Further thoughts on the Republican war against women

Earlier today I posted about feeble attempts by Republicans to indicate that if there’s a war on women, it’s um the Democrats waging it, uh yes, that’s the ticket! I just want to point out one thing. Once upon a time, the party of Lincolm wasn’t so anti-abortion, anti-women, anti-feminist, anti-gay, etc. They became that way to garner votes, and now the only reason they want to change is because the majority voting bloc of thirty-five years ago isn’t a majority anymore.

It was 1979. The Southern Baptist church had just purged itself of all leaders of church, seminary or conference who didn’t espouse the idea that the much-translated, self-contradicting, highly interpretable Bible was to be taken “literally”, which of course meant “whatever we say it means” because, for example, no one is making their women live outside the camp in a tent for a week around period time.

Then they endorsed Reagan. Now, by “endorse”, we don’t mean the church sent Reagan huge checks – they’d lose their non-profit status and have to fork over enormous sums of income tax (hey, there’s an idea, kiddies) if they did anything that direct. No, they just preached to the flock: you want Reagan. You love Republicans. You… might want to send a shitload of checks to the GOP. And by the way, you know that black skin is the mark of Cain and God invented white men to lord over everyone else and women and children should be submissive to their husbands/fathers who are like little mini-gods and never ever take advantage of that enormous power (but if they do, the women and children should shut up and take it because otherwise they’d wreck it for us). When you take somebody’s money on that scale, you kind of have to take their ideals on board.

And so the GOP did – happily. Suited them just fine. Genesis was reality, evolution was a lie, white men were superior to everybody else, abortion was baby-killing, abstinence only was the only form of sex education, etc. Now the people who espouse these views and send these checks are it for the GOP. That’s their only base. Because when you take on extremist ideals to the point where you’re standing in front of a giant smoldering hole where the economy used to be and all you can blither on about is birth control pills and insurance, you alienate your non-extremist base. Soon all that’s left is a group of people that are very deeply out of touch – living in a fantasy world, even. And you can’t possibly deliver what they want, because Washington and Colorado just like totally legalized weed, man, and there’s same-sex marriage arriving in your town already, and 90% of the country has stopped listening to you except when they want a laugh.

So you hire someone to tell you what the gals want to hear, and they are facing such an incredible uphill challenge that the best they can come up with is: “Democrats pushing for easier access to birth control pills = Democrats thinking women are whores.” Which is ludicrous because (a) it doesn’t make any sense and (b) we already know Republicans think we’re whores if we do and freaks if we don’t, but hey, we’re used to that. It’s the usual reaction insecure men have to women who aren’t giving it to them.

You can’t sell yourself to bigots and then later pull back from the brink and say that’s not really who you are. There isn’t a rhetoric for that. If the GOP began replacing all its members with totally fresh faces who have no record of bigotry and are laser focused on getting back jobs and fixing the economy and kicking Grover Norquist off the planet, then you know, maybe. That is the very least the Republicans will have to do before any of the women or minorities they’ve repeatedly shown they will throw under a bus for a nickel are going to seriously reconsider them.

And I know: I actually like small government and a truly “conservative” approach to the economy. But the GOP is only about “small government” when it comes to the poor. In addition to serving bigots, they will expand the government as much as you want if it helps out Wall Street, bails out big business, or improves the sleep of people who want better policing of those nasty women, gays and all those people of color we need to shoot. They can always find funding for a new series of departments to cover those needs.

The GOP as we know it will die in a couple of decades, if not before. Nothing can stop that. They didn’t just put their money on the wrong horse: they bought the horse, rode it proudly at every event and loudly publicized how much it meant to them. But do keep saying this weird shit, guys. The best Democrat campaign is actually a Republican campaign. And while I am very frustrated with the Democrats and consider myself Independent… well, at least they really aren’t in a war on people like me. And until we get a strong third party here, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh, thank you for posting this! Finally, I have independent confirmation that I’m not delusional on the topic of current extremist Republican elements taking over the GOP. One of my uncles, just months before he died in 2007, sent me an email in response to a message I’d forwarded to a small group of family & friends. He’d agreed with what I’d added to the forwarded email, and wrote (slightly paraphrased), This isn’t the GOP I’ve known for so many years; it’s sad to watch this happen. He’d voted Republican since forever, too.

    Recalling all the inexcusable railing and finger-pointing from the extremist GOPers when Barack Obama won his first election to the presidency, and the GOP voters choosing Mitt Romney as their candidate in ’08, I feel as though I’ve been cleverly slotted into a frighteningly believable dystopia. Perhaps this is the reason so many dystopias have been used in fiction, both books and movies, in the last decade. “Elysium,” the most recent film entry in this genre (for lack of a better word), has clearly done what good science fiction does best: illuminating our present with possible futures.

    If the GOP started to squeeze the Tea Party out of its choke-hold and eventually succeeded, I would rejoice. One can always hope.

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