Political Chess: Ann Romney, GOP’s Sacrificial Pawn

It was inevitable, once the GOP realized that their war on women was hurting them politically, that they’d seek to use the rhetoric for their own gain.

It’s ironic, but not surprising in the least, that they’d use women as pawns in the process. They did this, of course, to avoid accusations of sexism. But it’s still sexist.

The icing on the cake is tapping into the old working moms vs. stay-at-home moms “fight.” A fight that (guess who?) misogynists began, in order to divide women, pitting us against one another in a faux fight for supremacy.

Why does it matter? Ultimately, it doesn’t. Save for, of course, the policies and societal expectations that force women to make these “choices” and receive criticism no matter what “choice” women make.

If the GOP were smart, they’d reverse course on the anti-women stances they’ve taken. But they want to have their cake, and eat it too, I suppose.

Sorry, GOP. You can’t perpetuate inequality and sexism–and expect women to support you. You’re waging a war on women. It’s not simply rhetoric. It’s fact.

Now, you’re exploiting misogyny to perpetuate the same.

Women aren’t buying it.

 

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Equal Pay for Equal Work

Others have made the point that health insurance is a part of women’s wages, wages that we earn–not a privilege benevolently bestowed on us by men who may revoke it at any time, because taxpayers and religion.

I agree with that point–I’ve said it many times in face to face arguments and on facebook over the last month.

Women have an established right to equal pay for equal work. Allowing employers to restrict our access to birth control is a violation of that right.

We earn our health benefits. No matter how icky you may find our cunts, and how we use our cunts, you cannot restrict our access to the health benefits that we have earned by our work.

The debate on birth control is merely a new verse in the same old song. This is nothing more than the next attempt to take away the rights of women to be free and to choose our own destinies.

Blunt Breakdown

Well, I was going to post a list of the misogynistic Senators who voted in favor of the Blunt Amendment. However, it seems fairly pointless, considering this:

If your Senator is a Republican, and is NOT Olympia Snowe, then they voted in FAVOR of the Blunt Amendment.

If your Senator is a Democrat, and is NOT Bob Casey (Pa.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.), then they voted AGAINST the Blunt Amendment.

There, see?

Now, let’s get these fuckers who voted for Blunt out of the Senate.

Shocker: Approval Rate for GOP Among Women Takes Nosedive

It really was inevitable. They keep pushing and pushing–it’s not just feminists that are pushing back. That is, men and women who have previously identified as feminists. Women–and men–across the country are getting sick of this crap.

More and more people are going to be pushing back now.

Indeed, since December, President Obama’s approval ratings among women have increased by ten percent, giving him a thirteen-point lead over Romney, and a sixteen-point lead over Santorum, among women.

It’s been common wisdom that if the GOP keeps up the War on Women, they will drive women away from the party. Here it is.

Though the Blunt amendment has been defeated, that it was by such a close vote is going to energize even more people.

I do think the blogger I linked to and the authors of the original article are underestimating just how much the GOP’s attacks on women’s rights are galvanizing us. There’s very much a “yes, birth control, but also jobs, jobs, jobs!” tone to both articles.

Birth control, abortion, bodily autonomy–these aren’t just “social issues.” We are fighting for our very bodies here. I can’t emphasize enough how very vital these are. For fuck’s sake, the GOP are trying to force, by law, probes into our vaginas. This is serious. This is attempted rape by the government.

No, this exodus of women from supporting the GOP is because of their war on women. I can easily see these numbers increasing as the days and weeks pass.

Oxford Historian Fails at Analyzing Michigan Primary Results

Don’t take this as a jab at historians, but perhaps Timothy Stanley should stick to history, because his political analysis misses the mark, to put it mildly.

From his column on CNN:

“The votes that Romney and Santorum drew matched their public personas. In the last two weeks, Mitt has been branded as a “Massachusetts moderate” — who thinks it’s perfectly normal for a patriotic woman to own “a couple of Cadillacs.” In contrast Santorum presents as a “working class” conservative who “almost threw up” at the thought of separating church and state and who implies that college is for snobs. Together, they are the rational brain and the rumbling gut of the Republican Party.”

Considering that Romney’s Cadillac gaffe  was a gaffe because it demonstrated his class privilege, a huge no-no in the current economic climate, where does “patriotism” enter the picture? Buying American-made cars is considered a good thing, patriotic even, yet it seems Stanley is framing this as a bad thing. Substitute “patriotic” in that sentence for “working class” and it makes sense, but in its present state, it makes none.

Stanley does the same thing in the next sentence, linking “working class” with the idea that separation of church and state is a bad thing. What does one have to do with the other? Nothing. Why would one’s membership in the “working class,” even the “conservative working class,” be indicative of one’s views on the separation of church and state? This has not been adequately established–he’s making assumptions here.

Also, rumbling gut? What is this supposed to imply? Indigestion? Impending diarrhea? Or is it a reference to one’s instinctual feelings? If so, on what? What an awful metaphor.

Now, consider this:

“There will be a lot of debate in the next few days about why Democrats and independents were so drawn to Santorum. The consensus is that they were spoilers out to deny Romney the nomination. Aside from some individual testimony to that effect, I’m not sure this can be proven. After all, Santorum has been pitching himself at blue-collar workers for some time and it’s notable that he won union members 45-26 percent. These are the famous “Reagan Democrats,” the unionized auto workers living in suburban Detroit who flipped from Democrat to Republican in 1980 because they were so attracted to Ronald Reagan’s stance on God, guns, and taxes.

Santorum enjoys the confidence of significant numbers of non-Republican populists precisely because of his reputation as an antediluvian conservative. In an age when politicians seem manufactured and packaged to appeal to a shrinking center-ground, Santorum has stood out this season as a man of his word. That word might well by lifted from a particularly angry passage in Leviticus — but it sounds so much better than the bland platitudes that fall from Mitt’s mouth. It’s telling that Santorum performed well in Michigan among people looking for “strong moral character.” That’s what he’s selling on the campaign trail.”

Okay, I’m going to take off the political scientist and writing critic hats for a moment here.

Dude.

Republicans have been divided the entire primary season: they can’t decide which candidate they hate the least. Why on earth would Democrats be “drawn” to any of these Republican candidates, much less Santorum? While Republicans may be thinking “anyone but Obama,” Democrats are thinking “holy shit why would anyone want these guys near the White House?”

While I can pretty confidently say that there was no organized effort on the part of Democrats to shake up the primaries for the Republicans–one thing is certain. The longer it takes for Republicans to choose a candidate, the better chance Obama will have at re-taking the White House, and by a larger percentage. You don’t have to be a snob with a university degree to figure that out.

Putting my hats on now.

Honestly, the Republican Party doesn’t have a viable candidate. Neither Romney nor Santorum, and certainly not Gringrich or Paul, could defeat Obama in November. The GOP erred considerably in their chosen strategy of “making Obama a one-term President.” Pure sabotage doesn’t work in politics–it didn’t even work for Democrats in the 2004 election season–I’m not sure why Republicans chose it as their strategy from 2008 until now. It wouldn’t have worked even had they confined it to the election season–again, it didn’t work for the Democrats in 2004.

President Obama has the incumbent’s advantage–and the GOP needed a considerable track record, in addition to a very good candidate, to reclaim the White House. They have neither. Ensuring a divided GOP, and a contentious convention will hand a larger margin of victory to President Obama.

A larger margin of victory for President Obama will save a large portion of the citizenry from suffering from high blood pressure.

If you asked, I’d say this is fairly obvious–certainly political science 101. Dr. Stanley should definitely stick to his field.

 

Split in GOP Over Birth Control Mandate?

Last week, the Obama administration announced that employers will be required to cover birth control in their insurance plans–including religious hospitals and schools.

The GOP promptly threw a shit fit. Along with, you know, fundamentalist Christians and conservative Catholics.

Boehner is threatening to introduce legislation overturning the rule.

But wait! The GOP isn’t united on this. While mainstream news sources cream their pants over a Democrat in Congress that is also throwing a shit fit over the rule, (I’ll give you one guess who it is.) they’re ignoring the pro-choice segment of the Republican Party.

Republican Majority For Choice is calling for the GOP to stop pandering to the extreme minority in the party and cease their war on contraception.

“I think this week’s outrage over the Komen decision should be a warning to the Republican party about how quickly there was a mass outrage over further and further attacks on general women’s health,” Kellie Ferguson, executive director of Republican Majority for choice, told me Wednesday. “You could see the same backlash on attacks on contraception.”

“For the last number of years, we in the pro-choice community in general — and we specifically as Republicans — have been saying as this pandering to a sort of social conservative faction of voters continues, you’re going to see the line pushed further and further and further,” she said. “And we’re now crossing the line from discussion of when we should regulate abortion to when we should now regulate legal doctor-prescribed medications like birth control, which is woven in the fabric of society as an acceptable medication.”

Of course, they’re not getting press because the GOP isn’t going to listen. Along with the religious right pushing more and more of their agenda, this is an election year–and the prolonged primary ensures that the rhetoric is going to be very partisan. Let’s not forget, either, the GOP’s number one goal: to make President Obama a one-term President, by undermining everything that he attempts to do. This would be a perfect storm, save for the fact that going after birth control is crossing a very distinct line in the sand.

Americans like their birth control–and the vast majority of the country that uses it? Isn’t going to give it up anytime soon. If the GOP continues on this course (and they will) they will lose more and more women, and more and more of the 18-24 demographic.

The GOP is heading for a brick wall at a very high speed.

But naturally, President Obama is looking to compromise.

*headdesk*

 

The Tea Party: Not Quite Dead

From the Daily Beast:

“The Tea Party movement is dead. It’s gone,” says Chris Littleton, the cofounder of the Ohio Liberty Council, a statewide coalition of Tea Party groups in Ohio. “I think largely the Tea Party is irrelevant in the primaries. They aren’t passionate about any of the candidates, and if they are passionate, they’re for Ron Paul.”

I wouldn’t say the Tea Party is dead. As far as it being a popular political movement, sparking protests, rallies, and changing the political game–yes. That game is up for the Tea Party.

As it is right now, the Tea Party is a Republican Party boogeyman. It’s a demographic within the GOP to be feared and pandered to. It shapes the message of Republican candidates and office-holders.

However, the problem is, the Republican Party already has a boogeyman to be feared: the Religious Right. The RR has had a stronghold in the party for years now, and it’s not going to relinquish its status as the Demographic That Must Be Pleased, or else it is the end of your legislation, your message, and your political career.

The Republican Party is struggling right now. It’s doing this awkward shuffle-dance to try to appeal to both demographics at once, with embarrassing results. Both demographics are competing for supremacy within the GOP, and the results are yet to be seen–hence, Republican candidates are playing to both sides, waiting to see which demographic will come out on top, and subsequently appearing lukewarm and somewhat repellant to both sides.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t conservatives and Republicans that identify with both the Religious Right and the Tea Party–there certainly are. This also alters the appearance of both groups, to a certain extent.

Until this power struggle has come to an end, the GOP isn’t going to be able to fully unite and face off against the Democrats. Republicans are fighting a war on two fronts–and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any agreement in time for the Presidential election later this year.