Thursday, February 16, 2012

Everything Is Under Control

Since we have such a large crossover audience these days I generally go out of my way not to run too much of the same material Cesca does, but every once in a while it's unavoidable -- like now. I haven't really delved too deeply into the whole obscenely stupid contraception controversy the Republicans have inexplicably forced within the past couple of weeks precisely for the reason that it is so obscenely stupid; it's political nitro glycerine and it's going to blow up in their faces in such a huge way that it may single-handedly be a quantum leap in the devolution of the GOP as it presently exists. The demographics of the country are changing and what we're witnessing now from the right is a desperate and panicked attempt to cling to the power that a dwindling group of white, Christian men believe they're entitled to and were bequeathed by the all-powerful Founding Fathers -- while the fact remains that that power is slipping away and will only continue to.

What's interesting, though, is that even with the lunatic fringe grabbing hold of the Republican party with both hands, it's rare that the opportunistic power structure within the GOP picks a fight that tips its hand so completely that it becomes obvious to everyone just how radical the backward-ass thinking of the modern conservative movement is. Raising holy hell over whether women should have access to co-pay-free birth control is exactly that kind of issue. It's a third rail they're going to absolutely regret getting anywhere near because it's forcing them to openly cop to being the dictatorial Neanderthals they are when it comes to their feelings about what rights women should and shouldn't have.

Case in point, this doozy of a quote from Rick Santorum Super PAC financier Foster Friess, offered up during an interview with Andrea Mitchell:

"This contraception thing, my gosh, it’s (so) inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they’d use Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly."

I'll give you a minute to read that again if you'd like -- also to pick your jaw up off the floor. Crazy old white guy Friess, rather than being the exception when it comes to this type of thinking, is actually pretty much on par with the rest of the Republican mindset at the moment. Over the past couple of days, this basic sentiment has been echoed by slut-shaming dogmatic blowhards like Rush Limbaugh, Darrell Issa and of course Rick Santorum. These patriarchal assholes believe that birth control isn't a necessity because, well, women shouldn't be having sex anyway unless they're married, planning to have kids, or are spreading it for Newt Gingrich -- and in an irony so staggering that it almost causes your brain to short-circuit, these champions of small government are willing to officially legislate the most personal decisions a woman makes: how she chooses to have sex, for what reason, and the outcome she hopes to achieve from it. It's hardly even necessary to say that this kind of horseshit explains why the right is always idealizing and romanticizing the by-gone era of the 1950s -- that sweet spot in our cultural history when white guys still walked the land as imperious titans and "gals" did what the hell they were told.

Again, Cesca's put together a really great piece about this subject for the Huffington Post and it's something I'd suggest everyone take a look at. I always picture the current Republican demagogues to be living incarnations of Big Bob, the J.T. Walsh character who was the mayor of Pleasantville in the movie of the same name. This ridiculous fight over birth control, with a bunch of XY-chromo'd self-appointed father figures dictating what's best for America's women, does nothing to discourage that analogy.


Riles said...

That quote is fucking REAL???

Head exploded. Done for the day.

Sommer said...

This whole birth control debate has drastically affected my mood the last couple weeks, especially since I live in Virginia where the Republican controlled state government is trying (and will more than likely succeed) to pass not only a personhood bill, but a bill mandating medically unnecessary vaginal probing to any woman seeking an abortion. It's all so sad. I feel like my whole gender is under attack.

While I wish women were given more airtime than men concerning this issue, thank you to you and Bob for providing some male voices of reason in this whole debate. Way to stand up for the girls!

JohnF said...

Birth control isn't that expensive, but it is expensive enough that some women I've known had to stop taking it because they couldn't afford it.
The kind of situation a good ol' boy Congressman probably can't relate to.

Busayo said...

How about the part where the House GOP refuse to let women testify during these contraception hearings? Because nothing says knowing your base like not even allowing the people being affected by your proposals a voice on the matter.

Then again, it does fit in with their 1950s thinking.

Nick said...

Somner -

did a quick item on the VA situation a few weeks back; kudos to the state sen. who demanded that men undergo anal probes before they get a script for their boner pills.


Zöph said...

as a european, i'm a bit confused, since i don't have the in-depth knowledge of your political system and legislature. i'm mostly struggling with the following: if catholic employers were allowed to refuse the coverage of contraception, wouldn't that mean that, analogously and theoretically, scientology-run companies had to be allowed to refuse coverage of psychiatric drugs for their employees, and jehova's witnesses had to be allowed to refuse coverage of blood transfusion?