The Republican Party has officially named “contraception” as the newest evil-doer. Birth control will now join Iraq, Iran, and North Korea in George W. Bush’s “Axis of Evil.”
The GOP’s war on contraception - Not satisfied with President Obama’s new religious accommodation,Republicans will move forward with legislation by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that permits ANY employer to deny birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Sunday. “If we end up having to try to overcome the President’s opposition by legislation, of course I’d be happy to support it, and intend to support it,” McConnell said. “We’ll be voting on that in the Senate and you can anticipate that that would happen as soon as possible.”
John Cole - ATTN: Moderate Republicans- at this point, you are out of excuses. No more BS about trying to take the party back. No more crap about your principles or how you are an old school conservative or just don’t feel comfortable with Democrats. You vote Republican, you vote for the maniacs. No more bullshit excuses to help you sleep at night. You vote for them, you are one of them. Period.
Charles Johnson - Just amazing. In the space of a few months the Republican Party has gone from opposing abortion to opposing birth control — even though the vast majority of Americans use contraception of some kind. They’re not even trying to use the “religious exception” excuse any more. It’s a flat out war on contraception.
Amanda Peterson Beadle - Ryan and his Republican colleagues are arguing against a policy that a majority of Catholic voters support and that major Catholic organizations favor, including the Catholic Health Association, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and Catholic Charities USA. The Rev. John Jenkins, president of the Catholic-affiliated University of Notre Dame, supported President Obama’s compromise, calling it a “a welcome step toward recognizing the freedom of religious institutions to abide by the principles that define their respective missions.” As Republicans stand with the conservative Catholic bishops in opposition to allowing women to receive contraception at no cost, they are embracing an increasingly extreme anti-contraception position, with which even many Catholics disagree.
Bob Cesca - McConnell is lying through his teeth. This has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with religious freedom. You may have been able to get away with making that argument before the compromise, but this doesn’t hold up to even minute scrutiny. The Republicans can’t win on national security, they can’t win on the economy, and they no scandals to impeach over. The culture war is all they have. And by the way, can anyone show me the passage in the bible which reads “and thee shalt not provide birth control to thy neighbor.” Was that in the Ten Commandments and I missed it? Where’s Mel Brooks when you need him?
“For the first time in human history, new technologies made fertility a conscious choice for an ever-growing number of the planet’s females. And that, in turn, changed everything else. With that one essential choice came the possibility, for the first time, to make a vast range of other choices for ourselves that were simply never within reach before. We could choose to delay childbearing and limit the number of children we raise; and that, in turn, freed up time and energy to explore the world beyond the home. We could refuse to marry or have babies at all, and pursue our other passions instead. Contraception was the single necessary key that opened the door to the whole new universe of activities that had always been zealously monopolized by the men — education, the trades, the arts, government, travel, spiritual and cultural leadership, and even (eventually) war making.” – Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About it 100 Years From Now
It Is a War on Women, and It Is Not Stopping - Anyway, the ladies from Becket want us all to know that this isn’t about contraception. It’s about religious liberty, which is now threatened because secular insurance companies have to provide birth control free as part of a general health-care package even to those people who work in Catholic institutions.[…] The point of this is to show that, as heartening as the polls on these issues might be to Democrats, and especially to the Democrat in the White House, the people who seek to truncate brutally the right of women to control their bodies and, specifically, their health care, are organized, well-financed, and they simply do not stop. There is nothing on the other side of the argument that compares to the network of organizations that apparently have decided that this is their last best chance to roll those particular rights back, and that are prepared to fight that battle on every front possible. This is not encouraging. [images: sandandglass]
They just don’t know when to quit: House Speaker John A. Boehner signaled on Thursday that House Republicans would continue the fight. “I think it’s important for us to win this issue,” Mr. Boehner told reporters just before the Senate killed a Republican measure with a vote of 51 to 48. “The government, our government, for 220 years has respected the religious views of the American people, and for all of this time there’s been an exception for those churches and other groups to protect the religious beliefs that they believe in, and that’s being violated here.”
Georgia Lawmaker Compares Women to Cows and Pigs- ”Life gives us many experiences,” he explained. “I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. … It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.” […] House Bill 954 easily passed last week by a vote of 102-65. Opponents have said that the so-called “fetal pain” bill would force women to carry stillborn fetuses or to have a Cesarean delivery. Doctors could also face 10 years in prison if they are involved in illegal abortions.
SMALL WONDER THEN that the GOP is losing women - When the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey asked last summer which party should control Congress, a slim 46-42 percent plurality of women said it should be the Democrats. But in a survey released Monday, compiling polling since the beginning of the year, that figure had widened considerably to a 15-point advantage for the Democrats, according to polling by the team of Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff. Fifty-one percent favored Democratic control; only 36 percent wanted to see the Republicans in charge.
[ABOVE: Your average rightwing talk-radio fan.]
98 Major Advertisers Dump Rush Limbaugh, Other Right-Wing Hosts - This helps explain why, on Rush Limbaugh’s flagship station WABC, almost of the commercial breaks were filled with unpaid pubic service announcements. You can check out the list of the 50 advertisers who were known to have dropped Limbaugh before this report here. But it’s not just Limbaugh that these advertisers want to disassociate with, but other big names in right-wing radio too. As the Daily Beast’s John Avalon notes, this is unprecedented in the 20-plus years that Limbaugh and his imitators have been on the air and could spell real trouble for an industry that’s already suffering demographically. Women ages 24–55 are the prize advertising demographic, but Limbaugh and other conservative hosts have steadily alienated these listeners over the years, so the sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke were “a perfect storm.”
The Young Turks: A Challenge to Rush: Prove Your Ratings- So, Rush is in big trouble now as more and more advertisers peel off. He’s in a tail spin. Why else would you triple down on the “slut” comments from Wednesday to Friday and then issue an apology on Saturday? He has over-reached (in his offensive comments) and undelivered (in his ratings). That’s a lethal combo. But Rush can easily prove me wrong. So, I’m issuing a challenge to him – show us your ratings. He won’t do it because he’s embarrassed by them. He has never produced evidence of his ratings and he certainly won’t do it now. In fact, I’ll make a Mitt Romney like wager. I’ll give him $10,000 if he can show us his 20 million listeners. Rush’s audience is a myth. He is a paper tiger. Do some people listen to him? Of course. Is it anywhere near the hype? Not remotely. Talk radio is a dying business. I wouldn’t be surprised if his daily listeners didn’t even reach a million.
Hysterical Womenfolk All On The Rag Despite Gallantries of The GOP - You would think the women of America — particularly “right-leaning” women who voted for George W. Bush and John McCain — would understand when the great big strong menfolk tell them not to worry their pretty little heads about things like “their bodies” and “not being filthy whores.” But in a shocking twist that nobody could have predicted, it seems “women,” if there even is such a thing, are catching themselves a little case of the sulks! Ladies are now stealthily congregating at baby showers and beauty parlors and, we don’t know, shoe stores? and morphing into Obama-voting communists, just because the Republican party patiently explained to them that a man’s place is at the head of the household, and a woman’s place is in A Handmaid’s Tale. […] In happier news for the GOP, recent polling suggests that fully one-third of women still want the Republicans to control Congress. They will get a special treat tonight. Maybe a new vacuum.
Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With Republicans- Deborah R. Stevens, a self-described “dyed in the wool” Republican, said she felt hopeless. “I’m looking for a candidate that will be honest, that will come out and say, ‘Yes, I support women, I want you advanced and not trampled upon,’ ” said Ms. Stevens, 63, who lives near Myrtle Beach, S.C. “I want answers desperately. I want candidates to tell me, ‘I’m not overturning Roe v. Wade.’ It’s there. Leave it there.” Ms. Russell, who changed her political views at the baby shower, said she was impressed with how Mr. Obama handled his administration’s compromise over the much-debated birth control policy, saying, “I think he’s more of a women’s candidate.” Mr. Romney’s reaction to Mr. Limbaugh’s statements about the Georgetown student cemented a negative view of him. “I expected him to have the guts to stand up and say what Rush did was wrong,” she said. “Wrong, wrong, wrong in every sense of the word wrong.” A rally for women’s rights in San Diego on Thursday drew Jessica Lopez, 27, a registered independent who said she voted for President George W. Bush in 2004. Ms. Lopez said her choice this year became clear amid the Republican debate on contraception and abortion. “This has really energized me, that I need to get more involved with the Obama campaign,” she said. Ms. Lopez added: “The G.O.P. has never been so clear about their agenda for women. I’m afraid if we get a Republican president, my health will be up to their personal discretion.”
Chris Matthews: The GOP is ‘treating women like they’re not really voters’ - Chris Matthews displayed Sunday morning his bemusement for the Republican Party’s comments and behavior towards women so far during the 2012 presidential campaign. “One of the time warps these days is watching Republicans ignore the simple fact that women vote and are the majority voters,” he said on his weekly show. “I do think it’s odd the way we’re talking about contraception — by the way, as if that’s only a women’s issue, it’s a male female issue, obviously — and treating women like they’re not really voters.”
N.C. County Kills Family-Planning Funds - The commissioners didn’t think it was right to use taxpayer money to pay for women who want to have sex for non-procreative purposes. From the Star-News: Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when “taxpayers are asked to pay money for contraceptives” for women having sex without planning responsibly. “If these young women are being responsible and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t have this problem to begin with,” Davis said. The New Hanover County decision comes amid a growing debate about contraception and family planning in North Carolina and nationally. Last year, North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature became one of a handful to try and ban state funding for Planned Parenthood.
Democrats leading GOP by 25 points among women - A Washington Post survey released Monday found that Democrats are perceived as caring more about issues that are important to women by 25 points, 55 percent to 30 percent. The poll also showed that a large majority of all voters support the idea that businesses should be required to cover the “full cost” of contraception for female employees. Among all voters, 61 percent supported a mandate for birth control coverage, while 35 percent did not. Of those who said contraception should be included in insurance coverage at no cost, 79 percent agreed that religious institutions should not be exempted from the mandate. Overall, 3 percent more voters sided with Obama administration’s policy requiring religious institutions to include birth control in their insurance plans than those who did not. As MSNBC’s Steve Benen noted, 53 percent of voters were women in 2008.
Romney vows end to Planned Parenthood funding - As the former governor sees it, the way to improve the deficit is to cut taxes, increase military spending, and block access to contraception, family planning services, pap smears, cancer screenings, and tests for sexually-transmitted diseases. … It’s also worth noting that Republican support for Planned Parenthood was the norm for nearly a half-century. Barry Goldwater and George H.W. Bush championed the health organization; Reagan never balked at PP funding in the budget; and none of this was considered controversial in the slightest. There’s no clearer example of the GOP’s shift to the extreme than its newfound disgust for Planned Parenthood. But the point I keep coming back to is Romney himself having supported the health organization, including having attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. Overnight, the DNC put together this video, going on the offensive over the issue.
ONLY 3 In 10 Republicans Want Limbaugh Fired - Thirty percent of Republicans think that Rush Limbaugh should be off the air following his sexist attack on Sandra Fluke, according to a newBloomberg poll. Just yesterday, ThinkProgressreported that only 29 percent of likely voters believe Limbaugh’s apology was sincere. According to today’s poll, “men are split over whether the radio host should be let go from his job — 49 percent say so, while 47 percent disagree. Fifty-six percent of women support the move compared with 39 percent who don’t.” Since Limbaugh’s tirade just two weeks ago, 140 companies pulled their ads from Limbaugh’s show.
Rush Limbaugh’s woes not ending any time soon - Rush Limbaugh’s problems have staying power. So says the traditional media—in this case, ABC News. Their evidence is Premiere Network’s decision to pull all of its barter ads, the ads they provide to affiliates in exchange for airing the program, for two weeks.Premiere is obviously hoping the scandal just blows over and they can get that revenue back. But with Limbaugh rolling out ever-more crackpot theories and complaints about how he was set up to spend three hours a day for three solid days calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute,” that might not happen. National advertisers maybe aren’t going to want to be associated with a vulgar misogynist who also happens to be a crackpot conspiracy theorist. There’s also the little problem of how much the non-ditto head population (i.e., the majority) hates him. The PPP poll for Daily Kos found that 58 percent of the populate has a negative view of him, and 70 percent find his remarks about Fluke inappropriate, and an earlier Harris poll found him America’s least favorite political pundit.