Monday, May 02, 2005

What's wrong with WV?

Well, perhaps I should stay away from medical politics. Maybe I should just discuss something safe, like national politics.

Here's something interesting from the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web:
What's the Matter With the Charleston Gazette?
Today's edition of the ultraliberal Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette has one of the (unwittingly) funniest editorials ever:

Several times, we have posed this question for political experts: Why did West Virginia--long a Roosevelt-and-Kennedy Democratic "blue state"--become a Republican "red state" in the past two presidential elections, despite 2-to-1 Democratic registration?

Why did this low-income state vote for the party of the rich--a party openly slashing help for common Americans and giving huge rewards to the wealthy?

We never received an explanation from any of the state's political professors or other societal analysts. But an answer was offered by one of the world's premier journals, Le Monde of Paris.

In a long report titled "What's the matter with West Virginia?" the French newspaper said the Mountain State has been pulled to the right by exaggerated patriotism, love of guns, Bible Belt fundamentalism, resentment of liberal intellectuals, and defense of the coal industry against environmentalism.

Maybe the reason West Virginia turned red is that its liberal elites, such as the editorialists at the Gazette, are so out of touch that they have to rely on Le Monde to explain the state's politics.

Or maybe abortion, also from Best of the Web:
"The House passed a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal to dodge parental-consent laws by taking minors across state lines for abortions, the latest effort to chip away at abortion rights after Republican gains in the November elections," reports the Associated Press.

"Chip away at abortion rights"? That's editorializing, isn't it? Since a pregnant minor is, by definition, a victim of statutory rape, one could just as easily characterize this as an effort to prevent the destruction of criminal evidence.

Then there's this, from another AP dispatch on the same subject:

Four bills aimed at reducing the number of abortion [sic] have been enacted since Bush won the White House in 2001:

Last year, Congress made it a separate crime to harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman. . . .

So according to the AP, assaulting a pregnant woman and harming her "fetus" constitutes abortion. Do "pro-choice" advocates want to keep violence against pregnant women safe and legal?