Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Education Of David Obey

Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey (D-WI) comes from the day when reproductive rights were a controversial issue but not a partisan issue -- Republicans supporting reproductive rights were fairly easy to find, and Democratic opponents were just as common. Obey fell into the latter category. He stuck to his views even as the parties changed around him, scoring a 30% NARAL rating in 2003. (His name is pronounced like Obi-Wan Kenobi).

This is why it's really sweet to see him reversing his previous support of abstinence-based sex education and steering an elimination of abstinence-only funds through the Appropriations Committee. In an additional victory for rational public policy, the ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs was lifted.

Bonus fun Obey fact: He grew up a Republican, but became a Democrat during his high school years when he saw McCarthyites falsely accuse one of his teachers of being a Communist.
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