Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why S.987 Failed ... Republican Hypocrites

I have blogged in the past about hypocrites, I have to say that there aren't many more aspects of politics that frustrate me more. If these occurrences were not so frustrating and sad, they'd be funny. They are at least entertaining.

The Tea Party's adoption of Any Rand as their favorite philosopher makes sense. If you read any of her novels, like "Atlas Shrugged" or "The Fountainhead," it is clear that her philosophy of individualism (or Objectivism) fits right into their world view of small government. Here's the entertaining part: at the end of her life she took government money to combat her cancer. A new book published this year, An Oral History of Any Rand, reveals that late in her life she let medicare (aka big government) pay her medical bills. She was a life-long smoker, so her cancer was her doing, yet she made claims for medical bills under the name Ann O'Connor to keep it secret. So she is not only a perfect symbol of the Tea Party philosophy but also, the perfect symbol of their hypocrisy. It is not much of a philosophy when you abandon it when no one is looking.

This particular story resonated with me today when I heard that the bill S.987 was passed unanimously in the Senate but was voted down in the House (mostly by Republicans). Why, oh why, would something that every Senator, including the Republicans, pass but then get voted against in the House? The full name of S.987 is The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act. It basically is a law that amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to required the State Department to report on the human rights practices of other countries. The new law would force the State Dept. to include child marriage into their reporting. Why did the Congressman vote against it? Just hours before the vote in the House, so-called Pro-Life groups passed a memo claiming that the law would allow for the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Subsequently our so-called Family Values party changed their votes to Nay and killed the bill. Please note, this is not an appropriations bill. There is no money involved in it. If you read through the bill there is no mention of abortions or funding whatsoever.

Here is something that is in the bill:
"According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), an estimated 60,000,000 girls in developing countries now ages 20 through 24 were married under the age of 18, and if present trends continue more than 100,000,000 more girls in developing countries will be married as children over the next decade, according to the Population Council."

In some countries, girls at the age of eight are forced into marriage. Ronald Reagan once referred to our country as "a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere." I really wonder sometime what he'd think of today's Republican party.

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