By my count there are 163 candidates battling for the Republican nomination and not one of them thinks women should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies. The party that loves to chirp the words freedom and liberty when it comes to guns, taxes and corporations demands the government start regulating reproduction. Guns, grits and gravy gourmand Mike Huckabee even floated the idea of using federal troops to stop women from making their own health care choices. Because nothing says the land of the free more than birth at gunpoint!
Regardless of any autopsy, warning or aspiration—this party is still badly fumbling on women’s issues.
The only female on the stage at the second GOP primary debate was failed former HP CEO, turned fired McCain/Palin top aide, turned failed 2010 Senate candidate, Carly Fiorina. Carly, the perennial GOP gadfly and self-proclaimed political outsider, wove an impassioned tale at the Reagan Library about a Planned Parenthood video she allegedly viewed: “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.’” This video does not exist. Planned Parenthood, a non-profit, doesn’t profit off selling anything. And Fiorina repeating a proven hoax/myth/canard to limit women’s rights to independence from government intervention in our lady bits is just as bad as when men do it.
Speaking of double standards, when Carly ran for Senate, she got busted making fun of her opponent, Barbara Boxer’s looks. Yes, GOP id Donald Trump was quoted in Rolling Stone saying about Carly, “Look at that face!” And Americans were all stunned at how out-of-bounds it was. Yet to California voters, it sounded vaguely familiar. While running against another woman, Carly got caught on a hot mic saying, “Look at that hair! So yesterday!” So for Carly to suddenly be a martyr for all women whose looks have been cruelly put down and unfairly criticized is beyond disingenuous.
The one woman in this massive Republican cattle call masquerading as a primary is a proven “Mean Girl” who uses her gender for sympathy and repeats gruesome Internet rumors to pander to those who want to nationalize all viable wombs. Great.
Carly also bizarrely tried to compare Planned Parenthood with Iran. Her former opponent Boxer countered in a tweet, “As @CarlyFiorina attacked Iran tonight she failed to mention that while she was CEO she sold them computer parts, which was against the law.”
To quote the first also ran to drop out this cycle, Rick Perry, “Oops.”
When the candidates were asked which woman should be on the $10 bill, it was a revealing moment. It said these men need to borrow some of Mitt Romney’s binders full of women. Rand Paul made the bold choice of Susan B. Anthony who already has a coin with her image on it. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio both answered Rosa Parks. They each proudly voted against the 2014 Highway and Transportation Funding Act yet want to lionize a female public bus rider on our currency. Jeb Bush suggested Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Of all the women in American history, Bush couldn’t think of one of them. Not one name. Not even his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush. So he suggested putting a foreign head of state on our currency presumably because she’s a conservative (Thatcher, by the way, was totally pro-abortion.) Trump offered his daughter; Ben Carson said his mother; Huckabee said his wife. Which poses the question: Do these guys know any women? Do they talk to any they’re not related to?
GOP candidates anticipate the Democratic nominee to be Hillary Clinton so they’ve become very adept at making her into an abstract monster, just like Planned Parenthood, Mexican immigrants and (to Scott Walker) protesters. But in that process, they’ve also made women into abstract monsters—especially women of childbearing capability. First being framed as baby murderers when it comes to abortion rights, and second being the compartment carrying an invading horde—anchor babies. “They are coming from Asia to have babies here, and all of a sudden, we have to take care of the babies for the life of the baby,” said Trump.
To quote Carson, “There is no war on women — there may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.”
Oh, that’s so much better.
Photo by Esparta Palma