Meet a real grizzly mom

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.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

8 thoughts on “Meet a real grizzly mom”

  1. (O’Hare):”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.
    How does this demonstrate anything? To people who believe that abortion is murder, “I shot someone once” doesn’t make an argument for repeal of laws against murder.
    (O’Hare): “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…
    I fell out of a tree once. Does that make me an expert on arboriculture? Or morally superior to anyone who hasn’t?
    (O’Hare): “…smart, informed, hard-working.
    I’ll give you the “hard working”. Otherwise, not if her positions on guns and education are evidence. Taxpayers get nothing from a government role in the education industry beyond what government attention contributes to the retail clothing industry or the sodgrass industry: clear title and predictable contract law. The Congresswoman advocates useless and intrusive restrictions on firearms.

    BTW, I’m neither anti-abortion nor “pro-choice”, I’m pro-abortion. The world will arrive at the Chinese position eventually, in the best-case scenario.

  2. (O’Hare): “ But if your model of womanhood is an ignorant, lazy, self-absorbed poseur…
    What “model of womanhood” does Professor O’Hare intend? Spell it out,…
    “Ignorant, lazy, self-absorbed poseur” describes quite a few college faculty.
    (O’Hare): “…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…
    “Conscripts”? Leaving reproductive choices to individuals and leaving welfare functions to non-State actors (refusing to subsidize reproduction with tax money) hardly qualifies as “conscripts more than half its population as incubators of children”.
    (O’Hare): “…courtesy and grace are wasted on you and you should not be surprised when someone like Speier shows you up for what you are.
    So you say. Until the next politician is shot. Then it will be all “Where has civility gone?”, right?

  3. Malcolm ‘some of my best friends…;’ Kirkpatrick:

    “BTW, I’m neither anti-abortion nor “pro-choice”, I’m pro-abortion.”

    It’s amazing how many right-wingers are actually Democrats, and how many anti-abortion people are actually ‘pro-abortion’.

  4. (Barry): “It’s amazing how many right-wingers are actually Democrats…
    That’s why the terms “left” and “right” need qualification before they mean anything in a political context. If the left/right spectrum refers only to economic philosophy, then it’s not really surprising to find the intersection of “right-wing” and “Democrat” non-empty or “left-wing” and “Republican” non-empty (e.g., Teddy Roosevelt, Mike Huckabee).
    (Barry): “…and how many anti-abortion people are actually ‘pro-abortion’.
    ???

  5. “How does this demonstrate anything? To people who believe that abortion is murder, “I shot someone once” doesn’t make an argument for repeal of laws against murder.”

    She was not speaking to people who believe that abortion is murder. If they believed that, they wouldn’t have been pussyfooting around with defunding Planned Parenthood.

    They are hypocritical pols who think that abortion is a proper emergency measure for well-brought-up young people who experience a momentary lapse of judgment, but that the lower orders who copulate with abandon should not be encouraged in their degenerate ways.

  6. (Anderson): “If they believed that (abortion is murder), they wouldn’t have been pussyfooting around with defunding Planned Parenthood.
    Why not? Constitutionally, murder statutes fall within the powers of the States, not the Federal government. Federal funding of Planned Parenthood gives supporters and opponents of abortion leverage at the federal level. They work with the tools at hand.
    (Anderson): “They are hypocritical pols…
    Ambrose Bierce (iirc) wrote: “A hypocrite is a man who…But aren’t we all?”

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