What would happen if right-wingers played by their own rules?

Katha Pollitt — who, yes, I am in love with today (and hell, every day) — has a few suggestions to allow righties to practice what they preach. My favorites:

1. Stem-cell research. According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 22 percent of the population thinks extracting stem cells from pre-embryos frozen in fertility clinics is unethical. These tender souls have prevailed upon the Bush Administration to restrict federal funds for stem-cell research. This has resulted in a bidding war among states eager to lure researchers, which nobody sees as the best way to do the science. Why not split the difference? Bring back federal funding, but those who oppose it can take the appropriate tax cut. The catch is, they agree to forgo any cures stem-cell research might yield: They’ll have to live with their Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s or cancer, which, since they believe stem-cell research is wrong, is surely what they would want to do anyway.

4. Teen sex. Every school will offer both abstinence-only and comprehensive sex ed–parents can sign their kids up for the course they prefer. In states with notification/consent laws, parents will remain free to discourage or prevent their daughters from having abortions. The catch is, if they choose this route, they are legally responsible for the total financial support through college of the babies their underage daughters produce. After all, if a girl is too young to learn about birth control, too young to have sex and too young to decide on her own to have an abortion, she’s obviously too young to be a mother. Having made the choice for her, the parents should bear the consequences. If they don’t like this system, they can try to extract child support from the baby’s father (or his parents), and good luck to them.

6. English only. Do you blow a gasket when your ATM asks you if you’d like to bank en español? Check the English-only box, and get priority on tract housing in Utah or Idaho. But first, just to make sure your own linguistic skills do justice to the language of Shakespeare, Woolf and Baldwin, you’ll be enrolled in a free, intensive, yearlong literature class taught by brilliant, dedicated, culturally conservative professors who firmly believe they failed to get tenure at Ivy League universities because of their resistance to grade inflation and what passes for education these days. Less than a B sends you back to the land from which your ancestors most recently escaped.

Of course, liberals like me would never support the kind of legislation that Pollitt suggests (and she’s obviously being a little tongue-in-cheek with this piece). Why? Because, unlike those running the current administration, I kinda like the idea of people other than just me having a wide range of rights, and the ability to decide for themselves how they live their lives. How novel.


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10 comments for “What would happen if right-wingers played by their own rules?

  1. BillyHW
    May 25, 2005 at 3:00 am

    Because, unlike those running the current administration, I kinda like the idea of people other than just me having a wide range of rights, and the ability to decide for themselves how they live their lives.

    Even your unborn child?

  2. May 25, 2005 at 3:15 am

    Because, unlike those running the current administration, I kinda like the idea of people other than just me having a wide range of rights, and the ability to decide for themselves how they live their lives.

    Even your demodex mites?

  3. May 25, 2005 at 11:25 am

    I’m particularly fond of the Darwinism-Creationism solution.

    Under the new plan, creationists could continue their efforts to wreck science education and dumb down their kids–but first, they would pledge to abstain from any real-life benefits of evolutionary theory.

    If Creationists waiver their access to the flu vaccine, perhaps they will all be weeded out of the population. Then we will be rid of them!!! The human species can evolve afterall. Oh, such sweet, poetic justice.

  4. May 25, 2005 at 11:29 am

    Jill, quit killing your unborn children. Hand the bloody tampon over to Bill and let him plant it in the ground and see if he can get something from it.

  5. Quisp
    May 25, 2005 at 12:29 pm

    Okay, “Billy.” Let’s decide, as a matter of law, that life begins at conception. You have sex, you conceive — ta da — you have given birth. The state has an obligation to protect that human life. The baby — which at birth is a microscopic cell splitting into other cells (per any high school “biology” — or, as it will soon be known, “history of heresy” — class) needs a name, a social security number and a birth certificate. In order to protect its citizens, the state has the right and obligation to register/account for them, and since the old quaint method of waiting until a baby is actually born to actually require the registration of same, the state now must — must — require that every incidence of sexual intercourse be at minimum accompanied by a state-administered pregnancy test. This is inconvenient, sure, but unavoidable since the alternative — that millions of citizens are denied due process — is unthinkable. As a result, sexual intercourse — except of course homosexual intercourse from which no new citizens can emerge, except miraculously — must be redefined as a public act. Bears repeating: all straight sex is a public act, a matter of public record.Only gay sex remains private. Once you have had heterosexual vaginal intercourse, have registered the act, have been tested, and have been tested positive for new citizenship, the state’s obligations naturally increase. Abortion — duh — is murder. But just as obviously, every miscarriage is a potential involuntary manslaughter, child abuse, child neglect, child endangerment case. There will need to be fetus detectives to investigate each of these cases (David Casuro etc., CSI: Fetus). Regrettably, an entirely new criminal class — all female — will be created as a result. I suppose it will be mostly poor females, since the richer ones will get clever lawyers to get them off with tricky “self-defense” arguments. As for the “sancitity of marriage” (or whatever we call it now), this will undergo a few necessary changes, as husbands will naturally have a huge stake in monitoring their wives’ reproductive organs and sexual activity, since any woman’s potential criminal behavior would obviously potentially make him an accessory to a crime, not to mention the risk to his assets. Yes, some laws will undoubtedly have to change to protect those.

    Wait a minute. This is starting to sound like a really bad idea.

  6. May 25, 2005 at 1:06 pm

    Quisp, if your wishes become true, those sensored panties would come in quite handy.

  7. Quisp
    May 25, 2005 at 1:24 pm

    they would of course be mandated. ultimately, nanotechnology will allow us to tag each egg.

  8. BillyHW
    May 25, 2005 at 10:44 pm

    Quisp: Grow up.

  9. May 25, 2005 at 11:04 pm

    Well done, Quisp. You know when they know they’ve lost when they resort to ad hominems.

  10. Quisp
    May 25, 2005 at 11:27 pm

    Yes, Billy, it is juvenile to insist that one point logically follow from another. If you believe that a single-cell zygote is a human being with rights no different from mine, then you must also believe that each of the steps I describe is morally indicated. If not, which part do you object to? Should children not be protected from abuse or harm? Should their deaths not be investigated? I know, I know, abortion is the killing of an innocent human life. But what about a woman who is an alcoholic or addict and ends up having a miscarriage, or maybe starves herself, or whose husband beats her and the child dies? A crime, right? What if the child just spontaneously dies and there’s no obvious cause? Could be innocent, of course. But it could be MURDER.

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