Look back in anger

My opinion on the contraception coverage issue for churches is that it will have no political effect. I think it’s too complicated and most people just don’t care. It was a bad move for the Catholic church, but it probably won’t impact whether people vote Republican or Democrat this fall.

Democracy Corps thinks it has the potential to hurt Republicans and they make a good point that I hadn’t thought of:

More broadly, voters may wonder why the Republicans are consumed with pushing back health coverage for women rather than continuing to focus on the economy, spending and debt.

We may yet look back on this debate and wonder whether this was a Terry Schiavo moment.

The Obama position finds a two-thirds majority among suburban voters and a 61 percent majority among single women. These results loom large when voters prefer Democrats over Republicans by 52 to 26 percent on women’s issues, including a 36-point margin among senior women and a 47-point margin among unmarried women.

The reason Schiavo hurt Republicans was probably not so much because the public agreed with the husband (though they did), but because they wondered why the Republican Congress was hot-dogging the issue. The same could be true with the contraception coverage issue.






160 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    My guess is that a lot of women are going to be too busy trying to figure out how to hold an aspirin between their legs instead of getting riled up by men in funny hats/gowns/slippers.

  2. 2
    capt says:

    “because they wondered why the Republican Congress was hot-dogging the issue”

    You mean hot dogging EVERY issue? I cannot think of the last time I heard any thoughtful opposition, just hotting the dog.

  3. 3
    slag says:

    I think the only real traction Republicans ever get is with their “Don’t Tread On Me”-style messages. Situations such as these demonstrate–momentarily, at least–what a lie those messages are.

  4. 4

    @capt:

    hotting the dog

    Pretty sure Santorum would make that illegal.

  5. 5
    Dan says:

    I dint think there’s anything complicated about “republicans want to take away your birth control”. This is going to kill the GOP in congressional races in swing states. They don’t have much of a shot at the White House anyway, but this is suicidal.

  6. 6
    shortstop says:

    The Schiavo comparison, and the lopsided women’s reaction in polls, has been discussed pretty thoroughly over the past week. Agree that this probably won’t change anything for the 27 percent or always-Democratic voters. But this kind of invasion of seriously private spaces gets not particularly political people where they live.

    I don’t think it’s just GOP hot dogging that pisses people off, although that stuff bugs people more when we have so many real problems going unaddressed. I think a lot of people are also appalled at the fucking gall of the position.

  7. 7
    scav says:

    @BGinCHI: Women can multitask, although the laughter might slow them down a bit. My aim with a shovel is always a little off when I chortle.

  8. 8
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    This has to be life inside the wingnularity that they are trying to make a national crises over issues no one else cares about.

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    but because they wondered why the Republican Congress was hot-dogging the issue.

    Uh no. It backfired because some element of sanity in the normally mush minded public was found and national repulsion over the GOP acting as theocratic Iranian Mullahs exploded.

  10. 10
    jheartney says:

    It took from 1995 to 2006 for voters to get tired of the Pubs in the House, and toss them out. This time it may be a lot quicker.

    I think implicit in the 2010 wave election was a message from voters to officeholders: “Quit screwing around and do something constructive!” The GOP didn’t hear that message, though – what they heard was just “Stop the Muslim Kenyan usurper!” So when voters give the same message again in 2012, a fair number of GOP officeholders may be in for a surprise.

  11. 11
    jl says:

    ” the Republican Congress was hot-dogging the issue ”

    So the Issa hearings have gotten around to immoral coverage for Boehner p i 1 1 zzz?

    I’m glad. I was afraid they could be accused of hypocrisy.

  12. 12
    BGinCHI says:

    @jheartney: I agree. And can’t wait to see the look on the 27%’s faces when Obama wins and the House flips back. They’re going to be gobsmacked, since they are SURE they are the majority on every issue.

    For the Bible FoxNews tells them so.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    So who are these women who want all their autonomy taken away and won’t miss it? Like being a spineless woman in a red state isn’t suffering enough. I know these women… I went to church with them for ten years. They are miserable, and the good ones drink because they actually feel things. The others beat their kids with hair brushes and scream at their husbands late at night.

    I ran, so far away.

  14. 14
    Martin says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Uh no. It backfired because some element of sanity in the normally mush minded public was found and national repulsion over the GOP acting as theocratic Iranian Mullahs exploded.

    Not from the people I was talking to. They were outraged that Congress felt that there was so little else to do for the country that they needed to now get involved in every individual hospital case in the nation.

    It was a basic, overwhelming sense that they had completely, totally lost the plot of what they were there to do.

  15. 15
    Silver says:

    I used to think that women who voted Republican must have huge issues with the fact that their husbands think they are brain dead walking utensils with a uterus.

    Perhaps the retard husbands are actually correct? Occam’s razor ftw?

  16. 16
    eric says:

    The real problem for the GOP is that it allows every dem in every district to point out that that GOP is not talking about the economy because the dems fought for and got the economy going again. The dems can talk about what they would do to amp up growth … more tax cuts for middle class while raising taxes on the “rich.” Not as class warfare but as a vehicle to bring about more growth to make more money for everyone, rich, poor, and super rich alike. But the GOP is left grasping at IUDs, diaphrams and pills. None of that will create a single job. That was the real eff up. talk dollars, not contraceptives.

    ETA….as usual Martin, you are correct.

  17. 17
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    The reason Schiavo hurt Republicans was probably not so much because the public agreed with the husband

    Simple tag-lines move them. Contraception/no contraception.

  18. 18
    MikeJ says:

    @jheartney:

    So when voters give the same message again in 2012, a fair number of GOP officeholders may be in for a surprise.

    They’ve already said that they will interpret victory in 2012 as a mandate that everything should be done their way and defeat will make it imperative to dig in further and fight harder, i.e. they won’t see it as a rejection of their message or a mandate for Obama.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    The reason Schiavo hurt Republicans was probably not so much because the public agreed with the husband (though they did), but because they wondered why the Republican Congress was hot-dogging the issue.

    I think this totally misreads the reaction to the case.

    In any event, the contraception mess is very simple and can hurt the Republicans if they insist on keeping it alive.

    The Republicans appear to be saying that they back organizations that would deny birth control as health care coverage.

    Any woman who wants to get birth control pills should have to pay for them herself. Period.

    Employers and religious organizations should be able to decide what health care coverage an employee gets. The employee has no choice but to go along or find another job.

    Obviously, this adds restrictions that employees don’t currently have to deal with.

  20. 20
    gelfling545 says:

    I think that while it may impact how women vote it will certainly impact if women vote. I think it’s this election’s Sarah Palin: the issue that makes women who might not have been that interested previously and thought to give this election a pass stand up and yell “OH HELL NO.

  21. 21
    Sasha says:

    Schiavo broke diehard, Bush-believing, right-winger John Cole. If we’re lucky, contraception might help convince other wingnuts quit drinking the Tea.

  22. 22
    cmorenc says:

    @shortstop:

    Agree that this probably won’t change anything for the 27 percent or always-Democratic voters. But this kind of invasion of seriously private spaces gets not particularly political people where they live.

    The contraception issue hits most women (and indirectly, but intimately their SO men) in a core place in their everyday life which they had heretofore believed was completely, safely immune from the reach of politics. In this respect, it’s unlike the abortion issue, which many mildly pro-choice women had regarded as not likely to affect them personally since they had no foreseeable intent or need to seek any abortions, and so didn’t seem a particularly compelling voting issue to many compared to e.g. economic and other issues. Even the issue of RU-486 morning-after pill seemed safely enough removed from everyday practical issues to most women whose fertility seemed adequately controlled by the pill or IUDs that it wasn’t a particularly compelling issue.

    UNTIL NOW.

    IMHO the answer to whether the contraception issue will make many voters (especially women voters) less likely to vote GOP isn’t just because of their disapproval of misplaced focus or hot-dogging; it’s BOTH the distracted focus AND because the determined ideological extremism shown by too many in the GOP on this issue is threatening to hit home at them in a deeply personal, and offensive way. IMHO the Dems will gain several swing votes on the perceived threat to contraception for every one swing vote the GOP picks up on the alleged “religious liberty” rationale.

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:

    @Sasha:

    Schiavo broke diehard, Bush-believing, right-winger John Cole. If we’re lucky, contraception might help convince other wingnuts to quit drinking the Tea.

    Excellent observation!

    You never know what might push a Republican to say, Enough.

  24. 24
    eric says:

    @Brachiator: there is the added necessary assumption that birth control is morally objectionable. without that assumption, none of this happens. most for most people, not only is that assumption false, but it is a sign of diseased puritanism, or even totalitarianism.

  25. 25
    Maude says:

    The GOP went down the rabbit hole and it’s not coming back, ever.

  26. 26
    Some Guy says:

    The difference is that Schiavo was a specific case on a specific issue. Contraception is more diffuse, which will change the rhetorical landscape.

    However, given that pretty much everybody who likes sexytime without risking child time is fond of birth control, I cannot see this working out for the GOP.

    But as many have noted, it is not about birth control anymore. The GOP wants to give license to any moral prescription of employers, as if people who run businesses of any size should sit as arbiters of the social good.

    FUCK NO THEY SHOULD NOT.

  27. 27
    JCJ says:

    I just remembered something from a long time ago. When I was a kid the Secretary of Agriculture for Nixon was a guy named Earl Butz. My parents hated him, but I remember them laughing about something he reportedly said regarding the Pope’s stand on birth control. He allegedly said in a lame Italian accent, “You no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules!”

    Someone should point that out to these horrible bishops.

  28. 28
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @eric:

    birth control is morally objectionable. without that assumption, none of this happens. most for most people, not only is that assumption false, but it is a sign of diseased puritanism, or even totalitarianism.

    +1

  29. 29
    Upper West says:

    Doug, I think that this has the potential to be as powerful as Schiavo. (Don’t forget that Schiavo was the last straw for a previously conservative blogger with the initials JC and a blog initialed BJ).

    Birth control is of a piece with Schiavo — Republicans want to invade your hospital room and your bedroom. That certainly resonates. It’s all about privacy, privacy, privacy.

    And imagine if Santorum is the nominee — a nominee who is on record as saying birth control (and non-procreative sex)
    is immoral? How can it not be ’64 or ’84 percentages?

    A shift from abortion to birth control as the focus is huge. The zealots have done us a big favor.

  30. 30
    shortstop says:

    @eric: The only people seeing this issue in solely those terms are people who don’t need birth control and don’t remember what it was like when they did.

    You’ve described part of the problem for the GOP — by no means all of it.

  31. 31
    Princess says:

    I think there are a lot of wealthier white women whose economic inclinations are Republican, and who vote both sides, who are appalled at this crap. It may not be a huge absolute number, but it can amount to a crucial swing in certain states.

    I have no idea why the Republicans are doubling down on this. It won’t win them one new vote. They must be terrified that even the basest part of their base is disenchanted and are hoping to rally them. They’d be better off just reminding them that the president is blah.

  32. 32
    shortstop says:

    @cmorenc:

    it’s BOTH the distracted focus AND because the determined ideological extremism shown by too many in the GOP on this issue is threatening to hit home at them in a deeply personal, and offensive way.

    Precisely. Thanks.

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @eric:

    This.

    I have friends who are married and the pill is a key part of their lives, because they’ve got kids already, thank you, and don’t need any more, because they can provide for the ones they have and can’t provide for more children with the means at their disposal.

    In other words, they’re responsible. Unlike the Duggars.

  34. 34
    BGinCHI says:

    @JCJ: Earl Butz was a dick and taught in my hometown. When I was in my early teens, like a lot of rural kids I detassled corn. Good money but hard as hell work and long hours. We had to be at the meeting spot at 5:30 AM. One of my friends who worked with us who lived in town walked by Earl Butz’s house every morning and stole his Wall St Journal, which we read a little bit of then threw away.

    It was only years later I knew who he was. At the time, we just laughed at the label because his last name was Butz.

  35. 35
    shortstop says:

    @JCJ: Fun fact: Nixon was always calling him “Wally” by mistake. As in Wally Butts. Oh, Nixon, Nixon.

  36. 36
    eric says:

    @shortstop: but for them you never need birth control. that is the message that is starting to waft up from the bowels of their warped puritan minds. control the family unit and you control the kingdom. this is the feudal church and its like-minded totalitarian zealots exerting power. we are all catholics now fighting Vatican II all over again. vatican II was never just about birth control, but ideas from the laity impacting the established ideas of the Church.

  37. 37
    Some Guy says:

    @Upper West: Key constituencies on the right have always seen abortion as the logical extension of birth control whereas lots of other people understand they are not the same decision, they don’t have the same impact on society, and that we should treat them as related but clearly distinct issues.

    They have done a huge favor by making visible the real logic of their politics, which for decades smarter conservatives have tried to obscure. They have made fun of the left for saying they wanted to take us back to the 19th century. Well, not they have just given the lie to that.

    The only thing that is unexpected to me is that savvier political minds did not prevail. This has always and forever been the attitude of the far right. Maternity now, maternity forever!

  38. 38
    pragmatism says:

    Blur > Oasis
    i miss the 90’s. :(

  39. 39
    Upper West says:

    @cmorenc: Great Points. This issue is only beginning to have an effect.

    and in one day you have a billionaire Santorum nut talking about aspirin between a woman’s legs and a NH Congresswoman reporting that birth control pills cause prostrate cancer in men.

    The stupid no longer just burns — it explodes with the force of a thousand suns.

    As my hero Claudius said, “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.”

  40. 40
    shortstop says:

    @BGinCHI: Another veteran of the detasseling wars here.

  41. 41
    slag says:

    @Martin: I don’t think the two arguments are at all mutually exclusive and that, in fact, one actually follows the other. The characterization of the GOP as a bunch of busybodies with nothing better to do than get up in your bidness isn’t much of a stretch at this point.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The forced birth movement has ALWAYS been about unauthorized sexytime. They have always opposed contraception, even for married couples. Santorum speaks for them with his bizarre notion that sex is for reproduction, only. Think Carrie’s mother in Carrie. They are prudes and killjoys who go into conniptions because they are afraid that someone, somewhere, is having fun.

    This is about fucking, and denying women agency. It’s totalitarian in nature. It is brutally opposed to the Enlightenment values that are the foundation of this great country. No invisible sky buddy needed.

  43. 43

    This whole mishegas is going to cost, not gain, the GOP Catholic votes. The rank-and-file has been ignoring the bishops for a generation, and the process will only accelerate.

    The chanceries, not the people in the pews, are the ones closing parishes, and schools, because the money’s not there. And that’s not making any friends. The money’s often not there because the dioceses are paying off settlements in sex-abuse cases. And that‘s not making any friends.

    There’s a 1%-99% split in the Church-as-she-is, not the Church-as-you-see-it-on-TV, every bit as blatant as the one in the economy, and people aren’t happy about it. At. All.

    …ideas from the laity impacting the established ideas of the Church.

    Let the bishops try to run an army with no one below the rank of colonel. In the end, consensus fidelium has always trumped the hierarchy. And it’s supposed to be that way.

  44. 44
    azlib says:

    The Republicans pivoted to the “social” issues because at this point they are losing the “economy” argument. The economy is not great, but it is getting noticeably better. If Romney is the nominee, he will not have a lot to talk about. I do not think he is really comfortable with the “social” issues. Their “cave” on the payroll tax cut extension is another signal they really, really do not want to talk about the economy. I do wonder what their base thinks about the “cave”. I’d imagine they are pretty despondent. Maybe they will just stay home in November.

  45. 45
    shortstop says:

    @eric: Yes, yes, I know, but the point is that this stuff offends people. It pisses voters off on a very personal level. It’s telling (against the GOP) that we’re having this discussion in this economy, but even more than that, no one can believe how far over the line they’ve lumbered into people’s private lives. That’s a big part of what will hurt the GOP, not just the lack of focus on jobs while they’re doing it.

  46. 46
    Princess Leia says:

    Maybe this is the wedge that can decouple health insurance and employment. That would be the ultimate coup for Obama. It forces the public option as the protector of conscience rights of citizens.

  47. 47
    Some Guy says:

    @cmorenc: Another key difference is that abortion has been consistently framed as a sign that something is wrong in society. Reducing the number of abortions by providing birth control or moralizing is a point of convergence for opposite ideological viewpoints (never mind the right always pretending the abortion rights people want more abortions, like its a pass time or something).

    Birth control does not occupy the same space in the public discourse. Its prevalence is mostly seen as a sign we are doing something right. Abortion means something went wrong somewhere (too little moral fiber, too little access to birth control, pick your side of the spectrum).

    So opposing birth control simply will not “read” the same to most people. That is the major error in this play. The far right has simply lost track of the fact the most people do not see abortion and birth control as a continuum of mistakes. They see the latter as a way to avoid the former.

  48. 48
    BGinCHI says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This is about fucking, and denying women agency.

    Once again, the GOP can’t do anything right. It’s a wonder they’re not all virgins. Are these guys really that insecure in their masculinity?

  49. 49
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    No invisible sky buddy needed.

    HE just told me he wants to be left out of this………

  50. 50
    shortstop says:

    @Some Guy: Excellent points all, especially this:

    The far right has simply lost track of the fact the most people do not see abortion and birth control as a continuum of mistakes. They see the latter as a way to avoid the former.

    Insularity breeds large political mistakes.

  51. 51
    Beth in VA says:

    @eric You’re so right! +1 indeed.
    Birth control. It is mich clearer- sounding than contraception. I also wish I’d here people use the phrase Family Planning. As in “What’s so wrong about Family Planning?” Seriously, aren’t we the reasonable, responsible ones here?

  52. 52
    eric says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: for them the elevation of reason of the Enlightment was a speed bump on the way to the Judgment Day of faith. Judgment Day was the ultimate behavior modifier. one of my all time favorite scenes in the western canon is the fire sermon in Portrait and how Stephen felt compelled to get into bed rather than risk damnation. This is the faith versus reason all over again, whether it is climate change, economics, epistemic closure. For these people, it is less important whether then earth in fact revolves around the earth, as opposed to accepting the word of the Church that it does. Facts matter less than obedience and obedience requires the threat of retribution. This is what everyone will react to….my good, Footloose put this stuff to bed years ago. :)

  53. 53
  54. 54
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Brachiator:

    Any woman who wants to get birth control pills should have to pay for them herself. Period

    Bad framing. The woman has already earned her health insurance benefits as part of her compensation package. They want to take away something that she has earned as the fruit of her labor.

    Fundamentally this is no different from garnishing the cash wages of an employee because you don’t approve of what they spend their money on.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    @eric:

    there is the added necessary assumption that birth control is morally objectionable. without that assumption, none of this happens. most for most people, not only is that assumption false, but it is a sign of diseased puritanism, or even totalitarianism.

    It’s simpler than that.

    The GOP is saying that an employee’s health care choices are entirely dependent upon the religious beliefs of his or her employer.

  56. 56
    Aet says:

    It doesn’t have a major negative impact: 27 percenters are already decided, and undecided voters usually don’t vote on single issues.

    What it will do is _motivate_ the base, which is showing signs of intense demotivation. Voting isn’t just about getting independents to vote for your guy. It’s about motivating people to volunteer, to donate money, and having your base have the will to go to the polls.

    This is a serious problem the base is going to have with Romney, and the people in charge of the party know it. So they have Romney say whatever sounds good at the time, while they tell their useful idiots to bang their drums as loudly as possible. Birth control is just the first shot.

    I predict we’re going to spend this spring and summer talking about random social programs as the economy improves.

  57. 57
    Jager says:

    @BGinCHI: My Uncle Gary was a regional director of National Farmers Organization (the guys who drove their big John Deere tractors to Washington to demonstrate against Nixon’s farm policies) He was at a meeting with Earl Butz who was talking about “family farms”, while his pockets were lined with Agra-Business cash. When Gary got a chance to question Butz, he asked, “Mr Secretary, when was the last time you were on a fucking family farm?” Unca Gar was hustled from the room, Auntie Liz has the tape!

  58. 58
    WereBear says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: In other words, they’re responsible. Unlike the Duggars.

    Look at their predecessors in the “it IS a village” childbirth sweepstakes, Jon & Kate plus 8. She had IVF and had twins, went back and had sextuplets. I never watched the show, because just seeing the trailers gave me the creeps; Jon looked like someone with an umbrella perpetually lodged in his colon, and she was constantly freaking out and ordering everyone around. None of the kids seemed to get more than a consecutive minute of focused attention. They were just a blob of flesh that needed to be cleaned and fed and kept from putting their tongues in the light sockets.

    It was like they had taken one of my nightmares, and made a TV show of it.

  59. 59
    geg6 says:

    Now let me start by saying I’m not accusing anyone of sexism or anything, but I see too many men on this thread who simply don’t get how this will play with women, and by extension, their men. You guys can’t really get it, the same way you’ll never really get how every woman is on high alert every time we are alone in public, especially at night or in a dark place or in a place with only a few others around or alone on an elevator with a strange man. This is visceral stuff and a fight we all thought was over decades ago. And I can tell you that my experience with the Sciavo case leads me to believe that yes, people were pissed that Congress was fiddling while Rome burned, but what really outraged them was the idea that they were messing with people’s private personal decisions. They could picture themselves in Michael Schiavo’s shoes and said hell to the fuck no to that sort of intrusion. Many people had been in similar situations or knew people who had. Now extend that outrage to a situation which even more people have experienced, access to birth control, and Congress legislating that your boss gets to decide what birth control you can use or whether or not you get to use it at all. And the GOP replies to that outrage with just reconcile yourself to the life of Michelle Duggar or just hold those aspirin between your knees. Procreative sex only, you dirty slut.

    Yeah, people won’t get all riled up by that at all. It will be their sudden realization that Congress is not doing serious work and that seems to be just fucking around. Oh, wait…maybe that has already happened, what with that 9% or so approval rating Congress has.

  60. 60
    BGinCHI says:

    @Jager: The history of Agri-Bidness and companies like ADM is another thread in what has gotten so fucked up in this country.

    It might even lead one to ask: WHAT did conservatives conserve?

  61. 61
    BGinCHI says:

    @geg6: I take your point, but I think many/most of us do get it.

    And what’s just as bad, or worse, is that a lot of women support these political/religious freaks. It doesn’t break neatly into gendered categories…..

  62. 62
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Brachiator:

    The GOP is saying that an employee’s health care choices are entirely dependent upon the religious beliefs of his or her employer.

    Which can change overnight, with no warning.

    Even with the greatest of care and due diligence in picking an employer (and what the heck are you supposed to do really, ask what the bosses religion is during an interview? Excuse me, Mrs. HR manager, but could you tell me please, is the CEO by any chance a religious nut?), you are only one corporate merger, or a change in management, or a religious conversion at the top of the org chart away from going to bed on Friday night with health care insurance and walking in to work Monday morning to find out that you’ve been “scrupled” out of it.

  63. 63
    WereBear says:

    @geg6: I think you’re right that it’s a kind of double whammy; Congress was already not doing anything about the sad state of the country, and then they do get around to working… on this?

    It ticks me off incredibly. And I’m no fan of Republicans; but this has raked something across my last nerve. Coming right after the Komen screwup… it’s like they’ve not only doubled down, they’ve mortgaged the house and sold the kids for scientific experiments.

  64. 64
    IM says:

    @Brachiator:

    Schiavo was the Schiavo moment of Cole.

  65. 65

    I said this earlier today, but this is definitely a Schiavo moment. For exactly those reasons, but worse: Republicans focusing on shit that people don’t care about, except here there are people in the middle who DO care about their birth control. Any independent woman voter is gonna think twice about voting Republican. Hell, they should.

    In more amusing news, homophobe Newt Gingrich’s campaign bus broke down in big fat gay West Hollywood, CA of all places. The locals took to Twitter to mock him.

  66. 66
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    Sometimes you try just a wee bit too hard to be above it all, Doug. You don’t have to be too cool for everything all the time. For women that aren’t 27 percenters, this issue is killing them and not for the optics of doing X instead of Y. This is a big problem for the exactly evident ones, not “pfft it probably doesn’t matter or whatever, but if it does it’s bc they should be doing other stuff.”

  67. 67
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Of course it’s a war on Fucking Without Consequences

    But it’s also a class war, because Fucking With Consequences simultaneously affects social mobility and gives the GOP more poor children to demonize.

    (Remember that the Duggars are basically grift-merchants, whether it’s from the reality show or declaring their house a church for the tax bennies.)

  68. 68
    Lurker says:

    @cmorenc:

    Even the issue of RU-486 morning-after pill seemed safely enough removed from everyday practical issues to most women whose fertility seemed adequately controlled by the pill or IUDs that it wasn’t a particularly compelling issue.

    I like everything else you wrote up above, but I just wanted to correct one thing. The name of the morning-after pill is “Plan B.” “RU-486” is the name of the abortion pill.

  69. 69
    Rick Taylor says:

    What’s interesting about this case is it pits the liberties of institutions and companies against that of individuals. The GOP is interested in the former over the latter.

    Companies are people too, my friend.

  70. 70
    beltane says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Maybe it should be a requirement that an employer disclose his or her religion so prospective employees can gauge what type of health care benefits they will be receiving.

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Bad framing. The woman has already earned her health insurance benefits as part of her compensation package. They want to take away something that she has earned as the fruit of her labor.

    I don’t agree, but it’s no big deal. I think we both believe that the GOP and the religious institutions have their heads up their asses on this issue.

  72. 72
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @pragmatism:

    I thought it was INXS that was better than Oasis :)

  73. 73
    IM says:

    @Aet:

    Yes, but: It also motivates the democratic base.

  74. 74
    Upper West says:

    @Some Guy: The “savvier” minds have lost control because the craziness of the base has finally broken through the facade of the simple “pro-life” framework.

    The “Overton Window” has been pushed wide open, but this time, it’s only on one side of the house.

  75. 75
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Brachiator:

    I don’t agree, but it’s no big deal. I think we both believe that the GOP and the religious institutions have their heads up their asses on this issue.

    You got that right.

    I’m just trying to push back against the idea that employer provided health care is some sort of charity which the employees are lucky to get (if they get it at all), because that makes it sound like it is the bosses money which is being spent, so naturally to most people it sounds somewhat reasonable that the boss should have some say over what “his money” is spent on.

    I think we should spend some effort communicating that this is earned compensation we are talking about here.

  76. 76
    kth says:

    For a time it looked possible that Obama might be defeated with hard-money supply-side (contradiction deliberate) pseudo-economics, but it now looks increasingly unlikely that the Hayekians will even get their turn at bat.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    I actually did work for a company once where we would get bizarro directives from the owner. The one that sticks in my mind was that we were allowed to order coffee filters using office funds, but not paper towels, because paper towels were not sufficiently “business related.”

    As you probably guessed, we used coffee filters as paper towels, but it was really stupid and annoying to have to do that just because the company’s owner didn’t feel that we needed paper towels.

    Now multiply that by your health insurance where your employer can decide on a whim whether or not you really need that vaccination.

  78. 78
    SIA says:

    Insularity breeds large political mistakes.

    @shortstop: And that, I think, is the crux of the matter. GOP stupidity plays a part, but I think the disconnection from reality via Fox and other bubble-inducing structures, prevent them from even realizing how far from the true mainstream they really are.

  79. 79
    pragmatism says:

    @Canuckistani Tom: was that the canadian version of the argument? today’s version would be OLP v. Nickelback?

  80. 80
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Now multiply that by your health insurance where your employer can decide on a whim whether or not you really need that vaccination.

    “Do you want the Pointy-Haired Boss from Dilbert making your private health care decisions for you?” just about sums it up for me.

  81. 81
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    The message is simple. Republicans went from “abstinence-only education” to “abstinance-only only.” Don’t want a baby; don’t have sex. Even if you’re married!

  82. 82
    BGinCHI says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Right on. I’d only add that taking this benefit away doesn’t make the cost go away. It just hides it.

    If we don’t make healthcare available, the costs are going to get worse. All the GOP has done is obfuscate that whole issue.

  83. 83
    pragmatism says:

    i see and hear a lot of projecting that polling and facts be damned, people can’t be stupid enough to reelect the kenyusurper. lot’s o’ rooting for $5 gas as a backstop. it reminds me of the misguided belief on the right in ’08 (pimped by fox) that people say to pollsters and their friends that they’ll vote for Obama, but in the voting booth with only supply side Jesus with them, they’d go mccain.

  84. 84

    @geg6:

    Now let me start by saying I’m not accusing anyone of sexism or anything, but I see too many men on this thread who simply don’t get how this will play with women, and by extension, their men. You guys can’t really get it, the same way you’ll never really get how every woman is on high alert every time we are alone in public, especially at night or in a dark place or in a place with only a few others around or alone on an elevator with a strange man. This is visceral stuff and a fight we all thought was over decades ago.

    A MAJOR co-sign to all of this.

  85. 85
    judybrowni says:

    Could disagree with you more, Balloon Juice. Not only anecdotally — personally, I’m hearing women pissed off about this issue — but recent polling indicates it may be the straw driving women back to voting Democratic:

    “The biggest story here is unmarried women. President Obama now leads Romney among unmarried women by a margin of 65 to 30 percent, up from 54 percent Obama, 37 percent Romney at the end of last year. These voters are approaching the same level of support (70 percent) they showed the President in the 2008 elections…

    Democrats have newly consolidated the progressive voters of the Rising American Electorate who were responsible for Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008. These voters—unmarried women, young voters, and minorities—dropped off in 2010 and lagged throughout 2011. They have returned in a big way for Democrats, led by a resurgence and re-engagement of unmarried women.”
    http://www.democracycorps.com/.....g-balance/

  86. 86
    SIA says:

    @geg6: I have to say, I have fucking loved all your comments lately, especially on this subject. I’ve read all these threads, but rarely comment because you, shortstop, Southern Beaale, etc, etc, have already said what I felt/thought. And much more articulately than I would, I’m sure. A-men, sistahs.

  87. 87
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @pragmatism:

    Actually, that was a song joke

    “Elegantly Wasted” is the first single and title track of the album Elegantly Wasted by INXS…After an argument with Liam Gallagher of Oasis, Hutchence added some additional vocals to the chorus, which the rest of the band were unaware of until months after the album’s release. When listening for it, the chorus can either be heard as “I am elegantly wasted” or “I am better than Oasis”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....%28song%29

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:

    @geg6:

    And I can tell you that my experience with the Sciavo case leads me to believe that yes, people were pissed that Congress was fiddling while Rome burned, but what really outraged them was the idea that they were messing with people’s private personal decisions.

    Yes. Absolutely.

    The law of unintended consequences bit the GOP in the butt.

    And they refuse to learn.

    I spoke to a number of people who had not closely followed the Schiavo story. But they very quickly got an image of some religious busybody coming into their hospital room, or into their home, while they were with a terminally ill parent or child. And they had a strong reaction: who the fuck are these people who think that they would have the right to interfere with me and my doctor and my family?

    Shit, my mother called me up, and reiterated her desires. And no, they aren’t written, her choice. But there is no power in this world or any other that I would consult or defer to with respect to honoring her decisions.

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Even with the greatest of care and due diligence in picking an employer (and what the heck are you supposed to do really, ask what the bosses religion is during an interview?

    The GOP overreached. They’re too stupid to realize it.

  89. 89
    Chickenjuice says:

    Republicans want to empower the 1% even more, by allowing them to impose their version of “morality” on their employees.

    It’s not a complicated issue: Republicans don’t like sex and want to take away your birth control. If you can’t grasp that concept then you are too fucking stupid to vote (e.g., a Republican primary voter).

  90. 90
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Jeebus.

    danagilbertward@yahoo,com

  91. 91
    pragmatism says:

    @Canuckistani Tom: thanks for the free learnin Tom! did not know that. ditched INXS in the early 80’s and although i am familiar with some Gallagher brothers jackassery, i am not aware of all gallagher traditions. good song joke.
    for the record, OLP > nickleback.

  92. 92
    geg6 says:

    SIA @84:

    Why thanks. I feel very passionately about this.

    Midnight Marauder @83:

    I just wish more would do the same. Too many men will just never get it. But I have great hope and faith in the male Juicitariat’s empathy.

  93. 93
    Tripod says:

    I believe Moltke’s maxim went something like:

    No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy

    Running against Obamacare was a no-brainer. Yet here we are with the GOP unable to stop impaling itself on it. Black guy must be lucky or something.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Are these guys really that insecure in their masculinity?

    Yes. It has always been my opinion that the warmongering, the fear of sexytime and scary ladyparts, and everything else that makes up a wingnut stem from that very root.

  95. 95
    Maus says:

    My opinion on the contraception coverage issue for churches is that it will have no political effect. I think it’s too complicated and most people just don’t care. It was a bad move for the Catholic church, but it probably won’t impact whether people vote Republican or Democrat this fall.

    And when this loophole allows Republican business-owners to stop covering abortions and other “distasteful” procedures?

  96. 96
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @geg6:

    You guys can’t really get it, the same way you’ll never really get how every woman is on high alert every time we are alone in public, especially at night or in a dark place or in a place with only a few others around or alone on an elevator with a strange man.

    Just had a flashback

    One night in my university residence, the lights in the elevator crapped out. This was late after the maintenance guys had gone home, so we lived with it for the night.

    So I’m on the ground floor waiting for the elevator, the door opens, and in the elevator is a girl who I don’t know with her laundry. I paused, and she read my hesitation as me wondering if the elevator with no lights is working properly.

    ‘It’s OK, it works, the lights are just out’ she said

    ‘OK, but are you OK being in a dark elevator with a guy you don’t know?’ I asked

    ‘Oh!’ she said. It was obvious from her expression and tone that she’d never even considered that something bad could happen.

    ‘Um, yeah, I’m OK’ she said. I got on the elevator, we rode up to my floor, and I got out.

  97. 97
    Princess says:

    Anyone who thinks this will have no political effect isn’t looking at my FB wall. Women who are never political, women who use FB for professional reasons, women who ignored Komen, are up in arms about this, and public. Firebagger women are loud and vocal and I would bet only those in the least swingy of states will be casting protest votes now. It’s the optics of those men in Roman collars and the guy in the kippah deciding, once again, that their rights trump ours. The Issa hearing was the stupidest thing they could do right now.

  98. 98
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    that very root.

    That descriptor is highly offensive to the anti-sex sub-group.

    The metaphor indicates one of small stature, and makes warfare a necessity.

  99. 99
    Baud says:

    @Princess:

    The Issa hearing was the stupidest thing they could do right now.

    “Right now” being the operative words. We still have 9 months of stupidity before the election. I wonder if they won’t run out of people to insult before then.

  100. 100
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @pragmatism:

    Not a problem.

    These are great sites for music history, with tons of podcasts

    http://exploremusic.com/

    http://www.edge.ca/StationShared/OHNM.aspx

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @geg6:

    Now let me start by saying I’m not accusing anyone of sexism or anything, but I see too many men on this thread who simply don’t get how this will play with women, and by extension, their men. You guys can’t really get it, the same way you’ll never really get how every woman is on high alert every time we are alone in public, especially at night or in a dark place or in a place with only a few others around or alone on an elevator with a strange man.

    By the way, a lot of men get it. Even if they don’t feel it as viscerally as you do.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: I should have gone with something reproduces asexually? I stand by my point, though; feelings of insecurity and inadequacy are the key to these assholes’ psyche.

  103. 103
    Martin says:

    @slag:

    I don’t think the two arguments are at all mutually exclusive and that, in fact, one actually follows the other. The characterization of the GOP as a bunch of busybodies with nothing better to do than get up in your bidness isn’t much of a stretch at this point.

    But there’s a difference between “We’re going to insert ourselves into this broad class of medical issues” and “We’re going to rule on this individuals situation”.

    It’s not that they were making an argument for Congress to intervene into end-of-life issues or euthanasia in a broad sense – which you can either interpret as them being moral busybodies or for establishing a standard for the nation, rather you had Congress and the President going to extreme lengths to intervene in one woman’s case, in a way that would impact no other person in the country, or establish any kind of standard for the nation. For that week or so, we had a Congress serving precisely one average individual in a nation of 300 million. I think the other almost 300 million of us found that pretty damn offensive.

  104. 104
    prn65 says:

    I grew up in deepest Reddest Arizona, in a family of Goldwater Republicans, so I know firsthand how delusional and oblivious these kinds of folks can be. But I think a lot of Republican women will be having their own Schiavo moments soon.

    Every Republican woman I’ve known has used birth control. And birth control is not just about carefree sexytime, its often a matter of life and death for many women, even Republican women. In my own family, before contraception was readily and legally available, women died from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. My grandmother was told by her doctor that she would never survive childbirth, and sure enough, she died giving birth to her first child. My other grandmother died “accidently” of an overdose of pain medication for back pain that became unbearable after her sixth child was born, leaving my 13 year old mother in charge of caring for her siblings while my grandfather worked. For my mother, birth control was ALWAYS a top concern – she lectured me about not being a slutty slut, but emphasized that if I couldn’t keep my knees together, at least be sure that I was careful not to get pregnant.

    Even today with the miracles of modern medicine, I know married women who absolutely rely on birth control to keep themselves alive and healthy because they have health conditions that aren’t compatible with pregnancy. They adopt other people’s kids and think that abortion is the worst thing ever, but they’re not going to put their own health and fertility in God’s hands. And I know plenty of women who have had their tubes tied after giving birth to their last child, but would scream bloody murder if they had to pay the bill out of pocket instead of having insurance cover the cost.

    I have a feeling that there are a lot of Republican women right now who are getting just a little bit pissed and more than a little frightened, even if they’re keeping quiet about it

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Canuckistani Tom:

    Congratulations, you look non-threatening. I’m not sure if that makes you feel better or not. :-)

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Or she was a vampire…. People always ignore that possibility for some reason.

  107. 107
    WereBear says:

    @Canuckistani Tom: Good for you! I like sensitive guys.

  108. 108

    I think this is getting missed in the conversation.

  109. 109

    @geg6:

    I just wish more would do the same. Too many men will just never get it. But I have great hope and faith in the male Juicitariat’s empathy.

    It’s been fascinating to watch my girlfriend’s development on this issue as she has learned more about the insanity of Republicans when it comes to women’s reproductive freedom.

    She’s from a very conservative small town in the Midwest with parents who are diehard conservatives but no longer want to be known as Republicans. (I know. Stop laughing.) She just found out for the first time that she can get birth control for free from Planned Parenthood. For months, she refused to believe me when I said that this entire thing was about controlling women’s sexual freedom and that Republicans were gunning for birth control. She couldn’t accept the notion because she thought it was insane.

    “Who would do something so crazy?” That’s what she kept saying.

    Now, she wants to post more articles and links on Facebook to educate her friends, because she realizes they are entirely clueless about this threat.

    You could not be more right in your sentiments. There is a major shift happening in the dialogue right now and we need to keep pushing. People, women specifically, are starting to clue in on the war being waged against them.

    We need to keep them informed.

  110. 110
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I have a friend/colleague, very conservative, staunch Catholic. For 20 years, she and I have played a good-natured “more patriotic than thou” game — which of us votes more frequently in obscure municipal primary run-offs, etc. She loved McCain-Palin in 2008.

    She told me a few weeks ago that she has no use for any of the 2012 GOP candidates, and will not vote in either the Super Tuesday primary or the general election. It’s not quite a flip to an Obama vote, but if she’s staying home — especially in Georgia — I’ll gladly take it.

  111. 111
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SIA:

    Preach it, SIA!

  112. 112
    SIA says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Hey, you! How’s everything in your world?

  113. 113
    Rick Taylor says:

    Jon Stewart:

    “So, I guess for Republicans liberty means liberty for employers; employees can go fuck themselves.”

  114. 114
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    It’s not that they were making an argument for Congress to intervene into end-of-life issues or euthanasia in a broad sense – which you can either interpret as them being moral busybodies or for establishing a standard for the nation, rather you had Congress and the President going to extreme lengths to intervene in one woman’s case, in a way that would impact no other person in the country, or establish any kind of standard for the nation. For that week or so, we had a Congress serving precisely one average individual in a nation of 300 million. I think the other almost 300 million of us found that pretty damn offensive.

    Florida Governor Jeb Bush was one of the prime instigators.

    And it wasn’t Congress “serving” one average individual. They were abusing their authority, choosing sides and intervening in a dispute between a husband and his wife’s family over an intensely personal issue. They disregarded both the law and medical science and sought to substitute their judgement and a misperception of public sentiment against a man who was just trying to help his wife die with dignity.

  115. 115
    WereBear says:

    @Midnight Marauder: She likes Facebook? Maybe she could join One Million Pissed Off Women. I just did!

  116. 116

    A guy named James Poulos over at the Daily Caller wants to know “What Are Women For?”

    Umm …. if you have to ask …

  117. 117
    Faux News says:

    Besides this being good news for John McCain, where is Veritas crowing that this issue will sink Obama.

    Veritas was a pompous douchebag at Fuckedcompany.com. He is an even bigger douchebag here on BJ.

  118. 118
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I think this is far worse than Schiavo because, for better or for worse, the government really can butt into your private life, so Schiavo was an extremely upsetting case of something that could, under different circumstances, be OK. But here the principle is not that a conservative government can butt into your personal life — instead it’s that your conservative _employer_ can butt into your personal life. I don’t care what your politics are, there’s no way you believe that’s appropriate. Throwing in their lot with the “religious liberty” of EMPLOYERS, against employees, makes starkly clear which side Republicans are on. “Job creators” get to pay minimal taxes AND nose around your nether regions? Come the fuck on. It’s reprehensible to women and to anyone who works for another person.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Southern Beale: Since I don’t want to get out of the boat, could you tell me if he is asking what women are in favor of or what is the purpose/function/raison d’etre of women?

  120. 120
    5x5 says:

    @Aet:

    It doesn’t have a major negative impact: 27 percenters are already decided, and undecided voters usually don’t vote on single issues. What it will do is motivate the base

    I’m wrong a lot, but I don’t agree. Many of the 27% are older women who grew up in big families. Their mother was always pregnant. When “Mama got the Pill”, they got freedom. I think they want to protect their granddaughters. They know the difference it made.

    (The Bishops are not popular with Catholics. I don’t think they’ll be persuasive.)

  121. 121
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Brachiator:

    The law of unintended consequences bit the GOP in the butt. And they refuse to learn.

    Well, to be fair, whenever a law of unintended consequences bites me in the butt, I’m way too concerned with making that that LoUC let the hell go of me than I am of, how you say, “learning.”

  122. 122

    @WereBear:

    She likes Facebook? Maybe she could join One Million Pissed Off Women. I just did!

    Thanks for the recommendation. I will definitely pass it along.

    I just find the entire thing fascinating and exciting. Just a few weeks ago, she was adamant that I was talking like a crazy person when I said they want to take away birth control, condoms, and basically any kind of contraceptive. She flat out refused to accept it.

    That was a fortnight ago. If these clowns keep this up for the rest of the year, there is no doubt NANCY SMASH retakes her rightful place as the most powerful legislator in the country.

    We should crush these fools by 15. Easy.

  123. 123
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    You know, that’s actually a problem I’ve had time and again in arguing politics with my friends and family, who obviously don’t spend as much time on this as I do: when I — quite accurately — describe a current Republican position or argument, they actually refuse to believe me because they think I’m exaggerating. That the Republicans couldn’t possibly be as cartoonishly evil as my description of what they’re doing makes them sound.

  124. 124
    Gex says:

    @Brachiator:

    You never know what might push a Republican to say, Enough.

    Simply be kind to a gay person and treat them like they are human beings. They fucking HATE that. They’ll scream “ENOUGH!!!!”

    I hate these assholes with a firey passion. The libertards/fiscal conservatives that have enabled the culture wars for the sake of $50/year tax cuts should consider cutting the Supreme Court, Congress, and Presidency and just install the Pope. Saves money!

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gex:

    and just install the Pope. Saves money!

    Popes are expensive as hell. Shoes alone are going to be nuts.

  126. 126
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    When I—quite accurately—describe a current Republican position or argument, they actually refuse to believe me because they think I’m exaggerating.

    One of the central tenets of Broderism is that Republicans aren’t as bad as they keep telling you they are. Even Republicans refuse to believe in their own spew. A few weeks ago, John McCain mocked G. Steph for asking about birth control in debate #4,732. No one wants to ban birth control, The McCain snorted impatiently, generated IIRC a nodding head from Ace Journamalist John King. That was before all this, but it was long after Rick Santorum’s statement, the MS “personhood” amendment (a version of which has been a statewide referendum in CO at least twice) and the “Huckabee Pledge” that every single Republican candidate has signed.

  127. 127
    Mark S. says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’m not sure the piece makes any sense at all, except the guy doesn’t like abortion. It reads like a college paper where the author hasn’t read the book and is desperately trying to reach the minimum page requirement:

    To the growing discomfort of many, that framework hasn’t come anywhere close to answering even the most basic questions about what women are for — despite pretty much universal recognition across the political spectrum that a civilization of men, for men, and by men is no civilization at all, a monstrously barbaric, bloody, and brutal enterprise. A few inherently meaningful implications about what women are for flow naturally from this wise and enduring consensus, but no faction of conservatives or liberals has figured out how to fully grasp, translate, and reconcile them in the context of our political life.

  128. 128
    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think this is far worse than Schiavo because, for better or for worse, the government really can butt into your private life, so Schiavo was an extremely upsetting case of something that could, under different circumstances, be OK.

    I cannot see the circumstances in which the state governor and the Congress should interfere with a family decision, ignoring the facts and the law and the wishes of the primary people involved.

    I think the Republicans were trying to invoke the Elian Gonzalez case in an oblique way, trying to show liberals how the gummint could jump in and “save” someone. Instead, they were clumsy, bullying fools.

    Worse, the only way that conservatives could support this warped decision was by ignoring facts and reality. This was one of the most egregious situations in which I saw people lie and ignore the facts, refuse to research the issue, and split into an us and them on the Internet and elsewhere in, looking for places where they could reinforce their views, feverishly and stubbornly.

  129. 129
    Downpuppy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Shoes? they haul him around in a damn cart.

    I do get that with no retirement, senile popes have a very short life expectancy. Any betting on who the next one will be?

  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mark S.: Well, that excerpt certainly didn’t make any sense, nor did it inspire me to go read the piece. Holy incoherence, Batman.

  131. 131
    WereBear says:

    @Rafer Janders: That the Republicans couldn’t possibly be as cartoonishly evil as my description of what they’re doing makes them sound.

    Gosh, yes! It makes me sound like the nut.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It’s not quite a flip to an Obama vote, but if she’s staying home—especially in Georgia—I’ll gladly take it.

    A Republican voter who stays home is a win in the Democratic column. I just wish I could get more Democrats to understand that. Republicans know it full well, which is why they spend so much time working to suppress the vote.

  133. 133
    Svensker says:

    @Southern Beale:

    A guy named James Poulos over at the Daily Caller wants to know “What Are Women For?”

    WTF? What is he even talking about? Since when do men get to decide “what are women for?” I have had it with the penis brigade. They are not the boss of me and I don’t want to listen to them posturing about it anymore. Fuck. Off.

  134. 134
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    @WereBear: Don’t occasionally catch yourself doing a mental double take while thinking to yourself, “They could not possibly have meant that,” before realizing they did indeed mean that? I am pretty jaded by the GOP and it still happens to me sometimes.

  135. 135
    JoyfulA says:

    @Brachiator: And the senator-heart surgeon-cat torturer (whose name I can’t recall) diagnosing that Terry Schiavo was fine from a thousand miles away—that’s what got me.

  136. 136
    Svensker says:

    Oh, crap, I said Pen1s in 129. Immoderately.

  137. 137
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Don’t forget the hats. Even the queen is envious.

  138. 138
    CaseyL says:

    I wish we still had some GOP-faithful posting here, because I’m genuinely curious how they see what’s going on.

    Here’s what I most worry about: Uncoupling contraceptive benefits from employer-paid insurance might appeal to women who see having to pay for their own contraceptives as part of the same “self-sufficiency” that opposes government aid of any sort, particularly for “lifestyle” choices and actions.

    This would be right up there with opposing employer-paid insurance covering benefits for AIDS drugs, cancer treatment, and even heart disease: Because people who suffer from those conditions “did it to themselves” by not leading healthy lives.

    What particularly worries me about this attitude is how it might appeal to insurance companies, who would love to be able to stop covering such highly-expensive benefits.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see insurance companies come out in force in favor of the GOP’s “conscience exceptions” that would allow employers to oppose coverage of anything they don’t agree with. It’s a win-win for them: they get the captive market promised by the ACA, and they don’t have to cover anything expensive.

    If the GOP succeeds in this incredibly punitive and outright stupid destruction of healthcare coverage, we will see mortality rates skyrocket, American life expectancy drop by decades, and US medical research in major diseases essentially cease.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The late Queen Mother would have been on better footing in a hat competition with the Pope.

  140. 140
    PGfan says:

    Jonathan Bernstein at the plum-line had linked to an article on AlterNet, which linked to this article: http://www.thestranger.com/sea.....d=12587024 which discusses (among other things) the fact that Catholics who put money in the collection plate have no idea that their donations are being diverted to anti-gay activities – which is significant enough. But even more significant to me is that the author states that the bulk of monies used by Catholic hospitals and other catholic “charitable” orgs to run their institutions come from contracts with Fed and State governments for the provision of “safety-net” services.

    As this whole contraceptive thing has been going down I’ve read a lot of Catholic apologists basically saying that, while they deplore the pedophilia and cover-ups and they can’t defend the church’s misogyny, they remain Catholic because of all those “good works”. (Both E.J. Dionne and Joan Walsh discussed this, among many.) And “good works” are wonderful, certainly. But if the church is simply fulfilling contracts, paid by our tax dollars, then they are no more “moral” or “charitable” than any other hospital or org. And, instead of writing laws to give them special exemptions, why don’t we just stop giving them the contracts and give the contracts to orgs that don’t hate women and can abide with the law without having the vapors all over the rest of us? AND (and this is unforgivable), allying themselves with really despicable right wing operatives and orgs? (I am a lapsed Catholic, btw.)

  141. 141

    @JoyfulA: Frist. Probably taking in easy on wingnut welfare as we speak.

    No wonder they never learn anything. Their world is rigged so that no matter how much they screw up; it doesn’t matter.

  142. 142
    Shalimar says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He is apparently asking what the purpose of women is, though the whole thing makes no sense at all. I hope his mom disowns him for being an ungrateful moron.

  143. 143
    satby says:

    The birth control follies is bad enough, but we need to HAMMER the attempts by the GOP to allow employers not to cover anything “morally objectionable” to them to our less attentive friends and neighbors.

    Got type 2 diabetes? High blood pressure? Well, I as an employer think that you should improve your diet and quit using salt: no need for fancy, shmancy diagnostic tests and prescriptions.

  144. 144
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Shalimar: I am sure he thinks that one of their purposes is cutting off the crusts on his PB&J sammich.

  145. 145
    Some Guy says:

    @Southern Beale: I read that column. Jesus. It is a classic bit of “both sides are the same” to deflect from the hot steaming mess of Republicans deciding to dial it back to pre-Margaret Sanger politics. What is worse is that when the author turns to what is so problematic on the left he just flops around on issues, trying to sound complicated and thoughtful all the while delivering nothing more than a lengthy, awkward “not everyone on the left thinks the same thing.” Fucking duh you stupid flack. But NO faction on the left is advocating a massive reduction in personal freedom behind the tiny pixelated icon of a fig leaf of “religious persecution.”

    Slack-jawed troglodyte with a thesaurus.

  146. 146
    JoyfulA says:

    @WereBear (itouch): Thank you! How could I forget good ole Bill Frist, who was supposedly going to be a presidential contender?

    But I don’t think he needs wingnut welfare. Doesn’t his family own one of the big for-profit hospital chains?

  147. 147
    JR says:

    My Mom was diagnosed with emphysema due to Pall Malls, and her Dr. told her that if she didn’t stop smoking she wouldn’t see another spring. That finally did it, but too late.

    She had COPD, and at one point her Dr. told us she may have 9 months or less. But she, who had voted Republican in every election since she was 21, knew that the new R’s were bound and determined to stop abortion as a woman’s right.

    She stayed alive to vote against the republican candidate in two presidential elections – five extra years! Almost enough to thank Bob Dole… almost. She said “Don’t tell your Dad!” but he mailed her absentee ballot after she was done marking it.

    I believe, though she never said it in so many words, that a good friend/relative of hers died from a botched abortion, back in the 1940s or thereabouts. And once they were legal, she was never going to go back, no matter what. And that rage against republican right-wing religion kept her going 5 years past when her Dr told us she could possibly last.

    Even living at 2600 feet above sea level! where oxygen is scarce compared to Florida, where she was diagnosed the first time. I’m very proud of my Mom for her steadfastness adherence to her beliefs, which were for freedom, in every case.

  148. 148
    JoyfulA says:

    @JR: Good for your Mom! Were she still with us—

  149. 149
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator: I was thinking of things like how if you beat or starve your children you run the risk of losing them, and you don’t get to say that it’s just part of your belief system so the government had better butt out. I can imagine other cases where the law trumps the wishes of the family. But I can’t imagine anyone feeling like it was the _employer’s_ call that should carry the day over the interests of the employee and her family.

  150. 150
    Suffern ACE says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Maybe Mr.Shiavo’s employer would have made the decision easier for him.

  151. 151
    Groucho48 says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    And that’s ALL they can frack.

  152. 152
    PanurgeATL says:

    @BGinCHI:

    WHAT did conservatives conserve?

    Crewcuts and suits. Mindspace is everything.

  153. 153
    serena1313 says:

    When Republicans joined ranks in an effort to stop Terry Schiavo’s husband from removing her feeding tubes it was despicable political grandstanding. But the contraception issue is quite different and it is something that men & women in particular do care about. It is personal. It will cost Republicans votes.

    First of all the Republican’s feeble attempt to obfuscate the issue by calling the administration’s directive an attack on religious freedom ‘motivated by animus toward the Catholic Church’ failed. Anyone who is paying attention, even the lest observant, can see that President Obama’s broader interest in giving women access to free birth control & reproductive healthcare services’ through their insurance regardless who they work for is about women’s freedom, not religious persecution.

    Yet under the guise of religious freedom, Republicans have already written & introduced legislation that allow all employers to deny female employees access to contraception in their healthcare plans notwithstanding protestations to the contrary is by definition a calculated assault on women’s rights. Only the willfully blind refuse to see this has absolutely nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with women’s freedom to decide if she wants to start a family and to control when that will be.

    Political grandstanding is 1 thing, denying women their rights by limiting access to contraception & preventive healthcare is quite another. It is personal. No doubt it will cost the Republicans a major portion of women voters.

  154. 154
    Evolving Deep Southerner (tense changed for accuracy) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: That, my friend, was a fucking awesome summation of the matter at hand. Thank you. You’ve just articulated the thing that I was reaching for in my thinking. Got right to the proverbial nuts of it.

  155. 155
    Billy Beane says:

    Totally unrelated but check out the Republican hate of ……Republicans on this Volt enthusiast forum. I didn’t realize there were still reasonable Rebublicans still around.
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showt.....Conspiracy

  156. 156
    kindness says:

    Late to the party…wtf man, I would call this post a concern troll level post.

    My opinion on the contraception coverage issue for churches is that it will have no political effect. I think it’s too complicated and most people just don’t care.

    Do you really feel that way or are you just trying to punk us? If you really do feel that way, I feel sorry for you. You seem to have missed the polling which has consistently shown all women (and many men) don’t like anyone limiting their birth control practices and do care about it. That includes Republicans and Christians.

  157. 157
    brantl says:

    How many of you haven’t noticed that these tone-deaf peckerwoods just can’t get a grip on that which the US citizenry is actually concerned about? Every working man/woman is just that much more hard up for money, (if they have a job, and nearly 1 in 10 don’t nationwide) and why shouldn’t they have more avoidable kids? BONUS!

  158. 158
    brantl says:

    How many of you haven’t noticed that these tone-deaf peckerwoods just can’t get a grip on that which the US citizenry is actually concerned about? Every working man/woman is just that much more hard up for money, (if they have a job, and nearly 1 in 10 don’t nationwide) and why shouldn’t they have more avoidable kids? BONUS!

  159. 159

    […] don’t know what’s happening but I’m reading one appalling article after another today: The reason Schiavo hurt Republicans was probably not so much because the public agreed with the […]

  160. 160
    Mickey says:

    You’d think that’s the kind of issue everybody would be responsible for themselves. But noooo…

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