Friday, 17 February 2012

Republicans: Helping Obama win in 2012

Sorry about the lack of posts. I wasn't avoiding you on purpose, it's just that I lead a very, very, busy non-stop EXCITING life!

OK, not really. I was avoiding you. 

Don't get me wrong, I love each and every one of you! But, sometimes my sanity trumps my desire to make you happy and this week has proven to be a doozy for maintaining one's mental health. I don't even know where to begin. It's as if my ability to manipulate time and space went all catawampus and I woke up in 1952. I guess  since the economy and President Obama's approval ratings are improving, the Republican are scurrying to find an issue that they can latch their electoral hopes onto. And they chose....birth control.

Birth control? Really?

Yes. Really.


So, in order to win the hearts and minds of 50% of the American voting public, the right wing has decided to attack the one thing that enjoys bi-partisan support. But it's not just a woman's access to birth control that has the right wing all hot n' bothered; apparently, Republicans want to resurrect the debate over women in combat.

Oh, and abortion rights. There's always that.

There is so much here and I'm not gonna even try to analyze it. I'll just provide the links, so you can take a gander and get your ownself riled up. I'm too tired to do it for you.

Birth Control

If you aren't familiar with the issue, you can go here for a little background. Yesterday was a banner day for the patriarchy:

  • Ethically challenged Darrell Issa made headlines yesterday with his efforts to allow a panel of clergymen to dictate birth control access, while refusing to allow women to testify on behalf of America's mommy parts.
  • His frothiness, Rick Santorum, has taken the lead in the GOP primary race and, since he is a massive Catholic extremist, you can bet that he has a lot to say on the subject. First, he argues that birth control is a”minor expense” and there is no reason for health insurance to cover it. He has previously pledged to completely end federal funding for contraception and believes that states have the right to outlaw birth control (It's interesting that he is so quick to defend the Vatican's view on this issue while ignoring its stance on war, the death penalty, poverty, etc.). Of course, this is the same guy who thinks that rape babies are gifts from god.
  • Foster Friess, Santorum's financier, decided to give the ladies advice on how to avoid getting knocked up.

Women in Combat

A couple weeks ago the Pentagon announced it was easing its restrictions on women in combat positions. Of course, the reactionary right wing had to trot out the old canard that women are unfit for the battlefield:
  • Ricky Santorum thinks women are too emotional for combat. I'd looooooove to see him say that to the Israeli Defense Force, where women have served in combat for decades.
  • Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association came to Santorum's defense by arguing that women are “not wired” to fight in wars because our DNA makes us all about the “sugar and spice and everything nice” and not enough about the “Annihilate! Kill!Kill! Kill!”
  • Not to be outdone by her male counterparts on the extreme right, Fox News commentator Liz Trotta decided to take the crazy up a notch. Coinciding with the easement of combat restrictions, the Department of Defense announced it is cracking down on sexual assaults in the military. This comes after the US Army reported that violent sex crimes increased by 64% after 2006, with women representing 95% of all victims (even though they represent about 14% of the Army ranks). Trotta is not too concerned about the sexual assaults; instead, she argues that it is "women once more, the feminist, going, wanting to be warriors and victims at the same time." Trotta says women in the military should "expect" to be raped, and argues against the new bureaucracy created to stop sexual assaults and support women who have been "raped too much":
Here's the video, if you dare to watch:

Abortion Rights
  • Oklahoma passed its version of a “personhood” bill, which basically defines life at conception, outlaws abortion, and makes any women who miscarries a murder suspect.
  • The Iowa GOP is proposing its own draconian bill that would ban ALL abortions and sentence doctors who perform them to life in prison.
  • Finally, yesterday Virginia passed a law which will require women to have an ultrasound prior to having an abortion:

    • Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law.

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