Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pelosi gives us a stupid to cherish

Strong emotional reactions fade over time, even outrage. And as they fade, politicians' attempts to maintain them for their political advantage become more strained until eventually they say, or sometimes do, something laughably stupid. This is usually a pretty reliable sign that the reaction has run its course, and the political and economic concerns of everyday citizens have mostly returned to where they were prior to the event.

Life as we know it didn't end with Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. So we now return you to your regularly scheduled existential angst.

Except that every now and again, in the painful effort to keep the rage at white heat, a politician will let fly a very special kind of stupid. A stupid that, if you could take a picture of it, would be a "Kodak moment". We actually had a couple this last week; dishonorable mention goes to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who demoted Associate Justice Clarence Thomas from token black man to just another white man on the Supreme Court bench. There may be African-Americans who think Thomas is an "Oreo", but that's not for any white man to say ... not out loud, not in front of cameras, and especially not a Senate Majority Leader. (Note: I have a lot of respect for AJ Thomas; he's much more than AJ Antonin Scalia's "mini-me".)

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is no stranger to stupid under pressure. The brightest gem in her personal collection is, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it." (Mediaite has tried to defend the statement as taken relentlessly out of context. But the fact of the matter is, PPACA was and still is available on the Net in its entirety for anyone to read "away from the fog of controversy", so anyone could have discovered how awesome it wasn't before it was passed into law. Sorry, no cigar.) She's also let fly the occasional puzzler in the effort to reconcile her public stances on certain topics with her self-identified Catholicism, though none of "Pope Pelosi's" pronouncements on these matters have been endearingly dumb.

Pelosi's latest may not rival "pass the bill", but it sure is a doozy. This is copied from The Hill:

“We should be afraid of this court. That five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not. … It is so stunning,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.
Pelosi said last week's Supreme Court ruling that the birth control mandate under President Obama's healthcare reform law is a violation of religious freedom was particularly egregious.
“That court decision was a frightening one,” she said. “That five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss. It's not her boss's business. His business is whatever his business is. But it's not what contraception she uses.” [Bold type mine.—ASL]

Did Pelosi even read the decision? Or did she just make stuff up secure in the confidence that no one in her political base read the decision? What color is the sky in her world?

Burwell didn't illegalize any form of contraception, I repeat with some tiredness. The legality or constitutionality of contraceptive use was never in question; whether it should be legal or a constitutional right, this deponent saith not ... at least, not in this post. The question of whether or not a woman should use a diaphragm doesn't appear in the decision itself, regardless of whether it was discussed in chambers. What Burwell did, if anything, is declare that closely-held corporations are considered juridical persons to protect the rights of the people who own them, and that "healthcare" isn't a card that can trump the First Amendment "free exercise" clause. 

By all means, use a diaphragm if you don't see a problem with it. Just don't expect a Christian business owner to pay for it, or to justify forcing him/her to pay for it by calling it "healthcare". You're frightened that five men upheld a Constitutional right? You should have been frightened forty-one years ago, when seven men overlooked a Constitutional right in order to allow certain persons to deprive other persons of life without due process of law.

Pelosi's fear-mongering isn't just egregious BS. It's appealing to ignorance by being ignorant. Lying is when you assert as fact things that you know ain't so; but it's hard to accuse someone of lying when you're no longer sure they know what is so. And it makes me wonder why the Bay area residents keep returning to Capitol Hill a person who can no longer tell the difference between chicken poop and chicken salad.

When everyone else has calmed down, in the realization that the sky isn't falling, Chicken Little looks a bit ridiculous. Take a picture while you've got the chance; you never know when a stupid like this shall pass this way again.