The GOP’s nightmare scenario is now: cascading stupidity effect under way.
Just a little something to back up my earlier post arguing that attempts to spin away the GOP’s War on Women only serve to prove it’s real.
Right Wing Watch: On Friday, Allen West spoke with Steve Malzberg where he defended Mike Huckabee’s recent comment by declaring that “the Left tries to win the women’s vote by talking from the waist down” while Republicans seek to reach the hearts and minds of female voters.Asserting that Democrats want the government to be “the sugar daddy” and replace men, West said Democrats have been “caught guilty as always” and are responding by attacking Huckabee. He then went on to claim that the Left remains utterly silent when women like Malala Yousafzai are abused and attacked by the Taliban before declaring that “I’m going to be very blunt: the Left tries to win the women’s vote by talking from the waist down.”
See, because women aren’t really concerned about all that contraception and reproductive health stuff — or if they are, then they’re wrong. Only Republican men like Allen West and Mike Huckabee know what’s important to women, so listen up and learn, ladies.
But this is also the beginning of the nightmare scenario, where one moron says one very stupid thing and other morons rush to defend him because that’s what they think you do when conservatives get criticized. This is what the GOP has been trying very, very hard to avoid and most likely won’t be able to. You can’t spend years encouraging this sort of thing and expect to be able to shut it off when it turns out to be bad politics. These people are going to engage in insane and clueless sexism because that’s modern conservatism. It’s what Limbaugh does every day, it’s what rightwing blogs do every day, so it’s absolutely normal and not at all crazy to these guys. They’re going to keep doing it because they just don’t know any better.
And West is probably more popular in the base than Huckabee — meaning that even more people will likely come forward to defend him. Then others will come out to defend them. And cetera and cetera and cetera, until the unofficial Republican position will be that women who care about reproductive health and freedom are just loose, slutty morons being preyed upon by Democrats.
That’s exactly the wrong way to convince people you’re not waging a sexist War on Women. But it’s exactly what the base believes.
How Not to Deny You’re Waging a War on Women.
You may need a refresher on Virginia state Sen. Dick Black, a far-right Republican who just doesn’t get how marital rape can be a thing. If so, here’s Mother Jones’ Molly Redden’s reporting on the subject from January 15.
After taking a drubbing in last year’s state elections, Virginia Republicans are debating whether their party has come to be defined by its extremists. But in a congressional district in Northern Virginia, one of the state’s main instigators of culture warfare, state Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black, is running in the Republican primary to replace longtime GOP moderate Rep. Frank Wolf, who is retiring. And he’s guaranteed to ignite wedge-issue passion. Exhibit A: As a state legislator, Black opposed making spousal rape a crime, citing the impossibility of convicting a husband accused of raping his wife “when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth.”Last week, we got the not-unwelcome news that Black was dropping out of that race. Black said he was staying in the state Senate to “maintain our 20/20 split,” but there’s good reason to believe that he was pushed out. Black is exactly the kind of candidate establishment Republicans don’t want running in November — the kind who uses hard-ass conservativism to be a jerk and troll everyone who isn’t a true believer. Maybe he could’ve won the district or maybe he couldn’t have. But he would’ve been guaranteed to engage in jackass antics that would make national waves and make the party look bad as a whole. And, as I pointed out last week, Black’s not the only candidate that Republicans have who’s making trouble for the GOP as a whole.
Black has referred to emergency contraception, which does not cause abortions, as "baby pesticide." Black also fought to block a statue of Abraham Lincoln at a former Confederate site in Richmond. He wasn’t sure, he explained at the time, that statues of Lincoln belonged in Virginia. He has argued that abortion is a worse evil than slavery. And once, to demonstrate why libraries should block pornography on their computers, Black invited a TV reporter to film him using a library terminal to watch violent rape porn.
But a bigger problem for the party might just come from non-candidates who they can’t force out of the spotlight; Brainiacs who think they’ve mastered the art of spin and think that they can fix the party’s problems freelance. You know, masterminds like Mike Huckabee, whose attempt to spin away the the GOP’s “War on Women” label only managed to confirm it.
And then there’s serial headline-grabber/foot-in-mouth inserter Rand Paul, who decided — like Huckabee — that it’s Democrats who are waging a war on women because Bill and Hillary:
Political Wire: Said Paul: “One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office. And I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this. He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that, and it is predatory behavior.”The best response I’ve come across to this insane false equivalence comes from DPM at Balloon Juice; “Clearly, one instance of sexual harassment almost twenty years ago requires, as I’m sure any serious Burkean would agree, that women pay for their own contraception for the rest of recorded time without further comment.” And of course, there’s the invasive and unnecessary ultrasound laws and the voter suppression and the candidates like Black who think it’s impossible to rape your wife and your talk show hosts who think women who use birth control are sluts and you get the idea.
He noted that “sometimes it’s hard to separate” Bill and Hillary Clinton and then added, “And then they have the gall to stand up and say Republicans are having a war on women? So yes, I think it’s a factor. It’s not Hillary’s fault, but it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton and history.”
And of course, since the most recent example of a dem War on Women that Sen. Poodlehair could come up with was two decades ago, you kind of get the idea that evidence of said WoW is laughably slim. And one guy engaging in office shenanigans with one intern is not at all the same as an entire political party wanting to invade women’s bodies with ultrasound wands to punish them for daring to exercise their right to an abortion. That it’s the same as chasing them away from the polls. That it’s equal to not allowing health insurance to cover contraception, because forcing employees to abide by their employers’ religious beliefs is somehow some bass-ackard kind of “religious freedom.”
That’s the worst part of all this; that Huckabee or Paul don’t get — or pretend not to get — what’s wrong with all of this. That they don’t get why women might not be all that pleased with middle aged Republican men micromanaging their lives. That they think that women are dumb enough to fall for these idiotic arguments.
In trying to deny there’s a Republican War on Women, these people are waging one. They’re doing it badly. And it hurts.
Republicans may be able to scare off candidates like Dick Black with backroom talks about funding and donors, but the guys like Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee, who aren’t running for anything at the moment, they’re going to be a trickier problem. They think they’re smart enough to straighten this whole War on Women thing out on their own — and they’re so not.
[photo via Wikimedia Commons]
The bill allowed no exemption for religious organizations.
The members of the Republican National Committee gathered in Washington this week. On Thursday, Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate, was the featured speaker. “The Democrats,” Huckabee declared, “want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government.”
The creepy, condescending-uncle image, the retrograde attitude toward sex: Huckabee managed to illustrate exactly the phenomenon he was trying to decry, the perception that Republicans don’t know how to talk to or about women. Democrats were gleeful. Within hours, liberal groups had bombarded reporters with outraged statements, the White House press secretary had called the remark “offensive,” and MSNBC was playing the clip over and over (chyron: “HUCKED UP”). “If this is the GOP rebrand a year later, then all they’ve gotten is a year older,” gloated the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Read more. [Image: Susan Walsh/Associated Press]
Huckabee: ‘Evangelicals will take a walk’ if GOP supports marriage equality.
Evangelicals will leave the Republican Party if it supports redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, Mike Huckabee said.
When asked if he believes the Republican Party will change its position and support gay marriage in a Wednesday Newsmax interview, Huckabee remarked, “They might, and if they do, they’re going to lose a large part of their base because evangelicals will take a walk.”
Huckabee currently hosts a Fox News show called “Huckabee.” He was formerly the governor of Arkansas and ran for president in 2008. Before he entered politics, Huckabee was a Southern Baptist pastor and a religious radio broadcaster.
“And it’s not because there’s an anti-homosexual mood, and nobody’s homophobic that I know of,” he continued, “but many of us, and I consider myself included, base our standards not on the latest Washington Post poll, but on an objective standard, not a subjective standard.”
“I don’t hate people, my religion does” is a crappy argument that cowardly haters use to dodge accusations of bigotry. But Mike doesn’t have to worry, RNC chairman Reince Priebus says that, while he wants the party to be more accepting of people who do support marriage equality, the party’s platform will still have the “we hate gays!” plank. At least for now, anyway.
Besides, where would these evangelicals “walk” to? Certainly not the Democrats and not Libertarians, either (that is, real libertarians. Not Republicans who don’t want to call themselves Republicans like Rand and Ron Paul). Start up an Evangelical Party? I suppose they could, but by leaving the GOP coalition, they’d actually be losing power.
The GOP will drop the marriage-inequality plank eventually. Probably within Huckabee’s lifetime. So I guess we’ll have the opportunity to find out where he’ll walk to when that day comes.
Huckabee and the bizarre anti-logic of gun apologists.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee attributed the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in part to restrictions on school prayer and religious materials in the classroom.
“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said on Fox News, discussing the murder spree that took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, CT that morning. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”
Law enforcement has released few details on the alleged gunman, but Huckabee suggested that the separation of church and state may have spurred his rampage.
First off, I’d like to ask everyone in America to join me in inviting Mike Huckabee to STFU. This is as crassly opportunistic and insensitive as the comments of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell after 9/11. America was outraged by those words and we should find these just as bad.
But does it even make any logical sense? By Huckabee’s argument, more religious societies should be more peaceful and more atheistic societies should be more violent. But if we compare Europe and the middle east, we find the exact opposite correlation of violence and religiosity. In fact, logic would dictate that atheistic societies would be more peaceful, simply because everyone has one less thing to argue about.
Just as illogical is blaming violent video games or movies. Everyone has the same video games and American movies have a worldwide audience, so that makes no sense either. These don’t explain why America is more violent than most places other than political and drug-related war zones.
What’s different about America is that we have — by an insane margin — more guns per capita than any other country in the world. America has 88.8 guns per 100 residents — far outpacing second place Serbia, at only 58.2 per 100. The wide proliferation of guns is the problem. Period.
Anything else is just making lame excuses and ignoring the problem. It’s absolutely, 100%, inarguably clear that more guns does not mean more safety. We have more guns than anyone and we’re less safe than most.
Stories to Watch: 10/4/11
"Not gonna happen"
-Headline of the Day-
"Gov. Chris Christie will not run for president."
After media-fueled speculation that Chris Christie may run for president started a rumor that Chris Christie would run for president, Christie himself shot that rumor down today.
"Now is not the time…" the Governor of New Jersey said in a press conference. "New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me." The news comes as Christie-mania hits a fever-pitch, with at least one poll showing that Republican voters didn’t care whether he jumped in or not. I’m sure the disappointment will be just as impalpable as the excitement was.
Wait for pundits to say this is the latest sign that Christie is still weighing his options. At least, until they get around to speculating as to whether Mike Huckabee might run. (NJ.com)
-Wall Street protests, explained-
Click to embiggen
It’s the modern equivalent of “let them eat cake.” (Truthdig)
"Court turns away lawsuit over Obama eligibility."
Long story short, Alan Keyes is some kind of record-holding sore loser. (AP)
Stories to Watch: 8/7/11
A couple of thoughts on the Standard & Poors downgrade. First, there was a big market sell-off just before it happened. We should be finding out exactly why that happened, who started selling first, and whether any insider trading went on there.
Second, the “US is headed for a Greece-style meltdown!” fearmongering should officially die. Nations on the brink of financial collapse don’t have AA+ ratings from one agency and AAA from all the rest.
Now here’s the news…
Finally, broad bipartisan agreement out of Washington. The issue; S&P’s downgrade is bullshit.
Steve Benen has a short history of US deficits and surpluses since Reagan. Not at all coincidentally, it’s also a timeline of Republican stupidity.
According to the Tea Party, people involved with the recalls in Wisconsin are Nazis and terrorists and embrace a philosophy that has “killed a billion people in the last century.” Seems to me that if one sixth of the world’s population were killed, someone would’ve noticed it. Why anyone ever took these clowns seriously is beyond me.
Also in the Wisconsin recalls; Republicans like to complain that they’re being attacked by out of shadowy, state groups. But a closer look shows that when they say “attacked,” they mostly mean “backed.”
Mike Huckabee is an idiot.
Rick Perry keeps threatening to run for president. I think he’s already missed his window — the media seems to be getting tired of it.
As they go home to face their constituents, dems make sure that Republicans face the music for voting to end Medicare as we know it.
Finally, Sen. John Kerry rightly names S&P’s action the “Tea Party downgrade.”