Politics

Arizona GOP VP Resigns After Advocating Sterilization and Drug Testing for Medicaid Recipients

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Buh-bye. |||

From The Huffington Post:

Former Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce resigned as Arizona Republican Party's first vice chair late Sunday after receiving criticism over recent comments he made about women on Medicaid.

Pearce made the controversial comments on his weekly radio show.

"You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations," Pearce said, according to the Phoenix New Times. "Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."

In resigning, Pearce said that his sin was actually failing to attribute the controversial sentiments to someone else. Given the general craziness of Arizona politics, and Pearce's centrality to America's anti-immigration hysteria over the past several years (see Kerry Howley's great feature of him from 2008: "The One-Man Wall"), I am disinclined to give his explanation the benefit of the doubt.

Far too many self-professed limited-government conservatives exhibit the same tic as either Pearce or his unnamed plagiarism victim. Yes, please get the government out of people's health decisions…as long as those people aren't receiving any welfare. And if they are? Random drug tests, dietary restrictions on food stamps, and now sterilizations. (Keen observers will note that such intrusive morals-testing is never applied to recipients of corporate welfare.)

Though this particular subcategory of nanny statism is a specialty of the right, there's a lesson here, too, for those on the left (as well as for everybody else). Whatever the transaction between government and citizen, imagine your most hated political enemy in charge of implementing it. Chances are you will find his executive ideas fundamentally offensive to your values. One way of limiting such offense is to drive all your political enemies out of government. A more realistic and attainable alternative, however, is to limit the opportunities for government to get all up into your tubals.