Say It, Over and Over Again

To use Kathleen Geier’s words, Timothy B. Lee is “the latest libertarian dudebro to join Ezra Klein’s new Vox journalism outfit”:


Here’s Emily Crockett’s piece about the whole dust up, where she makes the somewhat important point that Lee was hired to write about technology, not politics. Still, if he’s going to weigh in, especially since Vox hasn’t launched and every tweet from newly hired writers is being scrutinized, he might want to stick to discussing something he’s actually touched with a pleasurable result to all sentient creatures involved, like, say, an iPhone.

That said, am I the only one who thinks that allowing the right to focus on contraception rather than trying to enlarge this discussion to sexual health in general is a big mistake for our side of the debate? In other words, whenever some old white guys start spouting off about the cost of covering contraception, let’s point out that studies have shown that contraceptives are, at worst, a break-even proposition. Covering little blue boner pills, however, is a dead-weight loss. And if the same old white guys start crying a river over the religious feels that they feel because contraception leads to fucking for pleasure rather than fucking for babies, let’s just ask those assholes how many 80 year-old chemically-created boners are going to be aiming to do some reproduction.






60 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I don’t see how contraception is a winning issue for the right, but what do I know?

  2. 2
    GregB says:

    Yeah, and you get to pay for that contraception with your health insurance and your employer should have zero ducking say about that.

    It is really akin to allowing your employer to tell you that because they are giving you a paycheck that you shouldn’t be able to buy tofu, cigarettes, beer, R-rated films or books about atheists because they object morally to all of the above.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    BTW, workers have already paid for contraception through their labor. There is nothing “lucky” about having to pay twice.

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Richard can probably provide more information, but the blue pills, as I’ve mentioned, tend not to be covered under most phrmacy plans. Here’s the info from Aetna, as one example.

    Note: Many Aetna phrmcy benefit plans exclude coverage of drugs for lifestyle enhancement or performance. Please check benefit plan descriptions for details. Under these plans, sildenafil citrate (Vgra), vardenafil hydrochloride (Lvtr) and tadalafil (Clis) are covered only when required by state regulation or when a plan sponsor has elected an optional rider under the phrmcy plan, or, for indemnity or PPO plans without a separate phrmcy benefit, when the plan sponsor has added optional coverage under the medical plan.

    De-voweled to pass the FYWP censorship.

    My point is that there’s more than one way to make the argument badly, and sticking to actual facts tends to be more effective (IMO, of course.)

  5. 5
    oldster says:

    Much of the glibertarian outlook can be summed up by the phrase “free to pay,” and their inability to see that freedom amounts to more than that.

  6. 6
    Jerzy Russian says:

    People are also free to pay for their own open heart surgery. In addition, they are free to pay for the damage to their cars that were caused by accidents, etc. In fact, in America, we are free to pay for almost everything (except for sex).

    I can see why Mr. Lee gets the big bucks. Writing like this is hard.

  7. 7
    JMG says:

    IMO Erza’s enterprise is doomed to fail unless it relocates, all writers included, at least 1200 miles from DC. Otherwise, it’ll just inevitably devolve into more Beltway bullshit, except with extra numbers.

  8. 8
    c u n d gulag says:

    If it was we men who needed abortions, you can be sure there’d be dozens of quickie abortion stores that would rival fast-food joints along every major highway.

  9. 9

    Seems like Ezra and Nate competing for the same market. How many women have either of the outfits hired, so far?

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    Given Berners-Lee’s UK background, I think he got quite a lot of health care for free*.

    (*I.e., paid for via general taxation.)

  11. 11
    Schlemizel says:

    My company is going to come out as Christian Scientist. Our healthcare plan will only pay for someone to come over to your house & pray for you to get better. Having to pay for anything else violates my religious freedumb.

    As for focusing only on birth control, since when have we been able to dictate the debate terms? The dark side has been able to do that, often with the help of asshole like little Ezra who are only too happy to give a platform to other assholes that define the boundaries of the debate and what opinions are acceptable. I hope the fucker goes broke quickly and take politiwhore down with him

  12. 12
    Bill Murray says:

    Also, we shouldn’t forget that some contraception is used to treat other issues. I have a niece that would have trouble holding a job were it not for the pill, and I think she’s a virgin

  13. 13
    danielx says:

    …let’s just ask those assholes how many 80 year-old chemically-created boners are going to be aiming to do some reproduction.

    Please. Let’s don’t. Gives rise (so to speak) to some images that I could happily live without.

  14. 14
    Cervantes says:

    @El Cid: That’s a different “Timothy B. Lee.”

  15. 15
    aimai says:

    @JMG: Devolve? You are giving it too much credit.

  16. 16
    Cervantes says:

    @danielx: Just you wait until you turn 80.

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    @Cervantes: Oops. Quick, somebody give me a job as a high dollar pundit!

  18. 18
    MikeJ says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    If it was we men who needed abortions, you can be sure there’d be dozens of quickie abortion stores that would rival fast-food joints along every major highway.

    We’d just go in for a scrape down while getting the car’s oil changed. Supposed to do that every three months anyway.

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    Birth control is part of health care for most women and it boggles my mind, that some want to call it a mandated coverage. Insurance companies cover prescription drugs. The Supreme Ct. had no reason to hear the Hobby Lobby suit unless they feel it is their obligation to regulate all drugs.

  20. 20
    MomSense says:

    Um, contraception is a big deal for us wimmins. We spend almost 38 years of our lives dealing with monthly periods. Some of us use birth control to regulate our periods or to deal with ovarian cysts and lots of other reasons. And people enjoy sex. People have sex. Access to affordable contraception is a major economic issue for all people.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    It’s worth noting that in our culture, contraception looks very different to women than it does to men. I think wingers are just giving away the war-on-women argument– they’re stepping hard on lots of female toes and appear to be completely unaware of it.

    ETA: See MomSense’s post just above.

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    @MomSense: Let’s not forget that many men do not like to use barrier protection themselves, so it becomes the responsibility of women to regulate conception.

  23. 23
    kc says:

    BCPs are prescribed to reduce the chances of ovarian cancer in women with a high risk.

    Why does Timothy Lee want women to get ovarian cancer?

  24. 24
    MomSense says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Or the fact that reproductive coercion is a far more common form of domestic abuse than most people realize.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    Aren’t vasectomies covered by insurance? What’s the diff, other than sexism?

  26. 26
    RSA says:

    @El Cid:

    Given Berners-Lee’s UK background

    Timothy B. Lee is not Timothy Berners-Lee.

    ETA: Oops. @Cervantes got there first.

  27. 27
    Anoniminous says:

    Timothy B. Lee, newly hired writer for Vox (marketing tag: “Understand the News”) doesn’t understand insurance, doesn’t understand health insurance, and doesn’t understand health care.

  28. 28
    slag says:

    Ezra’s on to something here. The dearth of entitled white guys in the media and every other area of our discourse has really hampered our development as a nation.

    Way to fill the void, Klein! Innovative.

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    Hell NO, it’s not a mistake to let the right focus on contraception. Contraceptives are a big deal for the vast majority of women and for many men as well. Let the right hang denial of contraceptives around its own neck as much as it wants.

  30. 30
    Cassidy says:

    @GregB:

    your employer should have zero ducking say about that.

    Gotta love autocorrect. You can type hairy mangina midget blowjob all day long, but try and say fucking….

  31. 31
    c u n d gulag says:

    @MikeJ:
    ROTFLMAO!!!!!
    Yeah!

  32. 32
    Citizen_X says:

    Luckily people are free to pay for their own birth control.

    With the insurance that they get as part of their compensation.

    Idiot.

    @Anoniminous: Exactly. But that’s not rare. How did conservatives come to have absolutely no idea as to how insurance works?

  33. 33
    Ruckus says:

    @MomSense:
    This.
    Birth control is more important to women for obvious and some not so obvious reasons.
    But birth control is important to any responsible man as well, if for no other reason, and there are others, I want women to be healthy and happy. I want men to be so as well because life can be shitty for any of us, but why shouldn’t we all at least be healthy?
    What the fuck is the downside of us all being as healthy as possible? I’m thinking none and I can think of many upsides, some of which affect everyone else.

  34. 34
    MomSense says:

    @Ruckus:

    The starting point is health. You can’t pursue liberty and happiness unless you are healthy. It really is fundamental and I can’t imagine a worldview where you see health as some sort of luxury good. There really is no downside to all of us being as healthy as possible unless you are a lizard brained rich white dude who doesn’t want to do his fair share to participate in a society from which he benefits handsomely.

  35. 35
    RaflW says:

    I think one part of the messaging is to exactly turn around the creepy GOP ad that had the Burger King guy’s brother looking up women’s hoo-haws.

    The GOP claims that the government shouldn’t come between you and the doctor you choose? Great, then they shouldn’t come between you and the legally prescribed, medically appropriate pharmaceutical (or device) for your situation.

    Also, “let’s just ask how many 80 year-old chemically-created boners are going to be aiming to do some reproduction” is pitch-perfect.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kc:

    Why does Timothy Lee want women to get ovarian cancer?

    Timothy Lee is not female. He’s a glibertarian. Only what happens to him is of any importance whatsoever.

  37. 37
    gelfling545 says:

    Not only do people pay for contraception with the benefit they earn as part of their remuneration, how may companies actually pay the whole freight on the insurance premiums? Most people I know have to pay at least a portion of the premium so they are paying with their own cash. I’m so sick of this idea that this is somehow “giving” anybody anything. People are paying for insurance to get coverage.

  38. 38
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Insurance plans are more likely to pay for the blue pills to cover men’s needs than for actual life threatening problems like severe pulmonary hypertension, which is treated with the same medications.

  39. 39
    Cervantes says:

    @MomSense:

    There really is no downside to all of us being as healthy as possible unless you are a lizard brained rich white dude who doesn’t want to do his fair share to participate in a society from which he benefits handsomely.

    “Lizard brained rich white dude[s]” aren’t the only problem. A new Pew poll (Feb. 27 to March 16) finds that 44% of women approve of the ACA while 50% disapprove. Meanwhile for men the numbers are 39% and 57%, respectively.

    (Nothing is static in this world, of course.)

  40. 40
    Roger Moore says:

    he might want to stick to discussing something he’s actually touched with a pleasurable result to all sentient creatures involved, like, say, an iPhone.

    Are you sure Siri enjoyed the experience?

  41. 41
    barbequebob says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”

    Attributed to Florynce Kennedy

    “Florynce Kennedy, author of Abortion Rap defined the situation with her usual clarity: “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” She also read parts of the Metropolitan Abortion Alliance’s statement on the media and urged a national boycott of the media sponsors”

    http://quoteinvestigator.com/2.....-pregnant/

  42. 42
    Cervantes says:

    @El Cid:

    Quick, somebody give me a job as a high dollar pundit!

    Good luck — but maybe don’t look here!

  43. 43
    Stan says:

    Luckily people are free to pay for their own birth control

    Actually, it’s not lucky at all. It’s because it is still legal to do so. But the same people who would exclude birth control coverage from the HCA would make it outright illegal if they could.

  44. 44

    @MomSense:

    There really is no downside to all of us being as healthy as possible unless you are a lizard brained rich white dude who doesn’t want to do his fair share to participate in a society from which he benefits handsomely.

    There’s more to it than that. There are people who don’t want other people to be healthy, not because it’ll cost them anything, but just because they resent anybody getting a break at all, even if they don’t have to pay anything. These are the guys–and it seems like they’re all guys–who whine about food stamps and welfare, and how they have to cough up 17¢ a year in taxes to pay for strapping young bucks to buy lobster and caviar, and that it should be up to private charities to feed hungry people. So then you tell them about how the Methodist church in town has a food kitchen where they feed poor people, so isn’t that great that some poor people are getting help and it doesn’t cost taxpayers anything? And then they get pissed off about that and go off on a rant that the poor people getting food don’t deserve the help they’re getting, and they’re scammers and they’re cheats, and on and on, even though it isn’t costing them anything.

    They don’t care about the cost. Not really. They say they do, because they know somehow that saying, “I think poor people should starve to death because it gives me a warm feeling when they do,” doesn’t go over too well and it makes them seem like sadists. But they do want poor people to starve, because it does give them a happy little tingle.

  45. 45
    gian says:

    don’t forget the religious nuts had birth control as illegal in the country

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/suprem.....swold.html

    that was less than 50 years ago. (barely)
    but people under 55 probably have no memory of it.
    and there are usually condom handouts to try and slow the spread of STIs

    the reason this hasn’t seriously taken off as an issue which kills the GOP, is people just don’t realize their goal is to go back to 1964. they see 1964 as recent, and the under 40 voting block sees it as ancient history.

    serious question, is there room to teach Griswold in common core?

    and on a last note. people work for their salary and benefits. period. why MY religion as employer is more important than YOUR religion (or lack thereof as employee) is a question hobby lobby needs to answer. and when some government tries this shit – and you know one of the bible belt states will watch the outrage when it loses.

    the knuckle draggers are hanging on the “corporations are people” crap to try and make having pregnant employees a religious right of a non-person business.

    of course the supporters of this point of view in congress were totally cool with forced abortions in Saipan for raped migrant workers. I honestly fail to see why any of the assholes who were with tom delay on forced abortion and rape is just bitchin cool with us have spots in congress.
    I mean look, I’m pretty sure that no-one on the left is cool with rape and forced abortion, and the voting base of the right isn’t cool with at least forced abortion, right? Did people run advertisements on the GOP candidate supports forced abortion and I just missed it?

    http://www.globalexchange.org/.....ipan/shame (transcript from 20/20)

  46. 46
  47. 47
    kyle says:

    … he might want to stick to discussing something he’s actually touched with a pleasurable result to all sentient creatures involved, like, say, an iPhone.

    The equivalent of the “She’s fat, nobody wants to fuck her” line taken by the right against women writers they don’t like.

  48. 48

    There are two clips that I can’t understand why the Democrats don’t run them in every ad they play. These two clips, among many others, wrap up in two minutes just what the Republican Party is. Democrats need to run these 100 times a day in every state and in every district, until nobody in the U.S. can hear the word “Republican” without thinking about these:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW2VW-Z1M94
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irx_QXsJiao

  49. 49
    MattF says:

    @barbequebob: I first heard that line about thirty years ago. I have a suspicion that it’s folkloric– particularly among lapsed Catholics.

  50. 50
    John M. Burt says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): You are so right.
    I think I will make
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW2VW-Z1M94
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irx_QXsJiao
    into the tagline at the end of all my e-mails until after the election.

  51. 51
    barbequebob says:

    @MattF:

    the story at the link I provided, once I read it all the way, says that the line was quoted often by Florynce kennedy and also Gloria Steinem, and that, according to Steinem, it was spoken to them by an Irish lady cab-driver in Boston that was driving them somewhere. I do not know if it is apocraphyl, but everyting I found on that line traces back to one of those two ladies. I doubt either one of them was a lapsed catholic but the Irish cab-driver probably was (even if she did not realize it).

  52. 52
    g says:

    It’s not just the cost of the pills. It’s the cost of the doctor’s visit to get a prescription for the pills.

  53. 53
    Jacks mom says:

    Any woman that votes for a republican should be required to surrender her V card. There is no excuse for females to support them.

    Any man with a mother, sister or daughter who is a republican should be ashamed.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: The sluts MUST be punished!

  55. 55
    DougJ says:

    Moving it from abortion to contraceptive access was genius. Baby steps!

  56. 56
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Do you think that explains the Pew finding?

  57. 57
    Thymezone says:

    This isn’t really about religious freedom or birth control. It’s about whether, or why the fuck, any aspect of healthcare access should be under the influence of a person’s employer. It’s an insane, cruel, dysfunctional feature of the the employment-bound system that has been fucking this country for 75 years, and it needs to go away.

  58. 58
    McJulie says:

    @Baud: I’m with you. I don’t think an anti-contraception stance is winning the GOP any elections any time soon, so why not let them blabber away on the topic? It hasn’t actually destroyed him yet, but Limbaugh’s “let’s slut-shame every woman in America who’s ever used birth control” stance certainly hasn’t improved his ratings, ad sales, or political influence.

  59. 59

    And if the same old white guys start crying a river over the religious feels that they feel because contraception leads to fucking for pleasure rather than fucking for babies, let’s just ask those assholes how many 80 year-old chemically-created boners are going to be aiming to do some reproduction.

    This.

    It’s the fucking for pleasure thing they can’t deal with. The VERY same thing they haven’t been able to deal with since the birth control pill was invented over 50 years ago.

    God I’m so sick of having the same battles over and over again. Old white guys who get icky thinking about women fucking for pleasure need to GET OVER IT.

  60. 60
    Keith G says:

    That said, am I the only one who thinks that allowing the right to focus on contraception rather than trying to enlarge this discussion to sexual health in general is a big mistake for our side of the debate?

    and
    @Baud:

    I don’t see how contraception is a winning issue for the right, but what do I know?

    If Democrats Do. Not. Push. Back. with a moral imperative fueled by righteous indignation then almost anything the GOP does is a winning hand. Cool analysis and the quiet confidence of correct thinking will only go so far. The ideas and pronouncements from the Right are somewhere between silly and bat shit. Yet at times those statements can float on the ether without vocal refutation.

    That is the job of the Democratic leadership and especially the White House.

    Much of what the GOP and many libertarians say is so bereft of common sense that it will not stand up to a plain but forceful counter argument. Someone needs to be making those arguments and doing so with zeal.

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