The “right” to guzzle gas.

May 21st, 2009 by

Crossposted from V for Vegan.

Tom Coburn is fast becoming my pick for Douchebag of the Week.

See, for example, minute 2:30 of this Daily Show clip:

Coburn’s complaints re: CAFE standards: “What if you want to drive a gas hog? You don’t have the right any longer in this country to spend your money to drive a gas hog?”

Yes! And should I be struck with the desire to toss a barrel of arsenic in my pond, who is the government to tell me I can’t? It’s MY arsenic and MY pond, goddammit, and my grandfather fought and died in WWII so that AMERICA THE FREE would remain FREE from this sort of BIG GOVERNMENT FASCISM.

What’s better/worse, Coburn defends the “right” of individuals to pollute and consume to excess while also working to strip women of the right to bodily autonomy and privacy. He opposes abortion even in cases of rape and supports the death penalty for medical doctors who perform abortions. (Nor does he care to reduce the need for abortion by increasing the availability of and access to contraception.)

In Tom Coburn’s mind, a person has a greater “right” to decide what car to drive, than a person woman* has to decide whether or not she will lend her body and organs to another being – a potential being, which in its early stages exists as a tiny clump of cells – for nine months.

Car purchase > Bodily integrity

Seriously, what a douche.

And before the anti-choice, “but what about teh babybeez!?!1!” crowd jumps on me with the inevitable “How can you support animal rights and abortion?” “gotcha” question, see this FAQ by Gary Francione (question #11). I agree with 99% of it, save for the very last sentence. (No medical procedure should be foisted upon an able-minded adult without her consent, and besides, the whole late-term abortion controversy is a red herring anyhow.)

If a chimpanzee were to decide to abort the fetus living inside her, I’d be the first to support her right to do so. (That would be an apples-to-apples comparison, by the way.)

Filed under “intersections” because this is just one of many examples of privileged white dudes who, while decrying their perceived “lack of rights,” show little consideration for those different from themselves – in this case, the earth and all who live on it, particularly fertile women.

Oh, and can we stop using “hog” (and any and all variations of “pig”) as an insult, please?


* Note that no so-called “pro-lifers” clamor for legislation that would force the parents – mothers and fathers – of real, live babies and children to donate expendable body parts (bone marrow, blood, a kidney, a portion of the liver, etc.) should their offspring need them in order to survive. Tellingly, this moral mandate only applies to pregnant women.

Videos in this post

The Daily Show – May 20, 2009
Auto-Neurotic Gas Fixation
President Obama implements a national fuel efficiency standard, but it may endanger the lives of your family.

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