The Corner

Politics & Policy

Donald Trump’s Planned Parenthood Pander

Planned Parenthood officials and White House spokesman Josh Earnest (but I repeat myself) have been sanctimoniously reminding America that by law federal funds cannot be used to fund abortion (“Hyde Amendment,” &c.). Which is true — and meaningless (more on that in a moment). Now along comes Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate, propping up the same canard with his plan for America’s premier baby abattoir.

“The problem that I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. It is like an abortion factory, frankly,” Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday morning. “And you can’t have it. And you just shouldn’t be funding it. That should not be funded by the government, and I feel strongly about that.”

So far, so good. But then Trump qualified: “What I would do when the time came, I’d look at the individual things they do. . .  I’m sure they do some things properly and good and that are good for women, and I would look at that.

Here’s the problem with Trump’s fund-this-not-that plan: That’s what the law says now, and it does nothing. After all, what does it actually mean that federal dollars cannot be used to fund abortion? For argument’s sake, let’s take it literally. Imagine that the federal government, which gave $528.4 million to Planned Parenthood in FY 2013-2014, appropriated that money in $1 bills, marked every individual bill — how about this stamp? — and said that none of the marked bills could be used for abortion. Every time Planned Parenthood paid for something abortion-related, it could not use any of the 528,400,000 government bills stuffed in the hallway closet.

Even if Planned Parenthood scrupulously followed that prohibition (LOL), the organization would be able to take $528.4 million in non-government dollars that it was spending on non-abortion-related services — and spend it on abortions, because those other things can now be covered by its federal subsidy. Thus all that the federal government does by funding Planned Parenthood is give it a $528.4-million cushion on top of which to butcher more babies.

Republicans, repeat after me: Money is fungible. There is no middle ground when it comes to funding Planned Parenthood, or any other abortion provider. You can’t fund “just the good parts.” That’s not how money works.

You’d think a businessman would know that.

Most Popular

History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More