Friday, 26 October 2012
The Women's Vote
For the past couple of days, as at least half a dozen TGB readers have let me know (what would I do without you all?), this video, endorsed by 60's phenom, Lesley Gore, has been on fire around the web:
Sing it, sisters!
A few days ago, during a long telephone conversation with an old friend, I went off the rails in a rant against certain male, right-wing politicians – you know, those freaks who, in the name of feverish religiosity, want to outlaw abortion, contraception and to forcibly shove things up women's vaginas.
As my rage built, I was aware, but only vaguely, that I was speaking with a rational man who loathes these ignorant louts as much as I do. But I couldn't stop myself. My wrath had taken control of my mouth.
When I finally wound down, there was silence on the telephone line. Silence from a man who never met a subject about which he has no opinion. He must have been stunned by my ferocity and I could feel the adrenaline still racing through my body. (Good thing I wasn't driving.)
According to the media, the female swing vote (whatever that is) for choice of president is in flux and the two campaigns are battling for it.
Really? There are women left in the United States who think it is a good idea to let men (and they are all men) delirious with the glory of their god (a deity who never said anything about abortion or contraception or poking unwanted things in women's vaginas) decide what they, women, can do with their bodies?
The latest troglodyte to take up cudgels against women's right to control our own bodies is one Richard Mourdock who is running for a U.S. Senate seat from the state of Indiana. Trying to separate himself from his two opponents who also oppose abortion, Mourdock said this at a debate Tuesday evening [emphasis added]:
"I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from god. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Now how would anyone know what god intends? Someone has got to say this: these are crackpot crazy people. There was a time they raved on street corners. Now we elect them to Congress.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney recorded a political ad supporting Mourdock, an endorsement that is still airing in Indiana. Senator John McCain supported him too – until Mourdock appointed himself god's stand-in this week. As reported at TPM, McCain told CNN:
“'It depends on what he does. I think it depends on what he does,' McCain said. 'If he apologizes and says he misspoke and he was wrong and he asks the people to forgive him,' the Arizona Senator would get behind him again.”
Misspoke? Apologize? That's what you do when you accuse someone of something they didn't do. No one “misspeaks” about religious conviction and you can't apologize for a belief, particularly for one you “struggled with” for a long time.
[UPDATE: Since I wrote that, Mourdock issued this "apology" as quoted in The Atlantic:
"'If there was any interpretation other than what I intended, I really regret that,' Mourdock said in an midday press conference in the Hoosier State. He added: 'Anyone who goes to the video tape and views that understands fully what I meant.'"
That's horseshit and anyone who looks at the video knows it.
But that doesn't bother Senator McCain who now supports Mourdock again. A pox on both of them. Like I said, it's not possible to apologize for a religious belief.]
Although the shiny, brand-new, moderate Mitt Romney is trying to slip-slide his way to making voters believe he would not work to overturn Roe v. Wade, he has in the past stated unequivocally that he would support the law's repeal.
Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has said repeatedly in the past that rape and incest are not excuses for abortion. Lately he has been toeing Romney's new line of allowing abortion in those cases and the health of the mother. Anyone who believes either man's late-campaign conversion undoubtedly believes in the Easter bunny too.
Here is what our president, Barack Obama, told Tonight Show host Jay Leno on Wednesday night:
“I don’t know how these guys come up with these ideas. Let me make a very simple proposition. Rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense to me — don’t make any sense to me.
“The second thing this underscores, though, is this is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care decisions.”
Sing it, Mr. President!
I have plenty of beefs with President Obama but I believe that if he is not re-elected and particularly if Congress is aligned with a Republican White House, women will lose what we – our generation of elders – fought so hard to achieve in the 1960s.
Roe v. Wade is no less an achievement for women than suffrage was for our grandmothers. We cannot allow it to be overturned.
Let's listen to Lesley Gore's song again:
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Nancy Leitz: Colorblind