Having spent the bulk of the past two days finally facing up to taxes (3 hours preparing tax forms, 29 hours stewing about preparing tax forms), I am now ready for the annual walk to the post office to get it over with. So how’s it going with you?
I’m way behind with a lot of other work, so for now I’m just going to briefly note a couple of things:
A blog post titled Do women today have more libertarian freedom than in 1880? caught my attention, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what anything in the post has to do with the “libertarian freedom of women.” It appears to be a discussion among a bunch of men having to do with some abstract notions of government coercion that have no connection to the genuine concerns of women.
Abortion, for example. A remarkable percentage of libertarians I have seen are anti-choice, which suggests that they are not at all opposed to government coercion as long as it’s someone else being coerced. Nebraska just passed a law that would ban elective abortions and many non-elective abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation. Exceptions are made for a woman’s imminent death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” However, if a woman discovers at 20 weeks’ gestation that her baby will be born with anencephaly, too bad. She has to carry the doomed infant to term.
Seems to me this law is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which permits states to ban elective abortions after 23 weeks’ gestation (time of earliest possible viability), but gives doctors more discretion to decide which abortions are medically indicated.
Another provision that was just signed into law in Nebraska requires that all women seeking abortion get a physical and mental health evaluation. This law hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as the other one, but seems to me it will impact a lot more women, making all abortions in Nebraska more costly and burdensome. It also reeks of Big Government Patriarchy, especially the mental health part. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for libertarians to care.
Also: The Great Minds of the Nation continue to evaluate the Tea Party movement. I swear no one has ever gone to such lengths to plumb the depths of the American Left, even in the glory days of the New Left counterculture, ca. 1969. Anyway, the New York Times published an article about another new poll:
The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
They could have saved their polling money and just asked me. I would have told them that.
Steve M has looked at the data more closely than I have, and notes that the Tea Partiers on the whole seem to be content with being Republicans. This contradicts their own rhetoric, but they are less likely than the general population to want a third party. They also deeply dislike Congress except for their own congress critters, who are all exceptions to the rule.
Digby notes that they buy into Republican Party propaganda about who’s to blame for the economic downturn:
Here’s an interesting factoid that tracks with my intuition about these people: they blame George W. Bush and Wall Street far less for the economic situation than the rest of the country does. They hold Obama and congress mostly responsible. But then, if you listen to wingnut gasbags and FOX news crazies all day, that’s what you would think.
Any illusions that these people are angry at Wall Street or big business needs to be dispensed with ASAP. They don’t blame the money people at all.
So, they tend to be Republican, white, male, married, older than 45, and ignorant as bread mold. I could have told them that, too.