Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WOW. Mitt Joins the War on Women. Women respond: "Yeah? We don't think so."

Okay, so, I've been disgruntled with a number of things under Obama (Guantanamo, oil drilling off the coast, Nuclear Regulatory Dysfunction, targeting whistle blowers, etc.). Who hasn't been? But then, I read that Mitt Romney has now officially thrown his "I'm with stupid" hat into the women's hater's club. 

And I think, really? Seriously? This is what you say and promise to do to win the election? There's no way in hell that these people should be allowed anywhere near the White House. And the two parties aren't even playing the same sport, let alone playing on the same team. No, the GOP shouldn't be allowed near 1600 Penn. Avenue; not even for a tour--and sure as shit not for a job. This guy scares me almost as much as Santorum--perhaps even more so, because Santorum is so earnestly obvious in all of his odiousness. You know the frothy mix you'll get from him :D (man, that never gets old). But Romney actually solicited Planned Parenthood's endorsement years ago, when he was running for governor of Mass. Anyway, according to Think Progress, Romney stated in an interview on Tuesday, March 13:
"The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.'"
Um, right. First, there are more women voters than men, and second, that
 ain't gonna happen, because you ain't getting that job you're applying for.
Forget that Obamacare is patterned after the healthcare system Romney implemented in Massachusetts (and that it's wildly popular with 84% of the population there). Forget, too, that most of what the federal government is spending money on today is financed by China (including our illegal wars abroad and the tax cuts for millionnaires like Romney and tax breaks for big oil and...). The pandering, dismissive plan to "get rid of" Planned Parenthood (an organization whose endorsement he once sought) is his most extreme attack on vulnerable people since his statement that he's "not concerned about the poor."

Planned Parenthood Responds
In response, Planned Parenthood explained what this means in plain English: “When Mitt Romney says he wants to ‘get rid’ of Planned Parenthood, he means getting rid of the preventive health care that three million people a year rely on for cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care," said Dawn Laguens, Vice President for Planned Parenthood Action Fund, in a written statement. “Mitt Romney simply can’t be trusted when it comes to women’s health." The republican party can't either, in general, as I've written previously.  'Nuff said? Not really.  Read on...

Republican Party: We'll determine womens' rights, thank you very much. 
Women: Oh yeah? Say that to my face, little man.
But if these autocratic chauvinists want a fight, I think they found one.
  • Planned Parenthood. Not only did they turn around the politically motivated attempt by Susan G. Komen to remove grant funding for breast cancer screenings--they ended up raising millions more than the $750,000 they receive annually from Komen. To make matters better, they got the hard-right wing VP of Government services, Karen Handel, to resign and admit that she helped plan the grant withdrawal policy change. This was driven by social networking outrage and a drumbeat that wouldn't let up in the blogosphere. One can expect more of the same in response to Romney's latest.
  • Sarah Fluke. After Rush Limblah used his bloviating soapbox to attack Sarah Fluke, repeatedly, as a slut and prostitute, after she insisted that insurance should cover birth control (something that's been in place for decades), a social networking firestorm ended up forcing 140 sponsors to drop his show, and the syndicator of the show suddenly dropped advertising for the show for two weeks (which is how the show makes money). The online outrage engine has been firing on all cylinders to excoriate the ovoid talk radio host.
  • Centrist Women Leaning Away from Right. Politically rightish, to middle of the road women are starting to pay attention to what the republican candidates are saying about their reproductive rights, and not all of them are happy about it. A recent article in the NYT outlines their view. This is big; some choice quotes below:
“Everybody is so busy telling us how we should act in the bedroom, they’re letting the country fall through the cracks,” said Fran Kelley, a retired public school worker in Seattle who voted for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama in the 2008 election. Of the Republican candidates this year, she added, “They’re nothing but hatemongers trying to control everyone, saying, ‘Live as I live.’ ” 
Even more than Mr. Romney, Mr. Santorum has made himself a champion of the traditional family with two parents, arguing in speeches that single motherhood increases a child’s chances of poverty and related problems.
The stance particularly vexes Meredith Warren, a Republican strategist in Andover, Mass. “Well, guess what?” she said. “There are a lot of single moms out there. That’s reality. I don’t think he does himself any favors denigrating that situation.”
Ms. Russell, who changed her political views at the baby shower, said she was impressed with how Mr. Obama handled his administration’s compromise over the much-debated birth control policy, saying, “I think he’s more of a women’s candidate.”
Mr. Romney’s reaction to Mr. Limbaugh’s statements about the Georgetown student cemented a negative view of him. “I expected him to have the guts to stand up and say what Rush did was wrong,” she said. “Wrong, wrong, wrong in every sense of the word wrong.” 
    Patriotic women were critical to winning the war against fascism 70 years ago. They were good at it. 
    These voting patriots can do it again in this November in a war to keep their rights.
    (Design by Groobiecat; inset pic source: 
    Amazing high-res WWII pics)
    It just gets bigger. Earlier today I came across an interesting blog post by a self-identified "old school republican" who warns the (males of the) republican party about the danger of losing women in the next election to the Democrats. I'm positively giddy at her tone: 
    ...they (republicans) can't ignore this problem and hope that it will pass in time for the general election. Originally I wrote that these social issues were a distraction and that we should get the conversation back to an economic one. But that was before the list got so long: the Susan G. Komen fight with Planned Parenthood; the Health and Human Services ruling on free access to the morning-after pill and contraception, and the congressional hearing on it without any women; the fight in the Virginia legislature over mandatory ultrasounds; Rush Limbaugh's rantings; and Rick Santorum questioning pre-natal testing and writing that "radical feminists" were the cause of women working outside the home. The genie is out of the bottle, and Republicans aren't going to force it back in by being silent. Women make up the majority of American voters, and the majority is upset. 
    Women need to be reassured that the Republican Party does not believe in dictating Republican Party does not believe in dictating women's reproductive choices for them. If the GOP is truly the party of free markets and free people, it needs to echo the wisdom of Mary Russell: "Women's reproduction is our own business." If the modern Republican Party wants to be the home of limited government conservatism-which I'm not convinced it does anymore-it needs to prove that its small government philosophy extends to all things, including social issues. The GOP can't argue that it's against government mandates in healthcare in some cases, and not in others.  
    Time to make a good case for why women should vote Republican. Right now, it's getting difficult for us "old school" Republicans to keep defending the men.
    When Party Lines get Crossed 
    You can clearly tell from this woman's post that she's a distressed republican increasingly concerned with the party's direction. That's because the party she wishes for no longer exists--women will not be reassured of, well, anything, that falls outside of the prevailing "I'm more conservative than that other guy" chest-hair narrative. Today's republican party marches blindly, blithely more and more to the right, ignoring all facts to the contrary, pandering wantonly to the Maher-mocked gaping-maw demographic. Previously, "old school republicans" have held their noses while their party went down the toilet, culturally, politically, and intellectually speaking. But that's changing.

    Ready. Fire. Aim. The republicans' November strategy.
    The strategy of the republican party (as it had been so successfully initiated under Karl Rove's command) has been simple: lockstop agreement within the party, universally imposed discipline to message, repeat all policy talking points ad nauseum, and no internal disagreements. This approach is now, however,  at odds with something that apparently is stronger than party line: a little something I like to call women's rights.  

    So, yeah, I think we can safely say that the wheels have come off the traditional republican crazy bus, because now all women's rights (not just those of democratic women) are under attack. The clown car of the right is no longer satisfied to veer into the crowd of the usual main targets--the gays, the liberals, the blacks, the not from around heres, the lib'rals, the demuhcrats, the poors, the muslim presidents, etc. As it turns out, the republican idea shit-cannon has trained its sights on targets within its own party--those evil types known as females. (Is it any wonder that those other evil types--teachers--are made up mostly of them females? I don't think. Er, I mean, I think not. Whatever.)

    But seriously, how many republican party men honestly think that all (or even most) republican party women a) don't use birth control and b) haven't had or considered having an abortion? Not all conservatives believe that every sperm is sacred. Are they daft? They're daft, aren't they.

    No, please, tell us how you really feel... 
    Here's the thing: If the republican party really wants to repeal decades of basic rights--and they seem hell bent on that--then why not let them put it to the democratic test. We're in the middle of a cultural and political civil cold war, and people really do need to know where extremist conservatives stand--and whether most of the country, including the 99% of women who use contraception agrees with that stance. These maniacal conservative American males fervently believe that they have the right to determine what women can and can't do with their bodies, and that insurance shouldn't cover basic family planning and reproductive health? Great. Let's see how everyone else feels (don't get me started on the invasive scanning Virginia law to be enacted in July that requires ultrasound scans for women who want an abortion, but a state legislator put together a truly inspired bill in response--aimed at viagra-seeking men in Ohio, if you're interested). 

    It's a free country. The crazed right can continue their shock and awe assault on the majority of voters with non-stop misogynistic carpet bombing. Just as the debates have revealed how krazy for koo koo puffs and and extreme the republican party has become, this latest attack on women's basic rights is more of the same and needs to be clearly aired out for the whole country to see and become aware of--and act out against in the election booth.

    So yes, I am disappointed in a number of policy areas that Obama has ignored, but on core issues like this, yes, too, there is a difference between democrats and republicans, Virginia, and I'm with Democrats and all women who are going to do their best to make sure the latter don't make it to the White House next November. 

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