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Via the Washington Wire:

The Department of Health and Human Services appointed Susan Orr — who has spoken out against contraception — to a post responsible for U.S. contraception programs. Orr, who will be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, has been directing child welfare programs in another branch of HHS. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Orr was senior director for marriage and family at the Family Research Council, a conservative group that favors abstinence-only education and opposes federal money for contraception. In 2001, she was quoted in the Washington Post favoring a Bush administration plan to drop a requirement that health insurance plans for federal employees cover a broad range of birth control.

“We’re quite pleased because fertility is not a disease,” she said at the time. “It’s not a medical necessity that you have it.”

Even if we allow for the fact that the first sentence in that piece goes further in its implications than the rest of the Wire’s story would seem to suggest, this appears to be an appointment that is not only peculiar (I’m being polite), but politically extraordinarily clumsy. If you want to know one of the reasons why, take a look at the geographical distribution of Ron Paul’s support that is so handily illustrated here.

As a reminder, Mr. President, 2008 is an election year. Do you want the GOP to have any chance of winning?


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