Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Morning Wooten

A logical fallacy which makes my skin crawl and my limbic system fire adrenaline through my body spurring the urge to hit walls: apply an extreme outlier to a broad, complex issue in an attempt to portray the problem in the worst possible perspective.

DNA tests establish California photographer Larry Birkhead as the daddy of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby...It’s the baby/daddy DNA search, however, that prompts today’s commentary.

Anna Nicole Smith was at best a pathetic soul deserving sympathy. At worse, she was an irresponsible example of the species who unfortunately procreated, passing along potentially aberrant genes. What she was not was part of the pool Jim Wooten so casually throws into the mix.

As noted here before, a nation that suffers an epidemic of out-of-wedlock births, as this one does with 70 percent of black babies, almost half the Hispanic and a quarter of the whites born into homes without a mother and a father present, is in trouble.

Unlike Anna Nicole Smith, most of these women are not wealthy. They do not jet to the Bahamas in an attempt to solve custody issues. They may or may not be drug addled but if so chances are the substances are not prescribed by a doctor. They certainly do not have svengali-like attorneys but instead rely on the public defense system. A system some conservatives, notably Jim Wooten, wish to gut.

Government, along with Hollywood, the church, civil rights leaders and the middle class, all have a role in changing that.

This is conservative ideaology? Somehow government can repair social ills? Different political persuasions can certainly wrestle with the different shades of the concept but hearing it from such a staunch "conservative" causes pause. As we shall shortly see, government tinkering with the family unit and procreation inevitably leads to the bizarre.

When a pregnant woman presents herself for public assistance, she should be required to identify the male she suspects as having caused her pregancy. That accusation would be sufficient to obligate him, by law, to submit DNA samples. If he is, indeed, the responsible party, every dime the state spends on the baby should be on his tab, with the state willing to spend $5 to get $1 from him. The message to him is: You can’t cause children and walk away. If the first DNA test is negative, the woman carrying the baby would be obligated to name other candidates. The failure to establish the daddy’s identity would constitute child abuse.

And now into the breach we travel. Based on a single witness' testimony, the government will now wipe away the Fifth amendment and begin removing tissue from citizens who have committed no crime. What if the women has had multiple partners? Shall we have a parade? A genetic lineup of the usual suspects?

And if the woman is wrong? Charge her with child abuse. It's telling that Jim leaves out the consequences of immediately jumping to the nuclear option. Such a charge would remove the child from the mother's custody. So, at the end of the day, the likelihood is instead of forcefully creating a family, government inteference will lead to an even further splintering, a child deeper into the system and an burden greater than the original.

I used to cohost a radio show on Friday nights. But my partner and I did not wish to go on air every week. At the end of each show we finished with the tagline that we were here every Friday night except when we ain't. Conservatives like Jim remind me of that old tongue in cheek sign off. They are conservative, except when they ain't.


possum said...

Did you see the good news? Wooten's staying? You can rest easy.

griftdrift said...

Looks like I will be in business for a while.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Jim is actually all for a policy whereby instead of having the state spend $5 after the fact to collect a single $1 from the deadbeat dads, we could maybe, you know, spend that money beforehand to teach public school kids about sex ed and birth control and stuff. Aren't ya, Jim?