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Virginia protest

While the rest of the world honors the accomplishments made by women in their society, here in the United States, the Republicans have taken us down a radically different path. After the 2010 national elections, Republicans took control over many state governorships and state legislatures and thus began a concerted attack on not only worker’s rights and collective bargaining, but an all out assault on women’s rights carefully framed, during the past two decades, in religious trappings.

New laws, or legislation now being considered, in the Republican controlled states of South Dakota, Virginia, Arizona, Minnesota, Indiana, Florida, Missouri, Kansas, Alabama, Idaho, and Georgia limit, restrict, or prevent women from obtaining various health services applicable to only females: contraception, mammograms, cancer screening, abortion counseling. The ultimate goal of the American Taliban masquerading as GOP (government oppressing people) mullahs is to prevent all abortions in the United States even in the case of rape or incest.

Americans have been mentally conditioned for this time in history by constant Republican anti-women’s rhetoric over the past two decades carefully crafted within fundamentalist Christian dogma. John F. Kennedy ‘s Catholic background did not pose a political problem as he was able to separate church from state, something none of the current Republican candidates for president are willing to do. In fact, it appears this has become a contest to see who can be the most extreme in their views of rolling back the progress woman have made in America since they achieved the right to vote.

Candidate Rick Santorum is on record as opposing any woman’s right to contraception even if such medication is prescribed for a medical condition, as many are, that have nothing to do with sex. Santorum, and the entire GOP field, are for “religious freedom” as long as it is their religious freedom. By listening to Santorum, one gets the feeling he is a mere errand boy for the Vatican and that primary voters may best be served by casting their vote for the Pope!

When college student Sandra Fluke testified before Congress as to the medical benefits of contraception, not relating to sexual activity, GOP mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh attacked her for three days on his radio show defaming Fluke as a “slut and prostitute…who wants a lot of sex and (the taxpayers) pay for it…” The GOP take on this was Limbaugh was only exercising his “freedom of speech” and apparently saw nothing wrong with this slander of a non-public figure-something they were void in doing after the Dixie Chicks merely stated they were “ashamed of President Bush.”

GOP talking heads wanted them burned at the stake. Rush exemplifies the hypocrisy within the fundamentalist Christian, ‘family values’ GOP. When Anthony Weiner (D-NY) texted suggestive photos of himself to an adult woman (not a criminal act), Republicans were outraged and assisted in forcing him to resign from Congress; but that same group of people had little or nothing to say, and in many cases covered up the misdoings of their own colleagues. A few brief examples:

Chris Myers (R-NJ) resigned after it became public knowledge that he had solicited gay prostitutes.

Larry Craig (R-ID) was charged with lewd conduct for soliciting gay restroom sex and actually pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct; yet, there was no fundamentalist GOP outrage.

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Mark Foley (R-FL) had inappropriate relationships with male pages, including minors, which were covered up by Republican leadership for over 10 years as it was more important to have his vote than to remove a predator.

Bob Livingston (R-LA) resigned after his extramarital affair was exposed. Livingston was to replace Sunday school teacher and adulterer Newt Gingrich (R-GA) who, ironically, led the fight against fellow adulterer Bill Clinton.

Bob Packwood (R-ID) assaulted at least 10 women but received cover from GOP leadership.

Dan Crane (R-IL) and Robert Bauman (R-MD) had a fondness for male prostitutes and underage pages. Apparently this only became a problem after media reports.

Equally disturbing is GOP female icon, Ann Coulter who actually opposes women having the right to vote: “If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democratic president (New York Observer)…” And on ‘Politically Incorrect’ Coulter compared a woman’s right to vote to “Communism.”

Coulter exemplifies the GOP mindset when it comes to their crusade against women’s rights and how they get women to vote against their own self interests: “People are sinful and need to be redeemed, and this is your lucky day, because I’m here to redeem you even though you don’t deserve it…I am called to do battle…”

More appropriately, I think, is the passage forewarning of those “to come” that would “deceive many.” Last week, the GOP in Virginia passed legislation forcing women, at their own expense, to undergo medically unnecessary vaginal probes before being allowed abortion consultation.

jim rhodes

One woman picketed with a sign that read: “If I wanted the government in my vagina, I would (have sex with) a politician.” The GOP's AnThis is the continuing story of the party that claims they are for individual rights and liberties and small government while passing legislation that hinders and restricts personal freedoms through big government programs.

James Rhodes