Trojan horse

In the wake of the Komen debacle and back-pedal, Kathleen Parker is talking about “conscience” and Ross Douthat is talking about “media bias”. I’ll put it plainly: that’s how people talk when they’ve just lost a political battle.

The Chunky one cites some poll numbers about how many Americans identify as pro-life, but that’s neither here nor there: reproductive rights has been a great issue for Republicans for 30 years even though polls show that the country has been split, tending slightly towards pro-choice, during that time. The reason is that pro-lifers think that if Republicans wink at them and say “Dred Scott”, they’ll over-rule Roe v. Wade, whereas pro-choicers think that Roe v. Wade will never be overturned (they’re probably right) and, if they have money, that they or their daughter can go to Mexico or Canada if need be (they’re probably right here too)…so pro-lifers vote the issue and pro-choicers don’t.

For this reason, conservatives like Douthat think that all talk of reproductive rights helps their cause, no matter what the MSM says. They’re wrong. Republicans have found a sweet spot on the issue, where their side is fired up and the other side is complacent. But that’s only on abortion. As soon as the debate expands to include access to contraceptives or cancer screenings, the terrain shifts, and probably not to a place that is as favorable for them as the current terrain.

When it comes to Komen, the fact is on social media, the comments were overwhelmingly anti-Komen (80:1 on twitter by one account, which is about what I saw on the Yoplait pages). It wasn’t Andrea Mitchell and other evil libruls sand-bagging Komen, it was the invisible hand of the free market.

If Republicans let us sneak condoms, birth control pills, and breast cancer screenings into the reproductive rights debate, they’re dumber than I thought.

104 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    Let’s pretend Planned Parenthood is gone, then what. Is Douthat going to open clinics to help the low income or do they Walgreens? They wanted a wedge issue without a backup plan.

  2. 2
    Gwangung says:

    If Republicans let us sneak condoms, birth control pills, and breast cancer screenings into the reproductive rights debate, they’re dumber than I thought.

    They are who we thought they are.

    Yes, they ARE that dumb.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    Good title also, too.

  4. 4
    pete says:

    If they are calling Andrea Mitchell an evil librul … they’ve lost. I watched that interview she did with Komen CEO Brinker, and Mitchell was extremely polite but obviously incredulous.

  5. 5
    RossInDetroit says:

    Republicans have found a sweet spot on the issue, where their side is fired up and the other side is complacent.

    They should have learned from the whupping they took over trying to privatize Social Security. The wider the appeal of a program is, the harder the pushback will be when they try to use it to motivate their base.

  6. 6
    Jackmormon says:

    I can’t imagine how the girl from the Chunky Reese Witherspoon incident feels about his subsequent career (and epithet). I can only hope that she has gone on to have a wonderful life and is secure enough in herself to laugh at him.

  7. 7
    Yutsano says:

    @Gwangung: It’s not being dumb. They are more deluded. They think they are in the majority when it comes to their ideas and cannot imagine why anyone would not think exactly as they do. And when confronted with the reality that their ideas are not popular, they just dig in even further.

  8. 8

    The “congressional investigation” SGK used as the figleaf excuse for their Ari-Fleischer-led backstab of Planned Parenthood was announced by Florida’s Sixth District Republican congresscritter Cliff Barnes back in September, apparently round about the time that Fleischer joined up with Komen. Hmmmm — do you smell the stink of partisan collusion emanating from this “apolitical” group that just happens to be run by movement Republicans? I sure do!

    Y’know, ol’ Cliff doesn’t have a Democratic challenger — yet. Let’s do something about that, shall we? My friend Charles is making a start at this as we speak (or in my case, type):

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....-unopposed

    Yes, Stearns is in a district drawn to protect him. Yes, he has lots of money. But as the millions coming into PP in the past three days have shown, a lot of women and men, of all political persuasions or none, are really pissed about SGK’s double dealing and outright lying about why they screwed Planned Parenthood.

    Can you imagine what might happen if, say, a Paul-Hackett-level candidate could be found for FL-06, and given the amount of money that PP’s received just in the past three days? $3 million — the amount PP’s received in 72 hours — would do nicely. $6 million would do even more nicely. You might even be able to find some old-time rich Rockefeller Republican types eager to see a “modern” GOP trogdolyte smacked down.

  9. 9
    Maude says:

    @JPL:
    Remind you of Iraq?
    That was what I thought when I read your post.

  10. 10
    amk says:

    @pete: Agree. For once missus greenspan did her job.

  11. 11
    Hal says:

    And I’ll bet $10,000 that a great number of people who claim to be pro-choice have had abortions.

  12. 12
    opie jeanne says:

    @pete: It’s funny how things change when it’s one’s own ox being gored, isn’t it?

    Andrea has a bit of personal experience with cancer; I think that’s why she was incredulous.

  13. 13
    Yutsano says:

    @Hal: I’m pro-choice. I’ve never had an abortion. Your argument is invalid.

    @phoebes-in-santa fe: You could be right. I’ll let him clarify things then.

  14. 14
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    @Yutsano: I think he probably meant “pro-life”, and he’s probably right.

  15. 15
    Mike in NC says:

    Kathleen Parker is talking about “conscience”

    Has anybody actually read any of her last several columns? She’s been fellating Mr. Perfect Mitt Romney even harder than she blew John “Old Soldier” McCain back in ’08, as embarrassing as that business was.

    Reliable right wing establishment hack.

  16. 16
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Hal: I’d say about 50% of the people who are pro-choice couldn’t possibly have had abortions, since they’re male. My husband (and father, and brother-in-law, and nephew), for instance.

    Bring some real statistics to the table, or go home.

    If you meant “pro-life”, sorry for piling on.

  17. 17
    aimai says:

    @Hal:
    What a bizarre comment. As everyone else has said many, if not most, people who are pro-choice have not had an abortion. Meanwhile its a fact, since they testify about it all the time, that many so called anti abortion people have had an abortion. Its one of the (unproven) claims of the anti abortion movement that women who have had abortions regret them afterwards and therefore become anti abortion. They even point to the Roe of Roe v. Wade who, many years after the legal case, became (nominally) anti abortion.

    But, of course, if anecdotes mean anything I’m pro-choice, have had two children, and no abortions. My daughters are too young to have been pregnant but are also pro-choice.

    aimai

  18. 18
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    BTW, I think Hal means “pro-life” so take it easy on him.

  19. 19
    ShadeTail says:

    @Hal:

    And I’ll bet $10,000 that a great number of people who claim to be pro-choice have had abortions.

    Typo? You meant pro-life? Because otherwise, your comment doesn’t make much sense.

  20. 20
    AnotherBruce says:

    Maybe HAL had a malfunction.

  21. 21
    ShadeTail says:

    I can’t let you do that, Dave.

  22. 22
    Sasha says:

    The Chunky one cites some poll numbers about how many Americans identify as pro-life, but that’s neither here nor there:

    It’s also not true. There have now been two opportunities for people in supposedly “pro-life” states to vote on the abortion question and in both cases, they voted to keep abortion legal. Deep in their hypocritical little souls, “pro-life” women believe that they might have a real need for an abortion, not like those sluts who use it for birth control or because they enjoy killing babies. Interviews with these women, are chilling for their total lack of self awareness. They all had good reasons for having abortion and are still “pro-life”. One woman went back to protesting at the same clinic in which she had an abortion.

  23. 23
    scav says:

    they’re dumber than I thought.

    Given a challenge, I think they’ll sink to the occasion.

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    The reason is that pro-lifers think that if Republicans wink at them and say “Dred Scott”, they’ll over-rule Roe v. Wade, whereas pro-choicers think that Roe v. Wade will never be overturned (they’re probably right) and, if they have money, that they or their daughter can go to Mexico or Canada if need be (they’re probably right here too)…so pro-lifers vote the issue and pro-choicers don’t.

    I think there’s also some genuine ambivalence about abortion that there isn’t about contraception or other women’s health issues. Abortion is fundamentally about fixing a problem: an unwanted pregnancy, a birth defect in the fetus, or a medical risk to the woman. It also often involves the end of what could have been a human life. Those things make many people, even those of us who believe that abortion ought to be available, see it as unfortunate. I suspect that there’s a certain amount of magical thinking, too, with people illogically hoping that getting rid of abortion would somehow prevent the need for it.

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hal: not that I miss her media presence, but Susan Carpenter McMillan, the wannabe Dynasty character who exploited Paula Jones for years, had two
    McMillan also said that in 1983, three years into her work as an anti-abortion activist, she underwent a “therapeutic abortion” for a failing pregnancy at Glendale Memorial Hospital.
    IIRC, she refers to it as a “therapeutic miscarriage”

  26. 26
    suzanne says:

    If Republicans let us sneak condoms, birth control pills, and breast cancer screenings into the reproductive rights debate, they’re dumber than I thought.

    No, they’re not that dumb. They hate women THAT MUCH.

    Can we please stop pretending that this is anything else than seething hatred at women for daring to have reproductive organs that we actually think are our own to control? This is HATRED. This is an -ISM. There is a reason that one in three women are raped. There is a reason that “died in childbirth” is a common phrase in our lexicon. It is because women and their bodies matter less, if at all.

    Now that we have a clearer picture of our enemy, we can proceed accordingly.

  27. 27
    Quarks says:

    @Hal: Anecdotal data, but I’ve never even been pregnant, and I’m still pro-choice. I’m also very pro providing low cost or, better yet, free birth control to women. And in my experience, Planned Parenthood is actively working to LOWER the abortion rate. They certainly worked with me to find a birth control method that would work.

  28. 28
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @pete:

    I watched that interview she did with Komen CEO Brinker, and Mitchell was extremely polite but obviously incredulous.

    That’s what surprised me: that SGK completely misunderstood — and disrespected — the upscale professional women who I assume make up the core of their volunteer and donor base.

    And Chunky Bobo — who, as Tbogg noted, doesn’t seem to have impregnated Mrs Chunky Bobo as much as the Holy Mother Church would expect of him — should just shut the fuck up.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Hal:

    I’ll even bet that a great number of people who claim to be pro-LIFE have had abortions.

    Well, women pro-lifers anyhow.

  30. 30

    Interesting. In this thread and in the Nevada Caucus live blogging on GOS, people are talking about how dumb the Republicans are. I don’t see it. Komen just went through a spell of great incompetence but that doesn’t mean that the GOP as a whole isn’t very bright.

    Personally, I wonder if the Republicans in Nevada have discovered a new way to irritate liberals: be slow about reporting results. Velly clever these Nevada-types.

  31. 31
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @suzanne:

    PREACH. IT. SISTER.

  32. 32
    suzanne says:

    If we’re sharing, I’ve had an abortion, and am still pro-choice. Silly me, thinking my internal organs are my own damn business.

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @suzanne:

    Moi aussi.

  34. 34
    fuckwit says:

    I’ve said this for decades: the “pro-life” people are actually “anti-sex”. That’s what they are. That’s what they stand for. So they are being totally consistent, and, at last, transparent, about what they want: NO SEX FOR YOU!

    This whole abortion issue has been a bunch of political bullshti all along. They don’t care about abortion, they just want to stop people from having sex.

    And so now the mask is off. We see what it’s about. It’s about enslaving women to be baby-making machines. It’s always been about that. And it always will.

  35. 35
    Cat Lady says:

    For all the bitter PUMAs and our progressive betters who show up here to complain about Obama = Bush and drones so don’t vote in November, I have two words for you. Supreme Court.

    All of the actions and words coming out of the SGK push back will be for naught if we don’t uphold Roe v. Wade and a constitutional right to privacy, ie, birth control. I can’t believe we have to keep fighting for that, but we do.

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS!!

  37. 37
    amk says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Nah, just one word – romney.

  38. 38
    suzanne says:

    @fuckwit: It’s slightly more complicated than “no sex”. Because they’re all kinds of happy about women having sex if their dads give them to their husbands first. (Whether or not the women actually want to is irrelevant—marriage = consent, dontcha know.) And then they’re happy about the products of sex if they get to put their names on them. And the male products of sex are more desirable than the female ones.

    This is and always has been about possession and colonization of women’s bodies.

  39. 39
    Nancy says:

    @suzanne: I’ve never had an abortion, because I’ve never needed one. I can imagine a lot of situations in which I would want that option. I want that option for my daughter and all of the women I know.

  40. 40
    Cat Lady says:

    @suzanne:

    What explains the hatred of women for other women? Komen’s run by women for women. That’s the part of it that’s really griping my cookies. I guess Brinker is rich enough so that she won’t be affected by the foundation’s decisions, so I think it must be more about class and power than gender.

  41. 41
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    One of the very early issues of Ms. Magazine had an incredible list of women from all walks of life. Young, old, famous, unknown, straight, lesbian, married, single, blackbrownwhite, rich, poor, RepDemLibInd, every religion or none, every language and ethnicity, every metric you can imagine — the one thing they had in common was that they had all undergone at least one abortion and were going public with it. There must have been thousands of names on the list. I’d have to do some digging to work out the chronology, but I think this issue may have been pre-Roe v. Wade. Very early ’70s I want to say. Anyone else remember that?

  42. 42
    suzanne says:

    @Cat Lady:

    What explains the hatred of women for other women?

    You mean whoring oneself out for the patriarchal headpat? It’s pretty obvious. Some people accept the patriarchal hierarchy and do what they can do to forward their own interests rather than fight for those who can’t climb that ladder. Lots of women want male approval. (“I’m not a dirty slut, I have an upstanding marriage, I have sex twice a week in the missionary position, etc.”) Pro-life women, as a whole, certainly do. If they actually wanted to reduce the number of abortions and make children’s lives better, there’s lots of ways they could do that. But that would deny them the fun of shaming other women in positions of greater desperation.

  43. 43
    Alison says:

    @Cat Lady: It’s also about “I may be a woman but I’m not like THOSE women” i.e., I’m a “good” woman, not a filthy whore like YOU, you harlot with your birth control and your desire for autonomy. It’s an older version of the girls/young women who talk about how they only have male friends and omg aren’t most chicks such bitches because they don’t like rape jokes, whereas I TOTALLY LAUGH AT RAPE JOKES and sure I’ll go get you some more beer and you can totally smack my ass when I walk by because it’s SO FUNNY AND YOU’RE HOT and I’m totally not a feminist because gross right??

    It’s about painfully ingratiating themselves with those who wish to oppress them, with the inane hope that the oppression will somehow, to the degree they require, pass them up. It’s pathetic.

  44. 44
    Alison says:

    Suzanne and I are having something of a mind meld.

  45. 45
    Cat Lady says:

    OK, if it’s confession time, I had an abortion after being married for five years. 11 months after the abortion I happily and consciously had my first child under completely different circumstances who is now a school teacher and is changing lives. She wouldn’t be here if I had gone through with the first accidental pregnancy, and if anyone wants to tell me I did the wrong thing I will gladly kick them in the nuts then punch them in the neck. My husband who was the father in both instances will tell you to FOAD, then DIAF. Also too.

  46. 46
    wasabi gasp says:

    The pink ribbon grew a big wingnut mole. Everyone can see it. Even folks who weren’t looking.

  47. 47
    Mark S. says:

    Chunky, who is only a journalist in the loosest sense of the word, says that journalists should accept this as truth when reporting on this story.

    Third, that for every American who greeted Komen’s shift with “anger and outrage” (as Andrea Mitchell put it), there was probably an American who was relieved and gratified.

    WTF? Is that what a journalist is supposed to do? “There are all of those pissed off people on Facebook and Twitter, but let’s just assume there’s an even split.”

    And “relieved and gratified”? No, the wingnuts were excited because they thought they were punching hippies again. But every once in a while, the hippies punch back.

  48. 48
    burnspbesq says:

    @Phoenix Woman:

    do you smell the stink of partisan collusion emanating from this “apolitical” group that just happens to be run by movement Republicans? I sure do!

    Nope. I think it’s more akin to what anti-trust lawyers call “conscious parallelism.” People with common belief structures don’t have to collude to get to a course of action that’s mutually beneficial. They get there independently because they think the same way.

    BTW, good to see ya again after all this time!

  49. 49
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Anyone else remember that?

    Wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t remember. Apparently my memory of 40 years back is more than faulty. It wasn’t thousands of women, it was 53. They weren’t from all walks of life, they were mostly prominent women.

    The principle stands, but the McMegan calculator in my head came up with some very misleading assertions. Sorry.

  50. 50
    General Stuck says:

    It reminds me of a Jeff Goldberg line in Jurassic Park, when asked why he thought only cloning one sex of Dinos wouldn’t work to stop them from reproducing. “Life will find a Way” was his reply

    This still is a screwed up country, but it has always been, and in many ways, worse than now. Fear, greed, prejudice have run riot since the founding, but albeit the longest and most painful path to keep moving forward to form a more perfect union, keeps right on ticking like the energizer bunny.

    The founders gave us a liberal roadmap to equality, in simple terms, and undefined how to go about it. From slavery, to the excesses of capitalism, we muddle along in fits and spurts, sometimes spilling our own blood, sometimes a lot of blood, but someway, when the smoke clears, we made the leap to a better of doing things.

    The wingers HAVE lost the culture wars, in any meaningful way, with desperate efforts to turn the clock back like Komen did, that the country by and large rejected wholesale. Now we have to fight a class war, and I like our chances, when all is said and done. Such as it is, freedom will find a way.

  51. 51
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @General Stuck:

    when asked why he thought only cloning one sex of Dinos wouldn’t work to stop them from reproducing. “Life will find a Way” was his reply

    A solid argument against same-sex adoption if I ever heard one.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    First, Suzanne is RIGHT ON! Preach it, sister, testify!

    And as for this:

    If Republicans let us sneak condoms, birth control pills, and breast cancer screenings into the reproductive rights debate, they’re dumber than I thought.

    This is where they lose, because it reveals what their agenda is about. It isn’t about saving babies, or preventing abortions. If it were, they’d be very much in favor of contraception, to drastically reduce the odds of an unplanned pregnancy.

    No, this has ALWAYS, ALWAYS been as Suzanne states: a deep hatred of women’s sexuality, one that can be traced back millenia. Conceding that women have agency (there’s that magic word, again!) over their own bodies concedes equality in all areas. So, it must be stopped, to insure patriarchal control. In turn, this opens the floodgates of egalitarianism across the board, and challenges centuries of privilege…genderwise, sexually, across cultural boundaries (in particular the cultural construct of race), and of course socio-economically. These people claim to embrace ‘freedom’, but that is an absolute lie based on how they mangle it repeatedly to cause someone to be fully free.

  53. 53
    Cat Lady says:

    @suzanne:

    The thing is Komen’s been around for a long time and something changed in their thinking about their mission just relatively recently. I think Brinker got bold with all of her clout and money and decided it was safe to go full wingnut with the backing of the RNC/Bush establishment. I think it was a power play, and hey, if some poor women got hurt, that’s just the way the game is played if you’re a playa in gooperland. For Brinker it’s about power. Look at her. She’s a caricature of a woman in that full botoxed hair helmeted armor only Republican women can do.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ack. Last sentence SHOULD read: These people claim to embrace ‘freedom’, but that is an absolute lie based on how they mangle it repeatedly to prevent some from being free.

    FYWP!

  55. 55
    General Stuck says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis:

    You trying to harsh my cockeyed optimist rant?

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cat Lady: Your body, your choice. If you ask me. Which you didn’t.

  57. 57
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    My bracing worry is that….yes, obviously on issues like this, gay rights, etc, the Republicans are losing, and losing badly due to the shifts of time and attitude, but….that might not matter because the assholes in power NOW have almost all the leverage in the fucking world to ram through their bullshit and entrench it for decades to come, and even if we get a good liberal coalition nationwide, state and federal level, to help wind the GOP’s bullshit back, we’ll still probably be left with a public with an attitude of ‘You had 4 years and things still aren’t Utopian, FUCK YOU, 20 YEARS OF UNINTERRUPTED GOP POWER!!!!”

  58. 58
    handsmile says:

    @Cat Lady: (#35)

    Three more words: Democratic Senate majority.

    Because when Ruth Bader Ginsburg almost certainly retires within the next few years, perhaps to be joined by Stephen Breyer and/or Anthony Kennedy, the fate of Roe v. Wade, Griswold v. Connecticut and a whole host of other legal precedents will hinge on whether it’s Pat Leahy or Chuck Grassley chairing the Judiciary Committee and which party holds a majority of seats (10/8) on the committee itself and in the full Senate chamber.

    The strength and breadth of Obama’s coattails is no small part of the fight this electoral year.

  59. 59
    piratedan says:

    @Cat Lady: well stockholm syndrome, jelousy, envy, god bothering, and self loathing just to start with. Those are the ones I can see and I’m just a guy. I’m sure that a few other folks can add to the list.

  60. 60
    Hal says:

    @ShadeTail:

    Typo? You meant pro-life? Because otherwise, your comment doesn’t make much sense.

    Yikes! Sorry folks, I meant pro-life, not pro-choice. Sorry. Posting after a couple of vodka-tonics is not always a good idea.

    Anyhoo, I meant that I think there is a large number of women, and men who supported them at the time, who have had abortions, but would never admit that to some sort of pollster. They come out as pro-life while leaving their own dirty little secret in the closet.

  61. 61
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @Hal:

    Projection’s always been the right-wing’s greatest weapon.

  62. 62
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cat Lady:

    I think Brinker got bold with all of her clout and money and decided it was safe to go full wingnut with the backing of the RNC/Bush establishment.

    I think the hiring of Ari Fleischer is like the slamming of the lid on the epistemic closure box.

    I can’t remember who Old Man McCain was yelling at when he sneeringly dismissed G-Stephi’s question about states banning contraception as nonsense “No one’s talking about banning birth control”. He apparently never heard of the state of Mississippi, the Catholic Church, or the Huckabee pledge that every one of his primary candidates signed.

  63. 63
    the antibob says:

    I love this stat from Mr. Chunky’s op-ed:

    By way of comparison, the organization also refers pregnant women for adoption. In 2010, this happened 841 times, against 329,445 abortions.

    Ya think that might be because those 329,445 women were actually given a choice? Evidence would suggest that the sentiment runs 391/1 against the forced birthing crowd. But we’ll call it 50/50 and blame the discrepancy on Planned Parenthood’s notorious bullying tactics- so as not to hurt the Dough Boy’s precious feefees.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @the antibob:

    Douchehat, not having a womb, can’t imagine what is going through a woman’s head when she’s confronted with the enormity of a pregnancy she’s not expecting, for a myriad of reasons. Douchehat of course assumes it’s a matter of convenience…very easy for the sperm donor to do, because let’s face it, biologically, for the man it’s fire and forget. The woman does not have that option.

    This is the point in the story where you go after Douchehat with a clue by four.

  65. 65
    Cat Lady says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    In the stratus Brinker occupies in the Republican bubble, she only rubs elbows with the society ideologues – the Bushies and the Mosbachers and the botoxed Texan oil society wingers. I think this was just a political calculation and hiring Fleischer made all the sense in the world to her because he’s “one of us”. I think she’s less a woman hater than she is a “little people” hater. She just miscalculated how that works in the real world. I think she only cares about the money, because she’s willing to backtrack if it turns back on the money machine.

  66. 66

    I see folks have brought up Romney. Guess who his best buddy right now is? Yep, Ron Paul — who is splitting the anti-Romney vote in the primaries quite effectively:

    ——————–

    The remaining candidates in the winnowed Republican presidential field are attacking one another with abandon, each day bringing fresh headlines of accusations and outrage.

    But Mitt Romney and Ron Paul haven’t laid a hand on each other.

    They never do.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Chunky Bobo would probably argue she should have thought about that before having dirty, dirty sex like the filthy, dirty slut she is. I imagine that he thinks in those terms. I could be wrong; he could just refuse to think about it at all.

  68. 68
    Sly says:

    @suzanne:
    Don’t confuse narcissism with hatred for others. These people don’t hate women, they simply don’t care about them. They don’t care about them because their identity as a “Saved Person” prohibits any meaningful recognition of either the agency or well-being of anyone other than themselves.

    I’ve posted this before, and it relates to another issue, but Michelle Goldberg’s retelling of Pamela Stenzel’s speech at a Reclaiming America for Christ rally gives the unititiated the clearest glimpse into the warped mind of a God Botherer. Stenzel is one of the big movers in the abstinence-only movement, and was given a job in the Bush administration’s Department of Health and Human Services to run a task force on fighting teen pregnancy and STD transmission.

    At Reclaiming America for Christ, Stenzel told her audience about a conversation she’d had with a skeptical businessman on an airplane. The man had asked about abstinence education’s success rate — a question she regarded as risible. “What he’s asking,” she said, “is does it work. You know what? Doesn’t matter. Cause guess what. My job is not to keep teenagers from having sex. The public schools’ job should not be to keep teens from having sex.”
    __
    Then her voice rose and turned angry as she shouted, “Our job should be to tell kids the truth!”
    __
    “People of God,” she cried, “can I beg you, to commit yourself to truth, not what works! To truth! I don’t care if it works, because at the end of the day I’m not answering to you, I’m answerng to God!”
    __
    Later in the same talk, she explained further why what “works” isn’t what’s important — and gave some insight into what she means by “truth.” “Let me tell you something, people of God, that is radical, and I can only say it here,” she said. “AIDS is not the enemy. HPV and a hysterectomy at twenty is not the enemy. An unplanned pregnancy is not the enemy. My child believing that they can shake their fist in the face of a holy God and sin without consequence, and my child spending eternity separated from God, is the enemy. I will not teach my child that they can sin safely.”

    Note, again, that this speech excoriating the entire notion of “what works” to prevent teenage pregnancy was given by a person whose ostensible job was to prevent teenage pregnancy; a job she was paid to do by American taxpayers.

    Now, the obvious question arises: What the fuck is wrong with that person?

    I answer: For people like Stenzel, everything is subordinate to a particular religious identity. That identity gives them a sense of coherence, self-responsibility, and safety. This identity is based on ceding complete autonomy to a crudely fabricated external locus of control known as “God.” “God” tells them what to do with the promise of infinite and unending security if they do it, so they do it.

    What “God” is telling these people to do is protest. Their protest is their prayer. It is their ritual.

    Performing that ritual depends consumes the thought-process of the practitioner, to the extent that all other concerns are eliminated. Ask a Pro-Lifer what they think the punishment should be for a woman who gets an abortion if it were to be made illegal, and you won’t get any kind of thought out response, because they are not dealing with the outside world or the people who live in it. Their identity has created a bubble that fills all their psychological needs, to the extent that losing it is literally worse than the suffering of their own children. Because… hey… all that suffering is temporary, right? Right?

    That they don’t care about the suffering of complete strangers is a given. They don’t care because they can’t. Because once they start caring about the world around them, and the real people in it, the fantasy that they’ve constructed turns to ash.

  69. 69
    Roger Moore says:

    @the antibob:

    Ya think that might be because those 329,445 women were actually given a choice?

    Or maybe because some of them are already coming to Planned Parenthood with their mind made up? If you want to give a baby up for adoption, you have choices, even in out of the way rural areas. If you decide to have an abortion, in many parts of the country Planned Parenthood is the only choice. So they’re probably going to Planned Parenthood after making up their minds, not before.

  70. 70
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Cat Lady:

    I think it was a power play, and hey, if some poor women got hurt, that’s just the way the game is played if you’re a playa in gooperland.

    I’m always more partial to the cock-up theory (if you pardon the idiom). I think the power play of sorts was in unceremoniously dumping their Dem lobbyist after the midterms and seeking out ways of cultivating the teabag brigade. (Brinker is clearly a Village Republican lady-who-lunches, not part of Club Teabag.)

    So you get Karen Handel in as the liaison with the House majority, and it turns out that Charmaine Yeastinfection and her wingnut welfare operation are still going after you, and Handel says “well, look, there’s this latent support group you’re alienating here, and whatever you lose from dumping PP, you’ll get it back.” And they believe her, because, hey, she’s the staff lobbyist, and forget that even the ladies-who-lunch who support Komen were once young women who relied upon PP to write the birth control prescription in college and provide non-judgmental healthcare, and who still regard women’s health as a continuum.

    So, anyway, I think they got sucked into believing that a small, loud group of wingnut complainers deserved appeasing, and could be appeased without blowback. Complete fail.

  71. 71
    suzanne says:

    @Sly:

    These people don’t hate women, they simply don’t care about them.

    The rape of one in three women suggests otherwise.

    I think the psychological profile you drew is accurate for some, maybe the hardest-core of the Talibangelicals. But lots more people hate women than that. It’s not just God-botherers watching rape porn.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @suzanne: To be fair, there are all kinds of assholes in the world.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Well, punishing the slut is very important to the sexphobic like Douchehat. The entire “chunky Reese Witherspoon” story shows that he can’t handle women treating him like men usually treat women. Men usually have an option NOT to seek sex; women are usually pursued constantly, and develop mechanisms to fend off unwanted advances. A lot of men don’t develop those skills, so when confronted with it, they freak out, like Douchehat did. Women as the sexual aggressor turns the tables, and this can be most unsettling.

  74. 74
    Chris says:

    @suzanne:

    Can we please stop pretending that this is anything else than seething hatred at women for daring to have reproductive organs that we actually think are our own to control? This is HATRED. This is an -ISM. There is a reason that one in three women are raped. There is a reason that “died in childbirth” is a common phrase in our lexicon. It is because women and their bodies matter less, if at all.

    This.

    It sounds all noble at first because they are, after all, talking about saving babies, and that’s a good thing, right?

    Then you throw in the fact that they’re just as dedicated to fighting contraceptives of any kind as abortion.

    Then you throw in the glee with which they fight to cut off each and every little bit of funding that might actually help the babies after they’re born.

    Then you throw in the slut-shaming contempt in which they hold single mothers – who are, by definition, women who’ve had the courage to “choose life” in very difficult circumstances even though legalized abortion means they didn’t have to. (Shit, those women are the ultimate saints by conservative Christianity’s own definition. But unless you’re Palin’s daughter, that’s sure as hell not how the pastor and his asshole brigade is going to see it).

    And you end up with a party that at best takes anti-sex and woman-bashing positions to be at least as important as “saving babies,” and at worst (and much more common), is far more interested in these things and more than willing to hurt the babies in order to get them.

  75. 75
    pat says:

    Why don’t we start calling it PRO-CHOICE and ANTI-CHOICE. Might avoid a few typos in the future, and you will admit it much more accurately describes the situation.

  76. 76
    The Other Chuck says:

    What it’s about is very simple tribalism. You arbitrarily define a certain morality as abhorrent, and as others rally around your cause to declaim the downfall of humanity at the hands of The Other, you grow yourself a nice community. You can belong to the community, be supported and reassured by it, and if you’re inclined to and skillful enough, control it for the sake of feeling powerful. Star on, star off.

  77. 77
    handsmile says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: (#70)

    [T]hey got sucked into believing that a small, loud group of wingnut complainers deserved appeasing, and could be appeased without blowback

    Why wouldn’t they have believed it? Appeasing wingnuts without significant consequence has been the decision and outcome in recent years of National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting Service, the Smithsonian Institution, the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, all broadcast networks every Sunday morning, public and private universities large and small…need I continue?

    The spectacular failure of the Komen Foundation’s original decision on Planned Parenthood has yet to be adequately explained or understood. Incompetence, hubris, political myopia are certainly key components, but I’m hard pressed to recall another example when collective public outrage triumphed over a major (and much venerated) private institution so completely and so quickly.

  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:
    I think the truth is that they hate people in general. They think humanity is a bunch of awful, disgusting sinners who deserve to be hated. Some of them are capable of making an exception for people like them, but I think a lot of them can’t, and don’t even like themselves very much. They probably hate women more than men (and gays more than straights, etc.) but their basic attitude is that we all deserve to suffer.

  79. 79
    General Stuck says:

    The republicans hate everything they can’t control. That is the prevailing state of mind for these people.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: Probably the best explanation anyone has offered.

  81. 81
    piratedan says:

    @Roger Moore: to borrow from Depeche Mode… they are …. your personal…. Puritans, someone you can loathe and disdain, your own personal puritan. backbeat not included…..

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @piratedan: I know it’s kind of my own personal hobby-horse, but these people don’t compare to the Puritans. The Puritans valued learning and education. These assholes do not.

    ETA: The Puritans weren’t antisex either, despite their reputation.

  83. 83
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Roger Moore:

    They probably hate women more than men (and gays more than straights, etc.) but their basic attitude is that we all deserve to suffer.

    Do we know for sure that Nancy Brinker is a God-botherer? If not, suzanne and Alison’s theory as to why this particular woman is hating on other women seems to me the most relevant.

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    Is “why” really relevant? It doesn’t matter why these people can’t be reasoned with. All that matters is that they can’t be reasoned with.

    It is what it is, and it has to be defeated. SATSQ.

  85. 85
    piratedan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: well puritanical seems to be their modus operandi… I understand that the original designation included their own religious persecution issues, but these current folks definitely adopt the more current tyrannical designation, just sayin’.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @piratedan: I get it. Like I said, personal hobby-horse. Defending the ancestors and all that.

  87. 87
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @handsmile:

    Incompetence, hubris, political myopia are certainly key components, but I’m hard pressed to recall another example when collective public outrage triumphed over a major (and much venerated) private institution so completely and so quickly.

    I agree, and you’re right to cite other examples of institutions cowed by small, amplified groups of wingnuts. Perhaps it’s because the support base for those institutions has grown lukewarm over time — why stand up for [org] if they won’t stand up for themselves? Perhaps it’s because SGK was considered above the fray — hence the willingness to tolerate the dubious elements of pink ribbon cross-marketing. Perhaps it’s because Planned Parenthood continues to exist under constant threat, in very literal terms.

    I’d expect a tick-tock account eventually, because SGK insiders will want to talk off the record about this clusterfuck of a decision.

  88. 88
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That’s true.

    Whether because of Original Sin or just the way God made us or however it’s justified, they believe humanity is such a thoroughly and irredeemably evil species that even the sins of someone like Hitler can only make him sink a few inches deeper in the muck than the rest of us: in the grand scheme of things, we’re all basically that evil. The only way to save ourselves is to give ourselves over completely to Jesus (as defined by them and in a way defined by them, of course), because then he’ll ignore how evil we are and just take us in anyway.

    That’s fundiegelicalism. Catholic and mainline Protestant beliefs are different, but fundiegelicalism is what sets the tone in American religion since 1980. In a nutshell: humanity sucks, only our tribe can save you, and nothing you do in this world really matters.

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: It is a rather sad view of life, isn’t it?

  90. 90
    handsmile says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: (#87)

    Thanks for your reply! Yes, the Manolo Blahniks, or perhaps it should be the ASICSs and Sauconys, should soon be dropping, now that the Komen Foundation’s budget is being publicly dissected, with staff salaries and budget priorities/allocations exposed to widespread dismay and censure.

    @Chris: , @Roger Moore: et al

    Two citations from Corey Robin’s The Reactionary Mind:

    Samuel Johnson:

    “We are all agreed as to our own liberty. But we are not agreed as to the liberty of others: for in proportion as we take, others must lose. I believe we hardly wish that the mob should have liberty to govern us.”

    Edmund Burke:

    “The occupation of an hair-dresser, or of a tallow-chandler, cannot be a matter of honor to any person-to say nothing of a number of other more servile employments. Such descriptions of men ought not to suffer oppression from the state; but the state suffers oppression if, such as they, either individually or collectively are permitted to rule.”

    Robin himself defines the political/social dynamic between the subordinate classes (in which women would perforce by included) and the conservative elite as follows: “Submission is their first duty; agency, the prerogative of the elite.”

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @handsmile: Sounds Straussian.

  92. 92
    handsmile says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Perhaps, but you can’t waltz to it. Not that that was ever Leo’s concern: goose-stepping being his preferred gait.

  93. 93

    I think it is less woman-hating than is generally supposed. It comes out like that in the language used, the callous indifference to suffering. The presumption that women lack agency. (e.g., Surely if it weren’t for PP, more of those women would have chosen adoption.)

    A while back senate candidate Brad Carson wrote an essay reflecting on his loss. I’d link it but I don’t know how to do it in this new comment box. In his view, these people are fighting against the modern world. I think that’s closer to it.

    It’s why they are so uniformly against women’s right to abortion, gays & lesbians rights to do anything, global warming, any culture other than Norman Rockwell’s America, and so on. It’s also why they are so impervious to reasoned argument.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @handsmile: A 4/4 beat works better for marching than waltzing.

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    It all depends on the quality of the band. I’ve seen bands march to 7/8 time, so just about anything is possible.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, neither 7/8 nor 4/4 works as a waltz.

  97. 97
    Ruthroc says:

    @suzanne:
    I agree. Women owning their own bodies is an obvious issue to women but others think they ought to legislate our ovaries and wombs. Crazy! I don’t think guys would like their genitalia legislated.

  98. 98
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Dude. You stole my post. You are right, though, in that the Komen fiasco was the last straw for many, including me. They want a fight? They got one.

  99. 99
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    A 4/4 beat works better for marching than waltzing.

    You can do it (speaking from personal experience) but you have to adjust your brain to possibly ending on an odd beat. Or you just march on the downbeats of every measure. It’s possible, just not widely done.

    /bandgeek

  100. 100
    droog says:

    I agree with DougJ on everything except one tiny bit:

    If Republicans let us sneak condoms, birth control pills, and breast cancer screenings into the reproductive rights debate, they’re dumber than I thought.

    You would not be sneaking anything into the debate. You would be bringing it out in the open and you have every right to do so. Why should they be the only ones framing the issue? It’s the right wing who keep sneaking things like anti-contraception and anti-HPV vaccine policies behind their polarising anti-choice movement.

  101. 101
    tamiedjr says:

    @pete: I was wondering about all the hate on Andrea Mitchell. I saw her interviewed on Tweety and I thought she was near tears when she talked about her disappointment.

  102. 102
    kth says:

    Conscience had nothing to do with what Ari Fleischer was pushing Komen to do. It was political, and was meant to be a coordinated effort to ACORNize Planned Parenthood. Breaking the back of a key Democratic constituency was the whole point.

  103. 103

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