Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Strange Bedfellows

Autism Speaks just announced that Rick Santorum will chair a Pennsylvania autism fundraiser. I can't tell you how uncomfortable this makes me feel. This is the same guy who is the least respected member of Congress. He is so poorly supported by his Republican constituents that he trails by at least 13 points in the polls for an election that is six months away. He campaigns actively against any model other than the white nuclear family (see his ridiculous book It Takes A Family). He is the number one beneficiary of lobbyist dollars in all of Congress. He is routinely narrow-minded and horrible and backwards.

And yet, this the go-to guy about autism here in PA. So what does it mean when the autism community is only able to gain the support of a Congressperson who is so controversial that he has no pull and no hopes for a congressional career after the next election? I'd like to say that it shows that everyone has a redeeming quality, but I won't. Where's Specter when we need him? Where will we find our own Dan Burton and Dave Weldon?

7 Comments:

At 6/03/2006 9:01 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Rick Santorum also introduced a bill that would have made accessing the National Weather Service by the public impossible unless we paid for it.

Tell that to people in Tornado Alley. The guy needs to lose the next election.

Good thing I am in PA and I vote.

 
At 6/05/2006 6:56 PM, Anonymous Uncle Jim said...

I am sorry, but the prejuduice and poorly veiled bigotry of these comments causes me to respond. You may disagree with someone because of their political opinions or basic moral views, but to attack someone you've never spoken to personally about their commitment to decent causes is reprehensible. People can, and should, disagree about how government operates - that is what keeps a democracy balanced. But, to cast ugly references on someone concering their charity is selfish and ignorant.
I don't know Senator Santorum, nor have I ever voted for him, but good people exist on both sides of any issue and to turn someones dedication to a good and noble cause into something political turns your opinions into something trashy.
Is your purpose here to push a liberal, anti-conservative agenda or is it to promote research and knowledge concerning autism. I really don't think Bird gives a damn about someones politics - neither should you when it comes to autism.

 
At 6/06/2006 7:26 AM, Blogger Libby said...

Uncle Jim,
True enough, but my issue is about credibility. Our other senator, Arlen Specter, is the chair of the Senate Appropriations committee, among others. He's a well respected and high powered Senator with a long history of sympathy toward children. Why wouldn't he step in? Dan Burton and Dave Weldon are also leaders who've made tremendous strides, especially about autism. I'm simply disappointed that the one person from my state who has the capacity to sway other Senators is one of the most disliked people in Congress. If they don't respect him, they won't listen. We really need people to listen. In the mid-1980s, 1 in 10,000 children had autism. Now it's 1 in 166. Something is happening. Powerful people can help us find out what changed.

 
At 6/06/2006 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification, Libby. From his web site Satorum seems to have a history of being involved in autism causes, which may be why he was asked. I suppose that the real question should be asked of Specter and the rest of your congress persons if they support the bill Santorum has helped write and to urge them to get more involved. It would be nice if Santorum had better poll numbers, but any US Senator, even Ted Kennedy (lol) adds great dignity to a cause. I hope you'll embrace it as a positive and seek to get the most out of it as you can.
You think you've got problems - the only Republican candidate down here I have to consider is Katherine Harris - YEESH!!!!

 
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