Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jonah and the flail

I support freedom of speech. So if Jonah Goldberg wants to write a column suggesting that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wants to kill ghetto babies, and the LA Times, a paper apparently sorely in need of an audience, sees fit to publish his meandering, slack-jawed drivel, then fine by me. I guess since they’re done calling the Obama girls “monkeys” and “whores,” his fans at the Free Republic could use some red meat anyway.

Let’s just jump right in, shall we?:

Here's what Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in Sunday's New York Times Magazine: "Frankly I had thought that at the time [Roe vs. Wade] was decided," Ginsburg told her interviewer, Emily Bazelon, "there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of."

The comment, which bizarrely elicited no follow-up from Bazelon or any further coverage from the New York Times -- or any other major news outlet -- was in the context of Medicaid funding for abortion. Ginsburg was surprised when the Supreme Court in 1980 barred taxpayer support for abortions for poor women. After all, if poverty partly described the population you had "too many" of, you would want to subsidize it in order to expedite the reduction of unwanted populations.

Left unclear is whether Ginsburg endorses the eugenic motivation she ascribed to the passage of Roe vs. Wade or whether she was merely objectively describing it.

Oh, is it? Is it “left unclear”? Perhaps if one excerpted the entire quote (such as we must accept it in an edited interview), what Ginsburg meant might be a little clearer. This is directly from the interview itself:

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that had changed their abortion laws before Roe [to make abortion legal] are not going to change back. So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often.

Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

How’s that, Jonah? Clear things up for you any?

Having convinced himself that he has successfully associated our only sitting female member of the Supreme Court with eugenics, a movement most notoriously equated with Hitler and the Nazis, Jonah goes on to drop the bombshell that one of the pioneers of birth control and the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was substantially motivated by eugenics. Wowie! Shocking! To find that out, Jonah must have done some serious digging! In fact, he probably dug up a high school level social studies book, because that’s where I read about it.

I think Jonah’s point is that 1, the early proponents of reproductive choice were racists, and 2, maybe they still are.

Regarding 1, I wonder if he’s aware that many early members of the women’s suffrage movement opposed voting rights for African Americans?

It’s true. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, if maybe it was feminists, and not all those good ole boys down South, who were responsible for all that Jim Crow nonsense?

And don’t forget about those lily white founding fathers, man. They owned slaves. AND they wrote the Constitution. Does Jonah know this? Because maybe he should do a column about how people who support upholding the Constitution might secretly be trying to bring back slavery.

Regarding 2, Jonah invokes two dudes with absolutely no business representing modern liberals, and tries to imply that liberals want ghetto babies to die because otherwise they will grow up to steal our iPods.

I think Jonah, who has a tendency to infer a lot from things, might want to think twice before entering the whole does-abortion-reduce-crime fray. Because that fray has a whole lot of smart, statics-savvy dudes in it who would not only eat him alive, but would probably also prove to him that, statistically speaking, he sucks ass.

Furthermore, it’s certainly no surprise that Jonah either forgets, or is too stupid to have figured out, that it’s not the children of minorities that probably disproportionately wreak havoc on society, it’s unwanted children. And the well-off have, as Ginsburg pointed out, never especially needed Roe v. Wade. It’s poor and middle-class women who need Roe v. Wade, but especially poor women, who are more likely than others to not be able to afford preventative birth control, either.

Lastly, I think anyone with even a conservative-sized brain can see that modern eugenics is peopled pretty exclusively by conservatives, and not just the extreme, violent skinhead types, either. Take the members of the Quiverfull movement, whose goal is to push out as many fundamentalists whelps as they can in the hopes of keeping their own kind the dominant population in America. And Michael Medved, a prominent conservative, who wrote a column in which he postulated that “American DNA” is choice, because it’s all up-and-at-‘em and pioneer-y, and oh, a certain population that was brought here by force instead of by gumption might just be peeing in our DNA pool. Also, let’s consider everyday conservative dunces like this Fox correspondent, who’s just, you know, a fucking tool.

So, to take the concern that a lot of feminists have for women who have difficulty financing reproductive freedom, and to imply that that concern is motivated by racism, is fairly despicable. To attribute that motivation to Ginsburg, who is clearly not guilty, and then even to Sotomayor, which Jonah shamelessly does, is beyond even the Jonah Goldberg pale.

But, nevertheless, I continue to believe in freedom of speech. I also believe in reproductive freedom. Even Mama Goldberg’s.


Liberality said...

you rock lady! and screw them conservative lying assholes too!

Some Guy said...

This is the same guy who wrote the book "Liberal Fascism", right? Let me exercise my freedom of speech by telling him to eat a bag of shit.

dguzman said...

Sweet jeesus, why does anyone pay these tools to write their lying blather?

Doc said...

The best part of Mr. Jonah Goldberg dribbled down Daddy Goldberg's leg.


Moi said...

i wish you had a bigger stage and a vastly bigger audience, vikki-tikki-tavi. because you always get it right, and you say it so damn well.

the guy - Francis Galton - who developed/realized fingerprinting, the same old fingerprinting that is still in use today by Our Nation's Police, was quite the old eugenicist. no one ever talks about HIM.

the thing is, early 20th C (and late 19thC) pathology and biomedical science was very widely entwined with eugenics. It wasn't quite the sinister thing to them that it became, thanks to that asshole Hitler. I don't ADVOCATE eugenics, but if one does even a small bit of historical reading on the subject, you realize pretty quickly that initially, people working in the "field" were mostly well-intentioned. and that there were a LOT of them, not just wacky women like Margaret Sanger.

also, that Fox n Friends dude is truly brain-dead. it's staggering that that man has a job.

Dad E said...

I hope you don't mind if I use, "conservative sized brains" when I respond to some of the creepy crap email I get once in a while. What a great image.

More and more I run across people who can't recognize the difference between a fact and some dark emotion that rises to the front of their lips. When I look into their vacant eyes I see nothing resembling intelligence or empathy, only a feeble attempt to puff themselves up.

Anonymous said...

I remember when there used to be a real difference between The OC Register and the LA Times.

SFNative said...

Wow. He's the douchiest.

Distributorcap said...

i give goldberg credit - he never fails to show what a complete asshole with klingons he is - no matter the subject, not matter the tenor - jonah goldberg proves time and time again that the acorn does fall far from the whack-o mother

the whole family ugh

bubbles said...

He looks like a Jonah. Ugh.

I'm with Dad-E - "Conservative sized brain" - one of your better ones, Vikki! Love it!