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Archive for March 5th, 2012

I now completely and totally understand what “mind-numbing” means.

I’ve been sitting at my keyboard, staring at the screen as though it were going to speak to me,  There are so many thought running through my stream of consciousness that I am having trouble wading through them all.

Rush Limbaugh has lost most of his sponsors.  He’s still on Clear Channel Premiere Radio Network (Inc.),  as he owns his own show, and is likely to stay put, as Bain Capital helped take the company private some years back.  (No wonder Mitt Romney waffled when asked his thoughts on the Fluke situation.) Therefore, Rush really doesn’t have a boss who could fire him, and if CC is privately held, who knows?  They may let him stay as long as he pays up, they may secretly agree with him, or they may boot him.  Time will tell.

Even Republican pundits piled on Rush in the Sunday talk shows.  Peggy Noonan called him “piggish”  George Will absolutely blasted Republicans for their response, pointing out that John Boehner;’s “inappropriate” would have been better suited had Rush used the wrong fork.  Matthew Dowd all but called Rush a clown, and Ron Paul said that the only reason that Rush is sorry is because his sponsors were bailing out at a high rate of speed.  All things considered, however, no one tackled Rush the way that Uppity did in her Sunday post – check it out if you haven’t read it.  It’s a masterpiece.

To top it all off, some keen-eyed soul checked out Rick Santorum’s tax return and discovered that he has deducted in the neighborhood of $100K in medical expenses plus another $100K in household help.  To the best of my knowledge, you cannot deduct general household help, so I’m assuming that these folks may be home health assistants for little Bella.  As great as it is that they have been able to provide top-notch care for their child and thus give her a high-quality and probably longer life, $200,000 is four times the average annual American salary.  As noble as Rick Santorum’s beliefs may be, they just don’t compute for the average person.  I loved my daughter dearly, but would never, ever have been able to provide that level of care for her. Mother Jones’ Stephanie Mencimer correctly asserts that the Santorum’s daughter is indeed living proof of the need for, as he calls it, ObamaCare.

Here are some salient quotes from the article:

Beyond that, the Affordable Care Act expands the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid to include families making 133 percent of the federal poverty line, so that more disabled children will be covered. Santorum is deeply opposed to this sort of socialism. In November, he complained that people who weren’t stuck in poverty could qualify for Medicaid, which he said would only lead to a sense of entitlement among children in the program. Better to let the people do without, he said: “Suffering, if you’re a Christian, suffering is a part of life. And it’s not a bad thing, it is an essential thing in life.”

If Santorum were to win the White House, his health care policies would certainly impose some suffering upon many families with disabled children. And the negative impacts of those policies would be exacerbated if Santorum were able to implement his theologically driven opposition to abortion and birth control. A devout Catholic, Santorum has said that birth control is “harmful to women” and “harmful to our society”—because he thinks that sex should only be a procreative act among heterosexual married people. He thinks the Supreme Court was misguided when it struck down a ban on the sale of contraception to married people in 1965. Presumably, he and Karen have eschewed contraception—and at the age of 48, Karen had Bella.

Were Santorum to deny women, particularly those in their 40s, abortion and contraception, more families—including those of lesser means—would face the severe challenges of raising disabled children. The possibility for serious complications rises exponentially among older women should they forgo contraception. Humans weren’t designed to have children well into mid-life. The risk of having a child with Down Syndrome for a woman in her 20s is 1 in 1,250. At age 45, the risk jumps to 1 in 30. At 49, it’s 1 in 10. Most American women who conceive a disabled child choose to abort. Santorum is certainly free to find fault with this on moral grounds. But if disabled children are gifts from God, as Santorum has said, why make it harder for parents to care for them? More people, too, might forgo abortion if they could be sure that bearing a disabled child would not bankrupt them.

After Santorum mentioned Bella in a debate last fall, people on the campaign trail started asking questions about her. So he made a moving video to let the public have a glimpse of the child who is too medically fragile to join him on the stump. On many levels, the Santorums have a lot to teach us. But what’s missing from their tale is any evidence that their own personal trials have given them insight into other people’s suffering—or compassion for it. Supporting health care reform so disabled children can have a fighting chance at living with dignity can be just as moral as opposing abortion. Yet Santorum seems unable to recognize that the inspiring tale of his own family makes that very case..

So there you have it.  We have a man with four spouses and no children – no Rushbo Junior, no Ruschelle – ranting loudly and inaccurately about contraception while calling a young law student unspeakable names.  Then we have another man who rather shrilly asserts the high moral ground, but doesn’t feel the necessity to stand on it.  That’s enough to make anyone think twice about thinking at all.  I’m going back to bed, y’all.  Just as soon as I tape two aspirins firmly over my ears.

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