The face of the Republican Id; not pretty, is it?
The Republican party--they of "limited government" and "no judicial activism" and "keep the government out of my personal business"--has been a bunch of flaming hypocrites for a long time, of course. Used to be, though, that they at least hid their hypocrisy behind some plausible-sounding verbiage. But then economic dissatisfaction with the current ruling party in 2010 (the Democrats at that time) caused them to be swept into power across the country.
Drunk with power, they figured that people were voting for their social programs, rather than out of the desparate hope that they were being honest, and really wanted to do something about unemployment. And in state houses and the U.S. Congress, they immediately set about trying to enact all their pet social programs. And now they're astonished that people who voted for jobs and money help but are getting instead anti-abortion and anti-union laws are mad at them and pushing back. The ingrates!
The most recent--and astonishing--fight has been over birth control. Republicans are actually trying to limit people's access to birth control! In 2012! And they're trying to pretent that it's all about religious liberty and freedom of conscience, when it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that it's about . . . trying to outlaw birth control. Salon had a good write-up about the Republicans trying to pretend otherwise
. And while reading this post, I could only think one thing:
Wow; what a profound display of pretzel logic by the Republicans.
Of course this is all about birth control. For as long as I can remember, Republicans have been trying to refight the 60s culture wars and roll back all the changes (I would call them "gains", but I thought I'd go neutral) that occurred then and in the 70s--gay rights, women's rights, access to birth control, easier access to divorce, access to abortion, and on and on. The GOP hates all that, and has been pushing against it hard since the "Reagan Revolution" of the 80s. They may find new Frank Luntz-inspired verbiage to hide behind--"it's about religious liberty!"--but it's all B.S.
Republicans want to force you to only have sex with a married partner of opposite sex, and only for procreation. Virgin until married. No abortions for any reason. No drugs for the purposes of pleasure. (I would argue nothing for the purposes of pleasure
.) They want an evangelical, right-wing Christian state where the laws support that narrow view of sexuality and pleasure. Hell, I'm surprised they're not trying to outlaw vibrators
and picketing Stormy Leather in San Francisco
. The only difference now is, they're not hiding it particularly well. And the folks who have been having sex for pleasure without a high risk of children are, understandably, not down with that plan. (I find it staggeringly ironic that people like Rick Santorum, above, use the word "freedom" when they want to deny things to people that the people want
. How is that "freedom", Rick?)
So nope, I don't believe a word of the B.S. these various Republican mouthpieces are spewing; Rick Santorum speaks for the Republican Id, and he's made it clear that Republicans want to roll the clock back, relationship-wise, to the 14h Century. This anti-birth control push is just one facet of that. People like Ed Goeas and Cindy Graves can make noises about "religious freedom" and the 1st Amendment, but it's all manure.
Frankly, I think the only reason they're mad is that their desire for a right-wing Christian theocracy is now obvious to the public at large, and the pushback is scaring the crap out of them. In a way I'm grateful; we "alarmist" progressives have been warning about this for ages (since Reagan, if not longer), and no one has believed it; now that they're being so obvious about it, people are waking up. Good luck taking people's hard-won freedoms from them, GOP; I don't think you're going to have a lot of success.
N.B.: parts of this post originally appeared in the letter column of Salon.