I thought the GOP hit bottom with women voters in 2012, thanks to “legitimate rape,” “binders full of women,” etc., and I was looking forward to the “new and improved” party after its public autopsy and rebranding.
But apparently several holdouts haven’t gotten the memo, and it’s not just bothering us leftist liberals. Several Republican strategists and senior leaders (including Bob Dole) have been critical, college-age republicans say the party is out of touch, and Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said the party was “stupid” to focus on abortion and parsing words about rape instead of zeroing in on jobs and infrastructure.
But there are still plenty of state legislatures, talk-radio hosts, and US Congressmen who seem to be obsessed with reproductive functions – they remind me less of responsible leaders and more of my teenage sons, but even they’ve outgrown that phase (although they still enjoy rating each other’s burps). And of course I understand that a few idiotic comments don’t represent an entire party, but it’s hard not to see a pattern, between all the mandatory transvaginal ultrasound laws, the Governor of Iowa signing a law that makes him personally responsible for deciding which women in his state can have a federally-funded abortion, or Saxby Chambliss claiming that sexual assault in the military is just a result of all those young people’s hormones. Critics were quick to point out that many of the accused assailants were well past puberty (although I’ll cut the man some slack, given that my 47-year-old husband still frequently behaves like a teenager), but what I want to know is whether Chambliss realizes that by his logic, we should expect (and forgive) sexual assault every other place where hormonally-charged young people live together (like college dorms).
And don’t get me started on the insane illogic of opposing both abortion and family planning. We’ve already seen how poorly that works for religious leaders. My former mother-in-law was a devout Catholic who nevertheless used birth control, like almost American Catholics, because as she put it in her beautiful Italian accent, “How can-a the Pope tell-a me how to have-a sex if he no-a have sex?”
Or the incredibly tone-deaf misogyny of people like the Governor of Mississippi, who attributed the decline in American education to the fact that mothers have entered the work force. However, I’m getting a good laugh out of the attempts in some states to limit abortion by calculating pregnancy duration based on the date of woman’s last period, which means that she was pregnant 2 weeks before she actually conceived.
Fortunately, this trend is making life incredibly easy for comedians, particularly those of us who miss Todd Akin et al., as well as a great climate for ’60s-type protest songs. So here’s my contribution: