Not now, not ever.
I’m so done with this President. I’m so done with NOW and NARAL and Planned Parenthood and Ms. Magazine, who pretended Barack Obama was a feminist superhero. Even Hillary Clinton, in her forced-reconciliation tour-de-bullshit before the election, emphasized Iraq and the economy as reasons to vote for Obama. She never claimed that he’d be the male version of Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem and Elizabeth Cady Stanton combined. I assume those were words that neither Party loyalty nor political self-interest could force the core of her being to choke out.
As I wrote in March, the HHS regulation Bush forced through in the waning days of his Administration like a cold butter knife through a hot thick steak, has already made a demonstrable negative impact on women’s lives. As per their usual practice, the wingnuts have been screaming bloody murder about Obama appointing “pro-abortion” (GACK! Toxic Meme Alert!) Democratic Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius to be his HHS Secretary.
Since Obama announced his nomination of Sebelius to head the HHS department in March, pro-lifers have been making efforts to block her confirmation. They cite Sebelius’ pro-abortion actions and her personal ties to the notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller.
Well, it looks like the right-wing hysteria was all for naught.
“I can tell you right now that the President supports and I support a clearly defined conscience clause for providers and institutions. I always have. It’s been in place in Kansas the entire time I’ve been in elected office,” Sebelius said at the hearing. “I know there was some concern about the regulation that was proposed and implemented at the very end of the previous administration that it was overly broad and frankly overly vague. So I don’t think from the discussions that I’ve had that there is any intention of interfering with the underlying legal basis.”
The hearing comes on the heels of Sebelius’s recent singing (sic, although I like the idea of singing bills into law!) into law a piece of anti-choice legislation that will require women seeking abortions to be given the option of getting an ultrasound or hearing the fetus’ heartbeat. The law also puts state funds toward producing literature and a video on abortion. Sebelius vetoed a similar bill a year ago; it seems likely that she signed this one to avoid an dust-up with anti-choicers just moments before her confirmation hearings. Her approval of this bill, in conjunction with her comments about the HHS rule, raise questions about exactly how pro-choice Sebelius is and whether she’ll prioritize health care reform over reproductive rights — a question the reproductive health community had for previous nominee Sen. Tom Daschle, too.
In Barackian terms, this woman is the PERFECT HHS Secretary. She appears to be for reproductive rights, yet easily reverses herself for political purposes, and has no problem pandering to the anti-choice wingnuts by saying that she supports a “clearly written conscience clause.” Um, earth to Kathleen: There already is a clearly-written conscience clause that allows doctors to refuse to perform abortions. It’s been in place for 30 years. The point of the now (and apparently future) Bushie clause is to prevent women from getting access to birth control, and so far, it appears to be working as designed.
For a while, I was actually giving Obama the benefit of the doubt on this issue. I figured that maybe the reason he hadn’t overturned the clause was because the arcane rules and regulations Bush had used to force it into effect, were difficult to overcome. Perhaps, I reasoned, he was going to give his new HHS Secretary the glory of proving just how wrong Bush was on this issue.
Alas, it has become more than obvious that the last thing Barack Obama cares about is proving Bush wrong on, well, pretty much anything. From the policy of keeping the Bush tax cuts and throwing trillions at the financial industry, to the “stronger than Bush” assertion of executive privilege, to the sudden, unexplained refusal to publish the photographs of Americans torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, to the desire to create a Gitmo “Mini-Me” on American soil, to the permission to continue torture at Bagram, to the unending war in Iraq, the “surge” in Afghanistan, the bombing of Pock-ee-ston and the refusal to do anything productive in Israel; to the scornful dismissal of his promises to women and gays; to the desire to “reform health care” by computerizing medical records (a Bush idea from 2003) and privatize “entitlements” (into which we’ve been paying our entire fucking lives) like Social Security and Medicare; welllllllll…can anyone, anyone at all explain to me how this sociopathic POS is any different from Bush?
Oh, right. He’s melanin-enhanced. But of course, if you dare say that’s why he’s getting away with all of this right-wing, authoritarian ReaganBush stuff, then you are branded a racist.
What Obots don’t realize is that accusing people of racism after we list quadrillions of examples of policy-based reasons why we don’t support Obama, only demonstrates that they are the ones obsessed with Obama’s skin color, not us. If only they had voted for policies during the primaries, instead of “hope,” “change” and the idea of a historic black president, the Obots, many of whom are women, could have had a President who was in their corner.
Instead, all we have is OBushMa, a conservative without a conscience.
UPDATE: Thanks to GaryChapelHill, we now have Obama’s very own words confirming his support of the conscience rule.
He said he favored “a sensible” that would give anti-abortion health care providers the right to refuse to perform the procedure.
Obama is deliberately conflating the Bush “conscience rule.” which affects birth control with its overbroad language, with the older “conscience clause,” which concerns abortion. Otherwise, why prhase it in this manner? A less WORMy way to say it would be: “Doctors have had the right to refuse abortions for 30 years. The current “conscience clause” is affecting birth control, and that is why it needs overturning.”