From Pine View Farm

Comment Rescue: Good Money after Bad Dept. (Updated) 3

Bill, in the comments.

I think the whole kerfuffle over contraceptives is a side-issue, like worrying about where that penny rolled to while the dollars are burning in the fireplace, but I think the rest of it deserves the attention of my two or three regular readers.

Hell, he even did something I usually don’t:



The Booman attempts to corral this Trojan horse of an issue. The whole thing is worth the five minutes it takes to read, but here’s the heart of it:

The Republicans are making hay about contraceptives, but it is a distorted and dishonest talking point. Reporters should set the record straight on the facts before they analyze the effectiveness of the talking point. They shouldn’t reinforce the talking point before analyzing it.

Having said that, even if the Republicans were using the term ‘family planning’ it is difficult to defend the economically stimulative effects of family planning funding. Most people see family planning funding as a program for helping (mostly) poor women, and not as a way to create jobs or jump start the economy. Even Nancy Pelosi was inclined to argue the waiver was a cost-reducing measure rather than a strictly stimulative one. Good family planning programs will reduce the cost of providing health care (CBO estimates it will save $200 million over five years).


Here’s another take, courtesy of Karen.

I’m not taking a stand on this. As I said, it’s a side issue to this bill.

(Aside: That does not mean I consider it a side issue to public policy; health care will soon be on the table. Rather, this who-shot-john is another manifestation of the Repulsican Party’s weird and rather creepy preoccupation with other persons’ genitalia.)

The practical truth in politics is that sometimes the smartest thing to do is concede the skirmish and focus on winning the war.



  1. Bill

    January 27, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    “I think the whole kerfuffle over contraceptives is a side-issue…”

    You apparently missed my point. I don’t care about funding contraceptives. They can give them away for all I care. But inserting funding for contraceptives in the economic stimulus package is just an example of a larger problem. Congress can’t write a bill – even an important bill such as this one – without bogging it down with unrelated spending and/or pork (Nancy Pelosi’s opinion that contraceptives are economic stimulus not withstanding). They need to stop screwing around (I couldn’t pass it up) and do their job.

  2. Frank

    January 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    [chuckle] If that’s the only irrelevent thing that makes it into the bill, I’ll eat a trojan horse.

  3. Frank

    January 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    And an afterthought. I do not expect purity from the political process, no matter who’s involved. The old saw about not watching sausage get made still applies.

    I will settle for fact-based decision-making, good intentions, and good faith.

    Good intentions and good faith are not the same thing. I do believe that Mr. Bush had good intentions. One out of three didn’t cut it.