GOP War on Caterpillars

From: Religion Dispatches

By: Sarah Morice-Brubaker

“You guys, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus thinks it is TOTALLY UNFAIR for people to suggest that the Republican party treats women voters like voiceless, unintelligent, subhuman pests. Why, that’s as absurd as suggesting that Republicans have waged a war on caterpillars!
“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media
outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then
we’d have problems with caterpillars,” Republican National Committee
Chairman Reince Priebus said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s
Political Capital with Al Hunt airing this weekend. “It’s a fiction.”
So, dude, quick question: What if a lot of caterpillars themselves said their rights were being attacked? Would it still be obvious fiction? Oh, except, ha ha ha, that’s a ridiculous suggestion because caterpillars can’t talk and don’t vote, lack self-awareness, and don’t have opinions on public policy that affects them.
Okay, what if—just for grins, because obviously what I’m about to say is total science-fiction territory—we imagine that there’s, I don’t know, a REALLY WEIRD species of caterpillar that votes, thinks, talks, forms opinions on policy, has legal rights, is self-aware, and… uh… is actually a person? And what if a significant number of these mythical creatures raised protests about how Republican policies were infringing on their rights? I mean, really: try hard to imagine, as outlandish as it might seem, that the protests were not simply coming from “the Democrats” or “every mainstream media outlet” but the caterpillars themselves!
If it’s too difficult to imagine, try watching this video, but mentally changing the gender of the caterpillar. Also, every time the narrator says “hungry,” mentally append the words “… for equal protection under the law.” 

See, Mr. Priebus, the thing about arguments by analogy is that the two things being compared have to be sufficiently similar to warrant the comparison and the conclusion implied thereby. That’s what allows me to say, for example, “Reince Priebus comparing a ‘war on women’ with a ‘war on caterpillars’ is like Eric Fehrnstrom’s now-infamous Etch-a-Sketch remark about Romney: Each is an unintentionally revealing slip that confirms a lot of voters’ worst fears.”  But I can’t say, “Reading Priebus’ remark was like having mechanical pencil lead jammed into my tear ducts.” Because having pencil lead jammed into my tear ducts leaves lasting damage only on me, whereas your remark… well. Of course, what’s really rich is that in other contexts Priebus claims to cares a whole lot about the rights of entities that can’t speak, form opinions, be self-reflective, or vote. Because he describes himself as a “100% Psalm 139 pro-life republican”. And it’s in the name of that commitment that he can’t grant any legitimacy to the widespread alarm over what Republican policies mean for women.I just…. arrrgh. This really is the logic of a certain brand of anti-abortion conservatism, isn’t it? I claim to be “100% pro-life” because I profess to care about those in the human community who cannot speak, reflect, or vote.  But because of that commitment I’m under no obligation to give a rat’s patootie about things said, reflected upon, or voted for by a large proportion of the human community. Fetuses at every stage of development are really tiny people, beloved of God, who just want to be loved and cared for, and who hope for an army of principled selfless defenders. But women are like garden pests. Wow, good thing that Republican War on Women is a complete fiction. Otherwise I might be worried. 

Emphasis Mine


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