Friday, January 28, 2011

bait and switch

While Michael Steele, outgoing head of the Republican National Committee and erstwhile giver of gold nuggets of comedy was on Rachel Maddow claiming that the Republican Party was no longer fighting the culture wars, the Republicans in office have been frantically fighting the culture wars.

You see, while the Tea Party that brought them to office supposedly represents fiscal conservatism (something I discussed here) their second order of business appears to be a two fronted assault on the culture wars. Namely, abortion and gay marriage.

When it comes to abortion, they are attempting to pass a law that would further limit the ability of people to use federal funds for abortions. This seems cut and dry, but what they're really doing is re-shaping what counts as rape, defining it in the bill as "forcible rape". This would mean, for those of you who don't think it through any further than the authors of the bills, that if you are drugged and raped, raped while you're passed out drunk, or molested and get pregnant at 13 (statutory rape), then not only can you not use federal funds to pay for your abortion, but also if you have a health care plan that is tax exempt, you cannot use that either. Moreover, if you do pay for your own abortion or any follow up care, then you cannot claim those as medical costs to make them tax exempt. Read about the "No Federal Funding for Abortion Bill" yourself. (Don't you love how clever these folks are with naming convention...and also don't you love my kitshy use of "folks" makes me less arrogant, no?)

Now for the more ironic front. Remember of the Tea Partiers carried around "don't tread on me" flags and railed against federal usurpment of states' rights? Well, anyone who lives in the District of Columbia gets no representation in the House or Senate. They have a mayor, and a city council, and that is who runs the district. However, there is a loophole which states that the house of Representatives gets final say over what happens in DC. So, when DC passed a law recognizing and legalizing marriage equality, many Republicans outside of DC were very, very angry. (If I were a voter in, say, Ohio, I'd be pissed my representative was taking time to worry about somewhere I wasn't...but that's just me). So, now they're trying to pass the "Defense of Marriage Act DC", making marriage equality in DC, which is now legal, illegal. Because nothing says, "no culture wars" like a guy from Iowa changing the laws in D.C. to make it illegal for people to marry in order to "protect marriage".

You'd think when something is so blatantly obvious as this--that the Republican Party still stands on one side of the culture wars--that no one would try to deny it. It's in their platform, you can watch them debate and stumble over one another be more anti-gay and abortion, and yet, they deny that's what they stand for?

This is a case of bait-and-switch. To mix my analogies, this whole budget crisis crap is the equivalent of shaking a shiny object up high so they can steal your wallet when you look at it. They will NOT balance the budget and will NOT cut the deficit, but they will talk about while all the while trying hard to stack the bench with right-wing judges and curtailing the right to abortion, the right to marriage and re-establishing a Christian religion in our State functions.


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