Jackie Speier had a Joseph Welch moment yesterday when the hypocrisy, ignorance, and mendacity of the Republicans, showing off for their base on the mechanical bull of abortion posturing, hit some kind of new low. They had just finished parading a vote to defund Planned Parenthood, something that would assuredly cause more, not fewer, abortions, and Chris Smith was going on about the gory details of the procedure. Speier silenced the room by saying she had had exactly the abortion Smith was wallowing in at second hand, losing a wanted child as a medical necessity, and demonstrating that Smith and his crowd had no standing, no manners, and no class.
Speier is the real thing, a woman who has paid dues personally, politically, and physically: five bullets in Jonestown, widowed with two children by a car crash, single mom carrying on a career for seven years; smart, informed, hard-working. It’s inexcusable that the ignorant, misogynist, inconsistent men she has to work with would make it necessary for her to put a painful personal episode out there. But if your model of womanhood is an ignorant, lazy, self-absorbed poseur, and your idea of small government is a government that conscripts more than half its population as incubators of children whether they want to be or not, courtesy and grace are wasted on you and you should not be surprised when someone like Speier shows you up for what you are.