Almost unanimously, Washington Democrats call themselves "pro-choice." "I support a woman's right to choose!" they thunder. "Choice," of course, means abortion, and that is where the Democrats' passion for choice starts and stops. Elsewhere, Democrats sabotage a woman's right to choose. Instead, they demand to make that choice for her, as they do for men.
I support a woman's right to choose whether or not to use a traditional Thomas Alva Edison incandescent bulb. Democrats disagree.
The House of Representatives voted July 12 on a measure to repeal federal regulations that effectively criminalize sales of Edison's bulb. According to Freedom Action's Myron Ebell, violators face a federal penalty of $200 per offending bulb sold.
Among 239 Republicans, 228 - or 95 percent - voted to liberate women (and men) so that they could choose among inexpensive incandescents, pricier LEDs (light-emitting diodes), compact fluorescents - tainted with toxic mercury - and even candles. Five thinking Democrats supported the GOP majority. Candles average 15,260 home fires and 166 attendant fatalities annually, the National Fire Protection Association reports. Yet candles remain legal.
Among 192 Democrats, 183 voted to deny a woman this choice, echoing President Obama's veto threat. Ten statist Republicans concurred. Fully 95 percent of Democrats defended a 2007 law - signed by Republican George W. Bush - that is steering Americans, like cattle, toward alternative bulbs.
"These standards are not taking choices away," Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently told journalists. The polite word for Mr. Chu's statement is "Orwellian." The precise word is "lie."
This law deliberately raises the bar higher than Edison's bulb can leap. Regulations that wittingly exceed a product's defining features prohibit the product itself. Why should Washington take away donuts, for instance, when it could criminalize fried-dough pastries that encircle holes?
I support a woman's right to choose whether or not to use Avastin. Mr. Obama's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee disagrees. On June 30, the ODAC rescinded its approval of this treatment for late-stage breast cancer. ODAC decided that Avastin's side effects were not worth its five-month average life extension, even though it lengthens the lives of "super responders" by upward of two to three years. Perhaps ODAC forgot that a key side effect of metastatic breast cancer is death - as 40,000 women discover annually.
But that hardly matters to the pharmacrats who snatched this choice from some 17,500 American women on Avastin. Ironically, those Obama administration members likely support a woman's right to control her body - but only regarding abortion.
I support a woman's right to choose whether or not to buy health insurance under Obamacare. Congressional Democrats disagree. They voted in near lockstep last year to compel women (and men) to participate in Obamacare. Without exception, Republicans opposed Obamacare and its individual mandate.
I support a woman's right to choose to send her child to an alternative school that accepts educational vouchers. Unfortunately, Washington Democrats disagree. A federal initiative gave roughly 3,000 students vouchers worth up to $7,500 to escape Washington's calamitous government schools. Despite promising results, teachers unions detested this program. So, after Mr. Obama took charge, congressional Democrats swiftly killed it. Never mind the choices of the poor, mainly black mothers whose kids these vouchers benefited. Fortunately, House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, successfully reauthorized these vouchers within last April's bipartisan budget agreement.
I support a woman's right to choose Internet gambling as a pastime. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama's Justice Department disagrees. On April 15, it hijacked the domain names of "Poker Stars," "Full Tilt Poker" and "Absolute Poker," three foreign-based poker websites. Justice eventually let "Poker Stars" and "Full Tilt" serve foreign gamblers, provided that they discriminate against Americans. Thankfully, Antigua-based "Absolute Poker" is fighting Justice's authoritarianism before the World Trade Organization.
If a woman chooses to kill the young American in her womb, nearly every Democrat in Washington will fight for her like Marines on Normandy Beach. But if a woman desires almost any other choice, Democrats impersonate the Great Wall of China.
Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford's Hoover Institution.
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