The recent focus on contraception by Republican politicians and personalities is a bit ridiculous, isn’t it? There are so many things wrong with this discussion. As my favorite pundit, Rachel Maddow, has asked numerous times: “Why are we even discussing this?” Some insurance laws concerning contraception were actually introduced and backed by Republicans years ago. Why do they suddenly have problems with it?
Because they saw an opening and ran with it, that’s why. Isn’t that what politics are all about? Finding a weakness in your opponent, finding a soft spot in your fans’ (excuse me, constituents’) hearts and then making it the topic of the day? It really doesn’t matter to the right that the issue that caused the uproar in the first place has been made a non-issue by a very smart compromise by President Obama. Oh, you hadn’t heard that? Yeah, it’s been tough to hear anything amidst all the angry accusations and grandstanding.
What’s-his-name (Mr. Radio Personality) obviously doesn’t even understand how birth control pills work. He seems to think that A) A woman only takes a pill when she has sex, B) A woman takes a pill every time she has sex (because condoms are so much more expensive?) and C) There is no medical reason to take the Pill besides pregnancy-prevention. Wow. It’s shocking to me that any adult American male doesn’t understand at least the basics of the Pill. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but you guys know that a woman takes a pill every day, rather than only the days she plans to have sex, right? And that she doesn’t have to take another pill if she has sex more than once a day? And that taking the Pill can help regulate periods and control strong symptoms of a woman’s cycle, such as pain and headaches? No? Then, I’ve just educated you. You’re welcome. Now if someone would educate what’s-his-name. Actually, I don’t think knowledge has a whole lot to do with what he says on his show. He’s proven more than once that just because he knows something isn’t true doesn’t mean he won’t say it.
I get that it is part of Catholic doctrine to not practice contraception. That’s fine. It’s the right of every American to live according to their faith. I also get that paying for contraception is, in effect, condoning its use. Okay, fine.
Let’s remember, though, that President Obama had already excluded Catholic churches from having to pay for birth control. What everyone seems to forget in all the uproar is that it wasn’t churches that were being discussed; it was Catholic-affiliated institutions (hospitals, universities, etc.), companies that employ large numbers of non-Catholics and perform services for large numbers of non-Catholics. According to those arguing about this, forcing someone to pay for something they found morally wrong was restricting their constitutional right of religious freedom. Okay, I’m all for religious freedom, but we’re talking about institutions here, not individuals. Exactly whose religious rights would be restricted? Are they talking about a CEO? Or the Pope? Or God? I’m not trying to be funny here; I’m trying to make a point. If they are talking about an individual, say, a CEO, are they saying that his/her religious beliefs outweigh the religious beliefs of all of their employees? Is the CEO’s belief system somehow more important? Or, are we back to the argument that corporations are people, too?
Another big problem with this whole argument is that there are, in fact, medical reasons that women take the Pill, as I mentioned above. Restricting access to medical treatment to uphold religious beliefs sounds a bit arcane, doesn’t it? Are people in America actually wanting to do this? This is not a religious freedom issue; this is an access to medical care issue.
Lastly, I realize I’m going way out on the liberal branch here, but I have to say it: If the religious conservatives really feel as strongly as they say they do about abortion, wouldn’t it actually help reduce unplanned pregnancies to encourage the use of something called birth control?
by C of TnC
Maybe not such a far-fetched idea. He (under the guise of his Super PAC, Making a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow) has the money to put out commercial after commercial and we all know that is the fastest way to influence people’s opinions. Let’s face it, if it weren’t for Super PACs we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Colbert would just be a Comedy Central pundit poking fun at every gaff that any politician had the misfortune to stumble into. But he and Jon Stewart are taking advantage of their role in this to shine an extremely unflatteringly bright light on the Citizens United decision that, in my opinion, exposes just how deeply corporate america has its hooks into political\judicial America. One would like to think that any lawyer\judge that makes it to the Supreme Court would be able to almost instantly see that the vagaries in the language of the decision would be ripe for the kind of exploitation that Stewart and Colbert parodied while on the phone with the lawyer that, legally, represents both Colbert and the Super PAC.
So what do we do? Wait for the justices to retire? The oldest of them is Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and she’s not on the list of the ones we would rather lose. The ring leader, John Roberts, is 19 years younger than Ginsberg and likely to be around quite a while. Can we impeach them? Well…yes, but that has only happened once. In 1805, Thomas Jefferson initiated the impeachment of Samuel Chase, largely on the grounds of political partisanship. This has mostly kept (at least blatant) politics out of the courts. Is it time to revisit that question now some 200 years later? Maybe, but that question is far above some fledgling blog on the internet. For now, all we have is the hope that we can influence our representatives to pass laws\amendments that reign in the recklessness of Citizens United. Don’t let your congressional representatives forget that you are out there and that you do have an opinion and a voice and, more importantly, a vote.
For now, though, I think everybody in The United States of South Carolina should be voting for Herman Cain on January 21st 2012.