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Vail Daily letter: GOP’s war on women

Jim Cameron
Vail

It’s finally happened. The Republican Party has marched so far to the right it has fallen off the planet. What was supposed to be a primary campaign focused on the economy, jobs and the national debt has turned into a circular firing squad whose main items of discussion are social issues – particularly contraception. Contraception!

Except for the Catholic Church, the rest of us don’t consider contraception to be a burning issue of our times.

In the process, Republicans have seemingly declared war on women. This isn’t a smart thing to do if the goal is to win political elections or maintain harmonious relations with wives and girlfriends. Republicans have drifted so far off message and the rhetoric become so viral, that Democrats need merely keep their mouths shut and let the “friendly fire” continue. Republicans would be well advised to remember an old military manual dictum: friendly fire isn’t.

After some initial civil debates among the Republican primary candidates before the Iowa caucuses, a super-pac that supports Mitt Romney unleashed a series of brutal personal attacks against Newt Gingrich. That immediately changed the tone and content of the debates.

As moderate Republican columnist David Brooks has wryly noted, the first beneficiary of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United is ironically Barack Obama.

The lockstep mentality of the Republican Party continues to drive moderate Republicans out of the party as it has over the past decade. Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine is the most recent example, foregoing another election she was heavily favored to win. A moderate, she cited the extreme polarization of Congress as the reason she would not run for re-election.

The party’s chief strategist and super-pac fundraiser, Karl Rove, was “personally offended” by Clint Eastwood’s upraising unity speech, using the U.S. auto industry as a success story during the last Super Bowl. Eastwood is a lifetime libertarian-conservative, and Rove is the most divisive political operative in U.S. history.

Although presumably of the same political persuasion, one is an American idol and the other is an un-American traitor. How else do you characterize someone who wants America to fail so his party and he personally can gain influence?

Back to the topic of contraception, the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. believes Catholics have been too passive in the political arena and should become more active. Perhaps the Catholic leadership is taking its cue from Rick Santorum, who stated that the separation of church and state speech given by John F. Kennedy wanted to make him puke.

Perhaps Catholics are passive for a reason. Imagine yourself as a Catholic priest who has confessional duty. Forgive me, father, for I have sinned … I have used contraceptives.

According to surveys, nearly 100 percent of Catholic women have used contraceptives at some point in their lives and about 70 percent still do.

The difference in the percentages is probably due to Catholic women who are post-menopausal. How about these: Forgive me, father, for I have sinned … I work outside the home … I had sex with my husband just for the enjoyment. I foresee a lot of recitations of “Hail Mary” over these transgressions. Do you suppose that male Catholics confess using contraceptives or having sex just for the pleasure of it? Or are these only sins of women?

One last thing. Would somebody please do a saliva test on Rush Limbaugh. Thankfully, the sponsors that advertise on Limbaugh’s radio show are leaving in droves and some regional carriers may well drop his program.

This helps make up for the cowardice of the Republican primary candidates, congressional leadership and rightwing political pundits who refuse to criticize his defamatory comments toward a female Georgetown law student. The prospect of offending Rush and receiving his wrath makes them wet their pants.

Jim Cameron


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