Friday, April 6, 2012

There Is No GOP War On Women. It's Much Worse

You declare war on people you despise. To despise, you have to feel. The GOP has declared a Jihad to restore what they might call traditional values: right-wingers have never come to grips with Roe v. Wade (which, by the way, was meant to protect doctors from criminal prosecution, not especially to identify a woman's right to choose).

Apparently some in the Republican Party also haven't quite come to terms with the notion of contraception, either.

But the common thread isn't a hatred of women. The hate is directed elsewhere. Women don't matter. And that's much worse.

What's the proof? When the Obama Administration stepped in it by in-artfully engaging the Catholic Church over contraception coverage in the health care plans for the employees of their secular enterprises, the GOP had a winning hand. You can't just treat a protected class like anyone else -- heck, religious institutions don't even pay property taxes.

Whenever you have more than one fundamental principal, they can collide. What's necessary, then, is the wisdom to give each principal as much deference as possible, knowing that one will get more. It's inescapable, and why we endeavor to have wise people as judges and especially Justices.

What is unwise -- and telling -- is when you frame the argument as being about only Principle "A", and absolutely not Principle "B." This collision in Catholic contraception debate was stark: religious freedom, enshrined in the US Constitution, and women's rights, not so much -- but definitely protected by the Affordable Heath Care Act.

What happened? The GOP scoffed at the notion it was a woman's rights issue, insisting it was only a First Amendment issue. In other words, this has nothing to do with women. Shut up. And instead of framing the argument about the First Amendment, it pulled the veil off a generations'-old determination to not only eviscerate destroy Roe v Wade but Griswold v Connecticut, the 7-2 Supreme Court decision that found a right of privacy in the Constitution by overturning a law prohibiting the use of contraceptives — in 1965.

Exhibit B: RNC Chair Rance Priebus compounds the error by saying the "War on Women" (frankly, hyperbolic) is trumped up. True, but not for the reason he believes. The RNC doesn't consider contraception and abortion as women's health issues, but as cultural abominations.

They aren't waging war on women -- they don't see women as relevant to this discussion. How this might actually be the one unifying issue to women in every spot on the political spectrum -- the history of contraception is a far greater empowering tale of liberation than abortion -- is lost on the tone deaf.

I've always wondered how Gays can be Republicans. I'm given to understand that Gay legislative staff is sizable. And the Log Cabin Republicans are a pretty conservative bunch.

But Gays in the GOP are at least denied Mano-a-Mano, you'll pardon the expression. Woman seem invisible. This isn't about you, darlin' -- stop being a tool of the media.

Women are used to us lying to them, guys. And it's about exactly this: feigning love when we're really indifferent, for an ulterior motive.

The only thing worse than dismissing women as collateral damage in a war on culture is then imperiously dismissing talk that woman actually are the targets as a Democratic smear, made viral by their media handmaidens.

Nobody believes this. But it does come right out of the guy playbook:

"Who are you going to believe, babe? Me or your lying ears."