The good news? The word “retardation” is mercifully absent this time. Whew. The bad news? Read this:
“Hi, my name is Michele Bachmann. There are so many important issues in this current presidential campaign, including the role of government, the abuse of executive power and something that’s called ‘crony capitalism.’ What that means is, someone in a position of power who does special favors for people who’ve given political donations to that candidate. As a mom of three daughters, I believe that parents are the ones who should decide whether or not our young daughters should receive injections for sexually transmitted diseases. I think these are decisions that are best left to parents, to our children, to their doctors and I think that we should take into consideration the child’s health and also a family’s values.
“And so whether its Obamacare or whether it’s Perrycare, I oppose any governor or president who mandates a family’s health-care choices and in turn violates the rights of parents on these issues — especially if the decision-making process occurs behind closed doors, bypassing legislative action, and instead favors campaign contributors over the rights of families. In my opinion, that’s not right. And as president, I want you to know that I will do what’s right for America’s families.”
Does that ringing principle of liberty apply only to vaccination mandates for STDs or to vaccination mandates generally? She mentions STDs in the first paragraph but there’s no attempt to draw a conceptual line as to which vaccinations can be state-required and which can’t. Can mom and dad, in the name of liberty, also refuse to have little Janey vaccinated for measles, say? If the answer’s no on grounds that measles can be contracted through the air, without any affirmative act taken by the victim, well, (a) HPV can also be contracted involuntarily in a case of rape and (b) if you’re denying your daughter the vaccine on grounds that it might somehow induce her to take extra sexual risks, then you’re essentially accepting a marginally greater chance of cancer in return for a marginally greater chance of abstinence. (Incidentally, I’ve never understood the Gardasil-as-sexual-inducement argument. The patients are 10 years old. There’s no need to tell them how HPV is contracted. Just tell them the truth, that it’s a cancer vaccine, and leave it at that.) If Bachmann wants to attack Perry on crony capitalism grounds, okay — she’s actually now comparing his Gardasil plan to Solyndra — but in return I want to see a detailed scheme from her campaign of which diseases will and won’t be fair game for mandatory vaccinations in a Bachmann presidency. If scientists stumble upon the HIV vaccine tomorrow, is that another one we let parents withhold from their kids on grounds that a heightened risk of AIDS is a useful deterrent to promiscuity?
Read Ace for a reminder that Bachmann’s got plenty of pharmaceutical donors herself — but not Merck, curiously enough.