It’s a Pattern: the GOP’s rape comments represent all of their candidatesPosted: October 26, 2012
The one thing that is really making me mad about all the media and GOP establishment pearl-clutching about the comments about rape and abortion from GOP candidates is that they act like these comments are weirdish outliers. Nothing is farther from the truth. Haven’t they been paying attention to the last two years?
The Republican party’s platform, its actions in state legislatures and in the US House of representatives, and the selection of right wing extremist Paul Ryan for its top ticket show that the party is lock, stock and barrel in the hands of radical right religious extremists as bad as the Taliban. No self respecting woman could possibly justify in any intellectual way voting for candidates that believe in sending all US women in to a state of involuntary servitude and property-of-the state status. The GOP’s ongoing comments on rape clearly show their support for enslaving women and their view that women are basically property and vessels.
Here’s a Brit journalist Jill Filipovic—writing for The Guardian–who is upfront about how forcing women back into state property status is the party’s REAL agenda. She is right and we should be reading articles like this the US press.
What this umpteenth rape comment tells us isn’t that the Republican party has a handful of unhinged members who sometimes flub their talking points. It reveals the real agendas and beliefs of the GOP as a whole.
These incidents aren’t isolated , and they aren’t rare. Sharron Angle, who ran for a US Senate seat out of Nevada, said she would tell a young girl wanting an abortion after being raped and impregnated by her father that “two wrongs don’t make a right” and that she should make a “ lemon situation into lemonade“. Todd Akin said victims of “ legitimate rape ” don’t get pregnant – an especially confusing talking point, if God is giving rape victims the gift of pregnancy. Maybe God only gives that gift to victims of illegitimate rape?
Wisconsin state representative Roger Rivard asserted:
Douglas Henry, a Tennessee state senator, told his colleagues:
“Rape, ladies and gentlemen, is not today what rape was. Rape, when I was learning these things, was the violation of a chaste woman, against her will, by some party not her spouse.”
Republican activist Phyllis Schlafly declared that marital rape doesn’t exist, because when you get married you sign up to be sexually available to your husband at all times. And when asked a few years back about what kind of rape victim should be allowed to have an abortion, South Dakota Republican Bill Napoli answered:
“A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.”
Rape lemonade. Legitimate rape. The sodomized virgin exception . A rape gift from God.
Mitt Romney cannot walk away from these folks–no matter how much he is trying–because he is on record supporting extreme legislation, he has told a woman whose life was threatened by a pregnancy that she should not ‘get off that easy’ and told her to not terminate the life-threatening pregnancy, and he’s embraced Paul Ryan as a Vice President. Paul Ryan has been hand-in-hand with Akin and others in passing the most extreme anti-woman bills ever to hit the congressional floor.
1) Romney supported the Blunt amendment. The Blunt Amendment would allow employers to deny contraception to their female employees because of religious objections. That means any woman working for an employer who didn’t support contraception would be denied the right to have her birth control costs covered. When asked if he supported the amendment, Romney said, “Of course.”
2) Romney wants to defund Planned Parenthood.Seventy six percent of the patients who go to Planned Parenthood are seeking affordable contraception options. Low-income women, particularly, rely on the organization to get family planning options that might otherwise be out of their price range. Because the organization uses a sliding scale pay system (PDF), it allows the poorest women to get the most affordable care.
3) Romney would restore co-pays for birth control. By repealing the Affordable Care Act, Romney would get rid of the requirement that insurance companies offer women a variety of birth control options without a co-pay attached. That makes it harder for women to get contraception, especially the most effective kinds, which tend to have the highest up-front costs.
4) Romney supports a ‘personhood amendment.’ Romney once told reporters that be would “absolutely” support a state constitutional amendment defining a fertilized egg as a person. Had it passed, that law would have outlawed some forms of contraception — as well as all abortions and in vitro fertilization.
5) Romney promised to reinstate the “global gag rule.” Romney could cut off family planning services that the United States currently offers to women abroad by using an executive order to reinstate the “global gag rule,” denying funding for any international organization that discusses abortion or provides abortion referrals for their clients. In an op-ed, he promised to do just that.
Paul Ryan doesn’t think the “method of conception” makes any difference. He would support any legislation that would basically force innocent women and girls into state-forced servitude as an incubator to rape and incest pregnancies. How any woman can look in the eyes of her daughters, her mother, her sisters, and her friends and vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket is behind my comprehension. You’re voting for your own enslavement.
In fact, while some Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney, have beat a hasty and expedient retreat from Mourdock’s statement, though not from Mourdock himself, many Republicans are in complete agreement with him on the issue. Most notably, Amy points out, Paul Ryan is opposed to abortion in cases of rape. “Rarely does anyone bother to offer an explanation for why he holds that position,” she adds, but “I’m not sure what justifications people had imagined for opposing a rape exception that would be more acceptable than Mourdock’s.”
So how are Mourdock and Ryan different on the issue of abortion? One possibility is that, unlike Mourdock, Ryan believes elected officials should not impose their religious convictions on those who don’t share them. That was Joe Biden’s response in the final moments of the vice presidential debate, when asked if his Catholicism conflicted with his pro-choice views on abortion. And Ryan, after all, has already subordinated his views to Romney’s. (Romney says he opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or dire threat to the mother. This is consistent with the preaching of the Mormon faith – though not consistent with Romney’s previous pro-choice views. Rigorous consistency is not among Romney’s flaws.)
When Ryan was asked the Catholic/abortion question in that debate, he answered that “people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination.” That sounded vaguely Biden-like, suggesting Ryan feels no imperative to impose his moral convictions on those who disagree. Don’t be fooled. Since Ryan has consistently voted for rolling back abortion rights, I read his answer as an artful sidestep. An honest answer would have been, “I will do everything in my power to end abortion, but first I have to get elected, and to get elected I have to be careful what I say.” In other words, the only difference between Mourdock and Ryan is that Ryan knows how to keep his opinions to himself when they could cause him political grief.
We’ve spent two years watching the Republicans do absolutely nothing about the economy and absolutely everything to take down women’s constitutional rights to abortion, birth control, and personal religious freedom. Again, I return to the analysis by Filipovic.
Some Republicans, like Mitt Romney , have tried to distance themselves from their party’s rhetorical obsession with sexual violation. What they’re hoping we won’t notice is the fact that their party is politically committed to sexual violation.
Opposition to abortion in all cases – rape, incest, even to save the pregnant woman’s life or health – is written into the Republican party platform. Realizing they can’t make abortion illegal overnight, conservatives instead rally around smaller initiatives like mandatory waiting periods, transvaginal ultrasounds and mandated lectures about “life” to make abortion as expensive, difficult and humiliating as possible.
Republicans bow to the demands of “pro-life” organizations, not a single one of which supports even birth control, and the GOP now routinely opposes any effort to make birth control or sexual education available and accessible. They propose laws that would require women to tell their employers what they’re using birth control for, so that employers could determine which women don’t deserve coverage (the slutty ones who use birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancy) and which women do (the OK ones who use it for other medical reasons).
Mainstream GOP leaders, including Mitt Romney, campaign with conservative activists who lament the fact that women today no longer fully submit to the authority of their husbands and fathers, mourn a better time when you could legally beat your wife, and celebrate the laws of places like Saudi Arabia where men are properly in charge. Senate Republicans, including Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan and “legitimate rape” Todd Akin, blocked the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. And Ryan and Akin joined forces again to propose “ personhood” legislation in Washington, DC that would define a fertilized egg as a person from the moment sperm meets egg, outlawing abortion in all cases and many forms of contraception, and raising some serious questions about how, exactly, such a law would be enforced.
Underlying the Republican rape comments and actual Republican political goals are a few fundamental convictions: first, women are vessels for childbearing and care-taking; second, women cannot be trusted; and third, women are the property of men.
Over and over we hear Republicans say things that prove not one of them thinks that women are autonomous beings. They believe women are not autonomous human beings. This is the attitude that should be absolutely clear to any one following Republicans the last two years. It’s also why I positively absolutely refuse to deal with any woman EVER again–no matter what her relationship to me in the past–who would vote for Mitt Romney.
I do not consider a woman that would vote for slavery for me, my daughters, and for herself and her daughters to be anything but a tool for the oppressor. You and your like are slave trappers and slave merchants. No, ifs, ands or buts! Believe me, if they start getting these horrendous rape bills and reproductive oppression bills through, you might as well pick your ass up, put on head-to-toe Burkha and move in with the Taliban in Afghanistan because that is exactly what you’re bringing to the women in this country. You are the enemy and you are a sex slave trafficker. You represent everything Hillary Clinton has ever stood against.
You don’t own us Republicans!!