I was going to completely ignore the 2012 election, the clowns v the jokers, because, well, because I don’t think it matters too much. The result is a foregone conclusion; the corporations and banks win, the people lose. There are actually other parties running besides the Republican party (Obama is a Republican, let’s be honest here), but the media is doing a dandy job of sheltering the public from the awful spectacle of third parties. In a country which offers 20 brands of toilet paper, the public must not be brain-stressed and confused by having to contemplate more than one party during the voting season. It’ll get even easier in 2016 – they aren’t going to bother with elections by then.
I haven’t watched any of the GOP “debates” in full. But this little clip from earlier this week caught my attention. The crowd boos the very mention of
war with Iran fracking continuation of the Bush tax cuts gutting Social Security and Medicare birth control.
In the year 2012, a roomful of Americans is booing the idea of contraception. Are you freaking shitting me? Where did they even find these people? Who are these people? Are they just sad little people looking for some authority to tell them how they should conduct their private lives and what to believe? Are they all looking for a Pope or cult leader rather than a President? Are they seeking that candidate who will dare to say out loud that women should be barefoot and pregnant and submit to their husbands? I read one short recap of the debate which pointed out that only three women were visible during the entire evening in any CNN camera shots panning the crowd. And one of those women was Rick Perry’s wife.
Maybe the audience at all the debates are the same few hundred people who are bussed around from one debate to another; the ones booing birth control are the same ones who in earlier debates booed a gay soldier, applauded the death penalty, and cheered the death of an uninsured individual.
The “candidates” were asked their viewpoints on contraception being covered by health insurance. None of them thought it was a good idea, except Ron Paul (and that is a “maybe”), but I’ll get to his take in a second. Romney and Gingrich strangely decided to answer the question as though their own opinions were entirely irrelevant; neither of them actually gave his opinion. Gingrich preferred to talk about Obama’s supposed support of infanticide and Romney blustered a bit about Obama’s attack on religious tolerance. When Santorum’s turn came, he went into a lecture about the “dangers of contraception.” Contraception, he claimed, causes out-of-wedlock births, single-parent homes, and growing poverty. The fact that birth control, sort of by definition, prevents these things is one of those sciencey things he considers an unproven theory rather than as fact. Look, we are talking about flat-earthers and young-earth believers here – Satan placed dinosaur bones around and about to trick us into thinking the earth was more than 6000 years old and all that crap. You can’t argue with these guys; they believe.
Ron Paul had his turn. His take is that the pill is here to stay and people are going to use it anyway. I’m not sure how he views the idea of insurance paying for it, since he wanted to talk about the Real Issue instead. The problem, see, is that the hussies and the men they lure are immoral and sick. He actually compared these wanton, wa-a-ay too sexually active sluts and their marks to people who use guns.
“But sort of along the line of the pills creating immorality, I don’t see it that way. I think the immorality creates the problem of wanting to use the pills. So you don’t blame the pills. I think it’s sort of like the argument – conservatives use the argument all the time about guns. Guns don’t kill, criminals kill.” – Ron Paul.
But wait, Mr. Paul, don’t married people also use contraception? Are you saying that sex is, in and of itself and in all cases, immoral? I don’t quite know what you are getting at, but the gun metaphor ought to be dropped. For sure, he didn’t have one of those “Make love, not war” bumper stickers back in the day. His probably said, “Make neither love nor war. Hire mercenaries to do your dirty work.”
So here we are talking about birth control and we have a whole entire flock of Americans who want to get rid of it. Inconceivable. Tell you what, dumb-asses. If you don’t believe in abortions, don’t have one. If you don’t believe in contraception, don’t use it. You have the freedom (for now, anyway) to make your own choices. But you don’t have the right to take that choice away from everyone else. To dictate morality and religious beliefs would be to make us a theocracy. It would be Christian Sharia law.
We could ignore the candidates, flamboyantly weird and distracting a spectacle as they are, but this sort of move backwards in time is catching hold all over the place. The Congressional hearings on contraception – Jesus H. Christ, can you believe they are holding Congressional hearings on this? – originally only allowed testimony from some men to some other men, notably none of whom had the remotest possibility of becoming pregnant. When they finally deigned to allow a woman to speak, they didn’t want her testimony to be televised. What, what, what? Rep. Joe Walsh (Teabagger, Illinois) said, “This is not about women. This is not about contraceptives…This is about religious freedom.” Oh, bullshit. Forcing your anti-Christ-like “Christian” beliefs on everyone is the antithesis to religious freedom. And women are part of the whole “having offspring” thing, in case you didn’t notice. In fact, one might say they are integral to the process. Mr. Walsh knows that – he had a kid or two. Or three. Even without checking under his clothes, I’m willing to bet he isn’t physically equipped to carry a child to term. Oh, wait, he’s the guy who doesn’t believe in abortion or birth control, although divorcing the other half and letting her fend for the progeny alone is morally acceptable. (In June of last year, his ex-wife had to sue him for over $100,000 of back child support. He raked her over the coals in the press, had a team of 5 lawyers, and failed to show up for the hearings. This was after he donated $35,000 to his own campaign. Priorities, people.) How about this – if contraception should not be a covered expense under insurance, then the resulting prenatal care costs and the birth itself should not be covered. Having the kid is a “choice” issue as well, and a damn sight more expensive that the pill. Why should my rates go up just because some couples want to return to the pre-industrial era of blood-letting, charms, and the rhythm method?
And now we have some idiots going after the Girl Scouts, saying that they are “a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood”. [http://jezebel.com/5887556/are-girl-scouts-miniature-soldiers-in-the-culture-wars]
This would all be a funny distraction from the real issues facing us today, save for the fact that these fundamentalist whack jobs are actually succeeding in getting laws changed in state after state, and now we are letting Congress and candidates for the presidential office talk about reversing centuries of church-state separation as though they were somehow discussing something reasonable. They are, indeed, making war on women, as I have heard it called. And war on poor people and war on people of color. They are overturning voting rights and trying as hard as they can to take us to some landscape of feudalism and Dark Ages. The scum has risen to the very top.