Evil Republican mischief elf Rep. Steve Stockman, the same congressional asshat who snarked Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s outfit, sent out a tweet on Friday that was sure to outrage just about every social media user with even a gossamer shred of empathy. It purported to unveil Stockman’s new campaign bumper stick: “If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted. Vote Pro-Life!"
Stockman punctuated this lovely little bit of political pot-stirring with “#gosnell” as a way, writes the Christian Science Monitor’s Mark Sappenfield, to point out the media’s “pro-abortion-rights bias” to all of his conservative followers. According to rankled conservatives like Stockman, the media hasn’t paid nearly enough attention to the grisly tale of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the 72-year-old Philadelphia abortion provider now on trial for the murder of one patient and seven newborns. The Gosnell hashtag is, like the time Stockman compared President Obama to Saddam Hussein or invited Ted Nugent to the State of the Union address in February, a transparent grab for attention lest Stockman, a Texas congressman, simply fades into obscurity trailing all of his century-old politics like a wooden duck train pull toy.
Gun control and abortion are taking center stage in American politics right now, with states like North Dakota pushing a series of draconian restrictions on abortion rights and the Senate deciding to consider the possibility of maybe someday having a tête-à-tête about limiting access to firearms, so aging rockers like Ted Nugent have to find a less dangerous way to occupy their golden years. Maybe backgammon, I don’t know — I’m not a crazy old dude yet. Stockman, a self-appointed “defender of the conservative cause” (which at this point revolves exclusively around backwards-only time machines), is trying to mash two issues together like an undergrad looking for a Shakespeare allegory in every one of Pauly Shore’s movies, but the Gosnell clinic of horrors has nothing to do with gun legislation, and Stockman has done a gross disservice to his constituents (and everyone with eyeballs) by trying to illicit cheap Twitter thrills from his flawed comparison.
It’s precisely this sort of sensationalism that thwarts any bipartisan effort at cooperation in the Legislature. Commentators talk all the time about how divisive political rhetoric has become, but it’s not always a two-way street. The GOP has been finding itself on the wrong side of history on just about every social issue up for public debate, from gay marriage to abortion, but rather than simply reconsidering their present course, Republicans have poked their heads out of the hole they’re digging, looked around and collectively agreed, “Let’s just keeping digging until we come out on the other side, whaddya say?” Steve Stockman’s tweet is meant to do nothing more than galvanize self-avowed conservatives, and it is not the incisive piece of political satire he thinks it is.
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