Healthcare: Why Can't We Get the Congressional Option?


There's at least one thing that Republicans do much better than Democrats, and that's marketing their initiatives. It doesn't matter how regressive the idea, Republicans manage to frame it in a way that if you oppose it you look like you're either degenerate, or at the very least, un-American. For example, instead of accurately calling themselves "The Order of Religious Bigots Dedicated to Shoving Our Version of God Down America's Throat," they market their insanity as "The Moral Majority," and instead of being honest and calling themselves "The Public Vagina Brigade," they call themselves "The Right to Life" proponents (even though they're willing to let that very same life starve to death after it's born). Conservatives get a lot of milage out of their creativity in this area, and progressives would do well to follow suit.

The initiative to legalize same-sex marriage would have been much more marketable, for example, if it had been dubbed "The Right to Love."  And the same is true of healthcare reform. Proponents of a public option for healthcare could make life a lot more difficult for opponents in congress if instead of calling it "The Public Option" they simply dubbed it "The Congressional Option" - that way the issue would be self-explanatory. It would force every member of congress who placed the interest of the insurance industry over the welfare of his or her constituents to explain why they want to deny the American people the opportunity to opt into the exact same plan that congress and their families enjoy.

But I only bring this issue up as an introduction to a much more serious problem - demagoguery. All of the public manipulation above is symptomatic of a system that's out of control. It's a clear example of how politicians who are suppose to represent the people, are using marketing and public manipulation to feather their own nests.

Bush Moves to Redefine Contraception as Abortion

I received the following communication from MoveOn warning about Bush's plan toward to restrict access to contraceptive methods deemed to be "abortificants" by the Right-To-Lifers. The letter includes a link to sign on to a letter protesting Bush's planned moves to circumvent the Congress to install new rules in the guise of "regulations."

Is Contraception a form of Abortion

Christian Conservatives with support from the Bush Administration are extending their campaign against abortion and sex education to also try to turn back the clock on contraception. They now support legislation to prevent any institution that receives federal funding from refusing to hire doctors or health workers who refuse to provide abortion, contraceptives and information on birth control to patients.

Unsung Heroes: Dr. Susan Wicklund

Dr. Susan Wicklund has devoted most of her 20-year medical career to helping women who are faced with the hard choice of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy during their first trimester—the only cases she herself treats. Now she has written a gripping account of her experiences, in THIS COMMON SECRET, My Journey as an Abortion Doctor.

Even though practicing abortion had been legal in the United States since 1973, in order to provide abortions, Wicklund has had to face right-to-life terrorists who not only threatened her own life but relentlessly persecuted her young daughter. Some of the experiences she writes about are horrible, but her triumph over intimidation and her sensitive treatment of her patients inspiring.

She grew up in a small working class community in Wisconsin—no one in her family had gone beyond high school—nor had she planned a different life. However after she underwent a legal abortion under horrible conditions she was drawn to midwifery, and then to the bold move of becoming a doctor. Her aim was to practice women’s medicine but she was drawn to becoming an abortionist when she realized that even though it was legal, it was still very difficult for women to get help in terminating a pregnancy.

Another GOP Candidate Crashes and Burns: "From Zwoof, with Love"

Originally conceived, written and published on DailyKos but far too important not to crosspost here.

Recently, Zwoof posted a diary called Romney 'The Brethren in Salt Lake City told me I could take this position'. The diary gave kudos to Bob Love, who called our attention to the issue in his comment here. Bob, in turn, credits daristani's comment as his source.

In a nutshell, Romney's candidacy is now toast. Make the jump for the short finish, then go Rec Zwoof's piece and give mucho kudos to Bob Love and daristani wherever you find 'em today.