This unicorn seemed relevant, given the level of science involved.
This unicorn seemed relevant, given the level of science involved.

I am presenting this remark, from Representative Michael Burgess (R-Tex), a former OBGYN, without comment.

Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?

I am presenting this without comment, because the only reasonable comment is to make a face like you’ve bitten into a bad lemon, then jump off a cliff, and I have evening plans.

If I were going to present this with comment, I would say, “What?” and then I would sigh heavily and I would say, “Really? Really?” and then I would sigh heavily again and go wash my memory out with soap.

Look, I understand that every so often the conservative men of Congress like to get together and have a fun imaginative circle-chat where they tell each other made-up (or at least dubious) facts about What It Is Like To Be A Woman and How Fetuses Are Really More Like Unicorns Than Not. And who am I to stop them? It’s good to have a hobby. It gets them out of the house and keeps them from attempting reforms that people might disagree with.

Still, I do wish they would engage in these imaginative exercises on their own time and not pretend it was in service of a bill that could actually become law. It’s not. And it gets everyone upset and forces the Manufactured Outrage factory to stay open late processing big orders.

I guess you could argue that entering yourself into the record as Somewhat Shaky On The Facts Of Life is a useful public service to anyone who might want to run against you, but you don’t have to go out of your way. Really. And I would prefer to just suspect that the entire stance of my elected officials on the choice question was premised on some asinine idea about Marvelous Mini-Onanists rather than have them open their mouths and remove all doubt. This is just one more image I will have to carry around with me for the next several years, casting a pall over my eggs in the morning.

I also wish we wouldn’t pretend that this was legislation that could pass the Senate, or be signed into law, because it isn’t.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.