Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Republicans and Their Little Wimmins Problem

As Grandmere Mimi and other bloggers so ably point out, Congressman Akin is not quite so exceptional in his views on women's issues.  The little darlins need a man to make these important decisions for them, bless their delicate little hearts.  We certainly can't leave it to the wimmins by themselves to make important decisions about having babies.
And in a masterstroke of bad timing, the Republican platform committee in Tampa takes exceptions for rape and incest out of the anti-abortion plank.  That's right girls, the Republicans say you have to carry your rapist's baby or your daddy's baby.

I doubt the Todd Akin gaffe will make much of a difference to Missouri voters.  Those few offended by his remarks will probably stay home rather than vote for Claire McCaskill.  Before the gaffe, Akin was leading McCaskill in the Senate race.  He's still leading but by a much diminished margin.  Akin could turn this to his advantage.  Politics these days is about tribal warfare more than anything.  Policy differences and competing interests have little to do with politics anymore, and reason and decency got left behind a long time ago.  He could take the spectacle of the Dems on the warpath, and the Republican Establishment demanding he quit and say to his constituents, "Look at these coastal elite snobs demanding my scalp!  The same people who look down their noses at you and despise you are now after me!"  This appeal may well work with people frightened by demographic and cultural change, who feel increasingly shut out and resentful.  Stroking people's resentments can be a winning ticket to political success.  Just ask Richard Nixon.

The Akin gaffe could well be a great "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" moment that lifts the lid off the obsessive misogyny that drives so much right wing politics these days.  That desire to write misogyny into law goes hand in hand with the increasingly extreme antifeminism of religious fundamentalists and right wingers of all types.

Probably those most likely to be motivated and get out and vote will be not only women, but even more so, parents with daughters.  They want full citizenship, full freedom and dignity for their daughters with no exceptions.  They do not want to see their children's futures compromised to accommodate the backwards views of powerful men who still regard women as chattel and holy men who still think of women as whores.


Leonard said...

There was a Republican ¨My mother was a rape vicitim¨ and ¨I´m so happy/clappy she didn´t have me aborted¨ she posed, not to be confused with poised, with long blond hair and brite red lipstick licking. So there! So there!

Her Mommy almost did have her aborted it seems, yet, she didn´t, and presto/growo Mommy became the parent of a now very obnoxious daughter who has became prone to tantrums on International T.V. --

She didn´t convince me her Mother had made a wise decision even though I fully support the decision that it was her Mothers decision to make.

NancyP said...

It wouldn't surprise me at all that one or more of the "Momma almost aborted me" women who frequent the anti-abortion lecture circuit and media anti-abortion pundit Rolodex are making s__t up, in the same manner as some preachers. In much of conservative evangelical culture, truth is less important than telling a story that might lead someone to Being Saved. "Well, that COULD have happened..." Creative embellishment of ambiguous situations is considered morally acceptable.

Akin's district is suburban and exurban St. Louis MO and some rural counties as well. His anti-abortion policies and voting record are well known locally - this eruption is no surprise to any constituent who has paid the least attention - Akin's main interest is in pelvic politics, and on financial issues, he votes at his party's call. He will stick it out, without a doubt. I think that he has a reasonable chance of being elected. The wealthy know that they can obtain any medical service they desire, and the pious believe that rape happens to Other Women ("sluts"), not virtuous Christian women.

JCF said...

In Mississippi, for their failed 2011 "Personhood" ballot measure, the proponents actually held a "Conceived in Rape" Tour. Can you effing believe it??? :-0

I WANT to believe that, even in Missouri, Akin has Gone Too Far. For the sake of (me not wanting to nuke Missouri), I hope I'm right...

Sid said...

Akin probably can't recover. But, JCF and NancyP - really? OK, let's accept that whoever you're talking about is lying, but there are people who were conceived in rape. What would you tell them - to their face? "You should be dead?"

And what about this - "Akin's main interest is in pelvic politics"? To the large part of the progressive mainstream that wanted Komen Race For the Cure destroyed over not funding Planned Parenthood - is their main interest also "pelvic politics"?

It seems to me that it's only fair to label as "pelvic politics" an adamant position in favor of abortion, as well as one adamantly in opposition. Or, maybe, we could just give each side the benefit of he doubt that they have sincere convictions - if that's still allowed in this day and age.

Counterlight said...

I don't doubt Akin's convictions are sincere. I think they're wrong. That he truly believes in them makes him all the more revolting.

Would you tell your daughter to carry her rapist's baby to term?
I wouldn't.

The decision to abort a pregnancy is a terrible and painful decision that no one takes lightly, despite claims to the contrary. The government has no place in that decision despite the insistent demands of those calling for "smaller government."

Tristan Alexander said...

Sid, The ant Abortion side is all about POWER! They only want to be able to tell women what they can and can not do and it has NOTHING to do with true conviction! Just like the anti Gay people, all they want is to use GOD as an excuse to lie and control others!

JCF said...

What would you tell them - to their face? "You should be dead?"

Got any other STRAW MEN you'd like me to meet, Sid?

If I don't think convicted mass murderers or war criminals "should be dead" (and I don't---I don't believe in violence, PERIOD), I certainly wouldn't say that to someone "Conceived in Rape" (though if they told that to me in the course of a propaganda campaign as was conducted in Mississippi, I'd certainly have a few words to say about THAT!)

Sid said...

Sorry, JCF, it doesn't seem like much of a straw man when you specifically scoffed at the idea of such people, following NancyP's lead, who as much as accused these people of lying. They exist. You propose the issue is irrelevant, and the blog host says (as near as I can follow) any consideration of the personhood of a baby conceived by rape is "revolting."

If it's unthinkable that a baby resulting from rape be carried to term, then the practical message to such a baby who slips through the cracks is, "you should be dead." After all, if we followed your view, all such babies would be. Therefore, those who aren't are mistakes.

Yes: it's a horrible situation for anyone to be in. No: I could not urge my daughter to carry her rapist's baby to term. But I would agonize over that and understand that it's a real moral situation and not one to be dismissed as the evil design of Rethuglicans seeking to destroy "wimmins." (Whatever the misspelling is supposed to mean; I confess the point was lost on me.)

Counterlight said...

And how often does that happen? And if it does, I would imagine that they would fare no different from legions of other unwanted children. They would either have the good fortune of adoption into a loving home, or they would suffer the very grudging charity of a society that wants them even less than their biological parents do; more mouths to feed, another tax-payer expense.

For all our pathological fixation on youth and childhood, we Yanks hate kids; squalling infants, tantrum-throwing toddlers, nasty melodramatic teenagers, childhood and youth are always less than the idyll we're told it's supposed to be. We go all soft and pious over fetuses, but once the little sprog is born, then it's "get a job!"and "get the hell off my lawn!" There are some (like Newt Gingrich among others) who would love to see the return of child labor. Put the little nuisances to work.

No matter what the regime or ideology in power, we will spend public money on the young. Our choice is either education or prison; and for the last 30 years, prison seems to be the preferred option of a shrinking and aging electorate.