(Update II:  I’ll also be live blogging the Lamont/Lieberman debate from the Lamont war room here at 7pm ET/4pm PT.)

(Update:  I’m hearing that Boxer might be going a little wobbly on her decision to stump for Joe.   If she were to issue a statement today saying she is not coming to Connecticut, that would just be a wonderful thing and she would be deserving of all praise for supporting women’s rights with her decision.  You can call her office in DC at 202-224-3553, Sacramento at 916-448-2787, or  email her here  fax her at (916) 448-2563.)

Ann Althouse comes to Joe Lieberman’s defense and says that ordinary people, much like her delicate-eared self, are turned off by the term "Rape Gurney Joe" (I didn’t invent it BTW, but I do think it’s quite succinct):

"Well, what can I say? The label "Rape Gurney Joe" is so ugly that ordinary citizens will feel quite put off. I support abortion rights, but I dislike the heavyhanded political use of abortion to threaten those who have some moderate position.

Plan B (given to rape victims) isn’t an abortion pill. That’s RU-486.  Idiot.

Surely, a willingness to accommodate the religious scruples of Catholic hospitals is not something that outrages ordinary people, even ordinary abortion rights supporters.

Recent Quinnipiac poll of Connecticut voters:

By a 78 – 17 percent margin, including 74 percent of Catholics, voters would support a law requiring all Connecticut hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

Just like it said in the post she’s quoting.  Can she even read?

One of her commenters jumps in:

Catholic hospitals are private and the only public funds provided are reimbursements for treating patients covered by public plans. In that event, I don’t understand your problem with that.  Would you prefer that they not accept patients covered by the government?

Actual sentence inserted into the State Budget by Representative Denise Merrill that triggered the controversy:

The sum of $5,000,000 appropriated to the Department of Social Services, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, for hospital energy needs, shall only be given to hospitals providing full pharmaceutical services to victims of rape.

And the rocket science continues…. 

Boxer is one of the Senators who, we now see, will be campaigning for Lieberman (second link, above). So the shock she experienced at YearlyKos propelled her away from the candidate they are pushing (Ned Lamont), and caused her to become especially conspicuous in her support for Lieberman. 

Althouse seems to be making the rather astonishing claim that Boxer is so put off by Lamont’s extreme pro-choice supporters that she’s showing up to back Lieberman, and that she’s doing so in order to expressly defy the liberal blogosphere.   

Boxer has received tremendous financial backing from pro-choice supporters and organizations, many of whom i’m sure embrace the "exteme" view that publicly funded hospitals, Catholic or no,  should be required to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.  Is Althouse also claiming that Boxer shares her view that rape victims should be told to take a "short ride," and would be unsympathetic to women who think otherwise? I think that’s a fair question and Boxer should be prepared to answer it.

This battle is making for some rather strange bedfellows, no?

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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