No Comment — July 17, 2007, 10:43 am

The Tide Turns, Decisively

Word in Washington is that an overwhelming majority of Congressional Republicans are now prepared to turn on the White House over its criminal mismanagement of the Iraq War. They’ve put up warning signs repeatedly, and now they’re offering Bush one last chance to appear to be a leader and not a deranged hermit wandering the desert. But Bush, the bubble boy who has little intercourse with his subjects (for that’s how he sees a mass who once were citizens) and rarely hears the advice even of his few competent retainers, thinks he still hears the voice of God. And to our nation’s great despair, it’s actually the voice of Dick Cheney. Bush is like the Spanish tyrant Philip II, the man who conceived such a passionate hatred of freedom that he hurled the Armada at England and sent the Duke of Alba and the Inquisition to stamp out the sparks of liberty in the Low Countries. Philip, as the great philosopher-poet Schiller writes (see Quote for the Day), could not cope with the realities of the world nor with the aspirations of its people; he kept his eyes fixed on a God above—though most assuredly it was a false God, one of his own making, designed for the singular purpose of giving him stability and fortitude—the power to persevere in a cause which was entirely pigheaded and wrong.

So now the latest signs. Richard Scaife, the Mellon heir, and the nation’s number one funder of rightwing causes, has a mouthpiece down in Pittsburgh, the Tribune-Review, and here’s a snippet of its Sunday lead editorial:

Perhaps Jack Murtha put it best: The Pennsylvania congressman, among the first to make the cogent argument that staying the course in Iraq was the exercise in futility that indeed the war has become, says President Bush is delusional. Based on the president’s recent performance, we could not agree more. “Staying the course” is not simply futile — it is a prescription for American suicide…

And quite frankly, during last Thursday’s news conference, when George Bush started blathering about “sometimes the decisions you make and the consequences don’t enable you to be loved,” we had to question his mental stability. If the president won’t do the right thing and end this war, the people must. The House has voted to withdraw combat troops from Iraq by April. The Senate must follow suit.

Our brave troops should take great pride that they rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein. And they should have no shame in leaving Iraq. For it will not be, in any way, an exercise in tail-tucking and running. America has done its job. It’s time for the Iraqis to do theirs

Meanwhile, Ohio Republican Senator George Voinovich, tells CNN that he “warned” Karl Rove, Bush’s brain, last week that, “The president is a young man and should think about his legacy. He should know history will not be kind unless he can come up with a plan that protects the troops and stabilizes the region.” A large number of Republicans, Voinovich reported, are prepared to break with Bush over the conduct of Iraq War, and to do so now. CNN reports that in private discussions, Voinovich is not so diplomatic, using expletives to describe the Bush Administration’s management of the war effort.

The tide in the country turned nearly two years ago. And now the tide even within the GOP is turning, decisively. If the Republican Party wants to salvage itself, it needs to break with the delusional navigator who has steered the ship of state onto the shoals of a war of choice; it needs to embrace the message of its founders, and find its way back to a position of genuine leadership. Both Scaife and Voinovich have recognized this obvious truth.

This is an important moment in America’s political history. For America’s interests will not be served by the collapse and destruction of the Republican Party. They will be served by a Republican Party once more worthy of the great legacy that spans Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Eisenhower.

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

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 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

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"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
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