Firmly pro choice, I am.
Take that outlook and couple it with an admission that I've done and said a few hypocritical things in my life. Those facts, combined with the revelation that the Republican National Committee's insurance policy covered abortions, made me laugh -- again and heartily -- at the party that loves to hate.
Here's the background: Politico.com broke the story last week that the RNC's insurance policy covers abortions. What! Republicans and abortions in the same sentence ... and on an occasion when one of their imbalanced brethren isn't setting fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic or shooting at the office of a doctor who performs the procedure!?
Wonders never cease.
Conservatives generally oppose abortion. They staunchly believe that every life has value. And every single life does have value. Babies are beautiful and kids -- even the ones that irk the living hell out of us adults -- are our future and deserve love, protection, education, kindness, opportunity, yada, yada, yada.
(Viewed through another prism, however, conservatives actually have done a bang-up job of reframing pro-choice Americans as pro-abortion people who use and endorse abortion as a means of birth control.)
Some conservatives even oppose abortions in cases of rape and incest, which is a position that I couldn't possible disagree with any more than I have for years. Their position is that the mom can put the child up for adoption as there are many loving men and women who would provide great care and comfort for the child if it's developmentally disabled or suffers from a range of conditions if an incestuous encounter led to the pregnancy.
While this country is full of some of the most compassionate, loving people who do wonders in providing the environment required for a special needs child, a woman should nevertheless forever retain the right to decide if she wants to carry a healthy or, sadly, an unhealthy fetus to term.
Back to the comedy of errors that is the judgmental RNC, namely the words of righteous indignation from RNC Chairman Michael Steele who bleated in a statement: "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."
RNC spokeswoman Gail Gitcho told Politico: "The current policy has been in effect since 1991, and we are taking steps to address the issue."
With Steele's stern declaration and Gitcho's contextual explanation in place, let's see how Cigna, the RNC's insurer of record, responds after getting the GOP's official word that they need to opt out of the abortion coverage. And if Cigna agrees (or acquiesces, take your pick of verbs), will the RNC ask, and will Cigna agree, to not offer abortion coverage to any other insured, lest the RNC decide to cancel their policies altogether and terminate the relationship?
That would be like conservative hawks staunchly advocating the strategic use of war as a way to fight the enemy over there to keep them away from this country's borders but not necessarily endorsing the notion of their sons and daughters riding in military vehicles that course a landmine-laden field in the interest of finding gun-toting terrorists who have burrowed into the sides of mountains, ready to kill or be killed.
Wait a minute. Something here just don't look right and fails the smell test ....
The Republican Party officially opposes abortion but holds and pays for an insurance policy that covers abortions for the women who work at the party. At the same time the hot topic of government funding for abortions is a major issue within the interminable fight over healthcare reform. Can we assume that not a single woman who has ever worked for the RNC has ever had an abortion? And if one of them did, were they terminated for cause for found a cause to terminate their relationship with their employer?
Somebody please answer that question. The future of a viable two-party political system could very well hinge on the degree to which the RNC further sinks into the pit of hypocrisy while trying to undermine and deface the Obama administration. And don't forget about the party's commitment to legislating morality.
If Leno, O'Brien, Letterman or Seinfeld would've told obvious and inherent pro-choice jokes to an adoring audience, the crowd surely would've believed they made up the particulars in this case to get a cheap laugh.
Don't be surprised if more than one pro-life Republican balks at future donations to the RNC. Expect internal disagreements galore. I'd like to witness the train wreck that will be GOP vs. GOP. As they size up each other and tear each other down, re-think the prescient words of playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, who once said: "He has no enemies but is intensely disliked by his friends."