Well, well, well. It looks like the GOP Congresspeople have way too much fucking time on their hands. Or, too big a hole in their heads. The economy is in the shitter; we have our war on; too many people are without jobs, houses, health insurance, or any kind of security; life, in general, is pretty shitty for way too many people. Yet, how many jobs bills has the current GOP-controlled House passed? None. What have they done to help the economy? Nothing. What, exactly, have they done FOR the people? Why, a big fat nothing on that as well. And yet, and yet, and yet, they have time to pass shit like the “Let the Pregnant Women Bleed Out, Bitchez”* Bill as previously noted by my esteemed angry black overlady.
Many Democrats in the House were appalled and clearly stated their revulsion for the bill. They called the bill misogynistic, and rightly so. Via Washington Monthly, Republican Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) had this rebuttal:
(F)or my colleagues across the aisles who say that this is a misogynistic bill, nobody has ever fought more for the rights of women than I have. But 50% of the unborn that are being aborted are female. So the misogyny comes from those who promote–promote the killing of unborn babies. That’s where the misogyny comes in, Madame Speaker, it doesn’t come in from our trying to protect taxpayers’ money from being spent on unborn children.
Now, that’s a whole lotta stupid packed into one quote, starting with the laughable claim that Foxx has done a damn thing for women and ending with the fact that I WANT my tax money to go to funding abortions and not wars**, but no one ever asked me, anyway. I put all that aside with difficulty. My biggest thing is, re-read my first damn paragraph and tell me why the hell the House GOP are talking about abortion AGAIN, especially when federal monies are already prevented from going to abortions. Which, by the way, is also ridiculous because abortion is legal, but that’s a whole different post, so I will set that aside for now, too.
Here’s the thing. There’s not a chance in hell this will actually become law. My guess is that it will quickly die in the Senate. If, by some chance, it passes there (looking at you, Nelson, Tester, and company), then the president will veto it. In other words, it’s outrageous and a look into the minds of the House Republicans (shudder), but it’s a non-deal. I do think this shit has to be reported because the GOP are chipping away at pro-choice rights little by little, but I actually want to talk about another aspect of all the anti-abortion bullshit the GOP in the federal government are pushing right now***.
It’s all a fucking show. Here is an excerpt from the comment by That Guy With The Ponytail on ABL’s post I linked above, speaking about the Republican Congresspeople:
If they’d wanted to do something to end abortion they would have done it early on in Bush’s first term, when they had both houses of Congress and the White House.
They didn’t, and for this reason: Their religious nutcase base would have said “We won!” and gone home. They likely would not have bothered with voting any longer because abortion is the one and only thing they care about.
(Yes, there is some crossover with the anti-gay crowd, though it’s not a 100% match.)
Abortion is far to useful to these reptilian scumbags to ever consider eliminating it, it’s far more valuable as an incendiary device.
I concur with this sentiment. If the Republicans DID abolish abortion, they wouldn’t have it handy to whip up the base, now would they? I think many of the Republicans actually do believe what they say about abortion; however, on a national party level, they really have no interest in repealing Roe v. Wade. The minute they do that, they lose a powerful lightning rod with which to zap their constituents. This way, they can make a grand gesture to their base without ever having to deal with what might happen if their bullshit actually became law.
I’ve blogged before about my brother who voted for W. twice for morality reasons, abortion being one of the big three. My brother is more of a socialist than I am. He believes in universal healthcare, capping wages, giving to the less fortunate, good education for all, environmental awareness, etc. In other words, he’s a DFH to the core. And yet, because of his religious beliefs, he voted for W. Twice. Believe me, we had epic arguments over this. He’s still a bit touchy about the fact that he voted twice for W., but he readily admits that W. avowing his anti-abortion creds was a big reason. When I pointed out to my brother that abortions went up in W.’s regime (and do in general under Republican presidencies) and that W. didn’t do much to overturn Roe v. Wade, my brother got very quiet.
I went on to say that it’s actually the Democratic Party that is pro-life, pointing to sex education, social welfare nets, education in general, etc., and he seemed to get what I was saying. Now, he’s a Democrat, voted for President Obama, and gets indignant about all the lies the Republicans tell.
I’m not recounting this story to pat myself on the back (though I do take much credit for his conversion. Along with W.’s complete ineptitude and my brother’s native intelligence, and it still took eight years), but to point out that abortion, like other cultural issues, is an emotionally-charged issue that isn’t at all about facts. So, we pro-choice people are at a disadvantage because all the facts in the world aren’t going to sway the minds of the hardcore pro-forced-birthers. Think I’m too harsh in my naming of them? This very recent post by ABL illustrates my point nicely. There is no reasoning with people like that–there just isn’t.
And, no, I’m not saying all anti-abortionists have that kind of mentality, but a sizable portion of the anti-abortion contingency are fairly zealous in their belief. In the past, I had an argument with an anti-abortion commentator at Balloon Juice, a liberal, mind you, who thought abortion should be illegal****. He made the exception for rape, incest, and mental health of the mother-to-be. When I said that I would kill myself if I were forced to have a baby, he said I could get a doctor’s exemption.
How very generous of him. I argued with him as did other commentators, but my point is, this was one of ours, and he was offended when people pointed out that his religious beliefs should not be made into law. He got pissy and defensive and doubled-down on his stance.
Why the fuck would we expect any less of an intense response from Republican Americans (as oppose to those in Congress, and yes, they are American, too, but I’m trying to make a distinction) who are way more invested in the abortion issue than are most liberals, even anti-abortion liberals?
I’m worn out. We’ve been doing this dance for far too long. Looking through my archives, I found a post I had written in March of this year that is similar to this one. I stand behind it and it’s still relevant, but, damn it, it shouldn’t be. It’s a failing of mine, I know, but I just don’t understand why we as a nation obsess on abortion when there are others things on which we need to focus. I also don’t know how to make abortion less of a cultural war hot potato than it is, and frankly, I’m losing hope that the issue will ever be less divisive than it is now.
I will say in closing that those who insist there is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans need to stop with that noise. As much as I don’t think a Republican-controlled House, Senate, and White House would overturn Roe v. Wade, I don’t want to give them a chance to prove me wrong.
*Hey, if they can name bills anything they like, so can I.
**Being very glib here, but it’s basically true.
***Specifically at the federal level. The state bullshit is a different kettle of fish or some other equally trite trope.
****At least he was consistent in saying that the man who got the woman pregnant should be held responsible as well. Damning with faint praise, I know.