Republicans Fight to Guarantee Your Right to Contract Cervical Cancer

13 Sep

Last night, the Republican candidates for President held a debate sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express.

As with all prior Republican presidential debates, I power-ignored it. I ignored it with extreme prejudice. I couldn’t have possibly ignored it more. There isn’t a chance in hell I’ll ever cast a vote for someone who panders to the Tea Party types, so there’s hardly a point in watching these spectacles – these battles to see who hates science more, who is the strongest believer in the  notion that the world is 4,000 years old, who hates Obama most, etc.

But watching CNN this morning, they’re un-raveling last night’s performance, and two exchanges stand out.

On the one hand, there was the fact that Texas Governor Rick Perry mandated HPV vaccines for Texas girls, from which parents were able to opt out if they wished. HPV is thought to be the main cause of deadly cervical cancer, and stopping the spread of the virus will clearly save lives. As one might  predict, the Santorum piety wing of the party on the stage hammered Perry for what might very well be the most honorable thing he’s ever done – implemented a state policy to try and save girls’ lives. Santorum and Bachmann in particular were appalled at this “big government” innoculation and fought valiantly for the right of girls to contract a deadly cancer.

To big cheers.

I’d like to thank Bachmann and Santorum – and that audience – for reinforcing why I’m no longer a member of that party.

The other issue is Social Security. Made solvent through 2030, Perry has been going around scaring the living shit out of people paying into the system, calling it a “ponzi scheme” (which implies that it is constantly on the brink of collapse), and proposing to revery the plan to the states.  It’s objectively not a ponzi scheme, and isn’t on the brink of anything. Reverting social security to the states would turn one big bureaucracy into 50 big bureaucracies and hardly makes any sense. But they’ll discuss this sort of rank idiocy on the TV, and the Rush Limbaugh adherents will applaud wildly.

I hate what national politics have become in this country. I hate it with every fiber of my being. I cannot stand the race to the intellectual bottom and the cretin-pandering. We need a second enlightenment.

Promoting cancer and scaring seniors, and reneging on a social contract engaged in by every American? It’s downright sickening.

27 Responses to “Republicans Fight to Guarantee Your Right to Contract Cervical Cancer”

  1. Leo Wilson September 13, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    All of my adult life, the rhetorical stance has been that SSI is on the verge of collapse and in need of bolstering. Perhaps it was always a lie, but that’s been the political rhetoric tossed about from both sides of the aisle for at least 35 years.

    On the HPV vaccine, I thought the discussion was dishonest from the get-go. HPV is the virus that causes warts. It can spread all kinds of ways, including casual skin-to-skin contact. It CAN spread sexually, but that’s hardly its only method – certianly not every child that contracts warts is having sex.

  2. Bbill September 13, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Here’s your 2011 GOP right here:

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/everything-you-need-to-know-about-gop.html

    It’s fitting that the debate ran opposite the Pats-Dolphins game, another battle of evil vs. evil. In spectacles like these, you cannot root for any of the choices offered; you can only root for injuries.

  3. Jesse September 13, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Wait, I’m confused.  It’s not okay to pander to your audience if you’re a politician, but if you’re a blogger it’s cool?

    Because I’m pretty sure the anti-vaccine group wasn’t making sure “girls have the right to die from cervical cancer”.

    (The longer the Tea Party groups ignore the guy who gave them their start in favor of the idiots they’re pushing, the more they earn a cruel and pitiless death)

    • Alan Bedenko September 13, 2011 at 8:36 am #

      My mistake: the anti-vaccine group was, indeed, making sure that parents had the right to ensure that their daughters maintain an unneeded risk of contracting cervical cancer that has been shown to be preventable with a simple shot.

  4. Eric Saldanha September 13, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Can’t decide which was the more precious moment of the debate – when the teabagger mob cheered the notion of executing the Fed Chairman for treason or when they cheered the suggestion (by “Dr.” Ron Paul, of course) that the uninsured should just die if they get sick. What a charming bunch the GOP has hitched its wagon. And kudos to CNN for sponsoring this garbage.

  5. Rick September 13, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Just what this country needs… more hate.

  6. Chuck September 13, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    I too was appalled by Dr. Paul’s willingness to just shrug his shoulders and say “too bad, so sad,” to someone. I wonder where his Hippocratic Oath would kick in. Do you suppose that he would suggest that medical personnel should treat the patient at no cost? I am not being a wise guy, I’m being serious because I do believe that Dr. Paul believes his own nonsensical positions. 

  7. Ward September 13, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    “Power-ignoring” the GOP debate, sort of the way this blog is “power-ignoring” the NY-9 race, eh?

  8. Rastamick September 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Perry’s wife lobbying for Merck and Merck’s campaign contributions to Gov. Goodhair might be seen as mitigating factors in any parade thrown in honor of his altruism.

  9. jimd September 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    The Ron Paul exchange was priceless. His response was that when he was practicing in the 60’s churches would take care of someone in this example. Which is true as well as the homeless and other needy people. But the fact of the matter is they don’t anymore for whatever reason. So the government is bound to step in and fill the void. The Tea Party conveniently forgets all these social programs that they rail about are resultant of us, the citizenry, letting each other down.

  10. Mike In WNY September 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Sacred social contracts that ruin the social fabric. Yes, we must protect them at all costs. Who is the real bad guy here???

  11. Jim Ostrowski September 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    No, the origin of these social programs is a belief that government can magically repeal the law of economics that says that all resources are scarce. Sorry, you’re dreaming. All that has happened is that vastly greater sums have been spent with no measureable improvement in American health using the pre-Medicare trend since 1900.

  12. saltecks September 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    Well Mr. O. maybe we should learn to more effectively utilize those scarce resources. We spend 16% of our GDP on health care. 25-30% more than the next runner up. At the same time we are Number 32 in life expectancy. At lest we beat out Botswana. Now maybe if the CEO of UH didn’t get a 125million compensation pkg…

  13. Carl September 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Ward: Why should we CARE about the NY-9 race? It’s not in our backyard.

    And odds are that district will be wiped out as of next year, thanks to the realigning of districts.

    A Pyrrhic victory, to say the least, if the Republican gets elected.

  14. peteherr September 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    @saltecks – It’s OK for the CEO if UH to make $125mill on our backs….Law of Economics says so. 
    @MikeInWny – Social programs that ruin the social fabric…..really? The world is going to come crashing down because we decided years ago that our elderly shouldn’t retire in poverty or die because they couldn’t afford medication after working their whole lives in the factory? Yeah, we’re going to hell in and handbasket for that. 

  15. Mike In WNY September 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Peter, your whole argument is based on the false assumption that government is the best way to address those needs. The CEO of UH has a mini-monopoly thanks to government controlling health care.

  16. jimd September 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    @12 Why is it that free market advocates never acknowledge the achilles heel of this philosophy is those left behind? I’m all for being in the race and carving out my own existence but there are those that can’t and they should not be discarded. Again, we as individuals fail at helping the person next to us, hence government intervention. @16 Though the government may not be best at addressing these problems, I don’t see anybody else stepping up.

  17. Jaquandor September 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Why is it that free market advocates never acknowledge the achilles heel of this philosophy is those left behind?

    Because there are two types of free-market worshipers: those who believe that the market is so magically powerful that there simply won’t be anyone left behind, and those who believe that the market is so intrinsically sacred that its unfettered functioning is the highest possible good, and anyone left behind can suck it. One way it’s based on magical dreaming; the other way it’s based on heartless thinking. Either way, it’s a perverse philosophy that needs desperately to die.

  18. Jim Ostrowski September 14, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    Jimd, you’re wrong. Free market advocates have never claimed it was perfect, just far better than the alternatives. Utopia is not one of the options. Yet, liberalism, at the end of the day is simply one of a long series of utopian fallacies that have failed. Liberalism can be defined as a belief that the government could ignore the laws of economics and improve society. It can’t.

    I miss the point about % of GDP spent on “health care.” I said that the amount of money spent has increased because of socialized medicince BUT HEALTH HAS NOT IMPROVED. The irony is that our side is supposed to be the ideologues and the libs the pragmatic ones who look at evidence.

  19. Mike In WNY September 14, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Jaquandor, the real heartless position is the one which advocates the Nanny State, and in so doing has driven the poverty class to record levels. Liberals want to decide who, and to what extent people suffer, while depriving opportunities for people to help themselves much more effectively. Compulsory shared sacrifice results in collateral shared suffering.

  20. Bbill September 14, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    It’s ironic that teabaggers who take pride in flat out rejection of science (creationism, climate change denial etc) are the walking embodiment of Newton’s third law: to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction.

    After all, the nation’s election of its first black president was a historic event to say the least, and the horrified reaction among White Trash Nation is what gave the teabaggers their initial momentum. Action, reaction.

  21. Brian F. Wood September 14, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    According to right-wing christ-tards, cervical cancer is punishment for Eve’s eating a fruit.

  22. Mike In WNY September 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Characterizing the opposition of liberal programs to racism because Obama is President is probably the most small-minded position one can take.

  23. jimd September 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    And the posters of him with a bone in his nose are not small minded?

  24. rastamick61 September 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    If global history is so littered with the corpses of failed liberal policies I wish the Teapartarians would please point out some of their howling free market success stories. Argentina ? Jakarta? The “Chilean Miracle?” Bagger, please… 

  25. Bbill September 15, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    No black President, no teabaggers.

    How else would a movement that opposes American jobs and favors the continued erosion of our roads and bridges get so much traction with the double-wide, pork rinds for dinner, medicare scooter crowd?

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