OK, fine, let’s mock the “above my pay grade” statement by Barack Obama and then coo and awe at Sarah Palin’s Down syndrome baby that she chose to raise. But, then, let’s get real.
The Republicans cater to those who are devoted to the cause of making abortions illegal for everyone. That devotion is a force the GOP can harness for their own interests. So, of course, from the St. Paul convention these abortion opponents were fed jokes about the “pay grade” line. That attacks the belief that questions about the nature of life are profound and deserve some awe and humility.
It panders to the type of Christian who embraces the religion because it gives him or her the opposite of awe and humility: it supplies a clippable, refrigerator-door recipe for quick Truth. Nothing is profound, unless you are going to hell. And life begins when sperm hits egg. Next question.
The overweening praise of a party leader who is raising a Down syndrome baby also throws a bone to the anti-abortion movement. Not as nice as merely mocking their sinful enemies with the ‘pay grade’ thing, this praise in effect thumps an accusing index finger in the chest of any other couple who did not do this when they learned their fetus was not healthy. We all know the unspoken accusation: murder.
The reason this anti-abortion movement is exploited is that the movement is impassioned. Those who don’t believe as they do – many would personally not choose or have not chosen an abortion themselves – are not as hot-blooded. The choice people might be unsure about what’s right in all situations, given all the other factors at play. Why don't we give the poor people faced with these awful decisions the freedom to do so privately, they say. I’m like that.
We can all imagine a couple with a pregnancy that learns after those early tests that there is something wrong with the woman’s fetus. Picture them around a kitchen table or talking while lying in their dark bedroom at night. They might even be in the rectory of a liberal church struggling for an answer with a minister. Why God? Is it right to call any human defective? Can I pay for a decent level of care? Can I handle this? Adoption? Is it fair to my other children?
Republicans are telling us our government should use its power to arrest those pregnant people if and when their struggling produces a decision to abort. Get the government in there with its wiretaps and tasers around that kitchen table too. These people are plotting a murder. At the very least, this couple should be arrested and prosecuted like every other murderer if they act on this decision. Once the woman does the perp walk on TV with the orange jail suit, the AM radio shows should also work their listeners into outrage about her. Fire up the base.
If a Republican rolls their eyes at this and says that is not what all these messages mean, they are nevertheless happy that "the base" mistakenly thinks that is what they mean.
Remember the folks who invaded and attacked that poor family of the irreparably vegetative Terry Schiavo? I only now see that throughout this campaign the Republicans have been telling us this is what government itself should do. It is only since Sarah Palin arrived that they started having such a good time in telling us. Her truth is marching on, and all that.