19 December 2008

An early Christmas gift to the far-right

It seems George W. has given the far-right an early Christmas gift.
In the waning days of his administration, the president declared that “doctors, hospitals, and even receptionists and volunteers in medical experiments [have the] right to refuse to participate in medical care they find morally objectionable,” according to a Dec. 19 L.A. Times article. This “Conscience Rule” includes, of course, abortion, a hot-button, no-solution issue that has served the G.O.P and the Christian Right very well over the years.
This latest ruling is another example of Bush pandering to the religious right and conservative elements that have put him in office. With his political capital and popularity at low levels, he has nothing to lose, and many seem to dazzled with the prospect of President-Elect Obama’s coming to power that George W. doesn’t get the attention he used to. In fact, I think the last time I saw him on the news was when the White House issued the last “Barney’s Christmas at the White House” video, in which George woodenly recited lines to the black little canine.
What really bothers me about this “conscience” rule is that there isn’t really any other job in the world (as far as I know) where you can decline or refuse to do something simply because it is “against your morals.” This is especially where customer service (which, after all, medicinal practice is to a degree) is concerned. For example, what would happen to me if I refused to serve an obese person at McDonalds? I would be fired. What would happen if I refused too help someone at Toys ‘R Us because my personal belief is that video games will make their kids lazy? I would be fired.
I can appreciate people’s feeling on this polarizing issue. But what I do not condone is a way for people to get out of doing something that is part of their job description simply because it goes against their morals.
And as far as being a “pro-life president,” George W. is a sham. It’s obvious the man doesn’t practice what he preaches. As governor of Texas, Bush pardoned one out of 153 prisoners executed on death row during his time in office. Even if a man is convicted by a jury of his peers and is executed, is it not still death? Has not a life, however much the dark side of the human soul calls for blood, still been taken? Even with terrible things on its conscience, a life is a life.
Perhaps it is just easier to fight for the rights of the cute white babies we see on the pro-life billboards on the sides of the nation’s freeways.
I guess I should not be surprised. Bush’s pro-life (which, in my opinion, should be more accurately termed “anti-choice”) policies seem a simple matter of political pragmatism and nothing more. How many lives will that pragmatism end up affecting?

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