Saturday, May 8, 2010

Masquerade Ball, A Republican Love Affair

cross-posted from Sum of Change

There is a pattern emerging amongst the radical right. Time after time, we find the conservative side engaged in an act, pretending to be authority figures, often times the same ones their base ridicules.

I will start with an example I saw on last night's Rachel Maddow show.

American College of Pediatricians? Religious, political activists pretending to be medical experts with the intent to mislead others into assuming some level of scientific or experienced authority on the subject. Want to know what the real American Academy of Pediatrics (you know, actual pediatricians and not political activists) has to say?

Official Statement:
Summary of Physician Guidelines

Pediatricians should be aware that some of the youths in their care may be homosexual or have concerns about sexual orientation. Caregivers should provide factual, current, nonjudgmental information in a confidential manner. These youths may present to physicians seeking information about homosexuality, STDs, substance abuse, or various psychosocial difficulties. The pediatrician should ensure that each youth receives a thorough medical history and physical examination (including appropriate laboratory tests), as well as STD (including HIV) counseling and, if necessary, appropriate treatment. The health care professional should also be attentive to various potential psychosocial difficulties and offer counseling or refer for counseling when necessary.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms the physician's responsibility to provide comprehensive health care and guidance for all adolescents, including gay and lesbian adolescents and those young people struggling with issues of sexual orientation. The deadly consequences of AIDS and adolescent suicide underscore the critical need to address and seek to prevent the major physical and mental health problems that confront gay and lesbian youths in their transition to a healthy adulthood.

From Pediatrics, Vol. 92, No. 4 (October 1993, pp. 631-34).
As for the "reparative therapy" that George Rekers suggested to them:
"Reparative Therapy"

The American Academy of Pediatrics in its policy statement on Homosexuality and Adolescence states: "Confusion about sexual orientation is not unusual during adolescence. Counseling may be helpful for young people who are uncertain about their sexual orientation or for those who are uncertain about how to express their sexuality and might profit from an attempt at clarification through a counseling or psychotherapeutic initiative. Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation." [Policy Statement: Homosexuality and Adolescence, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1993.]

Taken from The American Psychological Association Online Fact Sheet — Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel.

Let's move on. How about those Republican "census" mailers?

The Census Bureau? Pretending to be one of the bastions of big government?

And have you heard of Crisis Pregnancy Centers? This one's good, I promise.
These are fake clinics run by people who are anti-abortion. They have a history of giving women wrong, biased information to scare them into not having abortions.
These are religious and political advocacy groups (anti-choice activists to be specific), masquerading as the very professionals their cohorts intimidate (pdf), harrass, kidnap (pdf), bomb, and shoot. There is no uncertainty about their objective. They are not there to provide women with expert, medical advice. They have one goal: prevent abortions by any means.

The radical right has a love affair with deceiving people into believing they are experts, often the very experts they ridicule. This is all part of a greater conservative campaign strategy ingrained in them early in their training: win by any means necessary. These examples are not out of the ordinary.

Karl Rove is famous for having impersonated a volunteer in order to steal campaign stationary and spread fake invitations around promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing."

This, sadly, is their proud tradition. I am going to end with this clip from the James O'Keefe scandal.

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