Monday, February 22, 2010


Question: how many different ways can wingnuts use the existence of developmentally disabled children as a cudgel useful for bashing liberals?

Well, by now you've probably seen this story from Virginia:

RICHMOND [Virginia] — State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God's punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.

He made that statement Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.

"The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children," said Marshall, a Republican.

"In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There's a special punishment Christians would suggest." ...

Now, note the very, very different approach taken by Eileen Marie Gardner, a Heritage Foundation "scholar" who was appointed to an Education Department job during the Reagan years by then-education secretary William Bennett:

Gradner -- who had to resign after her writings on the handicapped became public knowledge -- also wrote:

Back then, handicapped children were born that way, according to one wingnut, because God wanted to teach them a spiritual lesson; now, apparently, they're born that way because God wants to teach their baby-killing parents a lesson.

We know Sarah Palin believes just the opposite -- she believes that "not only had God made Trig different but He had made him perfect." Presumably Palin believes God makes all children perfect, in ways we mortals can't truly understand, and presumably a perfect child isn't a punishment to the mother. But this view -- which is exactly the opposite of Bob Marshall's -- is just as good for bashing liberals, who are believed to want all disabled fetuses aborted, and no backtalk.

The Palins, we assume, will send Trig to a school where, one imagines, Eileen Marie Gardner would say his presence will be "weaken[ing] the quality of teaching." But will any right-winger actually say that? Probably not, because being nice to developmentally disabled kids is, in the Palin era, presumed to be a much more effective form of liberal-bashing than saying nasty things about them. Except, of course, when the disability itself can be used to demonstrate the parents' wickedness.

See, it's fun to be right-wing -- you have great freedom of argument, just so long as your argument arrives at the endpoint LIBERALS ARE EVIL.

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