Thursday, February 03, 2011

Regulating Women

In Washington and in Concord, the new GOP Houses have been sworn in and gotten to work. In both Concord and DC, the moderate, sane members of the Republican party have largely been replaced by far right fringe teahaddis. After campaigns promising a laser focus on economic issues and job creation, their true agenda is coming into focus. All those campaign promises they made were false. What the Teabaglicans are really interested in is a total repeal of the 20th Century, along with much of the 19th.

First and foremost, they want to repeal the health insurance reform bill. The teafringe is outraged by the very thought that everyone should have access to some sort of affordable health care. Never mind that the bill was written by Republicans and insurance companies – it’s bad, it’s evil, it’s gawdless socialism to stop Big Insurance from being able to deny coverage to folks with pre-existing conditions. Most of the new Teabaglicans accepted gummint health care for themselves – but they don’t want YOU to have coverage. You are supposed to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and not get sick. The repeal of the insurance reform bill will add $230 billion to the deficit over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. On the one hand, we have Teabaglicans wailing their concern for the deficit. On the other – they insisted on extending the Bush tax cuts and want to repeal the health insurance bill – and both measures added billions to the deficit they claim to be so concerned about. If buyer’s remorse isn’t setting in, then Foxda (the propaganda arm of the GOP) has been even more successful at dumbing down the populace than I’ve been giving them credit for.

The recent focus on jobs and the economy in Washington manifested itself into a bill that was attempting to redefine rape, in an effort to play to the nastiest far right scum constituencies, while ensuring that tax dollars could not possibly be used to pay for abortions. The bill would deny any help to women who were not “forcibly” raped. Yes, the Teabaglicans want to move us boldly back in time, when women couldn’t actually be raped, because they were asking for it, just by being women. Or being dressed slutty. Or not fighting back hard enough. If they lived through a rape, they weren’t fighting hard enough. Being drugged? Well, those tramps shouldn’t’ have been out drinking, now, should they? The bill would have set justice back a good 50 years, while enabling rapists, and ensuring fewer reported rapes. After a lot of public outrage, and after being pilloried on the Daily Show, the teahaddis decided to remove the redefining rape language from their bill. Apparently even the fringiest of the fringe aren’t currently willing to deal with the PR problem they were creating by questioning “forcible” rape. That pesky 19th Amendment really gums things up.

The simple truth is that thanks to the Hyde Act, taxpayer dollars don’t pay for elective abortions. This is never mentioned by the far right. Tax dollars can be used to pay for abortions in the case of rape or incest. Only the fringiest of the fringe would force a woman to serve as an incubator in such cases. There are fewer than 200 of these cases a year, which amount to a miniscule amount of tax money. On the other hand, over half the federal discretionary budget goes to offense. Right now the US is bombing 5 countries. The US military kills civilians every single day in other countries, including pregnant women, babies, and children. That near hysterical veneration for life doesn’t manifest itself beyond US borders. It doesn’t actually exist within US borders, either. It’s all a sham – a pageant enacted to appeal to the fringe fundies and their anti-choice terrorist organizations that help fund GOP campaigns.

The Teabaglicans also want to ensure that private insurance companies don’t offer any abortion coverage in plans being sold to women. These are the same folks who decry regulation, who oppose anyone telling business what they can do – until it comes to women. The far right believes strongly in regulating women. Women have no right to buy the kind of insurance they want, not if it includes covering a perfectly legal medical procedure. We can’t have the silly girlies making their own decisions, now, can we?

Men enjoy a lack of regulation, and a right to medical privacy. Their scrotums are not government property – although, our tax dollars are willingly spent on penis products. Health insurance policies cover Viagra, penis implants, and penis pumps. So does Medicare! Our tax dollars are helping those who suffer from erectile dysfunction. If those taxpayer funded erections are used for rapes, or creating unwanted pregnancies, well, that’s just collateral damage. The penis writes the laws, after all.

Perhaps this is part of a new GOP job creation plan. If women are forced to serve as incubators, they’ll be kept out of the job market, which means that men could have those jobs, jobs that were rightfully theirs in the first place. The incubators will produce children, who will grow up to take part in the other GOP job creation plan: the military, and our endless wars.

Cynical? You betcha.

"Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it." Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale)

© sbruce 2011
this was published as an op-ed in the February 4, 2011 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.

1 comment:

DissedBelief said...

A great slam dunk article Susan. The mentality and subsequent behavior of the right and teabaglicans pull out many memories for me. One in particular here. When I was approx.twenty of age (around 1977), a relative had flown from London to holiday in apartheid South Africa. I flew over to join her. One evening while watching the local Broederbonder TV a police commissioner was interviewed regarding a womans right centering around a rape case. The white, highly religious, God fearing white police Commissioner said and I quote: "if a woman answers her front door wearing a negligee, she has to expect what she gets". My now deceased relative was outraged and I recalled her most appropriate comments which is probably why I recall this piece of my history so vividly. White America's history is similar, almost identical along many lines to that of South Africa. Mandela hauled that country out of its circled oxwagon nazi past into the present and hopeful future. In America, we appear to be backpeddling and I have to wonder why? Why would citizens vote consistently for individuals like "W" and other right wingers of similar ilk into office? The record of the right stands. Actually it sits, mired in lies, misdeeds and un-honored empty promises. Individuals like McLaughlin remind me deeply of Broederbonders who spent their time on petty "causes" such as birth certificates all the time denying racism and their hatred of anyone "not like us". I predicted that days after the shooting of Gifford the right would be back to their dispicable "me" agenda, and that's exactly what they did. Dispicable.