The GOP’s contempt for women

Source: WashPost

Author:

Emphasis Mine

During the Republican primary in 2012, one of Mitt Romney’s most damaging gaffes was saying that he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood. If only that were the Republican Party’s biggest problem with women today.

Leading in the early polls, billionaire blowhard Donald Trump ignited a firestorm of controversy when he said that Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who moderated last week’s presidential debate in Cleveland, had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Trump was angry that Kelly had the gall to ask, among other things, how Trump justified his lengthy record of misogynist attacks on women. (“The big problem this country has is being politically correct,” he answered, ridiculously conflating political correctness with common decency.)

However, Trump’s ugly bombast is a distraction from a far more serious problem for the GOP. Three years after Romney lost the women’s vote by a double-digit margin, in part because of his support for defunding Planned Parenthood, the presidential debates last week made clear Republicans have only become more disrespectful toward women’s bodies, more deranged in their hatred of Planned Parenthood and more dismissive of female voters.

The rhetorical assault on women began in Thursday’s “undercard debate,” where seven Republican also-rans tried to breathe life into their listless campaigns. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal reflected the party’s disdainful attitude when he promised to investigate Planned Parenthood with “the Department of Justice and the IRS and everybody else that we can send from the federal government.” Carly Fiorina, who was crowned the “winner” of the debate by many observers, likewise attacked Hillary Clinton for “defending Planned Parenthood.” And despite being the only candidate who identifies as pro-choice, former New York governor George Pataki called for defunding Planned Parenthood, which he accused of showing a “hideous disrespect for life.”

But the most deplorable statements came when the top-tier candidates — all men, of course — took the stage in prime time. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio denied that he believes rape and incest victims should be legally permitted to have abortions, adding that future generations will “call us barbarians for for murdering millions of babies.” And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker went a step further by defending his opposition to abortion even when the woman’s life is in danger, while criticizing Clinton’s “radical position” of supporting Planned Parenthood.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee delivered the most grotesque line of the night. “It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the supreme being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick,” he said. Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) echoed Jindal, pledging that he would order the Justice Department to investigate Planned Parenthood on his first day in office.

Finally, there was former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the supposed “moderate” in the race. “As governor of Florida, I defunded Planned Parenthood,” he boasted, adding, “We were the first state to do a ‘choose life’ license plate.” For Bush, the debate came just a few days after he got himself in hot water for saying, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” And while Bush later said he “misspoke,” insisting that he merely wants to divert funds from Planned Parenthood into community health centers, his record suggests otherwise: In Florida, Bush redirected money from Planned Parenthood into abstinence education and funded “crisis pregnancy centers” that discourage women from having abortions.

Regardless, what Bush meant to say is irrelevant. Women’s health is clearly not a priority for the GOP. Neither are women, in general. On the contrary, the gleeful cheering by the debate audience showed that disrespect for women’s bodies is baked into the party’s DNA. That’s why Republicans are attacking Planned Parenthood — an organization that has provided cancer screenings, birth control and other health-care services to millions of women in the United States — with increasing hostility, and it’s why the position that was once a liability for Romney has now become a litmus test for GOP contenders.

In the short term, GOP primary candidates may benefit from staking out such extremist positions, but they are undoubtedly alienating female voters and making it even more difficult to ever win a national election. As the party gets smaller and more conservative, GOP leaders’ anti-woman vitriol is getting worse and their stances on women’s health issues are getting more dangerous. Unless they change course soon, the party will only continue to shrink, and the cycle will continue. Indeed, with their distorted view of “life,” Republicans may be trapped in a death spiral from which they cannot escape.

Read more from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s archive or follow her on Twitter.

See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gops-problems-with-women-go-far-beyond-donald-trump/2015/08/11/d13a1c56-3f97-11e5-bfe3-ff1d8549bfd2_story.html

Paul Krugman Drops Epic Truth Bomb on Latest Round of Lies About Iraq War

Source: AlterNet

Author: Janet Allon

Emphasis Mine 

“Mistakes were made” just doesn’t get at the truth about how America was coerced into the disastrous war in Iraq,and the horrific consequences that are still unfolding. Paul Krugman sets the record straight in Monday’s column, beginning with the ironic statement, that “there’s something to be said for having the brother of a failed president make his own run for the White House.”

Yep, Jeb Bush has unwittingly ushered in the chance to have an honest discussion about the invasion of Iraq. About time.

Of course, Bush and a whole lot of other people would prefer not to have that honest discussion, or if they do, to make excuses for themselves (Judith Miller.) ,

The Iraq War was no innocent mistake based on faulty intelligence, Krugman argues compellingly. “America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war,” he writes. “The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.”

And we knew it—or certainly should have. Krugman:

The fraudulence of the case for war was actually obvious even at the time: the ever-shifting arguments for an unchanging goal were a dead giveaway. So were the word games — the talk about W.M.D that conflated chemical weapons (which many people did think Saddam had) with nukes, the constant insinuations that Iraq was somehow behind 9/11.

And at this point we have plenty of evidence to confirm everything the war’s opponents were saying. We now know, for example, that on 9/11 itself — literally before the dust had settled — Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, was already plotting war against a regime that had nothing to do with the terrorist attack. “Judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] …sweep it all up things related and not”; so read notes taken by Mr. Rumsfeld’s aide.

This was, in short, a war the White House wanted, and all of the supposed mistakes that, as Jeb puts it, “were made” by someone unnamed actually flowed from this underlying desire. Did the intelligence agencies wrongly conclude that Iraq had chemical weapons and a nuclear program? That’s because they were under intense pressure to justify the war. Did prewar assessments vastly understate the difficulty and cost of occupation? That’s because the war party didn’t want to hear anything that might raise doubts about the rush to invade. Indeed, the Army’s chief of staff was effectively fired for questioning claims that the occupation phase would be cheap and easy.

The harder question is why? Here, Krugman can only speculate. Enhancing American power? Building the Republican brand? It is impossible not to ascribe cynical motives.

So politicians and many in the media don’t want to talk about it. But Krugman argues we should hold their feet to the fire. Some may have been duped. Others bullied. Many were downright complicit. “The bigger the lie, the clearer it is that major political figures are engaged in outright fraud,” Krugman writes. “And it doesn’t get much bigger — indeed, more or less criminal — than lying America into war.”

The media, Krugman concludes, has an obligation to get the story right. Right now.

 

See: http://www.alternet.org/media/paul-krugman-drops-epic-truth-bomb-latest-round-lies-about-iraq-war?akid=13114.123424.-LZ-1V&rd=1&src=newsletter1036524&t=1