Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Is Jeb Bush trying to alienate women voters? Is Marco Rubio setting up a government agency to monitor women's reproductive decisions?

The media focus has been on Trump's remarks during and after the What the Faux "debate." But the other clowns on that stage are just as bad in their own ways. Take their position on abortion (and more generally reproductive decision making). Here are two examples.

Jeb Bush: A woman is not worth $3 ...

I've already explained how Bush put a valuation on each American woman of three dollars, but then he ... well here is a summary from Steve Benen at MSNBC/Rachel Maddow show.

So, let me get this straight. Looking back over the last few days, Jeb Bush said, "I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues." The former governor then made accusations against Planned Parenthood that were demonstrably untrue. He then stood alongside a right-wing media personality [Erick Erickson] with a lengthy record of misogyny and said, "You’re on the side of women."

It’s almost as if the Florida Republican is trying to alienate voters.

Not just any voters. Female voters in particular.

If Jeb Bush has an explanation for why he believes Erickson is "on the side of women," I’m eager to hear it.

For that matter, I am eager to hear Bush explain why his own remarks put him on the side of women.

Marco Rubio: ... so right-wing male Senators can tell them what to do with their bodies

And here is Benen's review of Rubio's statements.

The Florida Republican elaborated further on NBC’s "Meet the Press" yesterday:

"I personally and deeply believe that all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws, I do. And I believe that irrespective of the conditions by which that life was conceived or anything else, and for me to be consistent on that belief, that’s why I feel so strongly about it."

So if he feels so strongly about life, then if the mother's life is threatened by carrying the fetus to term, an abortion is warranted.

In other words, Rubio’s position is simple: no abortions, no exceptions.

Oops. I guess I got that wrong. And, in keeping with the authoritarian, patriarchal neurons that inhabit the conservative brain, it's OK for the gummint to force women to give birth.

All of this matters, of course, in a general-election context. As we talked about last week, Rubio intends to take a provocative line to a national audience: if a woman is impregnated by a rapist, the government has the authority to force her to take the pregnancy to term, regardless of her wishes.

The rest of the Cleveland Clowns have similar or identical positions. Here are examples from Paul Waldman at the Washington Post/Plum Line.

One moment in the debate that may have struck some as odd occurred when Marco Rubio got a question about him supporting exceptions for rape and incest victims to abortion bans, and he insisted that he supports no such thing. Mike Huckabee declared that "I think the next president ought to invoke the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother’s womb is a person at the moment of conception." Scott Walker went even further, stating his opposition to exceptions to save the life of the pregnant woman ("I’ve said many a time that that unborn child can be protected, and there are many other alternatives that can also protect the life of that mother"). Walker recently signed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, which did contain an exception to save the life of the mother, but no exceptions for rape or incest.

This is a deeply unpopular position, to say the least. When pollsters ask whether people think that rape and incest victims should be able to get abortions, more than 80 percent will say yes, including majorities of Republicans (there are some examples here). Between 60 and 70 percent are against overturning Roe v. Wade, a position on which Republicans are united. And the GOP platform has for some time called for a complete ban on abortion without any exceptions.

Benen again:

As even Fox News reminded Rubio last week, roughly 83% of Americans disagree.

But so far as I can tell, what the American people think does not matter to GOPlins. You see, GOPlins are this world's version of the dementers from the Harry Potter series. In our world they are a species apart that preys on human suffering.

So: to paraphrase the bumper sticker: you are woman, I watch you vote. I have to ask, though: why is any woman voting for GOPlins? Why would you wish a patriarchy on yourselves?

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