Thursday, January 27, 2005

January 26, 2005
Democrats... Hello... Anyone In There?

Since their November drubbing at the polls Democratic Party appartchks have been busy trying to figure out how to elbow their way to seats on the Red State Express. Their theory; if you can’t beat-em, join-em.

Of course that is exactly wrong. Democrats moving to the right in search of conservative votes would be like the NAACP taking its lead from the Klu Klux Klan. If Democrats want to be Republicans then, go ahead join their party. But they can’t have it both ways. The two parties are as different as the NAACP is from the KKK – sometimes literally.

This is why I continue to encourage (nudge, nag, bug) Democrats to propose legislation that highlights those differences in ways Republicans cannot spin their way out of. The idea is not to just mindlessly oppose everything Republicans want but rather to propose laws that unmask the cruelty and hypocrisy of their agenda.

So, it’s in this spirit, of what I call, guerilla legislation, that I offer Democrats another way to shake up the status quo.

The issue: Choice.

We were just treated to the annual Roe v. Wade demonstrations during which both sides spend a day yelling insults at each other. The only difference this year is that the anti-choice forces are finally winning. And, if the pro-choice side (traditionally supported by Democrats) does not change its tactics, choice will be progressively narrowed until it all but disappears. (And, if you doubt this just listen to Democrat Party leaders talking about how they need to make “their” party more anti-choice-friendly. First, it’s NOT their party. Second, what the flying f..k is wrong with you guys?)

Rather than surrender to a bad idea Democrats should march to the Hill and propose the following bill:

The Abortion Mitigation Act of 2005

Under this law:

- Abortion would remain legal as it is now with one exception.
- A national Abortion Mitigation Registry would be established
-Those who oppose abortion would sign onto to this computerized adoption registry.
-This registry would work kind of like the current gun registry. It would be an instant point of contact computer check.
- Doctors, hospitals and family planning clinics would have to log on and check the registry when a woman comes in for an abortion.

If, when they check the registry, there is an applicant ready and legally committed to adopting the next fetus that would otherwise be aborted, then the abortion would be denied. If there were no contractually committed adopters on the list the abortion would be provided.

Wait. Please don’t get angry with me yet. I know what you are thinking – “easy for you to say Pizzo, you’re a guy.” But if we are not willing to take risks we are going to lose this fight. We already are.

In the case of this legislation the risk would be that some women would have to go through with a pregnancy they did not want in the first place. But, stop and think. Do you actually believe it will go that far? Republicans control Congress and this law would not pass. Not a chance. And I will tell you why in moment. But what forcing debate on this law will do is send a message to Republicans. That message would be that, from this day forward Republicans will no longer be allowed to demagogue the abortion issue without having their bluff called – and raised.

Because the law I am proposing would force the holier than thou anti-choicers, for the first time, to put their lives and their money where only their mouths have been. Up until now it has been a no risk, no pain fight for anti-choicers. They can demand that women have kids they do not want and/or can’t support, without any personal commitment or responsibility after that child comes into the world. After they “save” a baby they simply walk away and move on to their next victim. Under this law pro-lifers would have to deal personally with the lives they create – or shut the hell up.

The key is to write the law tightly, leaving no wiggle room out of a commitment to adopt the next baby available, regardless of color, health or gender. The argument Dems can make for this will serve to highlight the importance of choice. Most women seeking abortions did not choose to be pregnant. And, in the case of rape did not get to choose the genetic pedigree of the child. So likewise, the pro-lifers on the adoption registry should not be allowed to pick and chose either. When a registrant reaches the top of the list, they get the next kid that comes along. After all, why should they have choice since, if pro-lifers had their way women would have no choice either

If we have learned anything about these bible-thumping crusaders it's that they can lie and cheat with the best of them. So, to guard against anti-choicers sabotaging the registry by signing on and dropping off the list, we need punishments too. If a person reneges once they are in the top ten on the list they will be slapped with a large civil fine and banned for life from joining the list. There would be no outs, no excuses, and no mitigating circumstances -- because that is what they want for women -- no excuses, no mitigating circumstances. Get pregnant and you have to have the child. So, we need to hold them to the same rigid standard. It’s only fair, right?

If this bill were passed and signed into law I predict the registry would be empty within a year. But if Democrats pushed this bill aggressively, it won’t pass.. not even close. Because Republicans will understand that if it did pass it would change the entire political abortion equation. Since Roe v. Wade this issue has worked against Democrats – not because their pro-choice position was wrong, but because they allowed Republicans to frame the debate through terminology. If you are not “Pro-Life,” then by definition you must be “Anti-Life.” Meanwhile if you are not “Pro-Choice” all you can be is “Anti-Choice,” which is fine by them, because that’s how they see themselves anyway. We have lost, and will continue to lose, that conversation.

So, we need to redefine the issue.

By forcing a debate about abortion on the terms I propose Democrats would switch the focus entirely onto a field of battle where they can actually prevail. If it’s really life the anti-choicers want to save, then give them a way to do it.

Or, let them explain why such a registry is a bad idea. Oh man ... I can’t wait to hear that debate. Think about it. What argument could they possibly posit against joining this proactive, pro-life list that did not mirror the very same reasons women chose to end a pregnancy? They would argue, for example,

“There are lots of pro-lifers who would put their name on the registry but can't because;

  • They can’t afford to take on another child
  • They are single and have careers that require them to travel a lot.
  • They are among the 40 million Americans who can’t afford health insurance for themselves much less a child.
  • They are not ready to begin a family yet.
  • They are too young
  • They are too ill to care for a child.
  • They are unemployed.
  • They have an abusive spouse.
Well, you get my point. But, feel free to add to the list.

So, to those Dems in search for path back to relevance I say, START MAKING YOURSELVES RELEVANT BY STANDING FOR SOMETHING.

And, stop acting like Gollum trying to regain his Precious. It's really unattactive and off-putting.

And stop playing defense on issues like choice – or worse yet – surrendering hard-won ground – TAKE THE FIGHT TO THEM FOR A CHANGE.

Yes, Dems… fight. But fight smart. Be creative. Force Republican hypocrites to reveal just how little the really care about life once it hits the ground crying. Give them a real way to save unwanted fetuses.. every single one of them. But not without putting some of their own skin into the game.

Then, and only then, will voters see the anti-choicers for the sanctimonious, smug, cruel hypocrites that they actually are.

Oh, and while we are at it, ask how many full-term Iraqi kids have been killed in the last two years by their compassionate, pro-life, president. Too late to adopt any of them though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Friendly Canadian visiting your site for the first time... *waves hello*... I just wanted to say that your proposal for the Abortion Mitigation Act is brilliant. Any chance on actually getting a Democrat to pay attention to it?