Santorum Drops Out of Presidential Race

From the New York Times:

“Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney’s nomination and ending his improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party’s conservative standard-bearer in the fall.

“We made a decision over the weekend, that while this presidential race for us is over, for me, and we will suspend our campaign today, we are not done fighting,” Mr. Santorum said.”

It’s over.

While he may be trying to give his supporters hope that this suspension is temporary, this marks the end of his bid. Now that he’s announced, donors will dry up, media attention will wane, and strategists within the Republican Party will shift their focus elsewhere.

One down, three more to go.

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Why Should I Care About Politics?

When people hear that one of my majors in college was political science, I get “Oh, I’m not interested in that stuff. It’s just a bunch of people fighting about stuff that doesn’t impact me at all.” I smile and nod, or shrug, because I get it. I was there, too.

It wasn’t until my American Government class freshman year that I became interested. It fulfilled a general education requirement, it had an Honors section to fulfill the requirements for the Honors program, and my roommate was taking it. Dr. Edward Yager taught the course. I fell in love. I quickly added it as my second major, and it all went from there.

The first thing that I learned was that politics affects everyone. It touches everything in our lives. This was the same fact that I told every person who skeptically, condescendingly, asked why I was studying English. Politics was why the roof of my urban high school leaked when it rained. Politics was why gas prices were soaring. Politics was why tuition was so dang expensive. Politics was why. Politics was. I had to learn as much as I could about this thing, this entity, this institution that touched every corner of my life. I had to know.

The more I learned, the more I realized I could do something about all the stuff that made me go “What the fuck? Seriously?” when I heard about it. This was a pivotal  moment. I was no longer a leaf in a stream, getting swept along in whatever direction the current took me. I was a part of the stream itself. I could either be passive, and let all the other molecules of water move and shake, or I could move and shake myself, become part of the energy that moves the stream.

After learning that I wasn’t a leaf, I wasn’t about to be some passive molecule. The energy, the excitement, and the passion of my professors and classmates stirred me into action as well. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

What was seen, couldn’t be unseen. What was learned, couldn’t be unlearned.

I joined student government. I jumped into the feminist blogosphere that I’d been lurking in. I got involved in state-level politics. Local movements. Online movements. I began to write. Global movements. National movements. Protests. Petitions. Writing to my Senators, my representatives. Writing to Senators and representatives that didn’t even represent me. Boycotts. Rallies. Lobbying. Writing to the paper. Interviews.

What’s next? I have no idea. This thing, this entity, this institution we call politics will continue to touch every corner of my life. It always will—so I’ll always be moving.

 

 

What I’m Reading

I thought I’d share what my reading list has looked like recently:

Reading Now:

Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party by Max Blumenthal. This is a Kindle book. It’s a recent history and analysis of the Republican party. Very interesting so far–I’m 33% of the way through it.

Into the Storm: A Study in Command by Tom Clancy with Ret. General Fred Franks, Jr. This is a second read-through for me, though it’s been about eight years. My copy is in paperback. It’s a thorough look at the first Gulf War–events, strategy, and leadership, as well as a sort of biography for General Franks, who commanded the main force that pushed the Iraqis out of Kuwait. I remember liking it a lot the first time around, and I’m interested to see how much more I’ll understand with several years of Civil Air Patrol and two years of Army ROTC under my belt. On page 44/688

Read Recently:

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce. This is a Kindle book. I’d heard this book mentioned numerous time at No Longer Quivering, so I decided to check it out. I’ve been a regular reader of NLQ for quite some time now, along with the blogs of several of the contributors there, so I’m familiar with the movement. This book, however, interviews those still in the movement as well as those who have left it–a valuable insight. Definitely recommended.

Escape by Carolyn Jessop and Laura Palmer. This is a Kindle book. Carolyn Jessop was born and raised in the FLDS, the Fundementalist church of Latter-Day Saints, an extreme Mormon cult that practices arranged marriages and polygamy. She tells of her life in the cult, as well as her successful attempt to escape with her children. She was the first to escape the FLDS with her children, and retain custody of them. This book is recommended, especially for those who are interested in the way religion interferes with government in the United States.

Triumph: Life After the Cult–A Survivor’s Lessons by Carolyn Jessop and Laura Palmer. This is a Kindle book. Carolyn writes of her family’s adjustment to life outside the cult, as well as giving advice to other women who want to escape from a cult. She also writes of the FLDS’ move to Texas, the raid of the cult’s ranch, and Texas’ failing at removing the children from its custody and connecting/assisting women who wanted to leave. Recommended, especially if you read escape.

On my reading list:

The Whip by Karen Kondazian

Weinergate? Please.

If you want to know why Breitbart and his cronies set their sights on Congressman Anthony Weiner, check out this excellent piece by Allan at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

Seriously, click it.

If you need another reason to discredit the Congressman’s detractors (other than the victim’s statement saying she doesn’t believe for a minute Weiner sent her the photo, Weiner’s denials, the demonstrations of the ease of hacking Yfrog, the mismatch between “the photo” and other photos the Congressman has uploaded, the fact that the only person who saw the tweet was harassing both Weiner and Cordova, et cetera and so on.) this piece is the golden nail in the coffin.

 

 

Election 2012: The Issue

Robert Creamer of the Huffington Post posits in an editorial that Republicans, in voting to end Medicare, have committed political suicide, and handed the Democrats an easy victory in 2012.

It’s an interesting article. But I’m a bit skeptical.

If only elections were so easy.

No election, especially not one as huge as a presidential race, hinges on any one issue. Even among a single demographic.

But it’s interesting. Of all of the possible issues that are being pegged as the issue for the 2012 election: the one that effects the old, white demographic.

Not DOMA. Not immigration. Not the economy, the budget cuts that would affect the millions of struggling Americans.

Hmm.

A Letter to the President

Dear President Obama,

As the 2012 Presidential election season begins, I find myself trying to figure out whether or not I will campaign on your behalf.

You see, in 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton. As a feminist, I wanted dearly to see such a proactive, feminist, capable, and successful politician like Hillary to be my President. I cannot express how badly I wanted Hillary as my President. I’m not alone. Millions of women, of feminists, wanted Hillary to be our President. We were heartbroken when she lost the nomination–to you.

But even so, we rallied to your cause. We worked hard for you. Millions of women helped you in your successful bid to the Presidency. We didn’t do it because of admonitions from male liberals that “McCain would be much worse.” No, we did it because of hope. We hoped that, even though we couldn’t have Hillary, that we could still have a feminist as our President. We hoped that we would finally have a president that would stand up for our rights. We hoped that you would be the leader of the Democratic Party that would stand up and say, “Enough. We’re not going to use women’s rights as a bargaining chip with Republicans. We’re going to live up to our promises. We’re not going to settle for being “better than the Republicans.” We going to stand up for equality, and we’re not going to back down. This is the right thing to do.”

To our dismay, you’re not. As hundreds of anti-choice legislation appear across the country that would undermine our rights and drag us back to second-class status, you’ve said nothing. You allowed your party to use women as a bargaining chip in the health care debate. As many have said, you and the Democrats have “thrown women under the bus.”

Why should I campaign for you? Why should I lend you my support and my aid?

I cannot answer that question, though the echo chamber of male Democrats and male liberals are crying “because he’s a Democrat! He’s better than Republicans! Do you want another Bush?”

The only reason that’s being given is a guilt trip. Vote Democrat, or else Republicans will win and things will be much worse for you. That’s the threat. Instead of support from my brothers, I get a backhanded threat.

I won’t be blackmailed, Mr. President. I need a damn good reason why I should support you again. No more hope–I want support. I want action. I want scathing reprimand from you to your party for stabbing in the back the millions of women who have supported and continue to support the Democratic Party.

The 2010 election was a mandate–but it wasn’t in favor of the Republican agenda. It was our answer to the Democrat’s treatment of its large, active female constituency: This is what happens when we stay home. Republicans win, and everyone suffers. Do you want us to stay home in 2012? Then keep your promises to your sisters. Fight for equality.

Let me share how I would like the next twelve years to go: I would like you to become the President we all thought you would be, that is, a strong ally of women–unwavering support for abortion rights. Equal pay. Strong support for victims of rape, harassment, and abuse. Strong condemnation of the men who commit these crimes. Equality for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people. The end to restrictions on the jobs women may have in the military. And that’s just the beginning. I want action. No election slogans. Action. Then, I would like my dream of 2008 to come true: I want Hillary Clinton to be my President.

Idealistic? No more than you during the 2008 Democratic primaries–which is why I dismissed you as unelectable. I still maintain that you won the nomination because of the split in the party between supporters of Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Prove this political scientist wrong. Become the politician that women want you to be, and that Democrats need you to be.

Then I can give you my full, enthusiastic support. Until then, I’ll remain what my generation has been condemned to be thus far in our political lives: disappointed.

Brittany-Ann Wick

Why Repealing Healthcare Reform is a Bad Idea.

As the health care debate emerges again, I’d like to give the participants a unique perspective: I’m an epileptic woman that works full-time, has health insurance with a lot of strings attached, and (of course) pays taxes.

Here’s what my epilepsy means as far as healthcare: I have a monthly prescription that I have to take. Otherwise, seizures! Inflicting my disease upon others! Inconveniencing others! Every few months, a doctor’s visit, and depending on the doctor’s whim, perhaps an EEG at the nearest hospital the next week. If I’m unfortunate enough to have a seizure in public I have to deal with EMTs, perhaps an ambulance ride, the Emergency Room, and doctors and nurses rushing about to give me tests to determine what is wrong with me, all the while ignoring my feeble, half-conscious self informing them exactly what is “wrong” with me.

This gets expensive, folks, even with insurance. With or without it–it’s a nightmare.

I remember my college days, sprinkled with seizures, and the inevitable aftermath of my insurance company claiming I’m no longer covered, leading to the hospital sending me bills that were not mine to pay, then to collections and the night-and-day harassment of those lovely people. Then the calls to the insurance company, the feigned “oh my! We don’t know what happened! We’ll get you right back on the policy!” and the grasshopper chirps when they were asked to pay their share of my hospital visits.

My insurance paid four dollars of my monthly prescription.

After every doctor’s visit, I would inevitably get a call from the doctor’s office. “Ms. Wick, the insurance company says you’re not on the policy.” I would sigh, tell them that I am, that I will call the insurance company and that to please file again. Like my calls about the hospital bills, the insurance company would say, “Oh! My! I don’t know how that happened!” Unlike the hospital bills, they would actually pay their share. Does this make it better? No.

That insurance company? A national, well-known insurance company. Many of your probably have policies with them.

Post-college, I began my full-time job, and got a new policy with a different health care company. I hoped for better service, hell, service period, for the money that I gave them. I knew when I was filling out the paperwork, however, that it would not be much better. Right there on the paperwork, the insurance company declared its unwillingness to actually provide the service for which it was being paid for: pre-existing conditions would not be covered for a full year. After that? Who knows. My previous insurance company certainly did not declare that it would pull the crap with me that it did.

I haven’t yet used it, save to refill my prescription. They pay more than my previous insurance company did. But my doctor’s visits? The annual EEGs? The Emergency Room trips? It remains to be seen. I do not have much faith, however, when right in the paperwork they tell me that they will not pay for conditions that are the entirety of why I am enlisting their service, for an entire year.

Imagine paying a mortgage on a house for a full year before you are allowed to move in. Imagine paying tuition at a university for a full year before you are allowed to enroll in classes. These things are outrageous. They would not happen–because they are so clearly thieving. In what other industry would it be acceptable to pay for a service and then to not receive it? It is acceptable in the healthcare industry only because we have allowed it to be so. “Obamacare” is the first step to Americans actually getting service that they have paid for. It is setting a corrupt market right. A market that should not exist in the first place. Healthcare should not be a business. However, right now, in the “best country in the world,” it is. So we must fix it.

To properly manage my epilepsy, I must go one of two routes: The first, and the easiest is to go on medication. I need health insurance for this. I need a job for both of these. The second: to prevent seizures without medication, I must keep stress at the lowest level possible. Ten or eleven hours of sleep a night is a must. I can manage with nine, but ten would be ideal. Why? Stress and sleep deprivation are the two things that trigger my epilepsy. It’s hard work, and takes a lot of thought, balance, effort, and planning to achieve those things, and even so, I still may have a seizure every now and then. So far, I’ve been unsuccessful. Getting ten hours of sleep a night and still being able to accomplish things are impossible. Throw in a need to be low-stress, and it is a laughable endeavor.

I pay my taxes. I pay my insurance premiums. I deserve to get what I paid for. I’m not “an epileptic.” I’m a human being. I’m trying to earn my place in a devastated economy. I want no handouts. I want to work. The only job that the health care bill will “crush” is mine if it’s repealed. Take away my access to healthcare, you take away my ability to work.