This week, newspapers across the country refused to run a "Doonesbury" comic strip about Texas’ law requiring women who seek abortions to undergo a sonogram that involves vaginal penetration. They said the comic was offensive. I’m just curious: If a comic describing the law is offensive, doesn’t that make the law even more so?

This week, newspapers across the country refused to run a "Doonesbury" comic strip about Texas’ law requiring women who seek abortions to undergo a sonogram that involves vaginal penetration.

They said the comic was offensive. I’m just curious: If a comic describing the law is offensive, doesn’t that make the law even more so? What are the newspapers doing about that? Anything? Generally, no.

Their lack of outrage and action suggests that either talking about forced vaginal penetration of women is somehow worse than the real thing, or that many newspapers are happy to be the defenders of morality when it’s cheap and convenient but will hide behind “objectivity” when doing the right thing is hard or unpopular.

Blaming the media, though, would be shooting the messenger: “Morality” in America is increasingly something that exists just to score points, not to spur us to difficult action.

Here’s one that really gets me. We send tens of thousands of young men and women out to fight our wars. Some don’t come home alive, and many of those who do need medical and psychological care for the wounds they suffered fighting on our behalf. But we don’t want to pay for it.

In fact, many of the people who most say they “support our troops” are also the most unwilling to have their taxes raised to take care of our soldiers. They wear ribbons and wave flags but won’t chip in. They scream that taxes are socialism just as our troops are coming home and need care.

“Honoring sacrifice” is the most meaningless of symbolic gestures when it doesn’t involve making a sacrifice of your own. The only appropriate way to honor sacrifice is with sacrifice — and it really ought to be a patriotic duty to raise taxes in a time of war. Some might go so far as to say that if you object to having your taxes raised to pay for our soldiers’ care, you don’t love our troops at all.

Another one: Rick Santorum, who had his health care entirely provided by the U.S. government for 16 years, says that anybody who supports government provision of health care is a socialist. The very same health care he and his family used as a congressman and senator is the health care, he says, that will kill seniors and lead to eugenics if other people get it. He calls it “the death knell for freedom.”

Boy, maybe he should have thought of that before he used it. Is it possible for a moral man to claim that Americans must not get the very same kind of health care he wants to have as president — even if it kills them?

It’s also worth noting how, just four years ago, Democrats were screaming about President Bush’s assumption of new executive powers –– saying it was never OK for the president to just unilaterally imprison Americans without trial or access to the justice system. But now that Obama’s picked up where Bush left off, polls show that Democrats are mostly OK with it. Because a president’s got to do what a president’s got to do, right? Right? It gives me a headache.

And, oh, here’s a great one: According to the Supreme Court, we can’t regulate corporate political campaign contributions because corporations are people, and money is speech, and the right to free speech is so important that it must trump other, lesser laws.

But when actual people try to assemble in public spaces to protest the political system through speech and assembly, they can be legally kicked out because they’re only people and their freedom of speech doesn’t trump local zoning ordinances.

So corporate campaign contributions can’t be regulated because a corporation’s freedom of speech is so very important, but Occupy Wall Street can be kicked out of a park because a real person’s freedom of speech doesn’t mean much.

Uh huh.

Morality has always been exploited by politicians looking to dupe moral people — but just once in 2012, I’d like to see someone take a stand for a principle when it’s inconvenient. If morality is only good for scoring political points, then it’s really not good for much.

Benjamin Wachs writes for Messenger Post Media in New York, and is the editor of Fiction365.com. Email him at Benjamin@Fiction365.com.