Saturday, March 3, 2012

GOP's Extreme Anti-women Rhetoric?

Why are the GOP using the extreme rhetoric of anti-women, anti-immigration, anti-gay, etc? They are not stupid. The GOP can read the polls and are well aware they are alienating large chucks of voters. The silence of the Republicans denouncing the recent tirade of the mighty megaphone mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh has been deafening and is but one example.

This begs the question, why do this? There absolutely has to be a reason, some bigger picture we aren't seeing, that would make Republicans keep using and even doubling down on the extreme rhetoric of anti-women, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti 'any not like us' talk. (So if you are not a rich, white male, then shut up and go lay down by your dish.)

The Congress is grinding to a stop repeatedly and becoming completely polarized with 'compromise' now considered a dirty word. A certain amount of give and take to reach a middle ground was supposed to be their job description until all the Tea Partiers came aboard and the political extremism intensified to the point of making Congress not working at all as a plan it seems.

Ron Paul as the supposed intellectual godfather of the Tea Party must be rubbing his hands in gleeful satisfaction. I get that youth gravitates to the revolution spoken by Ron Paul but I really don't get the youth signing on for his anti-choice, life begins at conception so no hormonal birth control position. So youth + no contraception + no abortion = no sex or lots of babies. Are the youth not reading the fine print on this candidate? Forgive, I digress.

Many very savvy political commentators have been bringing the question up of why the Republicans bite the bullet to continue on down this path of extreme rhetoric.  Sometimes history can give us insight, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

A possible reason for the extreme rhetoric could be to prepare the field and lay the groundwork? Here are some quotes from an actual professor of history on a democracy becoming dismantled (not a self-professed historian like Newt Gingrich, but a professor that would truly upset anti-college Santorum).

"Mass extremism, intolerance, a desperate desire for radical change - all factors that make a stable democracy impossible - are difficult to evoke. When the community is secure, political agitators find themselves ranting in near-empty halls. It takes a haunting fear, a sudden awareness of hitherto unsuspected dangers, to fill the halls with audiences who see the agitator as their deliverer." *

So if a group wanted to gain power over the masses in country with a democracy like the USA, the first order of business would be perpetuating mass extremism and intolerance. Anybody noticed that more and more people are either getting on board with the bible-thumping pervasive hate messages of what used to be the far right Tea Party types? How many are now going along with the strong arm harassment and the peer pressured hate message or just getting out?

Some of the hate messages in our country lately:
  • 'hate strong independent women - they are evil' (no surprise Rush Limbaugh gets a nod from keep them pregnant and at home club)
  • 'hate people of color - they are lazy and dangerous' (dismantle the Civil Rights Act)
  • 'hate gays - they are corrupt' (rewrite discrimination laws).
 Chilling, check mark the 'mass extremism, intolerance', and move on to 'desperate desire for radical change'.

One need look no further than the financial collapse to know fear has spread through the middle-class. Will they lose their jobs, their homes, their pension, what will their children's future be? As long as the fear can be fed and the group wanting to take power stands firmly in the way of providing any path to recovery, then a check mark can be made on  'desperate desire for radical change' as well.

You might try to dismiss this as 'every four years the Democrats and Republicans go at it' but this is different. We are not just talking about a push to get the White House for four years, we are looking at how one group would destabilize a democracy to take power and rewrite the laws in order to keep that power. Don't think that can happen in America? Then you must not have heard about Benton Harbor Michigan takeover. Its already happening. ** Video link to msnbc on Benton Harbor below

The Tea Party activists core issues are similar to Ron Paul's rabid desire to cut government spending and even dismantle entire areas of government,  a disdain of the politics of compromise. In the 2010 elections many of the Tea Party social conservatives got in and went to work rewriting laws in many states across the country on access to birth control, abortion, definitions of rape and discrimination and voting rights.

It becomes easier to see why Republicans in Congress, under pressure from the Tea Party would want to make sure the American economy stalls by standing in the way of any jobs bills and by attaching poison to any attempts to encourage our economy.

It can be truly frightening to watch these events of today unfold and not be struck by the similarities in the history throughout the book. Another quote from that history professor, "If that bunch ever once gets in, democracy will be lost" *

As an optimist, I still hold to the hope that we will be somehow able to push back and stand against these machinations. I for one, still believe in that 'can do' American spirit which can accomplish amazing things in spite of seemingly impossible odds, to bring us back from the edge of disaster.

** Video links to msnbc to learn more about what has happened at Benton Harbor
* William Allen Sheridan. The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town 1922-1945. ed. 1973, pp. 23, 42.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Quiet Rooms, Quiet War on Women

The Republicans have been steadily waging a stealth war on women's right to choose. No surprise there, since overturning Roe v. Wade has been the high priority issue with the religious right from the start.

After all those extreme right wing Republicans were elected as State Senators, State Representatives and Governors on platforms of increasing jobs in 2010, one would be expecting a sharp drop in unemployment where the GOP took control. Sorry folks but the Republicans have been busy on a far more important agenda than jobs.

Instead of jobs being the focus of their new position, as soon as they were elected Republicans took charge in conducting a stealth war against women. The lawmakers in states all across the country have been extremely busy formulating laws that turn back the clock by decades on women's issues, even rewriting what will be considered rape in some states.

It appears to be no coincidence in how similar and extreme these laws are getting passed. Remember the 'Quiet Rooms' where important discussions are to take place according to Romney? It seems that in those 'Quiet Rooms' it has been decided that women will no longer have permission to choose abortion or to even have access to birth control legally.

All the religious right wing had to do was get the Republican Party in line and put them to work across the country mandating a host of laws that you would think would never get passed but are. The so called 'personhood' laws which will outlaw hormonal birth control are being fast tracked along with trans vaginal ultrasound abortion laws in many states.

The Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell was also elected in 2010 even after a thesis had surfaced in which  he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples. He still got elected and went on to sponsor the vaginal probe law.

In McDonnell's thesis, he deems man as evil by nature, and in need of government control when he writes "However, man's basic nature is inclined toward evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter."

We must no longer allow the right wing nuts to ram their religious mandates and viewpoints down our throats or in our vagina. These elected officials got in office under false pretenses but need to be expelled in full exposure of their intolerance and hypocritical actions. They slipped in office when many people weren't very enthused with voting but women today are getting a wake up call and many of us will be watching these guys like hawks!

The protests made McDonnell take out the vaginal probe from his new law but now women voters need to take out every one these guys.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Republicans Against Birth Control Not A New Thing

I am glad that the Republicans War Against Birth Control is finally becoming a major talking point in the media. The awareness of women today is being raised to wake up and see what is happening. What makes me shake my head are people sounding as though the Republicans being against birth control is a new thing. Excuse me people but Republicans Against Birth Control is not a new thing!

The Republicans applaud Ronald Reagan as the President from 1981-1989 who held a position as anti-abortion, being against Roe v. Wade and even being opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment for women. Reagan also established global gag order on family planning.

So Republicans had 8 years of Reagan trying to pull back women's Equal Rights and a woman's right to choose followed 4 years with George HW Bush who was strongly anti-abortion just like George W. Bush (2001-2009).

When you look at the 28 year timeline since Reagan's start in 1981 through Bush's exit in 2009 these were all Republicans except for the 8 years of Bill Clinton. Each of these Republicans signing the gag order again as one of the 1st things they do as President to prohibit women's clinics from giving any information on abortions even if she asks for it.

Rolling back women's reproductive rights, including contraception for family planning, to before Roe v. Wade has been on the the Top of the to-do list of the Republican Party for a long time. Since Republicans gained power in many states and as governors across the country, they have made changes in laws to undermine access to birth control, abortion and even rewriting rape laws.

Will the women of America just lay down and take this? Women will have to work hard at removing these Republicans at both State and Federal government levels and put some sanity back in government.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Outlawing Birth Control?

Alright, women are always busy, but Outlawing Birth Control? Don't get caught unaware on this issue of the GOP working to ban Birth Control.

Women are the caregivers, either literally or figuratively wiping noses, giving hugs and support to those in our circle. Naturally we are often over committed. While I still managed to vote in the presidential elections, I admit that keeping up with current events was sadly only grabbing a few minutes of CNN headline news with my coffee.
Hearing about this birth control issue confused me and I felt compelled to do a deeper check into what was going on. Here is what I found...

We are so used to the idea that available birth control is just a normal part of our lives, but it wasn't so in the 1960s. Back in 1965 a Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut struck down a law in the state of Connecticut that made it a crime to use birth control.

Take a moment to really absorb that one! The state had laws like many other states at that time which made birth control for even married couples illegal. Who was this Griswold that stood up to the State of Connecticut and took the case of a right to birth control all the way to the Supreme Court?

Estelle Griswold was the president of the Planned Parenthood of Connecticut who helped pave the way to make sure women today have our choices in family planning and access to birth control. I like choices! I like being able to choose to NOT have given birth to 14 children and being dead by 40. Thank you Estelle so very much!

It took until 1972 for the Supreme Court case Eisenstadt v. Baird to extend the right of birth control to unmarried couples! You had to be MARRIED to have the right to birth control before then. Why am I giving this little review of history? Here is a hint. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

The GOP has mounted in its most aggressive campaign ever to drag all women, Republican, Democrat and Independents alike, back to the 60s and take away that right to reproductive choices that we are so very used too.

GOP candidates for 2012 have gotten on board with personhood amendment, even Ron Paul the small government guy. Rick Santorum even has been on video saying "contraception is not OK". This personhood amendment is a plan by the extreme right drive to overturn the right to legal abortion by making law that a fertilized egg is to be declared a person and causing many forms of  hormonal birth control to be ONCE AGAIN ILLEGAL!

Mississippi rejected the amendment when put to the voters and Colorado voters also said no way. But don't think your birth control is safe now or that a little thing like the voters are going to stop the GOP. States all across the country where the GOP took control are actively ramming through laws to dismantle Roe v Wade and even criminalized miscarriage. Could you be investigated if you have a miscarriage? Evidently.

In the states where the GOP has complete control, they say that they hope to have laws put in force by the end of the year. OK I'm not just getting nervous I am getting just plain mad. This is enough of the fringe taking over while we were busy living our lives and addressing the concerns of the day. Let's put a stop to the GOP agenda against women now and keep them out of our bedrooms!

Want to volunteer to keep a Democratic President in the White House? Seems like a real good idea.

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