Saturday, April 04, 2009

Still More McCollum

Thanks to Mitch Berg and the First Ringer for their support of my Congressperson Ridicule Parity Initiative. It is clear that my fellow bloggers have a fever for curious comments by our local Representatives and the only cure is more Betty McCollum. Their wish is my command.

Once again, all of these statements are available to mainstream media members wishing to apply the Bachmann treatment of context stripping and out of proportion blowing.

Following on the last episode's pattern of absurdly grandiose plans and irresponsible treatment of tax dollars, we get more from McCollum on what she thinks should be a PRIORITY in spending of our money.

It is the power of women and their work that must be made a priority of the United States in not only in speeches and congressional resolutions, but our policies and the dollars we put behind those policies.
Not something that would be nice in a perfect world. Not something to get to if and when all the Constitutionally mandated responsibilities are adequately addressed. Not something to do only after we get our economic heads above water again, or even when we manage to plug the deluge surging into our lower decks. No, the power of women and their work across the world gets put to the front of the line.

Until our sisters around the world are made a priority, our foreign policy goals of fighting poverty, disease, and hunger, and promoting democracy, economic opportunity, and human rights will not be achieved. Maximizing the enormous potential of women and girls to transform societies and economies will, I hope, become a top priority for the Obama Administration.

Our prospects for success in saving the world are dependent on achieving a feminist utopia. And you thought merely fighting poverty, disease, and hunger, promoting democracy, economic opportunity and human rights across the globe was going to be easy!

The President also recognizes that as the world's superpower we also need to be a "super partner" and I will work to support his agenda of expanded engagement and his efforts to increase the foreign assistance budget.

Note, this speech was made on March 10, when all of our government leaders were painfully aware of the economic crisis we face. And she continues to write out more blank checks for this utopian agenda.

In case you thought the responsibilities of being a "super partner" might still be reasonable, abandon all hope by reading these details:

So what should be done? How about a long-term strategy, a generational strategy? Let us focus on girls from birth to 20 years and women between 20 to 40 years old. Let's dedicate a continuum of investments which can yield success for individuals, families, communities, and entire countries.

Let us start with investments in successful birth outcomes for moms and newborns and keep going by focusing on nutrition, water and sanitation, education, and delayed childbearing.

As girls transition to adulthood there must be an economic foundation for them to use their education, earn income, and stay healthy and productive -- an adult continuum.

To unleash the full potential and power women have to contribute greater efforts are needed to promote violence free homes, to expand access to reproductive healthcare, and to increase participation in political decision making.

To summarize, she's pledging our tax dollars to yield success for entire countries by feeding, watering, cleaning up after, educating and providing condoms and abortion services to women from birth to age 40 across the globe. Oh yeah, and provide violence free homes, don't forget that. Not bad for a day's work. But her neglect of the needs of women for premium cable TV packages and a decent manicure tells me there is still room for something in next year's budget increase proposal.

Amid the cash register ringing, note her emphasis on "delayed childbearing" and "reproductive healthcare." I suppose the inclusion of these items in an economic and foreign aid bill isn't surprising for a liberal feminist. They are virtual sacraments for them. In fact, she might be willing to compromise on the feeding and health care stuff, as long as those other important items gets funded.

Her record on the life issues is clear. Unyielding, unwavering, unrepentant support for the contrary positions. A short summary from the non-partisan web site, On the Issues:

Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.

Voted YES on allowing human embryonic stem cell research.

Voted NO on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions.

Voted NO on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime.

Voted NO on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother's life.

Voted NO on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research.

Voted NO on funding for health providers who don't provide abortion info.

Voted NO on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.

Recommended by EMILY's List of pro-choice women.

Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record.

Starting to see a pattern here?

Betty McCollum is also a Catholic. I don't know to what extent she practices the Faith and I don't care. She may be ardent and practicing. She may be ardent and practicing in the Nancy Pelosi sense. Either way, she has a right to privacy in her exercise of her personal religious beliefs.

The problem, fellow citizens, is that she doesn't keep her faith private or separate from her public responsibilities. She wraps herself in Catholicism when convenient, and advertises it for the purpose of furthering her political career. For example, this "Statement of Principles" she signed on to, which begins:

As Catholic Democrats in Congress, we are proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition ...
Apologies to Archbishop Nienstedt and his now sodden computer screen if he happened to be drinking a cup of coffee while reading this.

Another example, her promotion of attending Mass and Catholic shrines on her official Web site.

McCollum will also attend Palm Sunday Mass at the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Final example, this jaw-dropping statement released during the Pope's visit last summer:

McCollum expressed hope that Pope Benedict would speak out about his moral
opposition to capital punishment in meetings with high-level U.S. officials and during public appearances around the country. "The Supreme Court's decision
today was painful for those of us who believe the death penalty is immoral. No one can respond with greater moral authority or spiritual wisdom on this subject than His Holiness."
To be clear, that would be this subject and this subject ONLY. On embryonic stem cells, abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, artificial contraception, etc. please ignore the man beneath the white mitre.

They hypocrisy evident in using the Pope's moral authority in support of one of her pet causes while stridently rejecting his views on a multitude of others is astounding. The positions are irreconcilable. If the press is paying attention to anything this woman says, and believes they have a responsibility to hold our public officials accountable for their logical and policy related inconsistencies, this issue should play some role in press conferences, media interviews, and debates.

Speaking of accountability, St. Paul, and the rest of her district, is full of Catholics. She couldn't be elected without their support. Yet she gets huge majorities all the while making a mockery of Church beliefs on these issues. How does this happen? Archbishop Chaput of Denver recently addressed this, with regard to Obama's election:

"Some Catholics in both political parties are deeply troubled by these issues. But too many Catholics just don't really care. That's the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or immigrants, or the unborn child. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn't need to waste each other's time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow 'balanced out' or excused by three other good social policies."
The point being, if politicians like Betty McCollum knew there would be electoral consequences for such lockstep adherence to anti-Catholic policies, most probably wouldn't bother with it. They value their cushy jobs and power even more than advancing their vision of world wide "delayed child bearing" and "reproductive health". And even if they didn't and still wanted to push it, a Catholic electorate which cared would never allow them access to power in the first place.

Those reviewing McCollum's margins of victory may despair that it's too late now to do anything. But Chaput provides some additional words of wisdom:

After listing the ways to be a more faithful Catholic in the public life, the archbishop reminded his audience that even if they haven't adhered to the Church's teachings in the past, "every breath we take is an opportunity for conversion and a new beginning."


"Catholics in America, at least the many good Catholics who yearn to live their faith honestly and deeply, can easily feel tempted to hopelessness," he concluded. "It becomes very burdensome to watch so many persons who call themselves Catholic compromise their faith and submit their hearts and consciences to the Caesars of our day."

But Archbishop Chaput closed by encouraging Christians to remember the words of Jesus:

"In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

No comments:

Post a Comment