December 05, 2003
Inside the belly of the beast
Ginger reports on being a mole at a pro-life rally last night. For the record, I'm the unnamed friend who accompanied her. I have just a few things to add to her excellent account of the event:
- The politician from the second video segment was State Senator Tommie Williams (R, The Woodlands). Hearing him rhapsodize about helping "society's most vulnerable members" and all that the 78th Lege did for them was enough to make me want to barf.
- I confess that when David Bereit went on his digression about blogging and mentioned that someone had posted Chris Danze's phone number and that this person was in the very room, my heart was pounding. I relaxed when he said that said person was attempting unsuccessfully to videotape the event, but it still took a few minutes for me to fully calm down. For what it's worth, Bereit said that Danze had received about 20 calls, and that he himself had gotten one.
- I believe that everyone who considers himself or herself a libertarian and who tends to vote Republican because they think that party has a better record on civil liberties should check Jim Sedlak's schedule and hear him speak the next time he's in town. After he's finished ranting about homosexuality, Internet pornography, "uninhibited sex", the Communications Decency Act, library filters, Griswold v. Connecticut, and the "penumbra of the Constitution", ask yourself if you might be voting for the same candidates as he and if this really is the best way to represent your own interests.
- Speaking of Internet porn, the moment when I had the hardest time keeping a straight face was when Sedlak claimed that the CDA would have kept porn off the Internet. The modern world is such a confusing place, is it not?
- The spitting hatred that Sedlak and Bereit had for Planned Parenthood was astonishing to me, and I say that as someone who's done clinic defense and patient escorting. They're such obvious nutballs, though, that I can't say I fear their influence on mainstream America. It's guys like Chris Danze, who was a very effective low-key speaker who came across as a trustworthy person with a mission, that worry me.
Anyway. It was an interesting and in its way enlightening evening, even if I felt the need to wash my brain out with soap afterwards.
UPDATE: The outed blogger was indeed Gunther, who has his own recap of the evening and quite a bit more on the speakers. Start at that link and work your way down. Also, via Byron, here's an update on the clinic whose construction was obstructed by Danze.
UPDATE: Just as an FYI, any comments which refer to me as a "baby killer" or the like will be deleted, and the commenter's IP address banned. I expect that will only be the case for drive-bys.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 05, 2003 to Society and cultcha
Jim Sedlak opposes "uninhibited sex"? Let's have a moment of sympathy for Mrs. Sedlak.
The biggest problem I have with the kind of anti-choice people who do rallies is that they contribute so very little to actually reducing the number of abortions. There are genuinely pro-life people running facilities that provide financial and emotional support to women, who actually prevent abortions instead of just making women's lives harder.
The people who convince teenage girls that they don't have to have sex just because "everyone else is," who educate those who do have sex to use contraception, who ensure that there are homes for the children of women who do not want to raise them and there is support for women who do -- they're the ones preventing abortions. The fools at the rallies are just basking in their own self-righteousness.
For the record, I'm the one who was trying to videotape the event, as I'd said I intended to do on my website. I've posted a bit on this today about how I perceived the whole event, but I must admit that I was a little freaked out when Bereit announced that I was there. I was really thinking for a second there that maybe the guy does have some special powers that let's him know these things, until I realized that he probably deduced thngs from reading my website and noting that I was the only person in the room with a video camera.
You speak of libertarian voters and checking records on civil liberties. As a small (and large) "L" libertarian, I do agree with you; the problem is that the D's and the R's tend to go in opposite directions with personal freedoms and economic freedoms. It's understandable for a Democrat to want to show libertarians of the disregard for civil liberties, but it's just as understandable for a Republican to show how his/her opponent wants to raise taxes and dilute property rights.
Show me a Democrat who, left to their preferences, doesn't want to tax the crap out of me or a Republican who stays out the bedroom and the womb, and I'll tell you who has my vote if there's no Libertarian candidate (or if that Libertarian candidate is too whacked out for me).
For libertarians, the civil liberties aspect is only half of the story. The problem is that too many "civil libertarians" want to tax the hell out of me and too many "property rights" and anti-tax candidates want to tell consenting adults that they can't have gay sex, get an abortion or smoke a joint in their own home.
Think it's frustrating being a Texas Democrat? Try being a Libertarian!
More moles keep coming forward, I wonder if there might not have been more moles than true believers in the crowd. You should coordinate to keep the moles small in number, otherwise the nutballs think there are more of them than they really are, and you're just giving them encouragement by the weight of numbers.