What Joe Pitts Did On His Congressional Recess

j_pittsI’m probably the only person outside of the PA 16th U.S. Congressional District who actually cares about what (sadly) returning Repug Rep Joe Pitts did during his time away from voting “No” while taking up space under the dome, but I must confess that curiosity inspired me to find out.

Well, this link to a right-wing site (of course) tells us that Pitts wrote an opinion column for Lancaster County Online (also for a Phoenixville, PA paper) about the supposed liberal quest to revive the Fairness Doctrine, even though (as it has been pointed out many, many times already, including here) no such quest is being or will be considered; indeed, the only “liberal” I ever heard who wanted to see the Fairness Doctrine return was a former Repug senator noted in this post.

Also, Pancake Joe was in full-on umbrage mode over the prospect of the Dems overturning Dubya’s ban on embryonic stem cell research by legislation or executive order from President-Elect Obama, as the New York Times notes here…

“Pro-life members in both caucuses will fight strongly to preserve sanctity of life ethics,” said (Pitts). “If they force it by legislation, those will be the votes the pro-life community will score to educate the voters as to where members stand on these issues.”

Yeah, sure, you let me know how you make out with that, OK Joe?

Meanwhile, in the reality-based community (from the same story)…

Stem cells from human embryos, “are the gold standard,” said Dr. George Q. Daley, a stem cell researcher at Children’s Hospital in Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Before they can be replaced by cells derived from skin cells, researchers have to know, at a detailed molecular level, how similar the two types of stem cells are, and how different.

“There are still so many unknowns,” Dr. Daley said. “I am going to continue to have my lab use both at the same time.”

And by the way, I was amused when I used that Google thingie to get to Pitts’ congressional home page, and I noticed that he had a link supposedly to a topic page dealing with what he called “Women’s Issues.” Well, I clicked the link, and it took me to an opinion column Pitts wrote in August 2005 called, “Women’s Rights In Iraq And America,” (no idea if this was published anywhere else) in which Pitts claimed that, “In 1896, Republicans were the first major party to favor women’s suffrage.”

I was unable to substantiate that claim anywhere, and Pitts doesn’t cite his source, of course, but what I can tell you from this Wikipedia article is that the battle for women’s suffrage began, more or less, in 1867 after African Americans won that right, and the right of women to vote faced opposition from both parties – the article tells us that, “The defeat of women’s suffrage in New York strengthened the Republicans’ position against women’s suffrage.” The fight ended in the summer of 1920 with the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote; in his column, Pitts conveniently glosses over the fact that it was passed largely due to the efforts of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson.

To those who worked on behalf of Bruce Slater last year but came up short, take heart that, one day, Pitts will be gone by one legal means or another. To those who actually support Pitts, may you continue to comfort yourself in your invincible ignorance with the false belief that you will never be betrayed by a partisan political hack masquerading as a high priest of moral rectitude.

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