out there that the malicious hackery of Andrew Breitbart (if it is even mentioned) is totally understandable and defensible in light of the mean old NAACP picking on the poor oppressed Tea Partiers last week. Let that be a lesson to you, NAACP. Reasonable conservatives and media types, in a comically transparent attempt to wipe that giant yolk off their collective face, have decided that in order to reclaim justice for everyone they must ignore all other aspects of the story and instead hold the NAACP and the Obama administration's feet to the fire.

And the irony explodes and kills us all.

Not only did both the administration and the NAACP have the quickest reaction and apologize to Sherrod, it was the NAACP that had to release the full video. Now to be fair, this was something that these very concerned conservative news outlets didn’t have time to do, what with all the hand-wringing and fainting and all. But now that they see the error of their ways, we can relax, because the reasonable conservative media that initially pushed and hyped this story for such reasonable reasons, and would reasonably still be doing so if they hadn't been busted, has reasonably decided to disavow all responsibility, and instead reasonably point fingers elsewhere. That is the responsible thing to do, after all. And of course the rest of the media, you know, the liberal media, who are totally just as reasonable, has swallowed that lure whole and are choking gleefully on it, because the conventional wisdom is that Obama sucks, dammit, not that the right wing media are a bunch of hacks that shouldn't be given the time of day on serious media outlets. And everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief, because “Right-wingers rule and Obama drools” is much closer to the conventional wisdom the media invents and reports to us. If you shake up that narrative, everyone in the media becomes whiny and confused because to go against that narrative means that they might be wrong about things and that doesn't make sense since they are invited to all the cocktail parties.

And that's why I can't find much schadenfreude in this whole situation, even though it has the potential to be ripe with it. All I'm taking away from this is that even when the conservative media machine is at their absolute, tacky, lame-sway-backed-horse sucky worst, they are still incredibly successful at getting their narrative to dominate the media cycle. There was so much opportunity here. Because of its quick turnaround, we could have used this to call out the right-wing media for the race baiting, lying, pitchfork-carrying mob that they are (or maybe, you know, revisit the ACORN smear story, which cost not one, but thousands of jobs). And we could also point out that the media’s love of shiny things combined with their apparent lack to do things like, you know, check their sources or other such journalistic nonsense is serving the public poorly. And for fuck's sake, can we just get it out in the open that Breitbart is a complete asshole? I'll start. Andrew Breitbart is a race-baiting, ankle-biting, cowardly asshole of the first degree who should spend the rest of his days being punched repeatedly in the face. Rhetorically, of course.

Instead what we will take from this is that the Obama administration are suckers and the real racists are the NAACP because first they were applauding this woman, which was totally racist, then they were condemning this woman, which was totally racist. And the people move on to the next fake-outrage-scandal to scream over, like how building a mosque in New York is disrespectful or how they caught a liberal college professor posting on Journolist about crying when he watched Obama’s inauguration which proves…. Wait, what? Some dude cried? That’s a story? Is Obama supposed to… apologize to this guy too for making him cry? Fuck. I don’t even know what the hell these idiots are talking about anymore.

God, I can’t wait for all this stupid to manifest into the inevitable 24-hour, full-time, impeach-Obama-a-rama media frenzy coming next year if the Republicans take over the House this November. I'm stocking up on whiskey.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"If the reservoir casing is compromised, we’re fucked, end of story"

In case you are wondering what the deal is now with the supposedly contained oil leak in the gulf, and, like a lot of us, can't really find anything concrete in the news today, one of John Cole's followers sums it up pretty well: means that the entire oil reserve's casing might be collapsing. To give you a visual metaphor: they are currently trying to fix the plumbing in the bathroom, maybe stop the shower from leaking. What might be happening now amounts to the huge water main under the house breaking and causing the entire house to sink, bathroom and all.

The problem is that the well is deep underground and under high pressure, so once it springs a leak it just worms its way to the surface through a thousand crevices and makes them bigger and bigger over time. You can't "plug" them because… well, to use another metaphor, imagine you have a garden hose that's blocked by a pillow. Once the water works its way through the pillow and soaks through, you have water leaking from every fiber of the thing, and putting a little rubber patch on any given part of the pillow is really just pointless. This is why the government was worried about capping the well: it amounted to blocking the only escape route for the pressure, thereby forcing out of other little holes in the compromised reservoir, which as I said become bigger and bigger with time.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday post-co-worker-wedding-reception links

Ta-Nehisi Coates has been putting out some excellent pieces this week on the NAACP/Tea Party mash-up, because Ta-Nehisi Coates is pure awesome. I'm not going to quote, just link, because you should really read them all in their entirety. Coates has stressed the opinion that the NAACP is not in the wrong to issue a condemnation of the Tea Party's racist factions, and as usual, I agree with him. The racism in movement conservatism has been pointed out since these crowds started gathering at the McCain/Palin rallies of the last election. And every time, it's been greeted with complaints that it's just not fair to smear those that don't hold racist sentiments with the same brush and that it's unproductive to point out because it will only cause a backlash. But at what point does it become acceptable to call these groups out? Because if anything, I think the Tea Party has long passed that point.

Okay, maybe one quote, because this is just to great to pass up:

It's been asked in comments, a few times, what good has come of the NAACP's resolution. I would not endeavor to speak for anyone but myself when I say that I owe the NAACP a debt of gratitude. I have, in my writing, a tendency to become theoretically cute, and overly enamored with my own fair-mindedness. Such vanity has lately been manifested in the form of phrases like "it's worth saying" and "it strikes me that..." or "respectfully..."

When engaging your adversaries, that approach has its place. But it's worth saying that there are other approaches and other places. Among them--respectfully administering the occasional reminder as to the precise nature of the motherfuckers you are dealing with. It strikes me that this is a most appropriate role for the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

Exactly. You always try to get your point across without riling anyone up, because everyone tells you that is how it should be done. It becomes second nature in your writing. But at a certain point, you can't do that anymore. You have to call it out for what it is, because as long as we allow these hateful behaviors to pass as normal and civil discourse, the more these practices are seen as acceptable in the mainstream. Despite my "civil" tone, despite my attempts at making you understand my point of view in a polite manner, despite my allowance of you to air your concerns, you should never, ever forget that I know exactly what you are about, and that what you are about is wrong.

Alan Greenspan wants the Bush tax cuts to expire. And then I wonder if because of this, we should keep them. And then I wonder if this is some sort of evil reverse psychology attempt.

Honestly? I'm fine with this. I'm getting a little tired of the whole "As long as Jesus is in your heart, it's okay, because he loved the sinners the best!" line that you hear so often these days when people are trying to justify their shitty behavior. If you really need the threat of eternal hellfire to be a good person, then you are more then welcome to go with that. (Via Sadly, No!)

Even though I should expect it by now, I'm always a bit jarred when I come across such blatant misogyny in my blogs. Dammit, Ordinary Gents, I love your blog. So who the fuck is this guy and why are you allowing him near a keyboard? I wasn't aware that feminism is a failure because women all want to "marry up" (amazingly, my current husband's "status" as a male didn't come into the equation at all). And I wasn't aware that my annoyance with the "pick-up" artist at my local bar was because he confuses the social hierarchy for me, instead of the fact that he's a complete douchebag that sees women as walking pussies that can be won if you press the right combination of the A and B and Up buttons rather then, you know, people. You know what I love best though? When you scroll through the comments of the blog the guy links to (which I won't because holy shit, that dude really hates women), in which the theory that "pick up artists freak women out because they can't tell the alpha males from the beta males and they all want alpha males because they are greedy little bitches" comes from, you see that everyone is picking on the female the rant is aimed towards - who, according to the commenters, married a "beta" male and must be ridiculed for it. Because yeah, guys. It's women who have a problem with such things, amirite? Morons.

Your example of under examined privilege of the day

Some douchebag on Gizmodo decides he's being proactive on race issues by stalking a black woman on Twitter and writing about her as if she's a fucking museum or zoo exhibit:

Sometimes I find her faith charming; other times it is frustratingly childish. "Thanks Lord for letting me see another day!" can be followed by a retweeted "God is THE MAN!" All that can be followed by jokes about someone being a "squirter" in bed. I try not to extrapolate about her culture from just one person's Twitter stream, but that's also sort of exactly what makes following a random person so interesting. Are black Christians more open about their sexuality? Young people? Northern people? I've just got this single data point, but it's more than I had before.
Those zany black people!

People respond to point out how seriously fucked up that is:

You can't meaningfully diversify your social network -- online or off -- with just a couple of clicks. Your "friend list" on Facebook or Twitter might be as rainbowriffic as a college admissions brochure, but if you're not planning on developing real friendships with any of them (you know, in the I-care-about-you-and-want-to-talk-to-you way), then let's face it, those people are just window dressing. They're there to make you feel less racist. Which is, in and of itself, pretty racist.
Douchebag responds with the ever so typical self-righteous "You just don't understaaaand how anti-racist I am" rants and tells those fussy little people of color what's what (they are over-reacting, of course). He then tries to wave away the valid complaints about othering as if this were some new phenomenon that exists with the nature of the internets:

If that feels creepy and clinical to you, it's because it sort of is? But it's also the very nature of the modern internet. And honestly, it seems far, far creepier if I had tried to befriend her personally.

Shani O. Hilton writes on Postbourgie, "That woman he follows is not a person to him, she's a creature in the internet zoo, and it makes me shudder to think that there are more people out there like him."

Well...yes. You've been on Twitter, haven't you, @shani_o? It's a website where people post things they choose to display to the public, including—unless one has a perfect follower-to-follows ratio or a private account—several people you don't know at all who choose to pay attention to your life, your thoughts, and whatever else you choose to share.

Sure dude, but most people don't actively search out a black woman so that they can use "I follow a black woman on Twitter" as evidence of how enlightened they are on race issues.

Perhaps if you'd actually listen to what your critics are saying and spend two seconds researching it instead of just proclaiming that you are right because you are totally right you'd get why relying on some lame excuse about the nature of social technology just doesn't work for this argument. The concept of Othering is a discussion that we've been having for a long time now, and while it's a shame you've never stumbled upon it, this in no way means you get to own it.

Interestingly enough, if he wanted to actually start a dialogue about race and his own shortcomings on racial relationships, he could have done so. When you write a post on Gizmodo about how you are stalking a black woman on Twitter, you are probably going to get some responses on the subject, as this guy did. This could have been a teachable moment, if he were able to get past the knee-jerk "I'M NOT RACIST" reaction. The people responding to him did not write him off, instead they offered a civil, if a bit critical, conversation (most acknowledged that his heart was in the right place, but really dude, ur doin it wrong). Yet he refused and instead waved away their complaints as trivial. So apparently, he seems more comfortable when he was just watching and observing those exotic creatures from afar, rather then actual interacting with them on the subject. Because how dare people actually be real and have opinions that might differ, rather then passive objects one can observe safely from a distance? Race is such an easy subject when we don't actually have to talk about it, is it not?

So this is really no different from the "anti-racist" shtick of the past, like those that watch a documentary on race and feel they can lecture people of color about their experience. It's just that the people that brag about how many black friends they have at work while suspiciously never inviting them to their cookouts are on the internet now.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Death Pennies!

The first picture of this slideshow up on the Strib right now is hilarious. Tom Emmer seems to really fear pennies. So much so that not only does he cower from them in fear, he is also forced to flee the building in their presence. Well, and in the presence of a bunch of pissed off servers.

You know, when I first heard about the damage control Emmer is doing, I wanted to give him some props for holding his Town Hall meeting to address the recent hullabaloo over his comments on tip credits, in which he stated:

"You hear a story today where you have servers, people who are working here. They've been provided a job. Because they are able to collect not only a minimum wage--which we all want to make sure people have good living wages--but they are by law required to receive a certain wage. Well guess what? With the tips that they get to take home, there are some that are earning over $100,000 a year -- more than the very people that are providing the jobs and investing not only their life savings but their family's future. Something has to be done about that."

As this was a completely clueless and kind of a dick thing to say, I thought it was admirable for him to face off with the people that would be most affected by a plan like this. Not that I'm pretending it's anything other then good PR to address this, but these days you usually can't get politicians to do that (but they'll post on Facebook!). He even kicked it off by busing tables for a day! How can you dislike such a humble jokester? And it would have worked well for him, I think, had he done it correctly. He could of easily said, "Hey, guys, I'm sorry, I was wrong, I understand now, and here's a better idea of mine that could work for you" (Emmer later stated that he supports making tips tax-free up to a certain amount). This was a critique of a populist nature, so for him to humble himself to the common folk and admit his folly would have boosted his credibility to them.

So yes, it could have worked for him. But instead, it appears he assumed those common folks he pissed off were morons, and decided the best way to handle this situation would be to treat them as such:

"I don't want to see your wages go down. Let's not talk any longer about what the media has reported as 'Emmer said he wants to cut your wage.' No, I don't. I said it again, I want to raise your wage."

I dunno Tom, I think when you are talking up the virtues of those that "are providing the jobs" and painting them as the victims of imaginary fat-cat servers that are "earning over $100,000 a year" because "they are by law required to receive a certain wage", I'd take that as an reasonable indicator that you might not be on the side of raising the wages of servers.

It didn't get any better from there:

Emmer spent the better part of the hour largely blaming the media for stoking anger of thousands of servers statewide.When asked Wednesday to define "tip credit," Emmer declined to do so, offering no more details on his wage proposals.

"I came here to listen," he said.

Man, people are so annoying when they ask you to be upfront about what your policies are in regards to their own livelihood, are they not?

"I am absolutely horrified by the statements I have seen you make," said Ann Potter, 30, a server in downtown Minneapolis. "We work so hard. Most of us don't have any health insurance or benefits or any financial cushion."

When she finished, Emmer laughed: "I am going to mark her down as undecided."

Ha! This chick is concerned about the low quality of life for servers. That's funny. Instead of addressing that, I'm making a joke. I'm sure my humor will charm her and make her forget that she can't afford to go to the doctor.

Yeesh, for someone that claims to be on the side of the people, he strikes me as an out-of-touch asshole. This poor fool is never going to be able to eat in a restaurant again. I'm not sure what he was expecting to happen with this strategy. State a straight-up lie and attribute it to someone else, then lie about what you said, then blame the media for covering it, then refuse to address the issue people showed up question you on, and then joke when pressed on people's hardships. The only thing I can figure is that yes, he really thinks these people are stupid and he could just act cute and all would be forgiven and forgotten.

Which strikes me as pretty predictable these days with this pseudo-populist conservative movement. I'm still amazed that time and time again, we see right-wingers praised as tireless fighters for the little guy when in reality they treat them with nothing but contempt, while liberals are all elitists because Obama got spicy mustard on his hamburger once.

But, I'm predicting now that we won't really hear about that angle, because it doesn't fit into our current narrative in regards to politics. Instead, I think the big story and discussion from this will be how one of those angry, violent liberals totally tried to attack Tom Emmer with pennies or something.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where we're from the birds sing a pretty song and there's always music in the air

Amanda Marcotte has an interesting post up today regarding the portrayal of abortion on the NBC show "Friday Night Lights". She cites a review over in the New York Times in which the author points out that unlike most television shows, FNL does not give a ton of gravity to the anti-choice position:

What was striking about the exploration of Becky’s circumstance on “Friday Night Lights” was the extent to which the opposing view was depicted as obtuse and out of touch...When Luke’s mother learns what has happened, her response is to say that Mary and Joseph thought they were in a tough spot too, at first. Luke bluntly corrects her: “Becky and me are not Mary and Joseph.”

Marcotte (correctly) responds:

...[An] accurate portrayal of the anti-choice movement would result in one where they come across as obtuse and out-of-touch, because that’s what they are. It’s almost definitional---anyone who waves off the struggles of a pregnant 15-year-old and suggests that it will all work out in the end is someone who has deliberately made herself unable to relate to the problems of her fellow human beings, because her dedication to the patriarchy is so strong. Anyone who puts an embryo over a living, breathing human being but refuses to admit that’s what she’s doing and turns herself into pretzels trying to rationalize that is obtuse by definition. Anyone willing to promote anti-choice lie because that’s what they wish was true is obtuse and out-of-touch at best. That’s the generous interpretation---that they’re fuddy-duddies who don’t know any better. In many cases, it’s worse than that, and they’re just sadistic assholes.

My interpretation of this is similar to Marcotte's - in my experience those that are anti-choice tend to either not have a clue as to what they are talking about, or they lean towards misogyny*. And before I get a response saying that this is over-simplistic, let me state that I didn't come by this by a means of deciding that I'm pro-choice and feeling a need to stereotype my opponents. I come by this conclusion because I've been at the reproductive rights game for almost ten years now, and every time I poked, and prodded, and given a generous listen to the anti-choice side, this is what I come up with. It always ends the same way, it's either frustration at having conflicting information thrown their way (which is construed as an "attack" on their beliefs), an expression that women's lives are unimportant in the debate (many often refuse to acknowledge that the woman is a large part of the discussion at all), or a straight up declaration that women that have the audacity to fuck deserve what's coming to them.

Every time. I'm somewhat disappointed in the fact that it is so simplistic and predictable, because with the gravity that reproductive debates have, I expected something better. Something more concrete.

Reading through the comments on the Times review, the readers that are upset about the portrayal on the show seem to make the point. Many complaints are heard among the line of "Why wasn't adoption considered an option on the show?", which seems to be the anti-choice magical pony-fart trump card. Being that pregnancy is an investment of time, money, and health, it seems silly to throw adoption in one's face as the easiest way out of an unwanted pregnancy. It's as if these people either assume that humans gestate to completion and are birthed a few hours after conception, or that the effort put into pregnancy is no large deal, which would probably lead anyone in their eight month of gestation into a frothing rage, because seriously. Pregnancy is no cakewalk. Life for a pregnant teenager is not necessarily wondrous and amusing like it was portrayed in Juno (although those long gaps of time passed over in the narrative seems to make it a breeze, does it not?). Not everyone has an understanding family system (homicide is still one of the leading cause of death for pregnant women), a sympathetic employer (yes, they can fire you for being knocked up), or even the mental stability to complete a pregnancy to adoption (studies find that adoption is often more traumatizing for women then abortion is, which is why most birth mothers never follow through with it). I also find it interesting that those that plead adoption never really bring up the hundreds of thousands of children stuck in foster care for the crime of not being young enough, white enough, or healthy enough to adopt. Personally, as someone that actually gives a shit about children, this sort of thing makes me cry into my coffee on a regular morning. So you'll have to forgive me if I see the "But families don't want those throw-aways, they want perfectly healthy white infants! What about their needs? Show some compassion!" as a bit unsympathetic.

And this is what is meant when we say anti-choicers are out of touch.

If it were just a minor debate, it wouldn't be a problem. But this ignorant or hostile mindset manifests itself in policy in America time and time again. Conservative culture warriors are already gearing up for a fight over birth control coverage in our new health care system, because... that makes a lot of sense? If it does, I can't see where. Preventing pregnancy is a cheaper option then funding birth (and the ongoing health of the resulting child), less invasive health-wise then abortion, and the ability to control reproduction allows women to make better economic choices in rough times. Yet despite that the more logical choice would be to help women have access to these services, our old friends (from the health care debate) the Catholic Bishops, although not taking an official stance yet, have trotted out their spokesperson to state:

"I don't want to overstate or understate our level of concern," said McQuade, the Catholic bishops' spokesperson. "We consider [birth control] an elective drug. Married women can practice periodic abstinence. Other women can abstain altogether. Not having sex doesn't make you sick."

I really do love that the focus here is on women.

I'm not sure what they think a relationship and/or marriage entails. Leaving aside couples that do not wish for children in the first place or traditional relationships where the woman has little veto power, it appears your options here are (a) go back to the days when women died giving birth to their 13th child or (b) stop having sex once you are done having children. The former is irresponsible, the latter is unreasonable. Intimacy through sexuality is pretty damn important to our romantic partnerships, the majority of people that enter into a sexual relationship don't do so because of a desire to procreate. The entire history of human behavior shows what a failure the ideal of abstinence is, it's about as useful as declaring that if everyone just got along, war would cease to exist. Oh, and Mr. Spokesperson? Sex does have health benefits.

And this is what is meant when we say anti-choicers are out of touch.

Also in the news, the spit-on-it-it-and-shine-it-up advice from Nevada's senate hopeful Sharron Angle encourages pregnant rape and incest victims to carry their pregnancy to term, because this one time? She met someone? That had an "at risk" pregnancy? And counseled them? And she totally watched them make "[W]hat was really a lemon situation into lemonade." See, in this situation, the adoptive parents of the baby chose to not only adopt the baby, but adopted the pregnant mother too! Someone did it once, so it must be the norm. Ignore the foster care statistics, and everything comes up roses.

And this is what is meant when we say anti-choicers are out of touch.

And as far as actual policy and how damaging it can be? Let's re-visit the 2003 Partial Birth Abortion Act. This bill, which has probably my favorite (and in favorite, I mean most likely to make me weep) picture of it's signing, outlawed a specific method of abortion called the D&E (Intact Dilation and Extraction). Anti-choicers claimed this as a victory for the unborn, and for (what the uninformed saw as) good reason; what political speak labels as "partial-birth" abortion is horrifying to most everyone, the public is on their side!

Except, it's usually not partial birth. Most late-term abortions, and the abortion examples that feature predominantly in the argument against it are performed at about 20 weeks (pregnancy takes 40 weeks). And as common sense would dictate, the women (That weren't stuck in the legal barriers anti-choicers are constantly pushing to delay them to get what they originally wanted, an earlier trimester abortion) that have these types of abortions usually have very good reasons for doing so, as it affects either their own health or the health of the fetus they are carrying.

The ban on "Partial-Birth Abortion" does not save any fetuses. In reality, all it does is require that a woman that is getting a later term abortion will have to undergo a more risky procedure (D&C) to do so, or will be forced to hear the congratulations of well-meaning acquaintances as she carries out the pregnancy of her now dead child. Because apparently, giving birth to a baby that will suffer for a good hour before finally expiring, or giving birth to a dead fetus, who was a wanted, loved child is somehow less traumatic then an abortion.

And this is what is meant when we say anti-choicers are out of touch.

Anti-choicers have been able to make their viewpoints known in the mainstream media by relying on the hope that the public is ignorant about reproductive issues. And in their favor, their attempts have been a success. They play on emotional knee-jerk responses, and the public follows along willingly, because they are always talking about those other people, not you, never you. That real-life situations come into play is not convenient for them, and they hope dearly that it's not convenient for you as well. Because if you are unable to emphasize with your fellow citizens, it makes their job much easier. But we are not a nation completely composed of sociopaths just yet. Women need to keep telling their stories, in the hopes that women of a future generation will hear them, and learn from them, and continue fighting for what seems to obviously be the most basic of our rights.

*I'm not slamming those morally opposed to abortion. To their credit - The most rational pro-lifers I know are just that: Pro-lifers. I have heard tons of interesting philosophical and moral arguments against abortion, some convincing, some not, but those that offer them tend to differ from your forced birth crowd in the sense that although they abhor the practice, they don't feel comfortable with legislating it.