August 27th, 2012
By Stephanie Devereaux -- The net results of the Republican position on "rape", as written in the 2012 Republican Party platform -- is that
there should be no abortions for any reason, including rape, incest, or in cases in which the mother's life in jeopardized -- and the net effect of the 38 bills that Paul Ryan and Todd Akin have co-sponsored in the House of Representatives, in one form or other -- is to weaken rape laws and fray and tatter the fabric of what is now pretty clear cut distinctions in law with regard to what constitutes prosecutable rape -- to the point in which any instance of "alleged rape" is viewed, officially, with skepticism and forced into a position in the context of the law in which the rape victim is required to "prove it", by deflecting and minimizing the alleging -- with the newly substituted uber-present assumption that anytime a woman is raped it was because she "wanted it" or "was asking for it", or was dressed in a way that "provoked it, or deliberately went to a part of town where only wanton women traffic.
In short -- these laws read like laws written for -- and by -- serial rapists in charge of the law -- changing laws so that it would be unlikely
they would ever be outright accused of "forcible" rape -- and virtually impossible to get a convicted of, if and when charges actually were filed. But the main effect -- and I believe it was the deliberate and the ultimate intent of the proposed bills -- was to devalue women, turn rape allegations into a "she said, he said", kind of an argument -- and quite naturally and ultimately result in more women suffering in silence because they are afraid, fearful, or not hopeful enough that anything other than embarrassment and humiliation to the victim would result if they pressed the issue -- so they just don't file charges -- and they don't -- in many cases -- even tell anyone.
I think the Republican and evangelical right wing obsession with these women's health, family planning, and women's contraception and
sexuality issues is indicative of a serious, unresolved and untreated emotional, psychiatric, and sexuality aberration in the collective personalities -- and a stubborn rejection of the idea of the equality of a woman who is in control of her own life and destiny -- and has moved, generationally, in recent years -- ever-progressively more out from under the thumb of the men in there lives. I think it has left men, and Republican and evangelical men in particularly with a sense of losing control and a sense of increasing powerlessness to control the events and circumstances of their personal, sexual, and family lives -- and they are striking back -- and trying to reassert a balance and a norm that is more to their benefit -- and therefore more comfortable to them. True, perhaps -- but sad. Yes, very sad indeed.
August 27th, 2012
By Robert Sexton -- Who knows what the future holds. It is a revealing -- and it is a relief -- that the GOP Convention in 2012 will not feature George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, or -- gasp! -- Sarah Palin.
The few moderate and remaining "sane" Republicans that will be watching or attending the Republican Convention in 2012 -- can take some
solace in the fact that the current Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates obviously feel the necessity to distance themselves from past debacles and past bad actors in the Republican party. But all is not as rosy as it seems. Should Romney and Ryan -- as I for one expect -- go down in defeat in the 2012 Presidential race -- what, then, is the future of the GOP?
The answer, from my perspective -- not much. If the current GOP presidential teams falls -- then Paul Ryan will certainly be the next rising
star of the Republican party. Chris Christie, given the keynote address at the convention this year, has clearly been designated as a potential heir-apparent to Mitt Romney. Ron Paul will be back with a few more zealots -- and will cause consternation. Their will probably be the fringie pretenders. McDonald of Virginia will try to cash in on his Tea Party, right wing "chops". Their will be some attention starved Michelle Bachmans, some Trump-esque attention prostitutes -- and a Santorum or Perry or Caine -- who like the experience of being on the national stage -- and will run again regardless of how realistic their chances actually are. If for no other reason than to shore up -- or improve -- their popularity back home.
But it will simply be more of the same thing we had this year from Republicans -- in 2016. Short of a right wing fascist coup, a continuing and worsening "Voter ID" law epidemic, or a political or philosophical Renaissance in the GOP think tanks and word-smithing --
I don't think that even all the money in the world as authorized and encouraged by Citizens United will keep the Republican party relevant past the next election or two. You simply cannot work non-st0p 24/7 against the interests of the 98% of the American electorate that will be picking the country's political leadership. There just aren't enough 1 or 2 per-centers. And short of a fascist, militarized crack-down on ordinary Americans and democratic politicians -- there just isn't enough populist, humanist "mojo" in the Republican party to give it a significant relevance going forward into the future. It will die hard, of course -- and there is lots of money that will try to keep it a player. But the longer the Republicans starkly and overtly curry the favor and campaign contributions of the rich and super rich and work solely for their political and financial benefit -- the more it will become apparent to the elderly, women, minorities, the young, the poor, and the disabled -- that Republicans not only do not have their best interests at heart and do not particularly feel obligated to do anything that would help make life better for them -- but they actually are strenuously working to undermine or dismantle virtually every institution or government program that has these significantly disenfranchised groups as their beneficiaries.