Arguing to restrict the public funding of abortions within the District of Columbia, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kans.) suggested on Thursday afternoon that if such "financial incentives" were available some 47 years ago, President Barack Obama himself may never have been born.
"If you think of it in human terms, there is a financial incentive that will be put in place, paid for by tax dollars, that will encourage women who are -- single parents, living below the poverty level, to have the opportunity for a free abortion," said Tiahrt. "If you take that scenario and apply it to many of the great minds we have today, who would we have been deprived of? Our president grew up in a similar circumstance."
"If that financial incentive was in place, is it possible that his mother may have taken advantage of it?" Tiahrt asked. "Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice, if those circumstances were in place, is it possible that we would be denied his great mind? The opportunity to have tax-funded abortions, a financial incentive, is something that I think most of us want to oppose in America and it's certainly deserves a clean up or down vote."
So is Tiahrt suggesting that only black babies get aborted? Has Tiahrt been spending time with Bill Bennett? It's a little horrifying to me that more than 45 years after MLK's March on Washington, the GOP still feels no shame in expressing their abject racism so openly. It is a small comfort that Tiahrt was booed by his colleagues.
Tiahrt is running for Sam Brownback's Senate seat in 2010, and given the tenor of his comments, I'd say he's attempting to reach out to the same base.
However, such sickening allusions--can you imagine the GOP uproar if a Congressman had suggested that Barbara Bush might have wanted to consider an abortion?--should not go unchallenged. The Kansas Democratic Party has put together a petition demanding an apology from Tiahrt: Take it back, Todd.