Democrats may have eliminated provisions on birth control and sod for the National Mall in the "job stimulus" -- but buried on page 147 of the bill is stimulation for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases!
The House Democrats' bill includes $335 million for sexually transmitted disease education and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
And, just in case the link between Drudge and Republicans needed to made any clearer, the National Republican Congressional Committee immediately began attacking freshman Democrat Bobby Bright for his role in trying to prevent sexually transmitted diseases:
The question is: Will Bobby Bright still support the massive spending bill now that it has become public that the House Democrats' so-called "stimulus" has been stuffed with an astonishing $335 million to fund prevention programs of sexually transmitted diseases?
So, by this attack, are we to take it that Republicans favor sexually transmitted disease? Are they really going to hang their messaging on "Democrats fund prevention programs of sexually transmitted diseases?" Really? Would "vote against Congressman X, because he supports stopping STDs" really be an effective campaign message?
Am I the only one who thinks that a government-funded program to prevent sexually transmitted diseases would actually be pretty popular? About 55% of the country thinks that abortion should be legal in all or most cases (the specific numbers vary on how the question is asked.) I am going to take a wild guess that support for government-funded STD prevention is even more popular than government support for legalized abortion. While there really isn't any specific questions on this subject at Polling Report, 67% of the country believes schools should hand out free birth control to teenagers, as long as there is parental consent. Only 30% of the country opposes schools handing out birth control under any circumstance. That is a pretty good proxy for the Republican arguments about the stimulus, since they are focused on government funding of birth control and / or STD prevention.
It is baffling and frustrating that Democrats are worried about, and even giving into, attacks on overwhelmingly popular government programs. Are we worried that we might appear to be opposed to such wildly popular institutions such as teenage pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases? About two-thirds of the country supports government funding for stopping STDs and supporting birth control. Given the polling numbers in question, Republicans might as well attack us for breaking with Bush policies, or for not immediately sending in 300,000 ground troops to Iran.
Democrats need to remember that just because Republicans are attacking us doesn't mean that those attacks will actually hurt us, even if those attacks are true and we don't respond to them. This is one of those cases where Republicans are scoring political points on our behalf, and we should just let them continue to do so.