Abortion has clearly become a deadly election issue for Republicans.
If you doubt it, look at the results of the November 6 elections.
So I was surprised to read, on January 24, a news story about Republicans’ continuing effort to deny women the right to control their reproductive organs.
This centered on a New Mexico anti-abortion bill that would force rape victims to carry to term the fetus of their rapist, on the “legal” grounds that this was “evidence” of a crime.
I decided to send my longtime friend Dave–who’s not exactly President Obama’s biggest supporter–a link to that news story.
I didn’t offer any commentary, other than in the subject-line of the email: “AND YOU WONDER WHY OBAMA GOT RE-ELECTED?”
It didn’t take Dave long to reply.
“No, we don’t wonder why Obama got re-elected. It’s because of the free-loading, lazy entitlement crazed society that worships their moronic scuz-bag messiah who brings and offers them FREE ‘shit’ if they vote for him ‘again.’
“Most of which are ALL the welfare reciprients, low income minorities in crime ridden ghettos and the great Mexican migration that he’s pardoned with the multiple offers of selling out the American people by awarding FREE visas, FREE education, FREE Social Security benefits (even though they’ve never worked a day in their lives) and FREEDOM from being asked, stopped or questioned by authorities.
“The democraps sold this country out long ago for nothing more than their greed to stay in office.”
As much as I love Dave as a friend, his reply leaves out–for Republicans–some highly unpalatable truths.
- The Republican party talks a great game of “getting government off the backs of the people.” But many of its members lust to ban abortion and even birth control.
- Women voters were outraged by Republican candidates’ stupid comments about “legitimate rape” and how even a rape-caused pregnancy was “something that God intended to happen.”
- After a party takes a bath at election time, it’s commonplace for its members to put the blame elsewhere than on themselves.
- As a result, Republicans are now blaming their nominee, Mitt Romney. Or (as always) Barack Obama. Or “the stupid voters.”
- Some Republicans (like Rick Santorum) argue that the party wasn’t “conservative enough” in its choice of nominees and thus deserved to lose.
- Other Republicans (a minority) argue that the party was too right-wing and alienated all those who were not.
- Echoing the Romney line that Obama “bought” the election with “free stuff” for voters ignores an ugly truth about the Romney Presidential campaign: The people who supported him expected to get rewards of their own. Rewards such as lower corporate taxes, weakened environmental protections and the legal right to discriminate in the salaries they paid to female employees.
- But by right-wing standards, “corporate welfare” is OK; only when welfare goes to needy individuals is it evil. The “Prescription Drug Benefit” of the Bush administration was a classic gift of corporate welfare to the pharmaceutical industry.
- And, actually, it’s normal for voters to expect something in return for their votes. The only question is: Is that politician going to do something for those who already hold great wealth and power–or those who have very little?
Consider the following from Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince:
.…One attains [the position of a prince] by help of popular favor or by the favor of the aristocracy [i.e., wealthy interests].
For in every city these two opposite parties…[arise] from the desire of the populace to avoid the oppression of the great, and the desire of the great to command and oppress the people….
Besides which, it is impossible to satisfy the nobility by fair dealing and without inflicting injury upon others, whereas it is very easy to satisfy the mass of the people in this way.
For the aim of the people is more honest than that of the nobility, the latter desiring to oppress, and the former merely to avoid oppression….
One, however, who becomes prince by favor of the populace must maintain its friendship, which he will find easy, the people asking nothing but not to be oppressed.
Of course, it’s natural for the losing party to look for scapegoats. As political columnist Mark Shields said on the PBS Newshour on January 25:
“As far as the Republicans are concerned, they are simply going through the terrible stages that every defeated party does.
“And one side says we lost because we didn’t stick enough to our principles. And the other side we lost because we were too dogmatic and didn’t reach out to the undecided.
“And so the first inclination is always to blame your own candidate. You blame Al Gore if you are a Democrat in 2000, or John Kerry in 2004. You blame John McCain.
“The Republicans want to blame Mitt Romney. That’s fine. But Mitt Romney is more popular than the Republican Party. I mean, he got 47 percent. The Republicans are dead in the water right now.”