While making the obvious but necessary point that a McCain presidency would be terrible for reproductive freedom, Robyn Blumner wonders if bovine idiocy is in fact a job requirement for the Republican nomination.
The New York Times Web site reported the following exchange with a reporter in Iowa in March 2007:
Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?”
McCain: (Long pause) “Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.”
Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”
McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”
What Blumner doesn’t point out is by accepting the president’s policy like a warm communion wafer, McCain is also announcing his de facto support for pork. In the interest of funding the evidence-free obsessions of the Christian right, more than a billion dollars of federal money has been shoveled into a pile and set on fire since 1998; most of that money has been gobbled up by folks like this:
Claudia Horn, through her firm Performance Results Inc., collects $1,551 per day for training groups in program and [abstinence-only] curriculum evaluation. According to its federal filing, PRI’s 2005 sales to state and local governments were $1.1 million, with an additional $250,000 coming from the Feds, including such clients as the Department of Justice, the Office of Personnel Management, and Housing and Urban Development. But Claudia Horn’s indirect public receipts are likely even higher, as her-private sector clients include IYD and the National Fatherhood Initiative (once headed by her husband, Wade), each of which is heavily funded through federal grants.
Anne and Gordon Badgley, who received $9 million in federal grants for their nonprofit, Heritage Community Services, also set up Badgley Enterprises to market and sell their abstinence-only curriculum, Heritage Keepers. While Heritage’s IRS 990s are sketchy and marked by vague expenses, even a student loan repayment, they clearly show that the Badgleys pocketed $174,201 from the taxpayer-funded nonprofit by buying the curriculum from their own private company.
If you’re the sort of person who’s likely to miss this sort of shit after Bush leaves office, a vote for McCain makes a tremendous amount of sense.