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For thee but not for me

Rob reports on this article about abstinence-only education as it’s practiced in Lubbock, Texas (which as Rob also notes has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in Texas). Abstinence-only is how Team Bush wants sex ed taught around the country, with an emphasis on the dangers of sex and contraception.

I’m curious about something. If sex is as dangerous as they make it out to be, then surely everyone in the Bush White House would have practiced celibacy before marriage. I mean, I’m certain they would never tell Americans not to do something which they themselves have done. Still, perhaps a few reporters should start to ask about it just so we can be sure:

“Ari, you were married last year. Were you and your wife virgins at the time of your marriage?”

“Ari, I understand that Condi Rice has never been married. Is it fair to say that she’s a virgin?”

“Ari, I know that President Bush considers sex before marriage to be risky and unhealthy behavior. Would Jenna and Barbara say that their parents have taught them to remain chaste before marriage, and would they say they have listened to their parents?”

I feel confident that President Bush, his staff, and his family have been leading us by example on this important issue. Don’t you?

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26 Comments

  1. Moe Lane says:

    I admit that I’d find it funny to watch, but I don’t think that there’s any way that you’d ever get a mainstream reporter to ask those sorts of questions: it’d be a recipe for instant pariahdom.

  2. gttim says:

    “Would you like Jenna and Barbara to date frat boys that followed in your mold? You know a drinking and drugging, party animal, girlfriend has to have an abortion kind of frat boy? Do you think that would help them to maintain their virginity?”

  3. rea says:

    Gosh, Moe, your right. The sex life of the first family is obviously totally off limits to the press–no reprter would ever raise such an issue!

  4. rea says:

    Gosh, Moe, your right. The sex life of the first family is obviously totally off limits to the press–no reprter would ever raise such an issue!

  5. I agree with your spotlight on hypocrisy, but your implied criticism is flawed: to have made a mistake does not mean that one should discourage others from making the same mistake; more so even one should advise others to avoid your mistake, you having seen it’s consequences first hand.

    Your actual criticism is more likely, then: Sex before marriage is not wrong. But you use the common rhetorical device of criticizing the messenger to debunk the message.

    BTW, wouldn’t Condi be a real romp in bed? Assuming she didn’t tie her partner up first, and search him/her/it for weapons of mass destruction.

  6. Moe Lane says:

    “Gosh, Moe, your right. The sex life of the first family is obviously totally off limits to the press–no reprter would ever raise such an issue!”

    Huh? Oh, right, the previous administration. On the Gottapoint scale I’ll give that a .75: I’m deducting a quarter point for not taking into account the difference between a sex-related -policy- and a sex -scandal-, but I round all points to the nearest whole number, so you win it anyway. đŸ™‚

    Moe

  7. dave says:

    I love the smell of wingnut hypocrisy in the morning… it smells like… victory…

  8. Jim Nickens says:

    Why isn’t pointing out the hypocicy in this case a perfectly fair way to debunk the message? It’s obvious that they don’t really believe the message and are just pimping for the Religious Right. The real message is don’t get pregnant in high school but they don’t want to admit it.

  9. Sean Malloy says:

    I thought the questions were terrific! Frankly, I was surprised by the wedding announcement to realize that Ari was heterosexual. Anyway…here is my Ari question:
    Ari, could you elaborate on the authorized Dexedrine use in the United States military as revealed in the Canadian Friendly Fire incident in Afghanistan and describe for us the Administration’s position on research and use of narcotics as a tool of the Armed Forces and contrast that to our nation’s, the President’s and his family’s struggle with these dangerous substances?

  10. Jeff says:

    How about:
    “Ari, some of the judges supported by President Bush believe that sodomy is a criminal activity. Has any member of the administration committed sodomy? If sodomy were legal in the states where it currently is illegal, would members of the Bush administration feel free to practice sodomy in those states?”

  11. sean says:

    I thought the questions were terrific! Frankly, I was surprised by the wedding announcement to realize that Ari was heterosexual.
    I would like to ask the dough-faced Presidential spokesperson a question:
    Ari, could you elaborate on the authorized Dexedrine use in the United States military as revealed in the Canadian Friendly Fire incident in Afghanistan and describe for us the Administration’s position on research and use of narcotics as a tool of the Armed Forces and contrast that to our nation’s, the President’s and his families struggle with these dangerous substances?
    I would also like a followup.
    Sean

  12. Thumb says:

    What is the average age for the onset of puberty these days? What about the average age of marriage?

    Considering that the spread must be at least ten years are they proposing that people get married sooner of enter puberty later? If the Religious Right can’t keep their priests from abstaining how is it that they believe telling 16 years olds to forgo sex for 8-10 years is going to be any more effective?

    Oh yeah, it’s all about faith in the supernatural. Nice foundation for government policy.

  13. alkali says:

    I am reminded of Alan Keyes’ statements on abortion in the 2000 race for the GOP Presidential nomination. In a debate, Keyes challenged Bush and McCain to say what they would do if one of their daughters were unmarried and pregnant and was considering an abortion, and each responded that the question was unduly personal and intrusive. Keyes responded that that amounted to the pro-choice position. If Bush or McCain weren’t willing to say in public that he would oppose his own daughter’s having an abortion, he could hardly be credible in asserting that no one else’s daughter should be permitted to have one.

  14. Bird Dog says:

    So, by logical extension, if Jocelyn Elders and Bill Clinton were pushing for condom use, then reporters have the right–no, the duty–to ask if they used them on their respective sexual partners. The hypocrisy is with you.

  15. alkali says:

    So, by logical extension, if Jocelyn Elders and Bill Clinton were pushing for condom use, then reporters have the right–no, the duty–to ask if they used them on their respective sexual partners.

    To the extent relevant, yes. If politician X is pushing for condom availability in schools, a reporter is entirely entitled to ask whether X would be comfortable knowing that X Jr. were attending a school where X Jr. could get a condom from the school nurse. A reporter would not be entitled to ask whether X prefers mint-flavored prophylactics, because it’s got nothing to do with the issue.

  16. JETHRO says:

    I agree with Alkali. There is nothing wrong with asking politicians tough questions – especially when they are willing to create legislation that applies to the personal life of Americans. I think it is perfectly acceptable to pose these types of questions to people – if they cannot empathize with those that would be faced with the real issue, how can they fairly represent those people?

    I don’t think it was necessary for Clinton to have to answer questions about whether he was having sex with an intern – he was not trying to pass a law that made having sex with interns illegal. If he was, then the questions would be valid.

  17. Bird Dog says:

    I think the strategy of ‘the personal is political’ is warping American politics. For all involved, don’t you think it’s better to deal with policy issues without said proponents getting into private matters? I don’t give a rip whether a politician wears condoms, boxers, briefs or Groucho Marx glasses in the privacy of his or her own home.

  18. Bill says:

    “I think the strategy of ‘the personal is political’ is warping American politics. For all involved, don’t you think it’s better to deal with policy issues without said proponents getting into private matters? I don’t give a rip whether a politician wears condoms, boxers, briefs or Groucho Marx glasses in the privacy of his or her own home.”

    I care if the politician is proposing to outlaw or restrict MY right to wear condoms, boxers, briefs or Groucho Marx glasses in the privacy of my own home.

  19. Jeannie says:

    The reason Clinton’s personal life was explored was because his public life was squeaky clean – there was no other way to get him in court. Additionally, Repubs know that Dems hate asking questions like that of others.

    I’m a big believer in applying whatever standards someone applies to someone else back to the originator. Since Repubs were wiling to ask inappropriate questions of Clinton, those same inappropriate questions should be asked of them with the same consequences at hand. If there is no cost to the Republican party’s investigation of Clinton, we will relive that investigation over and over every time there is a Dem in the White House until the point it becomes to costly to the Repubs personally.

    Humiliate them. Humiliate Jenna, Barbara and Noel. Make them out to be the biggest, sloppiest, most indiscriminately promiscuous pieces of white trash to ever pass out open legged in the lobby of the mansions. At the point where that image is a given in the American consciousness, we’ll see an end to the politcs of personal destruction.

    It originates with the Republican party. The Democrats cannot end it. Only the Republicans can.

  20. zizka says:

    Actually, the rate of teen pregnancy has been going down for decades. As I recall, the fifties were the high point. I remember that in my tiny high school (graduated ~60-70, I graduated in 1964), one or two girls would mysteriously disappear every year, in many cases never to be seen again.

    Republicans like sin fine as long as there’s punishment. That’s why they hate birth control/abortion so much — girls might get away with something instead of being “ruined”. (Click on my URL for more).

    Many of them also like to cheat — the rules don’t apply to them. Have fun while you can, and then warn your daughters against guys like you. (Norman Mailer played this game when he started calling himself “profoundly conservative” or whatever idiotic thing it was he said.)

  21. Molly says:

    Were Noelle, Jenna or Barbara to get pregnant, how many seconds do you think it would take before their handlers reached for a phone to make an appointment for an abortion?

  22. Jack Cluth says:

    Are those questions that we REALLY want answers to? In this case, I’d gladly live with the mystery….

  23. I was always under the impression that abstinence was something special that you saved to use only after ya get hitched.

    Hmmmmm, the little woman’s gotta lotta ‘splainin’ to do about this here….

    Next you’ll be tellin’ me that oral sex has no place in the confessional.

  24. Jeannie,

    “Humiliate Jenna, Barbara and Noel. Make them out to be the biggest, sloppiest, most indiscriminately promiscuous pieces of white trash to ever pass out open legged in the lobby of the mansions.”

    You disgust me. You’d attack Bush’s family to get at Republicans. You’re proposing using mafia tactics on the opposing party for nothing other than vicious spite. It’s shameful.

  25. Greg Wythe says:

    Two words Owen … John Derbyshire.

  26. Emma says:

    Owen,
    were you as disgusted when people like Limbaugh attacked Chelsea Clinton? A thirteen year old girl being called a dog? Someone in one of the freeper boards suggesting she should be raped?

    Me, I’d rather stay away from personal attacks on any politician. I’m squeamish; I’d rather not know what folk do in private. AND I am totally opposed to bringing in the spopuses/children of politicians into it; they didn’t sign up for the tour. But if a politician uses personal lives as a political weapon, surely people are entitled to retaliate.