More on the Abortion Task Force

Over on Mt Blogmore, the Rapid City Journal's Weblog, there's an excellent discussion going on about the very topic I posted on yesterday. Which was in reference to State Task Force to Study Abortion and those members in the minority who nearly in unison said "I'm outta here."

There's lots from poster "Sophia" who is doing her darndest to tout the position of the pro-choice minority from the committee.

And there's this fairly poignant comment from Senator Nesselhuf, who commented yesterday on this blog that the though "there was plenty of Cartman to go around." But the Mt. Blogmore comment I thought had merit was as follows:
“That’s like the minority members of a legislative committee walking out in protest every time the committee hears substantive testimony and then votes contrary to that testimony.”

If that was the case, I would never have to sit through a full committee hearing again.

Comment by Ben Nesselhuf — 12/14/2005
And literally, he's summed up the entire point of my post yesterday. Now, maybe I'm misinterpreting the intent of his comments, but it's my blog, and if I interpret them otherwise, it obviates my chain of thought. (Ben, you can correct me if I'm missing your point).

Anyway, the point is, if you take your toys and go home because you don't like how the other kids (or panel members) play, you've removed yourself from your role of being part of a solution.

If Democrats walked every time there was a vote that didn't go their way in the legislature, people would stop electing them because good or bad, they are not representing. They stay in the battle whether they like it or not. And while I'm on the other side of the fence, I do respect many of them for it.

If you're in the losing side of the minority, you at least have the opportunity to debate. You at least have the opportunity to introduce ideas. You have the opportunity to earn respect, and that respect can eventually change attitudes.

God forbid, but acting with honor and dignity can change people's minds. Your conduct says as much about yourself as anything. You might not win today, you might not win tomorrow. But sometimes you can win in the end by acting with honor.

When members of the minority opinion on the task force bailed on the process, they didn't only lose the battle. They also lost the moral high ground. They lost their honor.

And in the eyes of the electorate, that just sets their cause back that much farther when the debate arises again.

Comments

Ben Nesselhuf said…
PP – Don’t read too much into my comments on the ‘Mount’. It was my feeble attempt at humor. One of the problems with this format is that all sense of sarcasm is lost. I have sat through many committee hearings where testimony was ignored because it didn’t fit a particular viewpoint but I didn’t walk out because I’m too damn stubborn to give up on a fight I believe in.

But…I digress. The point I was making yesterday on this site was that this committee was a sham from the beginning. I had no doubt that it was going to turn into a circus which is why I voted against the formation of this group. We were putting the most passionate people from both sides of this issue (making sure, of course, that the pro-lifers outnumbered the pro-choicers by 2 – 1) in the same room and expecting them to have a rational discussion. It was a waste of time. I don’t blame the minority for walking out. It was the only way that their point was going to be made and I would disagree that they lost any honor by doing this. I also don’t blame the Michels, Schoenbeck and Rounds for stacking the committee in favor of their viewpoint. That was their prerogative and the majority used their numbers to suppress information they didn’t want to hear. Again, this is the power that comes with being in the majority and I don’t blame them. It is difficult, however, to listen to certain members talk about the “integrity” of the committee process.

No matter what you think of this report, what we need to ask ourselves is “what did this committee accomplish?” Did a single committee member change their view? Did any South Dakotan learn any thing new about this issue? Are any new laws going to be passed because of this report (that wouldn’t have been passed without it)? The answer to all of these questions is no. My original point, that is was a waste of time and money, stands.


(PP- not to be too picky, but Cartman actually says “Screw you guys, I’m going home”)
Anonymous said…
"For people to suggest there was no objectivity, that it was preconceived or predetermined outcome, is a little disingenous to the process." Brock Greenfield, AP 12/15/05.

Come on again. Life isn't a fox news soundbite. Calling something fair and balanced doesn't make it so.

Read the goll dang comments of the Pierre ProLife Physician in Chet Brokaw AP piece today. Is she nuts? Is she dumb? Is she being paid off by Adelstein? I doubt all of the above.

Good luck this year in the legislature. More wasted time and effort on something beyond the control of the body. This is nuts, year after year. Plus, how about a judicial hearing requirement for an adult women to get an abortion, I thought that was supposed to come up this year as well.
PP said…
guys, both posts are about walking out, not on the issue itself.

And you're correct BJ. I did homogenize the quote.

Much like "Play it again, Sam" I used what was stuck in my head.
Anonymous said…
OK, pp, but don't argue against the inappropriateness of walking out by defended the process that was undertaken as fair to all who participated. It sounds like those 5 who supported the report, believing honestly as they did in the results (but can it be reasonably argued by reasonable people this wasn't going to be the result), wanted all involved to sit on their hands at in light of what some considered a tremendous waste of time and effort at the arrival or a preordained end. Look at it from their side pp, it's a Kangaroo Court, nothing more, but sit there and take it? That's ridiculous!
Douglas said…
I guess if a process is hopelessly stacked or hopelessly slanted, those who don't wish to be associated with the preordained "report" probably should walk out.

Sitting there is like saying "screw us again" and also attach our name to the disclaimer that it was all consensual.

My guess is the GOP women shuld be barefoot and pregnant groups would not be reacting so strongly if the "walkout" was not effective in blunting the "significance" of the unscientific, backward, regressive, dishonest, canned "report".

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