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Douglas Moran

Douglas Moran
Austin, Texas,
June 25
Low-level Technical Weenie
TechnoGypsy, family dude, technical writer, frisbee golfer, movie buff, political junkie, gadget fiend, computer nerd.


FEBRUARY 25, 2012 2:41PM

Republicans and Birth Control

Rate: 8 Flag
The face of the Republican Id; not pretty, is it?
The Republican party--they of "limited government" and "no judicial activism" and "keep the government out of my personal business"--has been a bunch of flaming hypocrites for a long time, of course.  Used to be, though, that they at least hid their hypocrisy behind some plausible-sounding verbiage.  But then economic dissatisfaction with the current ruling party in 2010 (the Democrats at that time) caused them to be swept into power across the country.  
Drunk with power, they figured that people were voting for their social programs, rather than out of the desparate hope that they were being honest, and really wanted to do something about unemployment.  And in state houses and the U.S. Congress, they immediately set about trying to enact all their pet social programs.  And now they're astonished that people who voted for jobs and money help but are getting instead anti-abortion and anti-union laws are mad at them and pushing back.  The ingrates!
The most recent--and astonishing--fight has been over birth control.  Republicans are actually trying to limit people's access to birth control!  In 2012!  And they're trying to pretent that it's all about religious liberty and freedom of conscience, when it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that it's about . . . trying to outlaw birth control.  Salon had a good write-up about the Republicans trying to pretend otherwise.   And while reading this post, I could only think one thing:
Wow; what a profound display of pretzel logic by the Republicans.

Of course this is all about birth control.  For as long as I can remember, Republicans have been trying to refight the 60s culture wars and roll back all the changes (I would call them "gains", but I thought I'd go neutral) that occurred then and in the 70s--gay rights, women's rights, access to birth control, easier access to divorce, access to abortion, and on and on.  The GOP hates all that, and has been pushing against it hard since the "Reagan Revolution" of the 80s.  They may find new Frank Luntz-inspired verbiage to hide behind--"it's about religious liberty!"--but it's all B.S.

Republicans want to force you to only have sex with a married partner of opposite sex, and only for procreation.  Virgin until married.  No abortions for any reason.  No drugs for the purposes of pleasure.  (I would argue nothing for the purposes of pleasure.)  They want an evangelical, right-wing Christian state where the laws support that narrow view of sexuality and pleasure.  Hell, I'm surprised they're not trying to outlaw vibrators and picketing Stormy Leather in San Francisco.  The only difference now is, they're not hiding it particularly well.  And the folks who have been having sex for pleasure without a high risk of children are, understandably, not down with that plan.  (I find it staggeringly ironic that people like Rick Santorum, above, use the word "freedom" when they want to deny things to people that the people want.  How is that "freedom", Rick?)

So nope, I don't believe a word of the B.S. these various Republican mouthpieces are spewing; Rick Santorum speaks for the Republican Id, and he's made it clear that Republicans want to roll the clock back, relationship-wise, to the 14h Century.  This anti-birth control push is just one facet of that.  People like Ed Goeas and Cindy Graves can make noises about "religious freedom" and the 1st Amendment, but it's all manure.

Frankly, I think the only reason they're mad is that their desire for a right-wing Christian theocracy is now obvious to the public at large, and the pushback is scaring the crap out of them.  In a way I'm grateful; we "alarmist" progressives have been warning about this for ages (since Reagan, if not longer), and no one has believed it; now that they're being so obvious about it, people are waking up.  Good luck taking people's hard-won freedoms from them, GOP; I don't think you're going to have a lot of success.
N.B.: parts of this post originally appeared in the letter column of Salon. 

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darn, you said everything I've been thinking before I could. It's only about "religious liberty" in that the GOP wants to use their religious justifications to curtail everyone else's liberty.

What a factory farm full of prize hypocrites!
The good news is that come November, the Republican Clown Bus will crash into political reality... maybe all the way down the ticket.

Most Republicans of Santorum's ilk seem to hate and fear Muslims, yet they are the most recent and best example of what happens to a culture that is ruled by a theorcracy.
No, Santorum does not want to limit people's access to birth control (although abortion is a different matter). He has made it very clear that he is expressing PERSONAL views and does not want government to push HIS PERSONAL VIEWS on others. (Please see the most recent debate.)

The Republicans DO want to prevent government from FORCING people to pay for OTHER PEOPLE'S birth control.

And, by the way, this is what happens when you politicize health care. HELLO???? Democrats????? Why are you surprised???
Barbara: In an interview, Santorum made it clear what he believes--no birth control, no abortion, no sex outside of marriage, no sex for any reason other than procreation--and made it clear also that as President he would "talk about it":

"One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.”

"It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure. And that’s certainly a part of it—and it’s an important part of it, don’t get me wrong—but there’s a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special.

"Again, I know most Presidents don’t talk about those things, and maybe people don’t want us to talk about those things, but I think it’s important that you are who you are. I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues. These how profound impact on the health of our society."

If you think that means that he'll not "push his personal views on others", you have a lot more faith in him than I do. To me, it seems clear that he wants to use the power of the Presidency to do exactly that. Is there really another way to interpret his words? His words!

(I could easily get snarky here and say something like, "This is a guy who really needed to get laid more," but I'll restrain myself.)

And the government is only forcing employers to not discriminate based on a faith that their employees may not share. Republicans (and shameless Catholic Bishops) are just grabbing onto this as another web issue with which to play the victim card. And it's B.S. If you allow something like that, what's to prevent a hospital run by one Hindu caste to refuse treatment to another Hindu caste? Or a Muslim hospital to refuse treatment to Hindus? Or any other horrible permutation? It's a bogus argument.

And don't even get me started on his anti-College push. He really wants the country to have less college graduates because he thinks it makes you more liberal? What kind of logic is that?

Good Lord, I can barely believe the candidates the Republicans have put out this year. Is this the best the Tea Party can manage?
The problem is that the Republican policies of the last 15 years have been a disaster. The deregulation of the Bush years led to the mortgage crisis and the financial melt-down. Bush's efforts to export freedom and democracy to the Middle East resulted in two ruinously expensive quagmires (Iraq and Afghanistan) and his war on terror turned world opinion against America. The tax cuts, combined with the rest, produced horrendous deficits. It's really hard to sell America on the idea that more of the same will produce better results.

However, the social policies have been less well tested and there's a moral component, that seems hint that you get points for intentions, not results. Aim to bring democracy to the Middle East and people will care and notice if you are a dismal failure. Aim to end abortion and even if you fail, you are doing good. God's work.

But, note, the Republican party has a libertarian wing, too. The Ron Paul supporters don't want the Gov't in your bedroom and the moderates roll their eyes. So, it's not the party, it's one faction of the party. In a multi-party system, the Libertarians, moderates, and Values voters would be in separate parties.

However, we'll never get a multi-party system until we have run-off elections, so that if the vote between your first and second choice is split, you get to try again, rather than having effectively elected the guy you want the least, as in the Nader voters helping Bush get in.

As long as politicians who have mastered the existing system (ie get elected) are the ones amending laws, we'll never have run-off elections.