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Living under rocks

February 15, 2012 - John Stack
The national GOP – US Senators and Congressmen – really need to get out sometime. They seem to spend wayyy too much time in Washington and spend wayyyy too much time listening only to their ideologue friends. They do this to their own destruction. At the moment, the party seems so insular their only method of governing is to ‘do everything exactly opposite of president Obama’. It doesn’t matter what the topic is. Obama is for strengthening laws against domestic violence. Lets find ways to weaken those laws the chorus goes up! Obama wants to make sure Americans get health care that is needed and appropriate. Lets find a way to get every exemption to any medical procedure imaginable the GOP says! Democrats come out in support of Planned Parenthood - the single largets low cost provider for women’s health services in the nation – of course the GOP says we shouldn’t fund a nickel of Planned Parenthood and private charities should do the same! The GOP claims they want Obama to focus on JOBS, yet that’s the last place you will find any Republican venturing into. If they would focus on jobs and the economy, it would probably be a winner. But seemingly week by week, day by day, the GOP finds a new way to shoot themselves in the foot in the name of ‘We are not Obama’. (Regardless if Obama still continues to have high approval ratings, and Congress is somewhere below snake oil salesmen in favorability).

The GOP has now decided that to oppose the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is something they want to get behind. The VAWA has had incredible bipartisan support since Clinton passed it into law, and has had tremendous support each time it has been up for reauthorization. It currently has a number of GOP sponsors, but…all 8 member of the committee that are Republican voted against the reauthorization. Why? Because the DAWA would be slightly expanded, giving more women protection under the act. Currently, the VAWA allocates 10,000 temporary visas to victims of domestic violence for illegal aliens who may otherwise not come forward. The government wants to change this to 15,000. But GOP Senator Chuck Grassley seems to believe only a certain group of women should be protected, and that it should be fair game for men to beat the bejesus out of illegal aliens. Niiice. To no one’s surprise Grassley also objects to protections for the LGBT people. If you are gay, a partner should also have free reign to beat the bejesus out of you also. They are probably just as bad as illegal aliens, right? Finally, the VAWA changes include more rights for tribal governments to try Indians and non-indians for domestic violence. Once again – Indians/Aliens/Gays – all anathema to the Conservative base. Forget that this is already authorized by the very bipartisan bill SAVE Native Women Act. Grassley and his committee has shown they will go to any length to go against Obama. Now, he really thinks that Congressmen and senators will be lining up to vote against one of the greatest bi-partisan laws enacted over the last 15 year and show their contempt for victims of domestic violence. They see this as a winner. See what I’m saying here?

The Blunt amendment. To be blunt, a truly asinine amendment. Sen Blunt has introduced an amendment that would exempt ANY organization, private/charitable/religious/whatever from having to cover ANY procedure they claim is morally or religiously objectionable. Oh, to be back in the good old days. When the GOP lined up against Obamacare because they said that medical decisions should be between a patient and their doctor, not by some bureaucrat who claims to know what’s better for you. Yeah, those long ago days…of last month. Now, rather than an employee being able to get the health care they need, the government won’t be deciding what health care people should get, the patient and the doctor won’t be deciding what is best for the patient – the employer will decide. Lets say the majority owner of GM – say a gigantic mutual fund – is led by a Christian Scientist. Heck, they don’t believe in medicine at all! Their plan would seemingly only cover prayer!How about a Scientologist owner? Doesn’t believe in therapy. Sorry Gulf War hero who has lost a leg. No need for you to be able to talk to someone about your problems getting back into society. Sorry 14 year old rape victim. Don’t talk to a counselor about this. Suck it up is the best and only method. So now, the GOP wants people to now the only person who should make medical decisions for you is your penny pinching or theocratic employer. Not some government agency who studies best outcomes, best costs, best treatments. Not the medical professional who actually knows the best treatment. This is such a dumb amendment, that, while at first Harry Reid blocked the amendment, he later allowed the amendment to go forward – because he knew how stupid senators would look voting for this amendment! Another real winner there right wingers.

My last post mentioned how Romney has lined up against Planned Parenthood. I mentioned a statistic that said 99% of women had used birth control, and that the vast majority of Catholics had used some form of birth control in their lifetime. I researched this a little. The current debate has focused on a single poll of women about use of contraception, and the like. It showed that 99% of respondents had used some form of contraception (the Pill, a condom, rhythm method, etc). Many religious groups attacked this because of the sample used was non-representative. It only asked women between 15-44, those who had been sexually active in the last 3 months, and more. They said this in and of itself did not prove that 99% of women had used birth control in their life. They may be right. But…..its not the only word on the matter. In 2010, the CDC put out a report ‘Use of contraception in the US 1982-2008’. This report also only uses data from women under 45 – 99.8% of all births in the US – kinda the group you want to study. There was no limit on who was sexually active, or if they were pregnant, or during what time frame. It asked that ANY respondent who had sex at least once in their life, had they used any form of contraception. In 1982 it was 95%. In 2002 98 % in 2008 99%. It also showed that 94% of ALL respondents in the study has PREMARITAL sex! That means that there is a 6% that saved themselves for marriage – or never to have sex. The study doesn’t seem to account for people who have never had sex, but by simple math it is much much less than 5% of the population. So…if the number is EVEN as high as 5% - the US is made up of about 25% Catholics and 25% Evangelical Christians. And if the number is as high as 5% (which it is not) there is a MINiMUM of 90% of all Catholics/Evangelical Christians who have used contraception at some point in their life. Now, you may parse words and claim something was misread or misstated by the Obama administration, but the fact remains VIRTUALLY every woman in America between 15-44 has used contraception and at least 90% of all evangelicals/Catholics (probably more like 99%) have also used contraception.

Keep pushing that agenda Right wingers. Soon, your base will be so small Rev Phelps church will seem mainstream.


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