Strange as it may seem, thirty years of insisting that our problems weren't real has somehow have failed to solve them. So that in the first and possibly only quarter of the 21st century, USAmerica has a wrecked economy, a much bigger oil habit, the finest, most competent, and best equipped military machine ever to be thwarted by a nation of goatherders, and has pretty much finished shipping all its manufacturing jobs to Asia while putting everyone who used to fill those jobs in prison. And we achieved all this by the simple expedient of believing that the more you cut taxes the more revenue you raised, and that anything Liberals believed was designed to cut America to Her knees.
I'm not telling you anything you don't know. Nor is it a revelation that the one group which has actually benefitted from all this is the one which started out with all the money and power in the first place.
And one of the things they've done is see to it that their idiot progeny became Important Social Observers, the way their role models in the vibrant British aristocracy used to send their own mental defectives into the Church.
Which brings us to Megan-Jane McArdle-Galt, notable non-genius, Senior Fucking Editor at a once respectable publication, and former possessor of the world's least-imaginative nom de plume since the invention of cuneiform.
I don't read her, if that's what one calls it. I saw her once or twice in her guise as Ayn Rand's adoring and maybe-a-little-too-interested-in-the-terms-of-the-Will granddaughter, which left me astonished to find she'd gotten a real job writing, if that's what one calls it. And which led, eventually, to my shocked discovery--I've been blasted twice by household current and once by a faulty lawn mower sparkplug wire, and shocked is an accurate description--that she was, in fact, in early middle age, and not a fourteen-year-old whose wealthy and connected parents thought she was precocious.
So I was waiting for a couple days for the inevitable Susan G. Komen Says It's Sorry That You All Misunderstood, and…
And, wait, was this not the four thousandth recapitulation of Iraq War II? Did not everyone with any sense and a minimum of healthy skepticism know exactly what was going to happen here? And that the credulous majority, including Senior Fucking Editors at a once respectable publication, would immediately take the thing at face value? All that anyone needed to know was Komen's size, administrative pay structure, and its history of derisible litigiousness to know that a) the original story was the sort of diaphanous hubristic bullshit unique to Our American Colossi, b) it would be contradicted, and probably twice, within eighteen hours, before c) likely being denied altogether, with standard non-apology apology and standard non-active course of action. Knowing that Nancy Brinker once held the Shirley Temple Chair of Applied Protocolistics in the Bush II administration was just a little paint on the lily.
…and somehow I wound up clicking on Megan-Jane. This, specifically, which led me to go back--of my own volition!--for That and The Other.
All of which confirmed the age-old journalistic wisdom of not letting anyone with no writing talent exercise it more than twice a week.
Anyway, somehow I ran into the erstwhile Ms Galt's first mental pretzel, which requires exactly 60 words, not counting the long quote from the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, before we got:
Though I'm pro-choice, I...
Which of course meant that Megan-Jane was about to thoughtfully disprove her own claim so the rest of us didn't have to bother.
Though I'm pro-choice, I don't share the outrage that was roiling my Twitter feed this morning.
Okay. So I realize that catching Megan-Jane in a contradiction or a rhetorical inadequacy is like collecting Bushisms for Slate. And this would be a perfectly consistent position, provided that anyone out there had been arguing anything like the opposite.
But, one: as with the Republican party, absolving yourself from the requirement of knowing what you're talking about, rather than trying to sound how you feel, doesn't make you exempt. And, two: no one said you had to be roiled because you support, or "support", reproductive freedom. Just as no one said Komen had to support Planned Parenthood. Besides, Komen is wealthy, and poor women are poor, so we all knew which side your natural sympathies fell on.
What upset people--people who constitute a considerable portion of Komen's donor Rolodex--was the transparent excuse that Komen had changed its bylaws to exclude any organization under investigation, which a) meant Planned Parenthood, exclusively, and b) meant "any two-bit cracker Congressional headline seeker, or state or local Christofascist. could sever that link at any time." This was a political act by an arrogant behemoth designed to placate people who are actively trying to supress a Constitutional right. One which, by the way, you claim to support. It didn't have to roil you. But if that claim means anything at all it should have at least made you understand where people who objected loudly to the decision were coming from.
Let's say this again: whether you think it's justified or no, Komen has a board which gets wealthy from its donors; and if you do think that's none of the donors' business you might at least expect that it do something like this with a reasonable amount of intelligence. The fact that Komen has a "right" to do something doesn't make it above criticism; the fact that the people making that decision earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year yet are completely tone deaf being a prime example.
Planned Parenthood has been a brave, and often lonely, defender of legal rights, often for the most under-defended of our fellow citizens. Someone who is Pro-Choice But..., and has missed that fact, hasn't paid enough attention to the issue, or the politics of the issue, to have an opinion worth noting.
We later got this:
I'm tempted to credit shifting public opinion, but polling about abortion has been pretty stable over the last 15 years. It could be a shift in the donor base, or the board itself. Or perhaps it's a more subtle shift in opinion. While most people think that abortion should be legal, most people don't support the current state of abortion law; polling seems to suggest that the majority either wants abortion to be illegal in all cases, or legal only in the first trimester--and even then, possibly only in the case of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. A majority of people polled say that abortion is morally wrong. And pro-life identification runs neck-in-neck with pro choice.
which would sew the package up tidly; one cannot be "pro-choice" in this environment and simultaneously report that "the majority" wants abortion restricted to the first trimester without pointing out the absurdity of the idea, legally, ethically, and rhetorically. Else one is not pro-choice, merely unwilling publicly to oppose abortion in all cases. It's like being a Vegan for the duration of your stay at some hipster bar.)
And the thing was capped, less than two hours later, when her Randian sense that somewhere someone of Wealth was being dissed was fully awakened by the sun moving to the other side of the solarium. Megan noted:
But more broadly, the worry about charity overhead has gotten completely out of hand. I've heard from more than one frantic foundation fundraiser who can't raise a dime for overhead--everyone wants their money earmarked for programs.
Maybe someone should alert Komen. They could earmark the money they send to Planned Parenthood. Oh, sorry. That money's fungible.
To start with, Planned Parenthood spends about 16% of its annual budget on . . . overhead and fundraising. Now that they know, how many of the people who were angry about Komen's overhead are going to also withdraw their support from Planned Parenthood? I suspect the number is zero, but I could be wrong.
I'm guessing that the number of people Megan expected to click that link was also zero, since it took you not to the proof of her claim but the cover sheet for the report.
But seven or eight pages of diligence later one discovers what one
Komen's fundraising expenses are 7.5% of revenue. This is apparently considered acceptable by the sorts of persons who rate such things. Planned Parenthood's is 4%.
What Komen has been questioned about are its Administrative Expenses (especially the amount paid to its upper echelon), which run 11.8%. Planned Parenthood's "Management and General Support"--your guess is as good as Megan's as to whether the two are congruent--is 12%. But Planned Parenthood operates health care clinics across the country. Komen raises money.
Should a reasonable person expect their operating expenses to be so similar?
For that matter, should Megan?