Tea Party Priorities

Evidently, the theatrics–make that “tea” actrics–will not end anytime soon.

You may remember that, in 2011, when he was still in Congress, Mike Pence was an enthusiastic leader of that year’s “defund Planned Parenthood or shut government down” effort. It’s 2015, but in the crazy caucus, only the faces have changed. Last week, Indiana Congressmen Young and Stutzman were among those voting to shut down government.

Despite last week’s passage of a short-term “clean” funding measure to keep government open until December, the zealots are still intent upon shutting down government unless Planned Parenthood is defunded, and a not-insignificant number of them say they’ll refuse to raise the debt ceiling when the time comes. (That, of course, would cause a massive default by the U.S. on its obligations, including such obligations as military pay, social security and medicare.)

Given so many Republicans’ willingness to do it again, you’d think the last shutdown (in 2013, over Obamacare) had been a rousing success for the would-be extortionists. It wasn’t–at least, not in what the rest of us call the “real world.”

Indeed, as the zealots prepare to play yet another game of chicken, twenty thousand federal workers are still suing over the last government shutdown, and a recent report by the Congressional Research Service calculated the economic damage done by that fit of pique:

Federal employees worked 6.6 million fewer hours during the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, according to a recent report, with the loss of productivity resulting in a 0.3 percent loss in economic growth.

In other words, sending more than 850,000 federal employees home without pay for at least part of the shutdown took billions of dollars out of the economy.

Although the ideologues refuse to believe it, most government employees work at jobs that actually need to be done. When those jobs don’t get done, the economy slows, hurting everyone.

None of that matters to the zealots. In order to “defund” Planned Parenthood–that is, in order to keep Medicaid from reimbursing the organization for medical services provided to poor women and men (STD tests, breast cancer screenings, birth control pills, etc.), they’re willing to make poor people poorer. And sicker.

Tea Party “patriots” are willing to ignore the reality that there are no other providers with the capacity and reach to substitute for Planned Parenthood, and that defunding the organization would cut off medical care to millions of Americans.

Poll after poll confirms that most Americans support Planned Parenthood, value its services and don’t want to see it defunded. They also don’t want another government shutdown.

Americans would really like to see a Congress that governs rather than postures, but apparently, that’s too much to ask.

 

27 thoughts on “Tea Party Priorities

  1. Why is Planned Parenthood the only medical care provider singled out to shut down? They provide needed medical services to men as well as women. There are other medical clinics who also perform abortions, always paid for by the patients, who receive federal funds. They, like Planned Parenthood, offer medical testing, preventive services such as mammograms, birth control, STD tests and services, counseling, et al; they save lives. They provide these services to uninsured, under insured, unemployed, low income and those who qualify for public assistance. Hospitals also provides these services and receive federal funds – but they are big business now so they are allowed to run free with their escalating costs.

    As for not raising the debt ceiling; the Constitution gives Congress the right to incur debts, it also REQUIRES any and all of these debts be paid when they come due once they have become law…as passed by Congress. Why should this again be an issue wasting more tax dollars; one would think the Republicans would consider saving the cost of another shutdown to fund that war they are in such a hurry to declare – somewhere, anywhere for any imagined reason.

  2. Stupid is as stupid does. These people have no interest government or ability to govern the US. They need to be removed. Too bad they are now in SAFE districts. Not sure HOW we get back from here.This is serious.

  3. Every point you make is correct. But something has gone unsaid. These people will not be satisfied to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood – no, they will not be satisfied to do just that. They will settle for nothing less than the destruction of the organization in every way.
    Remember Acorn?
    So, what’s to be done? Well, perhaps starting to spread the words of the late, great State Representative Bill Crawford: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”
    Which means get involved, and V.O.T.E.

  4. Ridiculous. Planned Parenthood is being targeted because of its gruesome, and pssibly illegal, abortion practices. PP pushes competitors out of the marketplace, gaining a near monopoly in providing these services with our tax dollars, and then use that monopoly status to argue for continued funding. Unfortunately PP is an expert in getting people to shill for the organization and the continuance of the PP monopoly which actually hurts women’s health care. Unfortunately Sheila is one of those people.

  5. Paul; grow a vagina and breasts – preferably breasts with lumps – then come back and tell us about Planned Parenthood.

  6. To clarify, my discussion of PP’S monopoly refers to the organization’s providing other, non-abortion health care services which are funded with our tax dollars. Of course money is fungible so the prohibition on taxpayer funding for abortion is pretty meaningless.

  7. Our economy is about 1/3 government and 2/3 business. So the bone-heads are chasing the weak sister. They should pursue instead shutting down business until the’re paid their ransom of votes from the bone-headed for the bone-heads.

    Why do you suppose they do not?

  8. Memo to Paul: Planned Parenthood services clients not to obtain a monopoly, but because many providers don’t want or refuse to do them for the lower reimbursement costs medicare/medicaid provides. As had been pointed out ad infinitum 97% of what they do is NOT abortions, and the abortions they perform are NOT paid for with tax dollars. Finally, many Planned Parenthood facilities are located in areas other providers avoid because they can’t gouge enough profit out of the less affluent people living there. You are not only off base, you are not even in the ball park.

  9. Vote Young and Stutzman out of office-that is what we need and contribute your time and financial support for such and to Baron Hill for Senate right now.

  10. Sheila: How about a class action lawsuit naming the Republican Party, its talking heads, some members individually, and the red states for, among other things, conspiracy resulting in material damage to Planned Parenthood and millions of Americans who rely on PP for health services? Wouldn’t that mute some anti-legal-abortion noise?
    Plenty of proof is out there to support such a suit.

  11. Republicans hate PP for the same reason that they hate Obamacare. Both are baby steps towards socialized health care and thereby reveal the glaring failures of privatized health care.

    The idea of health care as a service rather than a means of wealth redistribution gets them right in their greed gland.

  12. and possibly another respondent: Paul K. Ogden who writes this parroting of “conservative” complaints and could prove the allegations in court:

    Paul K. Ogden October 3, 2015 at 9:16 am
    Ridiculous. Planned Parenthood is being targeted because of its gruesome, and possibly illegal, abortion practices. PP pushes competitors out of the marketplace, gaining a near monopoly in providing these services with our tax dollars, and then use that monopoly status to argue for continued funding. Unfortunately PP is an expert in getting people to shill for the organization and the continuance of the PP monopoly which actually hurts women’s health care. Unfortunately Sheila is one of those people.

  13. Everyone posting here knows full well that the vast majority of these ‘procedures’ are carried out in well established clinics, hospitals, and doctors offices all over this nation. PP is just a drop in the bucket but it is a drop that goes to the less entitled and that just galls the GOPs doodoo.

  14. PP was where I had my first well woman exam because I was too nervous to go to my GP for it. I was in my teens and I didn’t need my parent’s permission and since I didn’t have much of an income, I didn’t have to contribute much either. I think I paid about 10 bucks for the exam. Sure that was eons ago but I will support PP for the rest of my life because of the kindness that they showed me when I was scared and modest and didn’t want to show my regular doctor that I was now a woman.

    Of course, “men don’t get that.” And why should they? They don’t have to do that (see a doctor) every year. They don’t have to get checked regularly because well, they are men. Men don’t do doctors much (is my experience until they have a heart attack or something). They have no idea what it’s like to bleed every month. To have pain that is ‘down there’. They don’t know what it’s like to have to check for lumps in their breasts either. They have no idea what it’s like to have to spread eagle and show your lady parts to strangers for these exams.

    I’ve never had an abortion but you can bet that before I got married, I thought about it. Every single month after I was sexually active. Every single week…am I pregnant? Did I take the pill this morning? Goodness knows, my Mother reminded me constantly about it. Even today when I called her, she joked, anything new? Are you pregnant! I’m in my 50s.

    You guys that have opinions about PP are really going to be shut down some day and I hope I am alive to see it. Please stop talking about something you have no idea about. You have no idea how stupid you sound. Just please stop asking, stop talking about PP and think about gun control. Now THAT is something we can debate about.

  15. Planned Parenthood is the best known; perhaps this is due to the quality of their care, the many options for patients and their numerous locations. When a family member asked me for help to obtain an abortion due to a possibly fatal medical condition, we opted for a Naral supported clinic due to convenience to both our homes. They provided quality care; before, during and after the surgical procedure…and it is a surgical procedure not a death squad action. My friend went to Planned Parenthood when she discovered a lump in her breast; PP acted immediately, all necessary testing, providing doctors and services. Months of chemo and radiation, loss of her long hair, lumpectomy and 7 lymphectomies and she has been cancer free for three years.

    I applaud the care at Planned Parenthood medical clinics and the local Naral medical clinics for their quality assistance and treatment by licensed medical specialists, received immediately as needed. As for Paul’s attitude about PP being a monopoly; it isn’t a monopoly when it is one of numerous available options for treatment, unlike IPALCO and Citizens Energy Group – the latter with annual cost increases after being established to save consumers money.

  16. Paul, like nearly all Republicans, hates for either women or poor people to get any health care. In fact, you could just say he hates women and poor people. That would pretty much cover it.

  17. I didn’t have health insurance until I was 27. Planned Parenthood was where I went to have my Pap Smears which I was told should be started shortly after menses. They were the only source of education on self care. MDs never had time for a thorough education.

    Also, Paul there are many other clinics that soles do abortions that are not Planned Parenthood and none of the PPs I went to offered abortions. Our college had a PP person come in to our Psychology of Sexuality class for a talk….the few talks on sex I be received from my mom were riddled with wrongs. Very grateful for PPs direct talks.

  18. I didn’t have health insurance until I was 27. Planned Parenthood was where I went to have my Pap Smears which I was told should be started shortly after menses. They were the only source of education on self care. MDs never had time for a thorough education.

    Also, Paul there are many other clinics that solely do abortions that are not Planned Parenthood and none of the PPs I went to offered abortions. Our college had a PP person come in to our Psychology of Sexuality class for a talk….the few talks on sex I be received from my mom were riddled with wrongs. Very grateful for PPs direct talks.

  19. From Wikipedia:

    “Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system’s paradigm, or the ideology itself.”

    Republicans offer us dogma.

    Democrats offer us pragmatism and practicality and what humanity has learned including science.

    For some people that’s a tough choice because their dogma favors them over others.

    But progress has always come from abandoning what favors some for what is best aligned with reality. All of it, not just what makes some feel good.

    We are products of reality, not fantasy.

  20. Dogma once served the world pretty well. In fact it was a large part of culture and served to reduce the need for new generations to learn the lessons already learned by preceding generations. Like what to/not to eat and how to treat others and sexual mores, etc.

    What used to serve us well no longer does due to both the complexity and rapid changes in the modern world.

    Knowing how to think is required now just to keep up with expanding knowledge and instant global communications.

    But the Republican Party invested the last couple of decades pandering to dogma. Evangelical biblical, the armament industry’s political, the traditional business economic, and the militaristic dogmas started as voter bait but have now become entrenched in GOP DNA.

    I don’t see them escaping it ever. They will slide into post modern obsolescence. Not without dinosaur quality extinction commotion but steadily until those who have escaped dogma regroup into new parties.

    This like all evolutional reality just is what happens to species slow to adapt.

  21. “sending more than 850,000 federal employees home without pay for at least part of the shutdown took billions of dollars out of the economy.”

    The very definition of absurd and risible argument. If the economy could be grown by handing government dollars to each citizen, then we could simply print mountains of money and distribute it to anyone who wants it.

  22. Gopper; there is nothing absurd or laughable about 850,000 employees anywhere not getting paid…and being unable to put their money into the economy by maintaining their debts.

  23. Gopper: the economy is the exchange of goods and services from labor to consumers. Whether the means of production are owned by all of us and payed for with taxes or owned by some of us and payed for on a transaction basis makes no difference at all to the economy. It’s still the consumers paying for the direct and indirect labor, raw material, means, logistics, and energy using the value of their labor.

  24. In response to GOP complaints that Planned Parenthood is breaking the law by secretly using federal funds for abortions, a number of states – including Indiana – have investigated Planned Parenthood. No ‘fungible’ violations of the federal funding ban for abortions have been found in any of those states.

    The GOP folks who claim other providers would provide Planned Parenthood’s medical services to poor women and men have voted dozens of times to eliminate Obamacare and expanded coverage for the poor. Being pro-life only until birth isn’t very pro-life.

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