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June 23, 2009

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One imagines the same ambivalence would translate into any birth-control debate: on one hand, it "encourages" promiscuity; on the other, it could prevent "those" pregnancies.

It's not a democracy. It's an "hypocracy"... we could call it "the rule of Law."

The paragraphs immediately following, in a world where more Republicans cared about the rule of law, would tarnish St. Ronnie's halo:

Nine months later, after Nixon precipitated the resignations of two top Justice Department officials and forced the firing of the special prosecutor looking into the Watergate affair, Ronald Reagan, who was then the governor of California and would later be president, told the White House that he heartily approved.

Reagan told the White House that the action — which would become known as the “Saturday Night Massacre” — was “probably the best thing that ever happened — none of them belong where they were,” according to a Nixon aide’s notes of the private conversation.

It's hardly the past.

I had a pro-lifer on my blog last week who had been arguing for a few posts about the evils of abortion... before he stepped up to the mark to complain about how abortion and contraception means fewer Caucasian babies are being born.

Not all pro-lifers are racists, but the pro-life movement is so wrapped up with right-wing racism that it's not possible to cut it loose. The whole "Demographic Winter" thing is about the fear that not enough white babies are being born.

Ghastly.

But I am glad that we have come from a president who was publicly anti-abortion but privately would abort interracial children to a interracial president who is pro-choice and appears to say what he means in public and private.

As I briefly blogged here, I'm slowly going through what transcripts, and some of the audio, that was made available on the web today.

I probably won't get to a post until at least tomorrow, though.

But speaking of racism and governmental policies related to medical procedures, check out this.

Weren't the vast majority of Americans openly racist at the time Nixon said that?

"Weren't the vast majority of Americans openly racist at the time Nixon said that?"

Depends on your definitions. I would say no.

Much of "conservative" Protestant America was apathetic. It's a romantic myth, that Roe v. Wade "woke them up."

I'm telling you the rise of civil rights and second wave feminism, during the 1970s, scared the crap out of 'em.

I do think the main lesson here isn't really left-right, or party-affiliated, but just time passing. It was a very different time. The way that our national neuroses about American innocence and race got expressed was that way. Today it's a different way. Ours would look strange to them, too.

Having said that, yeah, ewww. Pretty grotesque.

It's a slow day so let's drag out old nixon and reagan to kick.

D'd'd'dave, I'm terribly sorry that this blog's frontpagers and its commenters occasionally choose to highlight things that you think are correct but inappropriate or unimportant. I recommend that you start a blog where all of the posts can be restricted to topics that you perceive to be the burning issues of the day.

I mean, it's not as if we're still living in the world created by the unrestrained view of executive power whose influence saw enormous increases under Nixon and which despite its obvious and exposed abuses was not rejected but rather affirmatively embraced by Reagan and especially by George W Bush - and now, to an entirely discomfiting degree, by Obama. Worrying about the structural rot in the American system of government would just be crazy, when you happen to think it's not a slow enough day to do so.

Warren Terra

No thanks. I'll just comment here.

I see that you saw this post as a commentary on structural rot in the American system of government rather than it being about Nixon's views on abortion. That's a nuance of interpretation that I confess I did not consider. But then again, I'm new at trying to interpret liberal-speak.

D'd'd'dave, you chose to complain that Reagan's perfidy was being denounced in the comments. Support for unrestrained and corrupt use of executive power was the precise nature of Reagan's offense under discussion.

I will concede that if you hadn't felt so upset about St. Ronnie's failings being so churlishly rehashed there would have been little about executive power under discussion. If you had only cited the kicking of old Nixon, then indeed executive power would have been unrelated to your complaint. I guess that under those circumstances then your only complaint would have been that you wouldn't have chosen to bother with writing the original post. Bully for you, I guess.

I'm sure that Nixon was not the first president to 'precipitate the resignations' of administration officials. I'm also sure that Obama will not be the last. This type of rot, if it is rot, is not new. To determine if it is rot in a particular case one would have to look at the individual circumstances.

Perhaps you can dismount your horse before you address me again.

Um, Dave, are you supporting the Saturday Night Massacre there? Because that's how I read your comment.

And it's a very nice horse indeed.

sometimes, when I want to see the utter illogic of tying women receiving equal pay with murdering their children held up as wonderful, I need only come to left wing blog and read the comments.

warren terra:

I know you're a liberal, and therefore aren't that smart, but I'll break it down for you:

Dave's comment was saying "hey, what Nixon did was not out of the ordinary for presidents."

He was not saying it was a good thing, vegan; he was saying that calling Nixon out on it is silly, since Dave believes all presidents do similar things.

Hope that enlightens your wee wittle wiberal brain. Now go support that lying, child-murdering, terrorist-coddling, kill-whitey President Dumbass, er, Nobama!

I'm glad lurker has an inside track to dddave/frank's brain-they certainly deserve each other.

It's a slow day so let's drag out old nixon and reagan to kick.

d-d-d-dave: could you please explain to me the statute of limitations on kicking politicians? Because if so, a lot of right-wingers have got to stop hating on FDR and MLK. And am I allowed to criticize medieval rulers on my blog now? Because there are times I just feel the need to say that Edward I was a vicious racist.

Jesu, I have a really hard time believing that all the pro-lifers that you encounter are the walking straw-men that you often portray. For most of my adult life a whole lot of my very good friends have been Baptists and traditionalist Catholics--never once have I heard any of them say anything about preserving the white race or needing to control women's sexuality, or *any* of the views that you consistently attribute to pro-lifers based on what you say is your own experience of them.

never once have I heard any of them say anything about preserving the white race or needing to control women's sexuality

Well, as long as we're trading in anecdotes, I'm going to give Jesu some qualified support. I grew up in a conservative Catholic milieu, and my parents were involved in the anti-choice movement in the 70s. And though they became disillusioned with the direction the movement took subsequently, they remain vociferously anti-choice.

We don't discuss the issue much, but I can say this from experience: No, they do not explicitly talk about "preserving the white race" or "controlling women's sexuality." But yes, there is very much an implicit narrative among them and a hell of a lot of other anti-choicers I've known of (1) women unfairly avoiding the natural consequences of being sluts, and (2) the women "in the city" who "get welfare" from the government in order to "crank out more babies" being the worst culprits of all.

Jesu may be overstating the case, but she is not creating a strawman out of thin air here.

LJ

Lurker is correct as to what was in my brain except for his last paragraph.

Actually, I don't know anything about the Saturday Night Massacre. I just think there are legitimate circumstances where a president can dismiss a member of his administration. So to say 'so-and-so precipitated the resignation of whats-his-name' is meaningless if you know that so-and-so is higher in the chain of command (for lack of a better term) than whats-his-name. The action is not ASSUMED to be improper absent details of the circumstances.

magistra

There is no statute of limitations. Some 'kickings' will be considered gratuitous, however.

Jesu, I have a really hard time believing that all the pro-lifers that you encounter are the walking straw-men that you often portray.

Walking straw man's comments are still on my blog, Andrew: might be easier to check them out, then go for some other rationale about how they don't exist.

For most of my adult life a whole lot of my very good friends have been Baptists and traditionalist Catholics--never once have I heard any of them say anything about preserving the white race or needing to control women's sexuality

Did you argue with them about their anti-choice views, or try to get them to detail for you their rationale why women can't be allowed to decide whether to terminate or continue their pregnancy?

I know at least one very, very nice Catholic man who never in my hearing said anything as outrageous as "Women who are raped ought to be forced through pregnancy and childbirth against their will, and if they manage to get an illegal abortion they shouldn't be allowed health care" - but, he will fulminate against Amnesty International for supporting a raped woman's right to choose abortion and a woman who had an illegal abortion's right to health care. He says this is because he is pro-life and abortion is evil. I say this is because on some level he believes women are incubators without any need for human consideration. We don't argue about it because most of the time when I meet him, it's a social occasion when it would be entirely inappropriate to degut him for being a misogynistic hatemonger: I might never have known he'd felt this way except we happened to meet at a commemorative demo for Tiananmen Square and it was appropriate for him to explain why he'd ceased to support Amnesty International and for me to explain why I approved AI's decision to support women's lives and oppose rape.

I didn't make up the Demographic Winter thing either - nor invent the strong correlation between the people who oppose a woman's right to choose and the people who think it's a problem if the birth rate for white babies is slowing more than the birth rate for babies with too much melanin to suit a white supremacist.

My closest friend believes abortion is evil and asserts she will never have one: we've never argued about it, because we both unite in agreeing that regardless of your personal moral views about abortion, it's absolutely wrong to allow the state to force a woman to have a baby when she wants to have an abortion. So while we disagree about the evils of abortion, we have at root nothing to argue about (she's a nurse, so she doesn't have a reflex feeling that the doctor ought to get to decide).

Actually, I don't know anything about the Saturday Night Massacre.

Unsurprising, if revealing.

I just think there are legitimate circumstances where a president can dismiss a member of his administration.

Let's hope those circumstances do not extend to times when said members are investigating the President for violations of the law.

Actually, I don't know anything about the Saturday Night Massacre.
Turns out, Wikipedia does know something. The article is only 500 words, and if you read it I hope you'll agree that the "Massacre" was not at all the sort of thing that Presidents of any party do all the time, or that should be considered remotely acceptable.

Praise for the Saturday Night Massacre by anyone later associated with the executive branch, let alone a future President, seems to me to be worth knowing about.

Hey, as long as we're mind-reading, I'll play, too.

Maybe hilzoy decided to drag old Dick Nixon out for another swift kick because the article she quotes from was published, um, *today*.

Maybe the NYT decided to publish the article *today* because the information it discusses *just became available*.

To wit:

"But privately, newly released tapes reveal, he expressed ambivalence."

When it's a really dull day, we talk about baseball, Battlestar Galactica, science fiction, and cleek's top 100 albums of all time.

No use wasting spare time on Dick Nixon.

OT

"we talk about baseball"

In your opinion, would it be better to pick up John Mayberry Jr or Don Kelly on my fantasy baseball team? One of my guys is on the DL and I have a spot to fill for two weeks.

Actually, I don't know anything about the Saturday Night Massacre.

Then honestly, d,d,d,dave, why would you comment on it? I appreciate your honesty (now and at other times), but what is your comment worth? Who is being knee-jerk here?

And I think the point of the post is that things are better now, in some ways.

I know I've dragged this out before, but it just tickles me (in a mordant way): to be fair to Nixon, I remember another item from the tapes, wherein he and his boyz were strategizing about some bill and suggested that they needed to give 'something to the Jiggs'. The old Nixon Charm!

jonnybutter

I commented because it struck me that since old nixon and reagan were being dragged out to kick it must be a slow day.

The paragraphs immediately following, in a world where more Republicans cared about the rule of law, would tarnish St. Ronnie's halo:

Of course, the conditional verb tense is doing all the work there.

I commented because it struck me that since old nixon and reagan were being dragged out to kick it must be a slow day.

Well, you know, bloggers can blog about whatever they want, no? This material was released today, and she felt like writing about it. And I don't see how it's inapposite anyway.

Abortion is still a going issue, certainly. Abuse of executive power is a going issue. And Reagan is the patron saint of the current GOP (although he wasn't brought up by Hilzoy.) Plus, Nixon is (to me, anyway) endlessly fascinating, and not only in a shallow, easy-to-make-fun-of way. He's absolutely a pivotal figure in 20th century American political history - and there are tapes.

And also it was a good way to comment on Faulkner's famous phrase, which I appreciated. Some important things actually *have* changed for the better since the early 70s. Pretty good use of a 'slow news day' IMO.

"Not all pro-lifers are racists, but the pro-life movement is so wrapped up with right-wing racism that it's not possible to cut it loose."

Oh good heavens. Two words: Margaret Sanger.

And a conspiracy minded person like yourself should certainly note that the organization she founded Planned Parenthood currently aborts a much higher percentage of African American fetuses than it does white ones. Coincidence? Or all part of a decade spanning plan of opression? Surely you can't ignore the evidence right before your eyes?

[/sarcasm]

"Actually, I don't know anything about the Saturday Night Massacre."

Then your opinions about Nixon are so ignrant as to be worthless. Such ignorance of such basic facts about Watergate makes you unqualified to speak about Richard Nixon.

It'd be like a discussion of George W. Bush where you said you knew nothing about the Iraq War, Afghanistan, Katrina, or a any fiscal issues.

"Then your opinions about Nixon are so ignorant as to be worthless."

It's good that I didn't give an opinion about Nixon then, isn't it? I gave an opinion about how little there must be to blog about today. But you knew that didn't you?

You thought you'd just throw in a little gratuitous name calling, I guess. I hope you feel bigger today as a result.

I'm sure that Nixon was not the first president to 'precipitate the resignations' of administration officials.

Followed by

I'm sure that Nixon was not the first president to 'precipitate the resignations' of administration officials.

If I were Captain Kirk, this is the point where I could make its head explode.

Sebastian: Oh good heavens. Two words: Margaret Sanger.

Yes; Margaret Sanger believed that "a woman possessing an adequate knowledge of her reproductive functions is the best judge of the time and conditions under which her child should be brought into the world. We further maintain that it is her right, regardless of all other considerations, to determine whether she shall bear children or not, and how many children she shall bear if she chooses to become a mother... Only upon a free, self-determining motherhood can rest any unshakable structure of racial betterment."

Like many people of her generation, including Jean Webster (ever read Dear Enemy, Sebastian?) Sanger believed in eugenics.

Unlike the right-wingers and conservative Christians who supported eugenics, then and now, Sanger believed that "racial betterment" was promoted by giving women free access to contraception and sex education, not by - as right-wing pro-lifers then and now would argue - the state taking control of women's fertility.

And a conspiracy minded person like yourself should certainly note that the organization she founded Planned Parenthood currently aborts a much higher percentage of African American fetuses than it does white ones. Coincidence?

Not at all. Planned Parenthood provides healthcare to uninsured/low-income women. Right-wing conservative Christian racist policies have ensured that black women are much more likely than white women to be need of the healthcare Planned Parenthood provides. Capitalist healthcare and decades of conservative-enabled racist discrimination are responsible for the proportionally higher number of black fetuses aborted - as conservative family-unfriendly policies are responsible for abortions by women who cannot afford to have a baby.

But hey: these conservative Christians, who hate gays as much as they hate women, are your political masters. You wouldn't dare criticise them, would you, Sebastian? At least... you never have.

"the state taking control of women's fertility."

And speaking of the state taking control of women's fertility: !!!

Or: 32 U.S. state engaged in forced sterilizations. North Carolina, as I link to lengthy elaboration on, was still doing it through 1973! And still had a State Eugenics Commission through 1977!

Note: leftwingers were not in charge of this.

"But hey: these conservative Christians, who hate gays as much as they hate women, are your political masters."

Perhaps we should buy Sebastian one of these, and he'll change from the outside in.

(Note: not an actual endorsement of the claim made about Sebastian.)

Yeah, eugenics was pervasive throughout the white world, especially in the US and Germany, whether you were conservative or progressive. Hard Leftists types were more likely to call it in question, being they viewed class and not biology, determining a person’s essence. And U.S. American Communists were more likely to hurt itself over race.

War">http://www.waragainsttheweak.com/">War Against the Weak Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race

"The">http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3243/is_3_65/ai_n28916475/pg_29/">"The American Breed": Nazi eugenics and the origins of the Pioneer Fund @ Albany Law Review , Spring, 2002 by Paul A. Lombardo

Nice Sanger quote, Jes, how about:

It is said that a fish as large as a man has a brain no larger than the kernel of an almond. In all fish and reptiles where there is no great brain development, there is also no conscious sexual control. The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.

or

Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.

or

Apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

or

It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them. Herein lies the key of civilization. For upon the foundation of an enlightened and voluntary motherhood shall a future civilization emerge.

I suspect I got them from the same wiki article you did.

Ahhh, Planned Parenthood aborts more black babies because black women NEED them more because evil fundamentalist Christians make them do bad things. I wonder where Sanger would have put them on the aboriginal Australian/white person place on her so called human family? If you applied your normal level of causative proof, you'd at least be marginally worried that maybe they are *REALLY* just continuing her work rather than believing the self-serving statements about why they do things.

(Other interesting legal note, if you applied the discrimination standards of say Ricci to Planned Parenthood and abortion, it would be prima facie evidence that Planned Parenthood was discriminating against black people. [This in my mind is an argument against the hamhanded use of disparate impact tests NOT a serious argument that Planned Parenthood is actually full of racist eugenicists])

"In your opinion, would it be better to pick up John Mayberry Jr or Don Kelly on my fantasy baseball team?"

Sports is not my beat.

Ask me about the differences between New York and Cuban mozambique, and we'd have something to talk about.

Sebastian, can you point to any conservative Protestants, or secular Conservatives, who were "struggling" against eugenics, during Sanger's era?

It's no accident that Republicans tended to be pro-abortion, until the late 1970s.

To be fair to (some) conservative Christians of an earlier age, at the 1971 gathering of the Southern Baptist Convention, delegates introduced a resolution calling for "legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother." And W.A. Criswell, giant of 20th Century fundamentalist Baptist theology, said of Roe at the time, "I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person, and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed." Then along came the Dominionists and their possibly unwitting tools, such as Francis Shaeffer and the money- and power-seekers of the Moral Majority, and suddenly all that papist fretting about abortion became a fundamentalist rallying cry... years after Roe had been handed down. Now, it's possible that the Southern Baptist delegates and Criswell primarily had getting rid of mixed-race babies in mind, but that doesn't rule out their official acceptance of the practice under other circumstances. So Nixon's statement still stands out, especially since it's not clear he was a religious fundamentalist; though I suspect that Jerry Falwell would have endorsed it, given his racist record at the time.

(The preceding quotes were drawn from an excerpt from Randall Balmer's Thy Kingdom Come posted at Slacktivist.)

And yes, yes, we've heard about Margaret Sanger and her evil eugenics ideas that were uncontroversial at the time, aside from the "woman's autonomy" parts. And Hayek and Rothbard openly admired tyrants. So?

Regardless, by 1973, eugenics had become much more controversial for some reason, yet it was Nixon espousing it, not Planned Parenthood. And it's also not been Planned Parenthood that's been hollering of late about the demographic nightmare occurring if the dusky hordes keep outbreeding the white race, either.

Off-Topic: Fox is up to its old tricks again, identifying SC Gov. Mark Sanford as a Democrat on-screen.

Sebastian,

Comparing Planned parenthood statistics and Ricci statistics is clearly an attempt to obfuscate and not a serious argument. To be comparable, the black firemen would have had to have been asking to Not be promoted. It is in fact, exactly converse, since the Planned Parenthood statistics are all getting what they want. Very disingenious.

Do we know that white and black people all get exactly the same counseling from Planned Parenthood? ;)

Sebastian: putting a smiley after a comment does not magically remove the stupid from it. Apparently, you didn't know that.

If you have information that Planned Parenthood is deliberately implementing genocidal policies, then say so. Hinting around in a cutesy fashion says nothing except that you're making shit up in the hopes of scaring the liberals.

Sweden also held fast to state-enforced eugenics for far too long.
Btw, at times there were claims in communist states that 'bourgeois' was hereditary and therefore uncurable (even if the offspring was not educated by the bourgeois parents).

Harmut,

Even though eugenics became less popular around the 1930s, in the US, biology and culture became fused, after WW2, in the minds of many American intellectuals. The social systems, which protected white elites were rarely called into question, and the “blame” and “cause” of poverty was placed on the “culture” Black and Latino lived in. Both right and left began to accept a theory called “the culture of poverty” which focused on the “moral” behavior of the poor instead of the social system of the dominant ethnic group.

Planned Parenthood aborts more black babies because black women NEED them more because evil fundamentalist Christians make them do bad things.

Planned Parenthood serves women who need reproductive healthcare and have nowhere else to go. The pro-life terrorist and political campaign against reproductive healthcare in America is indeed evil, and yes, conservative Christians have been in the forefront of it.

The racist and gendered nature of poverty in America means that black women are more likely to need Planned Parenthood than white women. Is it really news to you that black people in the US tend to be poorer than white people, and that women tend to be poorer than men?

If you applied your normal level of causative proof, you'd at least be marginally worried that maybe they are *REALLY* just continuing her work rather than believing the self-serving statements about why they do things.

I do believe that Planned Parenthood are REALLY continuing Margaret Sanger's work, Sebastian: they're continuing her work to put women in control of their own fertility.

Pro-lifer arguments that Planned Parenthood is OMG!RACIST because proportionally more black women make use of PP's services than white women usually fall - as your comments illustrate - into the directly racist/sexist idea that black people/women have no agency in this.

(Other interesting legal note, if you applied the discrimination standards of say Ricci to Planned Parenthood and abortion, it would be prima facie evidence that Planned Parenthood was discriminating against black people.

Ooh. Please, Sebastian, please write that post! You haven't done one of your "I'm going to make a big fancy dance of how ignorant and stupid I am about abortion in the US" posts in ages! And it sounds like this one is going to have added racism, so I'll get to link to it as a perfect example of how conservative pro-lifers are always racist as well as sexist, always really, really twisted up about the idea that women get to decide about whether or not to have babies, and totally choked up about how they no longer get to regard black women as breeding animals producing babies at the will of white authority. Please, Sebastian - write that post.

The racist and gendered nature of poverty in America means that black women are more likely to need Planned Parenthood than white women.

That's it, right there.

Planned Parenthood and a college education have helped many folks, I know, get out of poverty.

The racist and gendered nature of poverty in America means that black women are more likely to need Planned Parenthood than white women.

Oh, come on. "Need"? Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

"If you have information that Planned Parenthood is deliberately implementing genocidal policies, then say so."

Read the thread, I'm hinting no such thing. I'm suggesting that Jesurgislac's parnoid mode of thinking isn't productive. Thanks. :)

"Oh, come on. "Need"? Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"

Are there no condoms?

Are there no condoms?

& The Pill?

& the ability to abort a zygote?

& never underestimate the value of Pap Tests & HPV Tests.

"Are there no condoms?"

Do condoms not fail?

Should people be sentenced to a lifetime of unwanted responsibility when they might not be up to the job, because of a single event's error, even if they did make an impulsive and stupid, or ignorant, decision not to use a condom?

As we know, people always make completely rational, and non-impulsive, decisions about sex, during the throes of passion. Why shouldn't that immediately qualify them with a lifetime's ability to be a responsible and good parent, and give them the resources to be a good parent?

Are there no condoms?

Yes, and birth-control pills, too. Planned Parenthood offers them at low cost, but only to all those black women who lack personal agency when it comes to reproductive decisons. So you'll probably need to swing by Wal-Mart, Mr. Holsclaw.

someotherdude: Planned Parenthood and a college education have helped many folks, I know, get out of poverty.

And that, right there, is enough reason for conservatives to hate Planned Parenthood. As Sebastian demonstrates.

Sebastian: I'm suggesting that Jesurgislac's par[a]noid mode of thinking isn't productive.

Now, now, just because you're embarrassed at having been revealed to be just another white conservative racist pro-lifer, no need to accuse me of being paranoid.

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