Sunday, May 08, 2005

Stating the Obvious

This Washington Post editorial, on Montgomery County's new Sex Ed curriculum, hits a lot of the right notes. They do pan the utterly retarded stuff that is demeaning to conservative religious faiths:
School officials need to remove some of the inappropriate "teacher resource" material accompanying the curriculum, particularly documents that praise some religious denominations and criticize others; it's no wonder some parents were upset about that. Though students don't see this material, it shouldn't have been deemed acceptable as the basis for teachers to plan lessons, and it shouldn't have taken a court case for Mr. Weast to learn of it.

But they also argue vociferously that the portions on tolerance for homosexuals, explaining the reality of homosexual families, and information on condom use are important and necessary parts of a comprehensive sex ed curriculum (I especially like that--in the part about condom usage--they emphasize abstinence as the only sure way to prevent STDs and pregnancy. That should be a fitting compromise between the left wingers and right wing religious zealots, but we all know it won't be.).

David Adnesik of Oxblog provided the link, and also blasts the Post's news coverage of the controversy as biased. I see where he is coming from, but me thinks he doth protest too much. First of all, while he makes much hay over the conservative parents "reasonable" demands (noting the dangers of oral and anal sex, for example), he says nary a word about their more insidious objections (showing homosexuality as a "normal" lifestyle, recognizing the reality of homosexuality and the vast mountain of scientific literature which suggests they are as fitting to be parents as anybody else). He mocks a liberal parent who compares the controversy to that over evolution in Kansas, when in fact that actually is relatively apt analogy. Then, to top it all off, he knocks the Post for suggesting that "liberalism is the real mainstream" in Montgomery County. As a resident of that fair section of the country, I can vouch that the portrayal is indeed accurate. Sure, there are conservatives there, but that does not change the point that Montgomery County is overwhelmingly liberal, with a 2 to 1 voter registration advantage for Democrats. In the last election, it voted 65% to 32% Kerry over Bush, and 72% to 26% Mikulski over Pipkin in the Senate race. And for those who would point to the long time representation of the 8th district (which covers most of MC) by moderate Republican Connie Morella, I'd point that a) she was ousted in 2002, an overall awful year for Democrats and b) that now that we have a Democrat in congress, Chris Van Hollen, he got a whopping 74% of the vote in his first time up for re-election--staggering numbers for a first term representative who took just 53% in his bruising battle against Morella. You can legitimately criticize the Post for a lot of things, but calling Montgomery County "liberal" is not one of them.

UPDATE: Greg Piper doesn't believe that Montgomery County is liberal (or at least not Bethesda, my hometown). His evidence is the lack of Bohemian Coffee shops. I can't vouch for that (I don't drink coffee), but whatever we lack in quaint coffee houses we make up for with awesome bagel places (Georgetown Bagelry would be a number 1 gun anywhere else, were it not for the ecstasy that is Bethesda Bagels).

I find it odd that while nobody would ever contest folks saying that Utah or Idaho is predominantly conservative, but somebody dares suggests that a place outside of San Francisco, New York, or Boston is mostly liberal and pundits immediately think BS. Bethesda and MC are liberal. Get over it.


N.S.T said...

I really must back you up here. While I may have a different opinion of how this reflects on Bethesda, my hometown at the moment, It is disgustingly liberal. In fact, oddly enough, there are "coffee table intellectuals," as I call them. And they congregate-- at least i once saw this happening-- at the local Dunkin Doughnuts.

N.S.T said...

Here's another thing. Connie Morella lost her seat because she was redistricted. not because the political makeup of the town changed. The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that Morella herself was never a real republican, She was a liberal in Republican clothing. That's something which we've all known forever. The Democratic party of Maryland could run my dead grandfather in montgomery county and he'd win 74% of the vote. So, thanx, mr. Van hollen, for showing up. You are, apparently, an insanely popular public figure.