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Forever Pregnant II: Morality Boogaloo
June 3, 2006 6:43 PM   Subscribe

The new lies about women's health (image slightly NSFW) according to Glamour. More on why every egg is sacred to the Bush administration. [via Wired's Sex Drive Daily]
posted by boost ventilator (90 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ok, is anyone going to chime in and say, "The democrats do it, too"?
posted by nyxxxx at 7:21 PM on June 3, 2006


Your country is fucked.
posted by Hogshead at 7:33 PM on June 3, 2006


The democrats do it too, they just pretend not to.
posted by Auguris at 7:35 PM on June 3, 2006


nice ass
posted by mischief at 7:38 PM on June 3, 2006


America is lucky the bible doesn't mention SUVs.
posted by furtive at 7:38 PM on June 3, 2006


But guys, Clinton was deeply concerned with women's reproductive organs, too!
posted by Zozo at 7:40 PM on June 3, 2006


Surely this...
posted by Leather McWhip at 7:41 PM on June 3, 2006


Future minimum number of kids per married couple in the Jesusland of George Bush: 5.2

Minimum number of SUVs: 2
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:44 PM on June 3, 2006


I can't finish the article.

I don't even live in the States and I am crying in rage.

My day started with Stephen Harper deciding to hold another vote on the gay marriage issue, and it ends with a delicious tidbit about the gains the fundamentalists have made into the reproducuctve politics of the US. To be shortly mimcked by Canadians.

How much longer does the fight against ignorance, hate, misogyny, bigotry, have to go on? Is there no hope for humanity?
posted by meringue at 7:47 PM on June 3, 2006


Forever. Yes.
It's us.
posted by Richard Daly at 8:00 PM on June 3, 2006


A woman's worth: the lynchpin of theocracy.
posted by taosbat at 8:00 PM on June 3, 2006


Yeah your country is...! Wait a second, I'm still here.
posted by j-urb at 8:05 PM on June 3, 2006


Future minimum number of kids per married couple in the Jesusland of George Bush: 5.2

Minimum number of SUVs: 2


Wait, are you saying this a conspiracy to produce more soccer moms and thus boost SUV sales, thus increasing demand for oil?
posted by j-urb at 8:07 PM on June 3, 2006


Ok, is anyone going to chime in and say, "The democrats do it, too"?

because, of course, this is the only issue that really matters, right? ... the democrats can support the war, take orders from the corporate bosses, chisel away at our rights, contribute to the ongoing bankruptcy of our treasury, sit idly by as the working class gets screwed and diddle around on health care, but as long as they've got an issue that they disagree on, they can get a free pass

sorry, but i demand more than that if they're going to get my vote
posted by pyramid termite at 8:10 PM on June 3, 2006


A thought just occurred to me.

-Wired is, as someone here recently put it, "threatening relevance" on the issue of domestic surveillance.

-Glamour is publishing the above critical story, and is being pointed to by Wired.

Both are owned by Condé Nast.

Has CN always been opposed to the Republicans?
posted by Richard Daly at 8:14 PM on June 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's not as if this is some kind of a surprise -- slightly old news actually -- Bitch, PhD covered this at the end of April. By the way, in case you hadn't noticed, it seems like every time you turn around, someone is saying that their $25.00/month pills went up to $30.00 . . and then $35.00 . . . and some people's plans don't cover it at all . . . well, that's not a weird trend in your social circle -- the religious right has successfully pressured insurance companies to limit and in some cases suspend such coverage Salon article, completely in spite of the fact that pregnancy is more expensive for business than contraceptives (yes, it's a political action site, deal). Abortion is estimated to cost about 75% of live birth costs (PDF, page 4), but I suppose that's their preferred method of contraception when the bad, dirty girls get laid in spite of their restrictive policies on contraception -- as long as those bad, dirty girls are lucky enough to have access to a provider. And don't get me started on this conscience clause bullshit.

So, when/if your employer stops covering contraception because of cost, throw a fit (most people don't). Make noise. File a lawsuit for sex discrimination. Demad equal treatment. 99% of the public is just sitting around, buying shit from Target and other retailers rather than punishing them for their discriminatory and assinine policies because their stuff is "so cute" and they "just can't live without it." What a bunch of bullshit. I hope that our reproductive freedom is worth a cute t-shirt, some cheap shoes, and some dishes with farm animals on 'em, because that's what's being traded.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:18 PM on June 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


Has CN always been opposed to the Republicans?

Have you stopped beating your wife?

Does "not taking dictation from" equal "opposed to"?
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:29 PM on June 3, 2006


Why does Condé Nast hate America so much?
posted by homunculus at 8:33 PM on June 3, 2006


Great FPP. Thanks.
posted by nonmerci at 8:35 PM on June 3, 2006


Your country is fucked.

Yep.
posted by c13 at 8:38 PM on June 3, 2006


Have you stopped beating your wife?

Whoa guys. It was an honest question. I notice they publish the New Yorker, too. I just wanted to know if they have a history of political relevance, in most of their published works.

Hell, I'm opposed to Bush and the Neocons, too. But lets not pretend that a major publisher like CN just happens to print stories like this. This looks like a carefully considered editorial decision.

I just think it's noteworthy when the most MS of the MSM start to go after the Neocons and the Fundies.

I may have to go subscribe to some magazines, now.
posted by Richard Daly at 8:42 PM on June 3, 2006


Next on FOX Glamour: When Governments Stop Heading Professionals XIV.
posted by porpoise at 8:48 PM on June 3, 2006


It is a sad statement on the derelict nature of the "media" in this country when Glamour is doing better investigative work than The New York Times. Rather than being a "carefully considered editorial decision," maybe they're simply trying to serve their readers and print things that might actually help them.

It's not all better sex techniques.
posted by petrilli at 8:51 PM on June 3, 2006


"I no longer trust FDA decisions or materials generated [by the government]. Ten years ago, I would not have had to scrutinize government information. Now I don't feel comfortable giving it to my patients."

Such doctor mistrust represents a major change. For the past 100 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been the world's premier government agency ensuring drug safety. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have similarly stellar track records. But recently, Dr. Shaber charges, the government has lost its most precious asset: credibility.


Either it's sloppily written (perhaps it should say "such doctor mistrust about reproductive issues"), or it's being ignorant of the lack of credibility and fudging of information regarding illegal drugs for the last few decades.
posted by Bugbread at 8:52 PM on June 3, 2006


Richard Daly, wasn't taking a swipe at you, just using the standard expression illustrative of the error you seemed to be making.

We live in sad times, when absolutely everything in the public sphere is entirely politicized. There was a time when elected officials occasionally did things that would raise everyone's opinion of them. Now divisiveness and wedge issues are the rule; and merely reporting this fact puts a publisher in one camp or the other, rather than simply being a part of doing their job.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:57 PM on June 3, 2006


My day started with Stephen Harper deciding to hold another vote on the gay marriage issue, and it ends with a delicious tidbit about the gains the fundamentalists have made into the reproducuctve politics of the US. To be shortly mimcked by Canadians...meringue


*stands with meringue, gazing into that future*

meringue, my riding went NDP by 13 votes last election. I don't know how yours fell out, but it's time to stir it on up again.
posted by reflecked at 9:22 PM on June 3, 2006


petrilli and others just chomping at the bit to indict the "MSM" for not publishing investigative pieces on this topic:

You might want to look here.
posted by photoslob at 9:26 PM on June 3, 2006


reflecked: can I move in? My riding is in the Harper Heartland.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:36 PM on June 3, 2006


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is recommending that women get their prescription for plan B pill filled in advance, so it is on-hand when needed.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 9:55 PM on June 3, 2006


For up-to-the-minute news, I turn to the Comedy Channel.

For trustworthy health information, I open the pages of Glamour.

*cries*
posted by SPrintF at 10:16 PM on June 3, 2006


Glamour?
posted by zenzizi at 10:19 PM on June 3, 2006


This whole thing is sickening, it lead me to try to follow the logic of the fundies:

1. The purpose of sex is procreation between a married man and woman.
2. Any other type of sex is a sin.
3. Anything that allows sex and interferes with the procreation process is a sin.

Wouldn't that lead one to the conclusion that the married man and woman would have to stop having sex when procreation was no longer possible due to sterility, age, etc.? Do these people actually do this, or is their morality only important when they are trying to control the behaviors of other people?
posted by SteveTheRed at 10:54 PM on June 3, 2006


Yeah... Glamour... imageine that. Oposition to fascism makes for strange bedfellows, eh?
posted by squirrel at 11:00 PM on June 3, 2006


We went through this in Australia a few months ago. For the past ten years the morning-after pill - RU486 as it is sometimes known here - has been effectively banned in Australia owing to a veto by the pro-life Health minister. In February the parliament took a vote to remove his veto power and place availability of the drug firmly under the aegis of the Therapeutic Drugs Administration. The Health minister is apparently still trying to keep it out of Australia.

(Sort of) discussed earlier.
posted by Ritchie at 11:07 PM on June 3, 2006


SteveTheRed : "Wouldn't that lead one to the conclusion that the married man and woman would have to stop having sex when procreation was no longer possible due to sterility, age, etc.?"

From what I gather, the deal is: if God said, "Dude, you're sterile, and you're never ever going to have kids", then, yes, the truly devout fundies would stop having sex. However, because there's always the occassional "man believed sterile sires young" or "90 year old grandma pregnant with new baby" stories, I think most folks have an out, as they can say, honestly, that while it's extremely unlikely that procreation is possible, that it isn't 100% guaranteed.

But, yes, if the woman has ovarian cancer and has her ovaries removed, or if the man has testicular cancer and has his testicles removed, sex would be out of the question.
posted by Bugbread at 11:12 PM on June 3, 2006


meringue: Once it is determined that gay marriage is favourable even when the Tories are in power, we'll be able to move past it.

At least that's my hope.
posted by ODiV at 11:15 PM on June 3, 2006


Favourable's not the word I wanted to use. You get the idea though, I imagine.
posted by ODiV at 11:19 PM on June 3, 2006



The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is recommending that women get their prescription for plan B pill filled in advance, so it is on-hand when needed.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 9:55 PM PST on June 3


Sweet Jesus. What insanity... more evidence of the neocon's hatred of all that is decent in society. Misogyny is evil.

Good for Glamour for printing this. The more information we can get out there to people the better. Thanks for this FPP. Could we add a 'batshitinsane' tag to this post? Insane neocon policies make me cry.
posted by rmm at 11:30 PM on June 3, 2006


sorry, but i demand more than that if they're going to get my vote

I am so fucking tired of hearing this. Yes, the democrats are ineffectual and castrated and (with few exceptions) too far right themselves. But you know what? They're not currently trying to turn America into a theocracy. Therefore, in an imperfect two-party system, they should get your vote. Not because it will be a sing-along utopia with the dems in office, but because it might just slow this here handbasket down just a tad.

Every time someone sniffily takes their vote and flounces home because the democrats aren't the bright, shining salvation party that we would all like them to be, one more crazy fundamentalist theocrat vote doesn't get cancelled out. Don't lthink either party is the greatest thing since sliced bread? Fine. Run for office. Get involved. Effect change. But as it is, you either cast your damn vote for the party that is doing less to ruin the country, or you admit that you just can't be bother to participate or take any responsibility in a system that doesn't live up to your prissy-ass wishes about what things should be like.

Jesus.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 11:33 PM on June 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


They're not currently trying to turn America into a theocracy. Therefore, in an imperfect two-party system, they should get your vote.

Right... by completely failing to be an opposition party, they're not trying to ruin America... They should get my vote so they can keep not taking a stand... Problem solved.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 12:00 AM on June 4, 2006


And yet not voting, or voting for a third party candidate that has absolutely no chance of getting a single electoral vote or even a handful of house seats is ever so much more constructive. Thanks for your contribution, champ.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:19 AM on June 4, 2006


overanxious ducksqueezer : "Right... by completely failing to be an opposition party, they're not trying to ruin America... They should get my vote so they can keep not taking a stand... Problem solved."

No, problem minimized. Sure, voting for them leads to problems. But it leads to smaller problems. if you want to look at it from a purely ideal standpoint, sure, they don't "deserve" your vote because they have lots of problems. However, if you live in a reality based world, not an ideal world, and your choices are: Then the most logical choice for minimizing problems is to vote for Party B.
posted by Bugbread at 12:31 AM on June 4, 2006


What Happens When There Is No Plan B? via the Washington Post.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:33 AM on June 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


I shall be giving my vote to the Guy [or Gall] with the best circus skills. I have an instinctive trust of circus folk, and one should always go with ones gut. Removing the sanity check that is an apolitical civil service, can only give more power to our elected representatives. Giving us more democracy while castrating those unelected experts, surely a good thing? Unless you think government should respect the informed consensus of professionals? Who do we want to run the CDC, FDA etc.? A bunch of respected scientists, doctors and other specialists, or someone who can juggle?
posted by econous at 1:01 AM on June 4, 2006


Maya Jacobsen* was one such victim. In fall 2001, she was raped in her room on campus at the University of Denver... nobody brought up the issue of how she might prevent pregnancy—until she asked.
"I said, 'What are my options here if I become pregnant?' The nurse said I would have to wait to take a pregnancy test, and if I was pregnant, there was always adoption. I said, 'That's it? What about the morning-after pill?' And she said, 'You would need to do that on your own.'"


This is no isolated incident either. I was shocked at what was happening in El Salvador - and the US appears to be headed down the same path rather quickly. If protection of womens rights is the only reason to vote for the Democrats, thats still a bloody good one.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:41 AM on June 4, 2006


We went through this in Australia a few months ago. For the past ten years the morning-after pill - RU486 as it is sometimes known here - has been effectively banned in Australia

Just being a little picky and technical here: RU486 is actually not the same as Plan B (levonorgestrel) even though both are sometimes called the 'morning-after pill'. From what I understand, RU486 can be called an abortifaceant whereas Plan B can't even arguably have that status as it merely prevents pregnancy. Luckily, here in Canada, Plan B is available OTC as it should be.
posted by madokachan at 1:49 AM on June 4, 2006


To piggyback on madokachan, RU486 is actually sometimes called a "non-surgical abortion." It's two pills, and apparently the manufacturer of the second pill is recommending it not be used in combination with the first. In light of this article, it makes you really wonder if their big black box warning is necessary.
posted by Iamtherealme at 2:13 AM on June 4, 2006


Your country is fucked.

Fucked without a condom
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:22 AM on June 4, 2006


'Ok, is anyone going to chime in and say, "The democrats do it, too"?'

Do they? Some might pay lip service to the religious right in the interest of being all things to all people, much like Bush pretending to be a "compassionate conservative". But in general they are on the correct side of this issue, or at least closer to it.
posted by Manjusri at 2:26 AM on June 4, 2006


Both are owned by Condé Nast

I think we should continue this little discussion off MeFi. Drop me a line at boostventilator@condenast.com**not an actual address or suggestion
posted by boost ventilator at 3:59 AM on June 4, 2006


RU486 is actually not the same as Plan B...

Ah, I didn't know that. I simply assumed they were the same thing.

It looks like levonorgestrel is available in Australia, if I'm reading this document [pdf] correctly.
posted by Ritchie at 5:26 AM on June 4, 2006


It is a sad statement on the derelict nature of the "media" in this country when Glamour is doing better investigative work than The New York Times.

Actually, less than a month ago, The New York Times Magazine's cover story was entitled Contra-Contraception and was about the same thing, the decrease in the availability of contraception in America. The NYT article is still available on their website.
posted by eunoia at 6:12 AM on June 4, 2006


Wouldn't that lead one to the conclusion that the married man and woman would have to stop having sex when procreation was no longer possible due to sterility, age, etc.?

Yes it would.

Do these people actually do this, or is their morality only important when they are trying to control the behaviors of other people?

The word "moral" comes from latin "mores" which means "strongly held behaviors". For instance if you were used to dine at table with your parents, you probably automatically go to table to have dinner and expect other people in family/friends/other people to do the same. Simply and for no other reason that you were used to that, as you are used to breath ; natural, doesn't require any particular attention or tought.

Later in life you discover that other people don't have the same dining habits. Definitely it's not "moral" for you in the sense that you are not used to that, it strange and different, it's not the rule you follow.

Now some people believe that if we all were equal, if we all accepted some particular set of rules and if we all obeyed these rules naturally, we would be better off then having individual, probably (yet not necessarily) incompatible morals. These people don't want other people to embrace their moral, they want to BE their morals, adopt it or suffer negative consequences, including the negative consequence of being an outkast.

While it's true that standardization of some rule is beneficial (look for instace at driving rules) that doesn't imply that rules shouldn't be changed, or that rules of the majority MUST be applied to everybody at all costs. This kind of reasoning needs more attention, more observation then a simple set of rules like the 10 commandments.

Unfortunately 10 commandments were and still are interesting rules, yet they hardly can explain everything and hardly are compatible with today lifestyles ; also they are imposed by above, an all seeing authority some call God.

The idea of God seems to be hardly compatible with the idea of freedom and responsabilized exercise of freedom. Yet some people like to simply follow a reassuring leader, a figure that knows all and lifts the weight of tought from them ; such people subscribe to the good part of a moral set of rules offered by some God and are taught NOT to reject ANYTHING coming from God (because God is perfect) so when they, for instance, talk about abortion and God says it's bad because it's against "thou shalt not kill" they don't see the incoherence of killing or harming anti-abortionists, why ? Because they were not trained to think rationally.

So most of people don't want to impose their morals, but fear people with different morals. As you say some people are hypocrites following some morals and imposing to others , but usually these people do that for their own benefit ; certainly attacking gay and abortionist is a convenient distraction from other "crimes" and it's expecially convenient if you are the criminal.
posted by elpapacito at 8:15 AM on June 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


I am so fucking tired of hearing this.

you know what i'm fucking sick of hearing? ... "vote for them, they're not as bad as the other guy" ... i've been hearing that for 30 years as a voter and guess what?

things are worse, not better ... the government continues to slide towards the right and the democrats blindly continue to enable it

if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything ... but i guess as long as your pet cause doesn't get violated in the process, that's alright, even if the country goes to hell in the meantime, right?

they promise you the crumb of reproductive freedom while assisting in the destruction of our society and our government

politicians are like children ... they live up to our expectations ... expect little, that's what you'll get ... expect more, and they'll have to give it to you if they want to be elected
posted by pyramid termite at 8:28 AM on June 4, 2006


The bush administration is perverting all science.
posted by delmoi at 8:35 AM on June 4, 2006


pyramid termite writes "you know what i'm fucking sick of hearing? ... 'vote for them, they're not as bad as the other guy' ... i've been hearing that for 30 years as a voter and guess what?

"things are worse, not better"


That's the way civilizations work. They grow, improve, peak, stagnate, and decline. Voting for the opposition party isn't a way to make things better, it's a way to slow down the inevitable decline. Sure, things get worse. And while there may be isolated pockets of goodness, overall decline is assured, and things will always be more likely to get worse than to get better. Idealists fight for their ideals, which sounds good on paper, but in reality most often just means being useless at slowing down the decline of society. People who vote for the lesser evil sound way less cool on paper, but they actually help slow society's inevitable decline a bit.
posted by Bugbread at 8:41 AM on June 4, 2006


Thanks for posting b v. The many ways that Bush is driving a fundamentalist agenda scare me almost as much as Muslim fundamentalism.
posted by theora55 at 8:42 AM on June 4, 2006


They grow, improve, peak, stagnate, and decline

That' supposedly a life cycle or a change cycle. Yet a civilization isn't the same as an human : who necessarily lives between two points in a continuum. Humans still can't strech their life cycle for a theoretically infinitely long time, civilizations can because sufficiently repeated ideas aren't forgotten.

Certainly there are peaks and a collapse can happen (see Roman empire) but there isn't any predestination to collapse if you delay the inevitable.
posted by elpapacito at 9:01 AM on June 4, 2006


reflecked: I pine after a Liberal. I don't think there has ever been an NDP in this riding. Now it's blue as far as the eye can see. Many days I wonder how I ended up here.
posted by meringue at 9:02 AM on June 4, 2006


bugbread, it's ironic that one could probably go to the republican side and find some people who would say the same thing ... "it's a way to slow down the inevitable decline" ... (and not all of them would be religious by any means)

i'm getting the impression that the substance of what is said these days counts for less these days than the emotional intensity with which it is said ... it's been said that politics is show business for ugly people ... but it could also be said that politics is therapy for people who feel a need to "do something" about the codependent relationship they have with their government ... complete with outrage, anger and shining knights who will make things right

but i'm way off topic, so i'll just drop it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:09 AM on June 4, 2006


This has nothing to do with pet causes, pyramid. It has everything to do with making the bost choice you can in a flawed system. If you've got any solution besides taking your marbles and going home, I'd love to hear it.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:16 AM on June 4, 2006


I was wondering how they can get away with this shit without someone (ACLU et al) screaming "UNCONSTITUTIONAL!" and then it hit me.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....

It merely says "Congress shall make no law" not "Congress will make no law, regulation or directive"!

Does that mean I've cracked the Da Vinci code? Or have I just legislated from the bench? I get so confused.
posted by Talez at 9:20 AM on June 4, 2006


A regulation can be seen as a set of laws, therefore if you regulate a matter if means you produce a set of law on them. A directive gives, indeed, direction to a behavior..for instace if DoD directs Talez to blow iraq in pieces Talez can disregard the directive , but suffer consequences if a law says he must obey the directive.
posted by elpapacito at 9:24 AM on June 4, 2006


Those claming that people not voting, or that voting for a third party is ineffective is wrong.

People in the media have been saying that lots of religious right people are unmotivated to vote because their votes have not done any good in pushing a radical-right agenda. Well, their thinking about staying home is causing the bush administration to jump through all sorts of hoops to try to appease them before November. Similarly, liberals staying home (or voting for a third party candidate) can make democrats, actually, you know, pay attention to us. If they take our votes for granted they'll lose them. That's why this DLC bullshit has hurt the Democratic Party so much, it de-motivates the base.
posted by delmoi at 9:31 AM on June 4, 2006


That's the way civilizations work. They grow, improve, peak, stagnate, and decline.

Datapoint: The british government has been in power for over a thousand years.
posted by delmoi at 9:34 AM on June 4, 2006


If you've got any solution besides taking your marbles and going home, I'd love to hear it.

vote for people who support substantial changes ... even if they don't get elected, the pressure on the main parties can be such that they end up adopting much of their platforms ... it's happened before in american history and can happen again

and what delmoi said
posted by pyramid termite at 9:44 AM on June 4, 2006


Yeah, seriously, from my perspective it's all you liberals who keep holding your nose and voting for Democrats that are the problem. In my world, Nader has already been elected President and things are so ~totally~ awesome now. Wish you could be here. (sad face)
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 10:18 AM on June 4, 2006


Or to add some history on this. Every civil rights effort in American history was spearheaded by radical groups that refused to sit down and take no for an answer. Women, Labour, and the civil rights struggle didn't ask for elected officials to give them their fair share of power, they demanded it.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:21 AM on June 4, 2006


The receptionist, however, informed me that my doctor did not prescribe Plan B. No reason given. Neither did my internist. The midwifery practice I had used could prescribe it, but not over the phone, and there were no more open appointments for the day. The weekend -- and the end of the 72-hour window -- was approaching.

This is why I think all us ladies should get the Plan B from our doctors before we have any need for it, as the ACOG suggests in their campaign. It's practical, and it's a political statement, too.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 10:32 AM on June 4, 2006


Oh crap. Some reactionary creep sneaked into my special world and assassinated President Nader. I'm going to place flowers on his memorial statue.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 10:33 AM on June 4, 2006


pyramid termite: Actually, I think that the approach being taken by many more partisan Democrat blogs could be quite effective. Support whoever the ultimate candidate is, but primary challenge the people you disagree with. I'd rather have Joe Lieberman [1] than Republican X, but that isn't saying much; that's what primaries are for and it is in the primaries that a party's direction can be changed.

Rather than spending my energies trying to make a third party work, and when you get down to it our political system is not designed to allow more than two parties to exist, I think that pushing primary challenges to people who have either sold out to the other side, or at offer "aid and comfort" to the other side is the best way to change the system.

I'm speaking here, BTW, as a guy who voted Green in 2000 [2], tried to start a local branch of the Green Party, etc. It won't work, not here, not with the system we have now. A parliamentary system allows minority parties, ours doesn't. The only option available if you want to have any power at all is to carve a niche for yourself in one of the major parties and use that niche to get the party as a whole to go along with your policies from time to time.

Its the strategy that has worked well for the Fanatic Religious Right, they started out as a minority interest group in the Republican Party and today they essentially control the entire Republican Party. They've done such a good job that many otherwise sane Republicans will tell you, with a straight face, that its the mainstream Republicans who are using the Religious Right, not the other way around.

[1] And, I will observe that my objection to Lieberman is largely unrelated to his voting record, he actually votes the way I'd like him to relatively frequently. My objection to Lieberman is that he's essentially working for the other side, anytime the Right Wing Noise Machine wants a Democrat to talk about how awful Democrats are there's Lieberman willing to do his part to trash his party. We don't need people like that, especially not in the hyper-partisan environment that the Republicans have created.

[2] I mean that, I never really cared much for Ralph Nader per se, it was the Green Party itself that appealed to me.
posted by sotonohito at 11:33 AM on June 4, 2006


liberals staying home (or voting for a third party candidate) can make democrats, actually, you know, pay attention to us

No, when the difficult to appease further-left liberals stay home and don't vote, the Dems swing further to the right in order to get the moderates and righties who vote back on the Dems side.

What makes more sense, resource and agenda -wise: trying to sway people who have consistently gone to the polls to vote for Democratic by making a few "minor" concessions to the right, or trying to get disgruntled apathetic non-voters with freaky, divisive agendas (anti-drug war, anti death penalty, pro-choice) to come out at all?

PS. liberals staying home in 2000 did not get us strong Democratic candidates with an unbeatable liberal platform in 2004.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:10 PM on June 4, 2006


PS. liberals staying home in 2000 did not get us strong Democratic candidates with an unbeatable liberal platform in 2004.

These things take time, my friend. It may be time to replace Democrats with a new populist party, if people can gird their precious loins and get down to it. I mean, what else will it take to get people moving???

P.S. My crazy fundy brother voted for his preferred libertarian candidates, so this whole voting-to-cancel-out-a-crazy-theocrat thing is quite an oversimplification. (If you need to, you can pair us together under your "irrelevant" category. It won't be the first time for us.) Anyhoo, I don't think of democracy, in theory, as a tit for tat sport. In practice, we may not have a democracy, anymore. Elections are just the super-fun day we get to go into little booths and press buttons, yippee! (I like correspondence, so I do my voting through absentee ballot, "Look honey, I got mail! Now this is the best part- putting on the stamp. Sweet.")
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 12:43 PM on June 4, 2006


Datapoint: The british government has been in power for over a thousand years.

A British government of some kind has been in power for 940 years (counting from 1066), but you can hardly compare the governments of, say, Elizabeth I or Oliver Cromwell with today's parliamentary democracy in which the head of state has almost no non-ceremonial powers and even the hereditary Lords have been stripped of anything resembling real authority.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:41 PM on June 4, 2006


Oh-so-late, but obligitory none the less:

Metafilter: It's not all better sex techniques.
posted by DesbaratsDays at 3:41 PM on June 4, 2006


Oh, and before the Act of Union you couldn't really call it a British government, but rather an English government, which means at most it's existed in some form for just nudging 300 years.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:46 PM on June 4, 2006


Those claming that people not voting, or that voting for a third party is ineffective is wrong.

And you don't know what you're talking about. In an election with only two viable candidates (A and B), voting for C when you would prefer B over A is silly, because your vote does not count, since it did not help either of the viable candidates.
posted by oaf at 4:13 PM on June 4, 2006


In an election with only two viable candidates (A and B), voting for C when you would prefer B over A is silly, because your vote does not count, since it did not help either of the viable candidates.

Right, so in any such election, it would be pretty easy to use forced choice tactics to bring about a paricular outcome, the way any ordinary street-hustler might use a forced choice technique to 'magically' pick your particular card from of an ordinary deck. That's not really a point on the broader topic, but relevent to oaf's comment. Shouldn't election systems probably always include as many viable candidates as possible in order to minimize the potential for parties to collude using forced choice tactics? Or am I overreaching?
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 10:43 PM on June 4, 2006


Every time someone sniffily takes their vote and flounces home because the democrats aren't the bright, shining salvation party that we would all like them to be, one more crazy fundamentalist theocrat vote doesn't get cancelled out.

Just wanted to add an a-fucking-men to this.

And the idealists: when you finally get you shit together, we'll be waiting. You bring the torches, we'll bring the guns, 'K?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:42 AM on June 5, 2006


this country is so fucked. What scares me the most is my rising intolerance of religion. Im really starting to HATE these people who in their hearts are trying to do good. Don't they see that how they would fetter our women places them in the unhappy company of backward 3rd world nations? next, FREEDOM BURQAS!
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 5:15 AM on June 5, 2006


oaf: And you don't know what you're talking about. In an election with only two viable candidates (A and B), voting for C when you would prefer B over A is silly, because your vote does not count, since it did not help either of the viable candidates.

Unless your state is "in play" in a federal election (which it probably isn't), your vote is wasted if you prefer minority candidate B over A anyway.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:34 AM on June 5, 2006


Don't they see that how they would fetter our women places them in the unhappy company of backward 3rd world nations?

Of course they see it. That's exactly what they want. Read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale for a fictional version of this vision that becomes less fictional every day.
posted by blucevalo at 9:03 AM on June 5, 2006


Don't vote for the lesser of two evils.

Strategically voting for third parties is the only way to create a major party which is good, not the lesser of two evils. It does so either by forcing the existing major party to adopt the policies sought, or by denying the major party the hold on power it needs to survive. A major party without lots of major offices collapses very quickly.

The message exurban and rural Republicans sent by voting for Ross Perot in 1992 and (if to a lesser extent) in 1996 was clearly heard in the nomination of George W. Bush in 2000.

It can be seen on the Democratic side quite easily by comparing 2004 to 2000. The party establishment chose John Kerry in large part because -- among those thought to be "electable" -- he had by far the most left-wing of records, and could be counted upon to mute the third-party discontent which led to Nader's votes.

The independent candidacy of George Wallace in 1968 was also very instrumental in the transformation of American politics: it removed the conservative breaks from the Democratic Party, paving the way for modeate-liberal dominance, and also showed the outlines of the modern Republican alliance.

All of these recent examples aside, the greatest demonstration is the rise of the Labour Party in Great Britain. Left-wing activists decided to reject the compromise inherent in membership with the Liberal Party, which had been one of Britain's two major parties for more than a century, and decided that a spell of Tory governance was just the thing to destroy the Liberal's dominance and pave the way to their own rise. They became the official opposition shortly after making this move, and quickly consigned the Liberal Party to out-of-government minority status, where it languished ever since.

(Interestingly, the Liberals may well be the vehicle for reversing this process, this time waving the red flag of leftist purism against Labour centrism themselves.)
posted by MattD at 1:30 PM on June 5, 2006


I've exhausted myself in another thread about contraceptive morality, so I'll just chime in here to say that this sucks goat balls, and yes it's quite likely that America is completely fucked.

Damned ignorant credulous peasants.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:56 PM on June 5, 2006


Somebody wake me when the leftists aren't spending all of their time listening to each others' opinions and validating worldviews.

Rightwing nutballs win because they're organized, they have a clear vision, and they're prepared to do whatever it takes to implement that vision regardless of how it might conflict with their supposed morality.

And on the left we have....what?

"This machine kills fascists" my ass.

Abortion doctors live in fear, their clinics are like fortresses, and nobody wants them in their neighborhood. When was the last time you heard of a fundie feeling the same way?
posted by aramaic at 9:00 PM on June 5, 2006


they promise you the crumb of reproductive freedom while assisting in the destruction of our society and our government

Well said, pyramid.
posted by squirrel at 8:13 PM on June 6, 2006


Somebody wake me when the leftists aren't spending all of their time listening to each others' opinions and validating worldviews.

Rightwing nutballs win because they're organized, they have a clear vision, and they're prepared to do whatever it takes to implement that vision regardless of how it might conflict with their supposed morality.


But aramaic--don't you get it? IMO, the current incarnation of the political left does have an "organized, clear vision" and its defining aspect is adherence to its "supposed morality," as you put it, regardless of the cost in terms of lost political efficiency. On the other hand, concern for political efficiency at the expense of morality is part and parcel of what this latest incarnation of the political right in America seems to be about. It seems to have no real coherent vision other than to do whatever it takes to sieze and hold political power. In this particular historical context, the right's unifying view is that the ends (political power) justify the means; the left's unifying (or you might argue, self-defeating) view is that exercising power by the proper means (i.e., with moral restraint) is the end. The current political left (as distinct from other, less humanistic and authoritarian leftist movements that have arisen in the past) can't achieve its vision by sacrificing its morality because its morality is its vision--take away the humanistic morality, and there's no vision left.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 9:46 PM on June 6, 2006


I still don't see why some people think Democrats are going to stand up for women's rights. It seems to me if they'll roll over on everything else, they'll roll over on this, too.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 1:09 PM on June 7, 2006


And Now, the HPV Vaccine
posted by homunculus at 3:12 PM on June 8, 2006


The GOP Forced Me to Have an Abortion
posted by homunculus at 12:10 AM on June 11, 2006


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