We may have to outsource this question to Detroit

Something really wonderful happened in Detroit last week. Mitt Romney, who has been lying about the auto bailout since 2010, was finally, finally called on it.

The word “lie” was used. The words “reckless, detached from reality and dishonest” were used. It was a beautiful thing. I don’t know if this has ever happened to Mitt Romney before in his entire career. They really knocked the stuffing out of him in Detroit.

Unfortunately there is no local or state media outlet to clearly outline the Republican position on birth control as that’s a national/DC issue, so we’re going to have to try piece it together ourselves. Looking into this a little deeper it seems to me, like with the auto bailout, Republicans are not being straight with us on birth control.

There was the Komen fiasco and there was the launch of the bishops’ campaign, but before all that there was Title X.

This is Title X:

Over the past 40 years, Title X Family Planning clinics have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of family planning and related preventive health services for millions of low-income or uninsured individuals. In addition to contraceptive services and related counseling, Title X-supported clinics provide a number of related preventive health services such as: patient education and counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening according to nationally recognized standards of care; sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. By law, Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.
The Title X program also supports three key functions, authorized under the Title X statute aimed at improving the quality of family planning services and assisting clinics with responding to client needs. These functions include: (1) training for family planning clinic personnel through ten regional general training programs and three national training programs that focus on clinical training, enhancing quality family planning services for males, and/or coordination of training activities on the national level; (2) data collection and family planning research aimed at improving the delivery of family planning services; and, (3) information dissemination and community based education and outreach activities. These functions help to ensure that family planning services are evidence-based and of high quality.
The Title X family planning program is intended to assist individuals in determining the number and spacing of their children. This promotes positive birth outcomes and healthy families. The education, counseling, and medical services available in Title X-funded clinic settings assist in achieving these goals.

And this is Title X (pdf):

Each year, the Title X program provides millions of women – regardless of age, income, or marital status – with family-planning and other reproductive-health services. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all U.S. counties have at least one Title X-funded clinic.Each year, more than five million women and men obtain services in almost 4,400 Title X-funded clinics.One in five women obtaining family-planning services depends on a clinic funded at least partially by Title X; for more than eight in 10 of these women, a Title X clinic is their sole source of family-planning services. Most of the women obtaining Title X services are young, poor, and have never given birth. The Title X program provides a particularly important source of affordable health care for women of color, who disproportionately work in low-wage jobs that do not offer health benefits. Nineteen percent of all Title X clients are black and 23 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino,although blacks make up 13 percent and Hispanics/Latinos make up 14 percent of the population. Almost 80 percent of all Title X clients are under the age of 30. Title X is particularly important to low-income women who do not qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is the nation’s largest single funder of family-planning services. However, Medicaid generally limits eligibility to very poor women who are single, have a child (or are pregnant), and meet other stringent requirements. Title X provides services to a broader array of women: women with income under 100 percent of the federal poverty level must receive entirely subsidized services; women with income 101 to 250 percent of poverty are charged on a sliding scale; and women with income over 250 percent of poverty are charged full fees.

This is Mitt Romney on Title X, in November of 2011:

•Eliminate Title X family planning programs benefiting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.

Note the date. Mitt Romney promised to gut Title X funding well prior to the Komen fiasco and well prior to the launch of the political campaign by the bishops. This is Mitt Romney, so presumably he’s just beating up on low income women here because he thinks it’ll give him half a point in whatever state he’s standing in, but cutting funding to Title X is what he says he’ll do, and Title X (of course) is partly about access to birth control. Title X was bipartisan, at one time:

Title X was approved in 1970, championed on the Hill by former President and then-Congressman George H.W. Bush and signed into law by Richard Nixon.
“We need to make population and family planning household words.” Bush said in 1969 when the legislation was being debated. “We need to take sensationalism out of this topic so that it can no longer be used by militants who have no real knowledge of the voluntary nature of the program but, rather are using it as a political steppingstone. If family planning is anything, it is a public health matter.”

You tell ’em, Poppy Bush!

Like the conservatives who took over the board at Komen, Romney doesn’t care that 5 million poor women currently rely on Title X funding for medical care, the ideological objective (destroying Planned Parenthood) is more important than basic health care for 5 million women. Title X is Komen on steroids.

This is the GOP House on Title X and this is President Obama’s response to the Republican attempt to gut Title X funding:

But when Boehner later asked for the elimination of funds for Title X — spending for women’s health and family planning organizations that also provide abortion services, the aide said the president flatly refused.
The president replied, “Nope. Zero.”
Boehner continued to push to discuss the funds, the aide recalled.
The President repeated: “Nope. Zero.”

Mitt Romney vows to defund Title X. True. Republicans in Congress tried to defund Title X. True. This is not conjecture or an accusation on my part. Romney wrote what he wrote and the GOP House did what they did. After Romney vowed to defund Title X and after the GOP House tried to defund Title X, Komen happened and the bishops launched their campaign.

So. Where are Republicans on birth control? Where are Republicans on Title X funding? Are they opposed to funding Title X because they are opposed to access to family planning? Are they opposed to funding Title X because their ideological objectives are more important than basic health care for 5 million women? Given the Komen situation and then the campaign by certain religious leaders, maybe someone could revisit the Title X funding battle and ask John Boehner and Mitt Romney what it is they object to about family planning. If opposition to access to birth control is now a mainstream position in the Republican Party, women need to know that. If Republicans are using 5 million women as pawns in an ideological battle or to pander to their base, women need to know that.

Maybe we could contact someone in Detroit and see if they’ll ask the question for us?

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90 replies
  1. 1
    Nicole says:

    The GOP rationale on cutting funding for Title X is the same as for all programs that aid the poor- government funding is not necessary because we can count on the gap left being filled by private charity, specifically religious organizations.

    Oh. Wait…

  2. 2
    Ked says:

    Dude, that’s a Newsmax link. No thanks.

    Which is a shame, since I really wanted to read about Mittens getting called on the bailout asininity. Got any other sources?

  3. 3
    Rick Taylor says:

    I was really not expecting this election to become a controversy about forcing innocent insurance companies to supply reproductive and prenatal health care. What’s next? School lunches?

  4. 4
    kay says:

    @Nicole:

    Each year, more than five million women and men obtain services in almost 4,400 Title X-funded clinics.One in five women obtaining family-planning services depends on a clinic funded at least partially by Title X; for more than eight in 10 of these women, a Title X clinic is their sole source of family-planning services.

    That’s a lot of people.

  5. 5
    kay says:

    @Ked:

    No, there were too many to link individually.

    You’re just going to have to dive in :)

  6. 6
    gene108 says:

    I don’t get the “War on Contraception”.

    Do these people think we’re living in the 1950’s, when public acknowledgement of sex outside of marriage was taboo?

    With the divorce rates for conservatives being no different than the general populous, adult conservatives are fornicating with non-spousal partners as they look to figure out what went wrong with their ex’s.

    I just don’t get, why Republicans think this will win people over. At some point, you just have to tell the crazy people to STFU.

  7. 7
    Nicole says:

    @kay: Well, it’s only the good, Christian (i.e., white) ones the GOP is concerned about, so that reduces the number somewhat.

  8. 8
    kay says:

    @gene108:

    I think there’s a lot to it. It really starts to look like a coordinated campaign.

    Oh, and Matelin is WILDLY defensive on it, so that’s a tip-off. I heard her on the radio when she was asked about Title X and she went crazy, just incoherent screeching about “feminists”.

    When female GOP hacks get that defensive, I get interested :)

  9. 9
    jrg says:

    I guess they’re going with the old “Jeebus told me to tell you not to fuck” plan for health services. Brilliant. No way that will fail.

    Besides, when it does, it’ll be Elvis’ MTV’s Murphy Brown’s Lady Gaga’s fault.

  10. 10
    Nicole says:

    @gene108: I think, for the GOP, it’s the same as the war on abortion- it’s a way to rile up the evangelical base. They’re not concerned about the effects actual restrictions would have on the general population, because they themselves, having a certain amount of disposable income, will never be affected. If you have money, you can get what you need/want, legal or not.

    Except sleep. That’s the one interesting thing Bill Maher said on last Friday’s show. When you’re rich, you can easily get anything you want, except sleep.

  11. 11
    nellcote says:

    When you’re rich, you can easily get anything you want, except sleep.

    That’s why god invented drugs.

  12. 12
    gene108 says:

    @kay:

    I agree its coordinated, but I don’t get why contraception would be their winning social poutrage of the moment.

    Access to contraception has been pretty common place for a couple of generations.

    Pre-marital sex is generally accepted. I don’t mean teenagers going at it either. I’m talking about adults in their 20’s and 30’s hooking up.

    Being against contraception just seems like a losing stance to take on the issue.

    I don’t get why they are wasting resources on this. These aren’t stupid people, with regards to running this sort of campaign.

    I wonder what I’m missing.

    Even right-wingers get divorced and have relationships, as adults, outside of marriage, where they fornicate with their partners. They’d be potentially effected by anti-contraception laws and would probably not turn out to support candidates, who are against contraception. Unlike something like turning out to strike down gay marriage, where they aren’t effected.

    This really seems to go against so many groups in society, I don’t get what they hope to gain.

  13. 13
    Mike in NC says:

    Mitt Romney, who has been lying about the auto bailout since 2010, was finally, finally called on it.

    Willard’s latest brilliant bit of strategy is a full-bore attack on all labor unions. How will that play in the Midwest?

  14. 14

    So, we can expect Mittens to scoff at the moderator who asks about banning contraception in light of MS and particularly VA? There is another debate, isn’t there?

  15. 15
    chopper says:

    @Nicole:

    thing is, attacking contraception doesn’t exactly rile up the protestants. shit, it doesn’t even rile up the catholics except for the dudes in nightgowns.

    abortion and gay marriage are solid red meat right off the bone. contraception, that shit’s chum in comparison.

  16. 16
    Jennifer says:

    More to the point, why is it that everyone focuses on contraception and premarital sex? I think it’s a good bet that the majority of women using contraception are married. Just one of the facts that makes that asshole Friess’ “joke” about holding an aspirin between your knees so disgusting. One wonders how he would have felt about a marriage in which his wife consented to sex only when they had determined they’d like to have a child.

    Attacking access to contraception isn’t just a women’s issue. There are millions of men out there who also don’t want 10 or 12 kids.

  17. 17
    gene108 says:

    @Nicole:

    Even Evangelicals use birth-control. Evangelicals also get divorced and then start dating again as adults.

    Only very conservative people, like Santorum, would openly say they don’t use birth control.

    I can understand wanting to fire up the evangelicals, but this also directly effects many evangelicals.

    Abortion doesn’t as much, because people will decide to keep a child out of wedlock, if the birth control fails or put the child up for adoption. There are plausible alternatives for the sexually active right-winger to take to avoid an abortion.

    There isn’t much of an alternative to take to be sexually active and not keep getting pregnant, other than full access to birth control.

  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    You tell ‘em, Poppy Bush!

    I knew all along those damn Bushes were lieberals, despite being born-and-bred Texans.

    /wingnut

  19. 19
    kay says:

    @gene108:

    I agree its coordinated, but I don’t get why contraception would be their winning social poutrage of the moment.

    I think in terms of motive, the answer is “all of the above”. Do I think John Boehner opposes birth control? No. Do I think John Boehner is completely controlled by the lunatics in his Party? Yes. Or it would never have gotten to Obama.

    For me, it doesn’t matter. What are they doing? That’s what I’m asking. What are they doing with current policy and practice? Forget the health care bill. Title X EXISTS, now, and they’re defunding it. 5 million women. Now. Today.

    I don’t know that they can control this anymore. I don’t know that I would make the assumption that this is a careful plan. I think the fringe runs that Party.

  20. 20
    kay says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Willard’s latest brilliant bit of strategy is a full-bore attack on all labor unions. How will that play in the Midwest?

    I’m just going to ask this: what happens to Mitt Romney’s campaign funding if he stops attacking unions? Destroying unions is a tier one issue for the people who are giving all that money to Romney.

    Are we sure that Mitt Romney is running Mitt Romney’s campaign? I’m not.

  21. 21

    @gene108:

    I wonder what I’m missing.

    Me, too.

    Is this really a question as to whether we will have a secular government?

  22. 22
    Equs_personus says:

    Newsmax, how boggling. In a moment of weakness I thought they had a byte of sanity, but more likely it;s because Anybody But Romney “Would you by a Nash from this man?’

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @gene108:

    I just don’t get, why Republicans think this will win people over. At some point, you just have to tell the crazy people to STFU.

    That’s hard when the crazy people are running the show. There is no longer any real distinction between the party apparatus and the crazies; they overlap enough that telling the crazies to shut up would destroy the party.

  24. 24
    kay says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Romney was asked. He was asked about the SCOTUS case that guarantees access to birth control for married couples in a debate.

    He lied and said he wasn’t familiar with the case (Romney has a JD from Harvard) and then he dodged, and said no state was going to outlaw birth control.

    He hasn’t answered the question.

  25. 25
    Nicole says:

    @nellcote:

    That’s why god invented drugs.

    That was exactly the point he was trying to make- that drugs are not an “easy” way to get sleep, as the assorted celebrity deaths from unintentional overdose on prescription drugs indicate.

  26. 26

    @Ked:

    Dude, that’s a Newsmax link. No thanks.

    Here’s another.

    Incidentally, this brings to mind Fred Kaplan’s comment about Romney’s column on New START a little while back: “In 35 years of following debates over nuclear arms control, I have never seen anything quite as shabby, misleading and—let’s not mince words—thoroughly ignorant as Mitt Romney’s attack on the New START treaty in the July 6 Washington Post.”

    I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a cynical campaign.

  27. 27
    Jennifer says:

    And I’ll repeat what I said in a dying thread yesterday – I wrote to Kathleen Sebelius, asking if they couldn’t formulate an ACA rule that says non-necessary medical procedures mandated by state law cannot be billed to patients, insurers, or Medicaid/Medicare.

    The transvaginal sonogram procedure about to become law in Virginia costs on average $200. Insurers are not going to pay for it, because it’s a non-necessary procedure. That’s part of the tactic here – to make the sluts pay more. A lot of women don’t have health insurance and quite a few more don’t have insurance that will cover an abortion, so they already have to come up with ~ $500 for the procedure – now the assholes in the Virginia lege want to increase the cost by another 50%, probably in the hope that it will price the procedure out of reach for a lot of women.

    If they weren’t allowed to pass the costs on to someone else, they’d be in a position of having to raise taxes on their teabagging constituents in order to pass these slut-punishing measures. What a dilemma! Not to mention that in effect, they’d then be helping to fund abortions, by forcing the state to pay for a mandated procedure they’ve decided must be performed before an abortion can be performed.

    Which is why I wrote to the Secretary. It seems that since holding down costs is one goal of ACA, and that since not performing unneeded procedures is one way to hold down costs, they should be able to formulate a rule that tells states, “pass whatever you like, but if it’s not medically necessary, you can pay for it yourselves.”

    If you want to write to her, the email is kathleen.sebelius@hhs.gov.

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    @gene108:

    Even right-wingers get divorced and have relationships, as adults, outside of marriage, where they fornicate with their partners. They’d be potentially effected by anti-contraception laws and would probably not turn out to support candidates, who are against contraception. Unlike something like turning out to strike down gay marriage, where they aren’t effected.

    Sure, but they’re well enough off to pay for this stuff out of pocket. That’s why they’re focusing on cutting off funding for programs that benefit poor people. It proves their bonafides without hurting themselves or their target audience much at all.

  29. 29
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Rick Taylor: Yes; the government has no business providing lunch to poor students. It’s not in the Constitution or something like that.

  30. 30
    jrg says:

    @Jennifer:

    More to the point, why is it that everyone focuses on contraception and premarital sex? I think it’s a good bet that the majority of women using contraception are married. Just one of the facts that makes that asshole Friess’ “joke” about holding an aspirin between your knees so disgusting.

    Yeah, that’s what amazed me about it the most. That moron basically called every married woman in the country on birth control a slut. Truly astounding.

  31. 31
    amk says:

    where the fuck are the condom companies on this ? pahdon the pun. Shouldn’t they out there with pushback ads against this nonsense in their own self-interest instead of their usual naked gals ads ?

  32. 32
    PurpleGirl says:

    @gene108:

    Do these people think we’re living in the 1950’s, when public acknowledgement of sex outside of marriage was taboo?

    They want to be living in the 1950s. They want to keep their privileged status from the 1950s, even if they weren’t very well off, they still knew they had people below them.

  33. 33
    kay says:

    @jrg:

    I cannot imagine the reaction from the Right if a prominent backer of Obama had mentioned women/sex, or their legs, or anything even remotely in that ballpark.

    Obama would have to give a speech. They’d scream and yell until he gave a speech on treating women as human beings.

  34. 34
    Rick Taylor says:

    Santorum is now taking the line when challenged that he doesn’t oppose birth control or prenatal care, but he just doesn’t think insurance companies should be “forced” to do anything. It’s a matter of freedom.

    Someone should really ask him if insurance companies should be forced to supply insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, or if they should be forced to cover peoples’ children.

  35. 35
    jrg says:

    @kay: Lipstick on a pig. QED.

  36. 36
    Bmaccnm says:

    I work in a Title X clinic in a county that has been ravaged economically by the closure of paper and plywood mills. More than a 3rd of the county’s economic base has disappeared in the last five years. The paper mill moved to another country, by the way. My client base has changed from 80%-90% teenaged women to 30%40% teenagers and the rest married women who always say”I never thought I would come hear, but we lost our insurance when the mill closed and the last thing in the world we need is another baby. We’re just holding on.” While I understand the talk about preventing unwanted births to teenagers, I don’t think we should allow the right to frame this as a sluts-vs-us argument. My clients ARE US. They are everyone of us if we lose our fragile hold on decent work for decent wages- which is what the 1% want for us. Make no mistake- they want us all poor, uneducated, and perpetually pregnant.

  37. 37
    Jennifer says:

    @Rick Taylor: I suspect that Santorum believes that insurance companies shouldn’t be “forced” to provide any service whatsoever in return for the premiums they collect.

  38. 38
    Nicole says:

    @chopper:

    thing is, attacking contraception doesn’t exactly rile up the protestants. shit, it doesn’t even rile up the catholics except for the dudes in nightgowns.

    Except that the way the argument is being framed, certain forms of birth control ARE abortion, due to the hypothetical possibility that they could stop a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb.

    Of course, those forms of birth control would be the ones that women control entirely on their own- the Pill, the IUD.

    And the whole “life begins at conception” depends on choosing to ignore the medical definition of “conception” which is implantation, and redefining it to mean fertilization.

    Because the main intention is to link with abortion any birth control that is entirely under the control of the woman. And those are the forms of birth control most likely to be affected. I’m not aware of anyone getting their condoms via health insurance.

    I’m basing this entirely on anecdotal experience with evangelical friends, of course, and I do think it’s a loser for the GOP, but as their base is being reduced to the wealthy and the very devout, I see why they’re doubling down on it. The wealthy won’t be affected, and the devout have been convinced that the Pill murders babies.

    Of course, point out that up to half of fertilized eggs never implant, regardless of birth control, so God must therefore be murdering half of the babies “conceived” every year, and they shrug and say, “God works in mysterious ways.” And then you end up with a bruise from slamming your head against a wall.

  39. 39
    PurpleGirl says:

    @gene108: Griswold, the court case that made contraception legal involved a MARRIED couple. And it’s from the late 1960s. Even though Planned Parenthood has been around for nearly a century, in many states it’s been illegal.

  40. 40
    Soonergrunt says:

    Perhaps he should be asked just how he pays for care for his daughter, Bella. The one that’s dying. Because it’s for damn sure that his insurance won’t cover care for dying children who can never become paying customers unless they are being forced to do so.

  41. 41
    Jennifer says:

    @Bmaccnm: When workers outnumber available jobs, it’s a big win for corporations and the people who own them. I suspect that’s part of the reason for this sudden desire to force people to have more babies. Hell, maybe it’s happening now because OWS scared the shit out of them.

  42. 42
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Title X exists because the US doesn’t have a proper public healthcare system. Planned Parenthood provides the services it does because the US doesn’t have a proper public healthcare system. Etc.

    So, GOP: you can shut down Planned Parenthood and end funding for Title X by supporting… a proper public healthcare system. Easy.

    (Bringing together the threads: I’d like people to call out Icky Ricky on the fact that he simultaneously talks about European social mobility while condemning Europe’s public healthcare provision, which, of course, is one reason for greater social mobility.)

  43. 43
    satch says:

    These issues are winners for Dems and Obama only to the extent that they are willing to step up, grab the issues, and attack the Pugs over and over on them till they’re screaming for their mommies. Dems cannot rely on the “intelligence” of undecideds or swing voters, or trust that these voters will automatically see the rightness of the progressive position. Obama and the Dems need to really sell it, or the Pugs and their Wurlitzer will turn these issues into “freedom of conscience” issues, at which point, we will have lost.

  44. 44
    efgoldman says:

    @gene108:

    These aren’t stupid people, with regards to running this sort of campaign.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.
    Remember all the “epistemic closure” articles and threads around the last two elections? Well, this is where it leads. The loop closes and then contracts, until only the truest of true believers (spelled “n-u-t-c-a-k-e-s”) have their influence and ideas escape. Its like a black hole of ideas. Can you imagine Senator Savonarola as a credible presidential candidate of a major party, in any previous election?

  45. 45
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Jennifer:

    I suspect that too. I’d just like him (and other Republicans) to be forced to say it. Should children who’s family’s are unable to get health insurance for them go without? Should people with pre-existing conditions fend for themselves? Conservatives keep getting to frame the questions (should church’s be forced to even indirectly support services they object to?), but I believe what Democrats have achieved would be popular if it were defended.

    Edit: What satch said

  46. 46
    Bmaccnm says:

    @Rick Taylor: Didn’t he already say he didn’t think insurance companies should be forced to cover sick children “While their parents are buying $900 IPads” or some such shit? Or did I get that mixed up with some other frothy surge? See my comment in a previous thread concerning standard of care and contracts for money. I think Santorum is working out his bizarre guilty conscience. His wife had premarital sex, so all those sluts should be punished. His wife had a 3rd trimester abortion, so no one else should, because Ricky had bad feelings. His kids went to private schools on the public dime, so public education is an anachronism. His kid with a fatal chromosomal anomaly is dying at home while he is out speechifying, and he has very mixed feelings about this. Thus, no one else should know that their kid had a potentially fatal chromosomal anomaly. The guys a tortured mess. That’s why there’s therapy. He should be in therapy, not in primaries.

  47. 47
    amk says:

    He should be in therapy mental asylum, not in primaries.

    /fix’d

  48. 48
    Tokyo ex-pat says:

    Thanks Kay for another awesome post.

    I am watching this circus in the US and am appalled. I thought women won these wars decades ago. It was all about shattering the glass ceiling three years ago for the highest office. Now we’re back to birth control. Really?

    Democrats need to target women from all walks of life w/ some hard-hitting ads on what is at stake. Wake them up if they aren’t already and get them to the polls. And shake up the sane men as well.

    The GOP has fallen off a cliff. This is not a winning issue. We need a rational second party. How long before we get one?

  49. 49
  50. 50
    WaterGirl says:

    In The Bishops make their move, dengre laid out his reasoning on why all this, why now. I think he’s right, and it scares the crap out of me. Here’s an excerpt from his thread, but you should read the whole thing:

    For anybody who has looked at the history of the Catholic Church (and any organized religion for that matter) a key part of their activities over time becomes how to maintain power, privilege and influence—and all the goodies that come with it. Eventually that is all that matters for the institution. The greatest success in this effort always comes when political leaders bow to the dictates of the Holy Roman Church and agree to make State Law subservient to Church Law. Back in the days of Kings and Queens you only had a handful of elites you had to work with and the mutual pursuit of power inspired many of them to treat Church Law as State Law. It worked for a long while and then came the Reformation, Protestantism, King Henry, the Enlightenment, Democracy and eventually a desire by more and more people to make their laws free of religion and the dictates of any Church.
    __
    The United States of America was founded on the belief that Church and State are separate and that the Laws of this Nation trump the laws of any religion—including the Roman Catholic Church. As you can imagine, this has made the conservative wing of the Catholic Church quite sad. For over a century they have been on the losing end of many political fights—especially when it comes to women in America. The Church opposed suffrage for women and any effort over the years that might free women from the Church sanctioned role of breeder. The Church has fought every form of contraception and lost most battles. They also have lost the battle of finding any American politician who was willing to embrace the idea that US Law should be subservient to Church Law—until now.
    __
    In the 2012 Republican race there are two Catholics running for the GOP Nomination and both have rejected the JFK formulation that US Laws and the Constitution trump the laws and dictates of the Catholic Church. Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have signaled they will follow the orders they are given by the Bishops, but Santorum is the one the Bishops are fighting for and that is why they are doubling down on the Contraception flap.
    __
    If the Republican Primary is a campaign over the economy or even hatred of President Obama, then the endpoint will be a Mitt Romney victory. The only way to shake things up is to have the Republican base focus on something else.
    __
    Newt has placed his bet on neo-Confederate racist dog-whistling and an appeal to white-victimization. It is a smart play, especially with so many Southern primaries coming up and the 40-year old Dixiecrat takeover of the GOP. And while all Republican candidates are working hard to play this card, Newt is something of a Ninja master of the politics of resentment and race baiting. The downside for Newt is that Mitt proved in Florida that money and negative ads could block and distort Newt’s message. Barring a third rise from the ashes (which is still possible for Newt), Mittens has learned how to neutralize the Professor.
    __
    Santorum is a different problem for Romney. His shtick is firmly rooted the Culture Wars of wingnutopia. If the conversation of the GOP Primary shifts to the Culture Wars Santorum will surge—especially if the focus of the culture wars is on sex and bodily functions. This is Rick’s sweet spot and the Bishops have decided to double down on their Grail to end the existence of contraception as a way to help move the Republican Primary to topics that will help Santorum win the nomination. If the main topic in the Michigan Primary is the Culture War and the Bishops are sending out Sunday letters, Santorum will surge all over that State. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is working to drive the GOP Primary debate to issues that will help Santorum beat Romney. And all they ask in return is that Rick agrees to bow to the dictates of the Holy Roman Church and place Church Law above US Federal Law and the Constitution. It is a request that Santorum will fulfill.
    __
    Supporting a Santorum surge is an opportunity for power and that is why the Bishops are doubling down on opposing any insurance company offering any contraception or family planning services to anybody, anywhere. Ultimately the entire issue is about power and not about sex.

  51. 51
    Bmaccnm says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Yes on this. I’ll be out of a job after the ACA is fully implemented. I am so fine with this idea, because I spent all day last Thursday trying to find a surgeon who would see a 59 year old woman with invasive ductal carcinoma of the left breast, no insurance, and a full-time minimum wage job that puts her out of qualification for OHP (Oregon Health Plan). Bring it on, people.

  52. 52
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    It’s all the wingers have left if the economy improves. And it is grabbing a tigress by the tail that will not end well for them. The target is the ACA, and the wingnuts see that as existential to their political future, as well as their basic ideology. And if some XX types become collateral damage, so be it.

    It was squaring the New Deal circle they had turned back for decades, the big golden goose, Health Care. Made as many millionaires as anything, except maybe the past ten years where Wall Street dwarfed every kind of profiteering.

    And for those who don’t quite believe what we are seeing is being at least loosely coordinated and collaborated on, as a general conspiracy to turn back the clock, well beyond the union assault in the upper mid west. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    There are several court cases at the appellate level concerning the constitutionality of the voting rights act, for southern and southwest states to get out from under the yolk of the US DOJ for making changes in their voting laws.

    An intensifying conservative legal assault on the Voting Rights Act could precipitate what many civil rights advocates regard as the nuclear option: a court ruling striking down one of the core elements of the landmark 1965 law guaranteeing African Americans and other minorities access to the ballot box.

    At the same time, the view that states should have free rein to change their election laws even in places with a history of Jim Crow seems to be gaining traction within the Republican Party.

    We should fairly soon see if the SCOTUS is all in to wipe away 70 years of progressive legislation, or at least make it vulnerable, when they rule on the ACA. If they down it, then will come the VRA, and likely other prog laws. If they knock that down too, the likely hood of civil war goes up a fair amount. And I don’t mean skirmish lines like with the GCW. But the red states and especially those in the deep south are going to feel emboldened by a new friendly Dred Scott court and small and large rebellions of these states will begin. Violence, probably, some. Full blown civil war, probably not. But increasing civil strife that no one knows where things will go. I’ll let Che mclaren fill in the details, if he is lucid.

    Listen to the wingnuts rhetoric, candidates and politicians, to pundits. It is rife with subliminal messaging of we won’t let this shit happen much longer. And “shit” meaning over run by liberal philosophy. They are serious. I do predict a happy ending though. So there is that.

    and sorry, Kay. I know you don’t like doomsday scenarios, but I am feeling dytopic tonight and must share.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    please free my last comment for mod. thanks

  54. 54
    PurpleGirl says:

    Another point about why it’s important to attack Griswold: Griswold is the case that is used to create a right to privacy. And you need privacy to allow abortion, especially if you want to call it a decision between a woman and her doctor (or anyone else she wants to discuss it with).

  55. 55
    Nicole says:

    @Jennifer: Done. Thanks for the email link.

  56. 56
    General Stuck says:

    It’s all the wingers have left if the economy improves. And it is grabbing a tigress by the tail that will not end well for them. The target is the ACA, and the wingnuts see that as existential to their political future, as well as their basic ideology. And if some XX types become collateral damage, so be it.

    It was squaring the New Deal circle they had turned back for decades, the big golden goose, Health Care. Made as many millionaires as anything, except maybe the past ten years where Wall Street dwarfed every kind of profiteering.

    And for those who don’t quite believe what we are seeing is being at least loosely coordinated and collaborated on, as a general conspiracy to turn back the clock, well beyond the union assault in the upper mid west. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    There are several court cases at the appellate level concerning the constitutionality of the voting rights act, for southern and southwest states to get out from under the yolk of the US DOJ for making changes in their voting laws.

    An intensifying conservative legal assault on the Voting Rights Act could precipitate what many civil rights advocates regard as the nuclear option: a court ruling striking down one of the core elements of the landmark 1965 law guaranteeing African Americans and other minorities access to the ballot box.

    At the same time, the view that states should have free rein to change their election laws even in places with a history of Jim Crow seems to be gaining traction within the Republican Party.

    We should fairly soon see if the SCOTUS is all in to wipe away 70 years of progressive legislation, or at least make it vulnerable, when they rule on the ACA. If they down it, then will come the VRA, and likely other prog laws. If they knock that down too, the likely hood of civil war goes up a fair amount. And I don’t mean skirmish lines like with the GCW. But the red states and especially those in the deep south are going to feel emboldened by a new friendly Dred Scott court and small and large rebellions of these states will begin. Violence, probably, some. Full blown civil war, probably not. But increasing civil strife that no one knows where things will go. I’ll let Che mclaren fill in the details, if he is lucid.

    Listen to the wingnuts rhetoric, candidates and politicians, to pundits. It is rife with subliminal messaging of we won’t let this shit happen much longer. And “shit” meaning over run by liberal philosophy. They are serious. I do predict a happy ending though. So there is that.

    and sorry, Kay. I know you don’t like doomsday scenarios, but I am feeling dytopic tonight and must share

  57. 57
    cmorenc says:

    @gene108:

    Being against contraception just seems like a losing stance to take on the issue. I don’t get why they are wasting resources on this. These aren’t stupid people, with regards to running this sort of campaign.

    Because they presumed they could successfully gain dominant control of the framing of this issue as one of religious liberty and autocratic big-government overreach on control of health insurance mandates and successfully dodge the birth control issue by claiming they’re not at all attempting to outlaw anyone’s right to purchase birth control. Their success in distorting the general health-care insurance debate as being about death panels and destroying people’s right to control their health insurance gave them confidence they could repeat that success. They thought a strongly favorable tactical opportunity for raising the religious liberty issue had been created by Obama’s initial omission of any sort of exception for Catholic institutions re: mandatory payments for birth control coverage.

    They badly underestimated the adverse timing impact of the Komen Foundation controversy and the effect the sudden prominent,steep rise in Rick Santorum’s POTUS nomination prospects and his very public statements expressing repugnant disapproval of contraception. Couple that with all the Catholic celibate men in frocks and collars speaking out about their intense moral disapproval of contraception. Also, I strongly doubt that very many Republican women were in on the planning for this attack on insurance contraception coverage, and the GOP found themselves hung out there with no easy way to convincingly walk this back without alienating a key extreme-social-conservative portion of their base.

    That’s how they got there. They badly miscalculated that they had themselves a winning distractive social issue that would help solidify their base while alienating few independents. And…they obviously didn’t consult many of their own women, except perhaps a handful of the most extreme social conservative ones.

  58. 58
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @General Stuck:

    I’m sorry, but I can’t buy actual war breaking out. Not due to any political calculus, but look at it this way: the big important right-wing protest movement of the era, the Tea Party, consisted of people sitting in lawn chairs and waving guns and signs around. They were often bussed in and out by a third party. Compare that to OWS or labor protestors in Wisconsin, who camped out for weeks. Can you imagine how quickly tea party protests would have cleared out if people started getting maced?

    My point is, the people who would be the right-wing foot soldiers in a civil war don’t have the personal stamina to actually fight. Because, at their core, they’re nothing more than bullies who talk a big game but have no cojones whatsoever to back it up. Hell, look at how pissy and snappish they get when liberals say mean things about them on blogs. And they’re gonna actually strap up and go to war? Gimme a break.

  59. 59
    kay says:

    I’m fine with doomsday scenarios on voting rights, Stuck, because voting is the fundamental right that guarantees the other rights will be protected (eventually, if that’s what voters value).

    I think doomsday scenarios on voting are just prudent. Extreme vigilance is called for there.

    Gotta keep that one.

  60. 60
    General Stuck says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I thought my comment was sufficiently caveated to not say full blown civil war, but more a state led political rebellion, with some violence, but probly not more than that.

    edit – though I will say, the deep south and some border states, are not going to accept minority status, as our demographics are headed. How far they go with that remains to be seen. But everything will be on the table.

  61. 61
    amk says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: The issue is that those rw foot soldiers turn up on the voting day without fail leading to a large fail. All the demos lose their meaning if you don’t vote. Democracy 101.

  62. 62
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    Gotta keep that one.

    And hence my dystopic mood. Core level stuff it is.

  63. 63
    Svensker says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Should children who’s family’s are unable to get health insurance for them go without?

    Didn’t Santorum tell a mom whose daughter had some awful disease that instead of whining that the daughter’s drugs would cost $500,000 a year, the woman should be giving thanks to the free enterprise system that allowed the drug to be invented? About a month ago, IIRC. You can google it under: Empathy, Republican, Lack of

  64. 64
    efgoldman says:

    @General Stuck:

    And hence my dystopic mood.

    Oh. I thought it was something you ate.

  65. 65
    Delia says:

    @Svensker:

    Didn’t Santorum tell a mom whose daughter had some awful disease that instead of whining that the daughter’s drugs would cost $500,000 a year, the woman should be giving thanks to the free enterprise system that allowed the drug to be invented?

    Yeah, because Ricky is very good at distinguishing a phony theology from the real thing, and doesn’t mind telling us so.

  66. 66
    Chris says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    This.

    Reposting something I’ve said a couple times previously: “the single thing that dissuades me from believing that is how full of shit the average conservative is. Taibbi had these guys pegged when he described them as ‘a hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment.’ The notion of these entitled jackasses starting a revolution should be terrifying, but in context it mostly ends up just being pathetic in a hilarity-inducing kind of way.”

  67. 67
    Baud says:

    @amk:

    Democracy 101.

    Yep. All these people wondering why the Republicans have declared a war on women, it’s because voters haven’t yet told them they can’t.

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    Another good post, kay. thank you

  69. 69
    General Stuck says:

    Jeebus, didn’t mean to kill the thread with dire babbling. You all are aware that I am largely full of shit, don’t you?

  70. 70
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    Don’t think of it as killing the thread so much as, what else is there to say? Yup, that’s it.

  71. 71
    dmsilev says:

    @Svensker:

    You can google it under: Empathy, Republican, Lack of

    Sorry, tried that and Google came back with “Too many results for even us to count.”.

  72. 72
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @cmorenc:

    They badly underestimated the adverse timing impact of the Komen Foundation controversy and the effect the sudden prominent,steep rise in Rick Santorum’s POTUS nomination prospects and his very public statements expressing repugnant disapproval of contraception.

    See. that’s the thing. They engage in this kind of idiocy over and over, and it’s ALL based on their conviction that the rest of the country clearly believes they are the holders of all that is Right and True. They can’t even imagine that they might not really be what the rest of us want. And then when get kicked in the ass for it, they assume they’re being told to go forward with redoubled vigor.

  73. 73
    efgoldman says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    See. that’s the thing. They engage in this kind of idiocy over and over, and it’s ALL based on their conviction that the rest of the country clearly believes they are the holders of all that is Right and True. They can’t even imagine that they might not really be what the rest of us want. And then when get kicked in the ass for it, they assume they’re being told to go forward with redoubled vigor.

    In the Political Science textbooks, a decade or two from now, this will become known as “The Teri Schiavo Overreach Fallacy”.

    ETA: See also my “Epistemic Closure” comment, above.

  74. 74
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    @efgoldman:

    Its like a black hole of ideas. Can you imagine Senator Savonarola as a credible presidential candidate of a major party, in any previous election?

    Love it (even though it also leads to nausea).

  75. 75
    nellcote says:

    @General Stuck:

    How far they go with that remains to be seen. But everything will be on the table.

    Well somebody’s stockpiling all those guns and survival seeds.

  76. 76
    RalfW says:

    I was trying to figure out how that was a Newsmax story, but then I saw it was a Reuter’s story that Newsmax picked up. Even seeing them pick it up is a tad interesting, given how wingy Newsmax is said to be.

  77. 77
    nellcote says:

    @RalfW:

    given how wingy Newsmax is said to be.

    They’re the one that puts up birther billboards if that gives you an indication.

  78. 78
    Peter says:

    @Rick Taylor: This is entirely off-topic, but Rick Taylor wouldn’t happen to be your real name, would it? As in, the writer/professor?

  79. 79
    General Stuck says:

    And then there are the Koch bros.

    They have supported the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, The Kansas Policy Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Republican Governor s Association, Florida State University’s Economics Department, George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and Institute for Humane Studies, and the American Legislative Exchange Council, where copy cat conservative legislation is passed among conservative state politicos.

    This is the face of oligarchy.

  80. 80
    kay says:

    Still, Stuck, it’s interesting that the Koch mouthpiece still feels it’s necessary to deny that the libertarian Koch brothers seek to destroy unions in the US.

    Why do libertarians lie about their position on unions?

    They must see some political value to denying what they’re doing. I wonder why they spend so much time and energy denying what is so obviously true.

  81. 81
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    Yea, I caught that too. They lie because they are powerhungry and greedy. And neither of those things poll well. And they think all of us are too stupid to figure out what they are up to. There is a law of diminishing returns on that though. At least I hope so.

  82. 82
    Paula68154 says:

    Excellent Kay.

  83. 83
    efgoldman says:

    @Paula68154:

    Excellent Kay.

    Yes, she is. Always has been, on this blog.

  84. 84
    kay says:

    Right, Stuck, but I’d still like to know why Republicans and libertarians feel vulnerable on their anti-union stance.

    They’re lying about it for a reason.

  85. 85
    efgoldman says:

    @kay:

    They’re lying about it for a reason.

    Because their memories are long enough to remember when many unions, especially fire and police, endorsed GOBP candidates in federal and State elections from the time of Saint Ronaldus Magnus. If they lie, they hope they can keep some of those votes.

  86. 86
    General Stuck says:

    @efgoldman:

    That makes sense

  87. 87
    efgoldman says:

    @General Stuck:

    That makes sense

    Thanks. So very rare for me.

  88. 88
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Peter:

    I’m not a writer, at least no professionally, but I do teach math at a community college.

  89. 89

    […] health: GOP would just Leave it to BeaverJohn Cole tells in some detail the attempts by the panderers to cut not only birth control, and Planned […]

  90. 90
    Peter says:

    @Rick Taylor: Ah, you share a name with my writing professor from last semester.

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