A brief speculative history of Republicans and reproductive rights

I know I keep going with this topic, but as long as there are registered voters who believe this crap, I will continue.

The latest? Rick Santorum says aborted babies won’t support Herman Cain because Cain maybe supports abortion in cases of rape and incest. Cain’s response?

Cain has attempted to clarify his position by saying that he is “100% pro-life,” but a family should have the right to choose an “illegal abortion.”

Not a typo. We have one candidate who thinks aborted babies are going to go to the primaries and vote for someone other than Cain, because they really wish their 11-year-old mothers had been forced to have babies with their own fathers, like God/nature intended. Yes, that’s what aborted fetuses sit around thinking, with their fully functional brains. But then I recently heard that obesity is on the rise among aborted fetuses, so the hell with those fatties, right? (Maybe that’s the solution – convince Republicans that most fetuses sit around smoking and collecting unemployment as they slowly expand over the sides of their sofas, and then they won’t give a damn about them anymore.)

And we have another candidate who thinks you should have the right to choose to have an illegal abortion. I can’t even figure out how to make fun of that one. What?

When I was a kid, Republicans were on an agenda to make the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else, and they were proud of it, and they didn’t really care who you slept with or what you did with your fetuses, so long as they got their money. Greed was good, and Nancy never wore the same dress twice. At least that agenda made sense, and there was nothing hidden about it. They wanted your stuff, and you knew it, and that was that, but most people were more worried that without Reagan, the USSR would eat us, so they voted for him and tried desperately to convince themselves that they were or soon would be part of the “wealthy” that were going to benefit from his policies.

Then the USSR fell, and suddenly there was no common enemy to galvanize voters to support a cowboy Republican. Suddenly, it was all about abortion. Abortion was the big enemy… except, you know, for women from important families who had lives ahead of them and, of course, in cases of rape and incest. No one dared suggest that rape victims should have to bear the children of rapists.

Then came the 90s, and finally molested children convinced the media they weren’t all delusional. This country began, slowly and painfully, to understand that not only did strangers rape kids, but so did step-parents and parents’ partners. And, heaven forbid, some people cheerfully raped their own children. It wasn’t even rare.

And, curiously, that’s when Republicans decided rape was no excuse for having abortions. That’s when this happened:

“You’re a very strong woman… Though this would be a traumatic experience that you would never forget, I think that you would be very successful in life. ” —- Senator Dan Quayle, telling an 11-year-old girl why he would want her to have the baby if she were raped by her father.

What seemed like an inexcusable debacle at the time has become SOP for Republicans. They honestly think some good can come of forcing a child to bear her own sibling. After all, that’s exactly how Ted Bundy‘s family believes he was sired, and Ted Bundy was a fine Republican, involved in politics, when he wasn’t killing women and engaging in sex acts with their corpses.

But then, honestly? I’m beginning to wonder if what we’re actually seeing here is a marketing stunt gone horribly wrong, and now no one’s sure how to stop the train. I don’t mean Santorum and Cain – I mean the Republican party since the 70s. Once upon a time, the Republicans had some sound ideas about finances (this was before trickle-down, which is a load of nonsense). Then, perhaps, they latched onto the fact that appealing to people’s greed and desire to see themselves as somebodies was a great way to garner votes. That attracted the evangelical fringe and other groups who already felt pretty effing entitled and special and had just been waiting for someone to tell them they could throw off the painful burden of pretending to give a damn about anyone but themselves. All these uncommonly entitled people must have flooded into the Republican party like ants at a picnic, with their belief that the world is stupid for not realizing they’re entitled to do whatever they like, no matter who gets hurt. And since a lot of uncommonly entitled people are very successful, the Republicans wouldn’t have wanted to shove them away.

And now, here we are. A few holdouts trying to talk about actual political issues like the budget and jobs and national security, and being shouted down by what should be a fringe element but has become the mainstream of the campaign: people who are so entitled, they can’t even hear how ridiculous they sound.

Comments

  1. minuteye says

    It’s amusing that the Republican party started out as the big anti-Catholic party, but now that it’s all about the fetuses the GOP and the Vatican are natural allies!

  2. msilfan says

    Don’t forget that the Republicans eagerly welcomed Southern bigots when the Democrats got civil rights legislation passed in the 1960s. The Party of Lincoln became the Party of Discrimination.

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