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View Diary: Dems Funding Abstinence-Only Ed? (387 comments)

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  •  That's the question (1+ / 0-)
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    johnny rotten

    the "$10 billion in what". Abstinence-only education is a hugely bad idea, and is something that needs to be ended yesterday, at least in terms of federal funding. But I can also see the utility in using $27 million funding it for now as a means to get through $10 billion -- more than 370 times that amount -- that also funds other kinds of sex education and broader access, for example.

    It depends a lot to me on how it's set up, whether I think it's a bearable trade or not. Abstinence-only is absolutely part of that greater anti-reproductive-right agenda, but it's also not the same thing as parental notification or keeping people from plan B.

    I hate that we're in a position to have to do this kind of dealing in the first place, but there you go. Mr. Unpopular has no qualms about whipping out the veto pen.

    •  The veto pen (0+ / 0-)

      That's the veto pen he has only used what twice now?  Wouldn't that be a great talking point?  That George Bush who has never seen a bill he wouldn't sign is now going to veto them continuously?

      Why not make George Bush and his party defend their positions for once?  How come it's always our side on the defensive?  Maybe because we rarely if ever take the offensive position, even when it's a popular position in the country.  

      Our politicians need to stop acting like enabling battered spouses and start acting like a co-equal part of the government.  That means setting the terms rather then letting the far extreme right which happens to be the Republican party right now determine which items we are going to hand to them.  

      Why this issue?  There are lots of areas they could have compromised on that wouldn't have the harmful effect this one would.  So why give money to their political enemies?  Why give a huge political and religious stage to the most vulnerable among us, our children to their political and religious enemies?  

      This is just plain stupid.  When you compromise you don't give up on certain things.  Sometimes you actually have to stand up and say no.  That's a valuable word in politics.  No, we won't allow our children to be taught lies for your political benefit.  

      ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

      by Rebecca on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 03:07:42 PM PDT

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      •  Many people here (1+ / 0-)
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        johnny rotten

        think we're in a much stronger position than I do. It's very largely just a disagreement as far as "where we are", I think.

        I'd be open to suggestions on what other compromise gets the $10 billion through, veto-proof. I'm less interested in saying "well, let him veto it" unless we have that supermajority, because passing something that can't get through buys us very little, IMO. We have to send him a budget at some point, and if you think that's good political ground for us to fight on, I'm afraid I just disagree.

        It might be a sucky deal, too, depending. But I'm not willing to write it off entirely because there's a piece of it I don't like, not without at least seeing it first.

        •  The problem I see is the folding again. (1+ / 0-)
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          When do we stop folding?  This is part of a history by our politicians.  They fold again and again and again.  Some things are worth just saying no to.  Yes there will be pain.  No one gets anything worthwhile without sacrifice.  We are dealing with people who quite frankly are barbaric.  They do not believe in compromise or bipartisanship except as a club over our politicians heads.  

          I see people who have little to no real experience in negotiation continually giving away how far they will go prior to or early in the negotiations.  I see people who on a regular basis fold at the first hint of pressure or bad PR.  I see people who use the framing of the opposite side to discuss the current negotiation.  This is an institutional problem for our party.  We need to tell our politicians in no uncertain terms that we will not accept their "compromising" away our principles any more.  Compromise is not about giving up principles.  

          Our party is willing to give up anything to get some little crumb from the ruling party.  Unfortunately, they forget they are the majority now and have the ability to set the terms.  There are many things they could have chosen to compromise on.  Why did they choose this one that allows right wing religious lies to be taught to all of our children?  Why did they choose this one that funds the groups that are extremely active in undermining our democracy,  the theocratic right?

          ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

          by Rebecca on Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 03:39:10 PM PDT

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          •  These are very real problems (0+ / 0-)

            and we agree on them more than we don't. But they were never going to be solved by '06, by simply getting a majority. Our majority is very weak -- literally so, in the Senate, and weak in terms of lack of unity in even our stronger House majority. I'm not trying to make excuses so much as I'm trying to paint where we are as a party and as a country.

            I would prefer to see them compromise via something else. But even that something else would, by nature, almost certainly be terribly unappealing -- what would it be, exactly? Cuts to environmental standards? Or to aid to the poor and the elderly?

            IF this is for abstinence programs that are not mandatory -- a really vital question in my mind -- and IF it is using a good chunk of that $10 billion to fund really vital work in reproductive rights and care, THEN it might be acceptable to me for the time being, because I don't think we're in a position to get something through that both puts forward important funding and makes it past the veto without some buy-in on the part of republicans.

            To be frank, in the world of federal funds, $27 million is nothing. It's pennies worth of funding to a cause I hate, in order to provide real dollars worth of funding, perhaps, for causes that sorely need the money. These are IMO the very difficult things that need to be considered as a result of the position we're in. Politics, especially right now, leaves nobody with the privilege of walking away clean.

            What's funny is that I don't disagree with most posters here about the anger. But I'm not willing to spew my anger everywhere until I see exactly what I'm angry about. I've had these exact same disagreements over the trade deal, too, and what irks me about this blog sometimes is the willingness people have to make judgements based on soundbites and little real information.

            The democratic party has been folding my whole life, or worse going merrily exactly the wrong way (NAFTA, DOMA, welfare cuts -- all under Clinton, not Bush). I've been angry about it since I was 18 or so. Coming to the conclusion that I wasn't yet ready to throw in the towel on the system we've got came IMO with a responsibility to understand how it works and accept dealing with the parts of it that disgust me, until such time as we fix them or I do throw in the towel.

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