Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Wingnut Award

Chris at Liberal Idaho found Popkey’s column analyzing possible changes to the legislature, depending on the results of the primary election. I had looked for the article but couldn’t find it on the Statesman’s execrable web site. Anyway, as part of his analysis, Popkey wrote [emphasis mine]

Steven Thayn vs. Rep. Kathy Skippen in Emmett. Thayn wants to shrink government and criticizes Skippen, another moderate, for opposing the ban on gay marriage and civil unions. Thayn, who lost to Sen. Brad Little in 2004, wants the state to counsel absent fathers to marry unwed moms. A former teacher, he opposes tougher state mandates for high school math and science. "I trust the local school boards more than I do the state," he said.

Let that sink in for a minute…., wants the state to counsel absent fathers to marry unwed moms. As my sweetheart said when she pointed this out to me, “What’s that all about?” I’ll credit him for thinking outside the box, but this still deserves the Wingnut of the Week Award.

I assume he wants the father of the child to marry its mother, and is not just proposing some dating service to hook up any old absentee father with some unknown single mom. Granted, in some cases the child is better off in an intact nuclear family. However, there are reasons the parents aren’t together and getting them together will in some cases just cause problems. A better emphasis would be to get the parents to stay involved in the children’s lives, to treat the other parent with dignity, and to pay appropriate child support.

What bugs me about this is the hypocrisy. I really don’t know Thayne’s views on these issues, but the typical conservative who wants to shrink government and outlaw gay marriage would also hold these views: government is intrusive, inefficient, wasteful of tax dollars, burdensome on business and tends to promote liberal social agendas like welfare.

Government is just fine, however, when it promotes his views. It’s okay for the government to get in the middle of the relationship between a woman and her doctor and tell them what to do, say, and read. Given that anti-abortionists believe they are protecting the unborn child, at least they have a decent reason for intruding. But this Wingnut Idea has no such justification. It’s just blatant use of government to promote his personal religious views.

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