Monday, July 20, 2009


I have no idea how Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) of Kansas says his last name, but I hear it as one of those embarrassing bodily eruptions. Because of this:

Arguing to restrict the public funding of abortions within the District of Columbia, Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kans., suggested on Thursday afternoon that if such "financial incentives" were available some 47 years ago, Barack Obama himself may never have been born.

"If you think of it in human terms, there is a financial incentive that will be put in place, paid for by tax dollars, that will encourage women who are -- single parents, living below the poverty level, to have the opportunity for a free abortion," said Tiahrt. "If you take that scenario and apply it to many of the great minds we have today, who would we have been deprived of? Our president grew up in a similar circumstance."

"If that financial incentive was in place, is it possible that his mother may have taken advantage of it?" Tiahrt asked. "Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court justice, if those circumstances were in place, is it possible that we would be denied his great mind? The opportunity to have tax-funded abortions, a financial incentive, is something that I think most of us want to oppose in America and it's certainly deserves a clean up or down vote."

Note the racism? It's only black men who are mentioned as possible victims of abortion. It's harder to see the sexism, but note that it's only black men who are mentioned by name, except for president Obama's mother, and she is only brought in as someone who might have killed a fetus which would later have developed into a great mind.

You know, that argument has been used before. Usually it's about someone having aborted the person who would have cured cancer. It's never about someone having aborted Hitler, say, or a serial killer of the more common sort.

Then there's the sexism of ignoring the woman making those decisions in the first place. She's an aquarium for the great minds!

Finally, note the classism. The wealthy can afford to snuff out the great minds of the next generation, so we must not allow the poor single-mothers to do the same. Never mind that poor women are not given much help to bring up their children in the first place, and never mind that the Republicans always want to stop those programs which do exist, however good they are (Head Start comes to mind here).