Mike the Mad Biologist

Defending, Not Using, Victims

More than a few conservatives are upset about the Michael J. Fox commercials because they’re unfair: how do you respond to the emotional pull of someone who has Parkinson’s disease? If you watch the full-length CBS interview, Couric cruelly hammers Fox over and over with the question of if he overexaggerated his symptoms for the commercial (she’s obviously trying hard to dispel the image of being the nicest of the big three anchors). But where she truly entered the realm of tastelessness was when she repeated Rush Limbaugh’s charge that Democrats use victims for political purposes.

Limbaugh’s question exemplifies why the modern conservatives simply ‘don’t get it.’ We’re not using the ‘victims’, we’re defending them. If you don’t like it that Fox goes on television to advocate for stem cell research, then stop throwing up roadblocks in the way of that research. If you don’t like the commercial showing what a pregnant fifteen year-old has to go through to get an abortion under a court-notification law, then don’t support the law. If you don’t like ads that feature Iraq War veterans who have lost limbs, then buy them some fucking body armor. These are all things the left and/or Democrats are trying to do.

Get how this works? We’re defending them, not using them. It’s time for the ‘Party of Personal Responsibility’ to get a pair and face the consequences of their actions. It’s a truly bizarre moral calculus: the worse the consequences of a particular course of action are, the more reprehensible it is to point out those consequences.

Update: digby, as usual, makes a very good point:

They obviously think it’s manipulative and wrong to show the actual results of an illness for which you are advocating. After all, somebody might be having dinner and they don’t want to have to look at that icky sick stuff that makes them feel all guilty and uncomfortable. Therefore, it’s an attack if someone endorses a particular candidate and he isn’t “normal.”

These DC elites really need to get out more. Sick, disabled, elderly imperfect people are very common out here in the real world. I would imagine it could even happen to some of them too — and when it does I don’t want to hear about their conversions to the cause. If you have to personally experience something before you have compassion for it or understand it you are an immature, shallow person. Which is what they are.

Comments

  1. #1 Roger
    October 27, 2006

    Right on. My father had Parkinsons (and heart disease) I saw the Fox video and wnet, ‘that’s so true.’ Even if stem cell research doesn’t produce quick results it is still a search for answers and, as the commercial, says a source of hope. How many embryos are disposed of each year by fertility clinics? And how much help could those embryos be for Parkinson’s and other diseases? It seems a no brainer to me. And as for not being Christian to talk of using embryos in this fashion, I’m ordained in the presbyterian church, my mother was ordained in the presbyterian church, and my father was ordained in the presbyterian church (PCUSA), so there are at least three of us who have been recognized as leaders, or some such thing, who alsosupport scientific research including stem cell research.

  2. #2 DragonScholar
    October 27, 2006

    Frankly when conservatives in America argue something is manipulative, it’s hilariously hypocritical. All I can say is “Terry Schaivo.”

    Parkinson’s is terrible. If you don’t like seeing people with Parkinson’s, then help find a damn cure.

    Of course from what I’m hearing, this is backfiring on the conservatives and Limbaugh.

  3. #3 The Ridger
    October 27, 2006

    But it’s their fault they’re sick/pregnant/damaged – because if God loved them he’d take care of them. They deserve it. Especially the poor – didn’t Jesus say they’d be with us always, which means don’t help them? Just push them out of sight and forget them, and get on with your own God-blessed life.

    Only they’ve learned they can’t put it quite so bluntly.

  4. #4 Grady
    October 28, 2006

    Thankfully, the democrats never use victims for political purposes and NEVER lie about the reasons for getting into wars.

    No sireee!!!

    You can bet your life on it!

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