Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mainstream America Meets the Real Republican Party

Looks like the proverbial chicken of extremist GOP rhetoric is coming home to roost.

Frantic members of the GOP leadership, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are tripping over themselves in an effort to distance themselves from Congressman Todd Akin's now infamous comments and paint him as some kind of rogue radical who strayed off the ranch. But with 76 days left before the 2012 Presidential election Americans of all stripes are getting a good look at one of the central planks of the GOP platform and a sense of just how archaic their views on woman's health really are; it's also becoming clear Akin isn't alone. Not by a long-shot.

In an article in yesterday's New York Times, Jonathan Weisman quoted Missouri GOP Committee member Sharon Barnes (pictured above) as not only agreeing with Akin that rape rarely results in pregnancy, she also said, "at that point if God has chosen to bless someone with a life you don't kill it."

Her views aren't that different than Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan's either. Ryan's name is next to the 200 other House members of the GOP who supported House Resolution #3, the 'No Taxpayer Money for Abortion Act' (sponsored by Representative Chris Smith of NJ) which sought to restrict exceptions on Federal funding for abortions for women in the case of rape or incest.

Ryan also supported House Resolution 212, the 'Sanctity of Human Life Act' which went even further and sought to ban abortion even in cases of rape; it was sponsored by Georgia Congressman Paul Broun; who also tried to de-fund the Voting Rights Act.

These views, while clearly way out of step with most Americans stance on abortion, have been a central theme of the GOP since the rise of the Tea Party in 2010. The right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has helped Republican state legislators from around the nation pass almost 1,000 anti-abortion bills around the nation.

Back on January 20th of this year when former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum was asked what a woman who was raped and became pregnant should do, the poster-boy for the pro-life movement argued that rather than have an abortion, she should be compelled by law to keep the baby and "make the best of a bad situation."  'American Exceptionalism' indeed.

Let's see how presidential hopeful Mitt Romney makes the best of this situation as he contemplates the grim reality of his going up against an incumbent after having chosen a loose-cannon running mate who's views are repugnant to the majority of American women and offensive to those of us who believe the government has no business dictating moral or medical choices for anyone.

Any political party that would place it's ideology over the victims of rape has no business running the nation in the 21st century. What are they thinking? Oh and speaking of chickens coming home to roost, Akin totally chickened out of an appearance on Piers Morgan on CNN. Check it out.

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