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Republicans still can't decide whether there is a War on Caterpillars Women, or whether President Obama started it, or whether it's a fictional invention of the media or the Democrats, or whether it's a Democratic War on Women Ann Romney.

This week, Michele Bachmann said, "There is no war on women. There's never been a war on women." Which is either on or off message, depending on the day. For example, Sen. John McCain on Meet the Press, March 20, 2012:

GREGORY: Do you think that there is something of a war on women among Republicans?

McCAIN: I think we have to fix that. I think that there is a perception out there because of how this whole contraception issue played out — ah, we need to get off of that issue, in my view.

But this week, during a Senate debate on reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, McCain flip-flopped on the problem he'd previously acknowledged. He took to the floor to make his case while his party launched an unprecedented opposition because they don't like the part where it includes protection for immigrants, lesbians and Native American women. Or, as Melissa McEwan (aka Shakespeare's Sister) brilliantly described it, "Protect the sanctity of traditional domestic violence!"

While McCain ultimately voted to reauthorize the act, he first had to spend more than 10 minutes explaining why women are perfectly equal already and, just as his fellow Republican Bachmann claimed, the War on Women is mere fiction:

My friends, this supposed “War on Women” or the use of similarly outlandish rhetoric by partisan operatives has two purposes, and both are political in their purpose and effect. The first, purely political; the first is to distract citizens from real issues that really matter, and the second is to give talking heads something to sputter about when they appear on cable television. Neither purpose does anything to advance the well being of any American. [...]

To suggest that one group of us or one party speaks for all women or that one group has an agenda to harm women and another to help them is ridiculous if for no other reason than it assumes a unity of interests, beliefs, concerns, experiences and ambition among all women that doesn’t exist among men or among any race or class. [...]

Thankfully, I believe men and women of our country are smart enough to recognize that when a politician or political party resorts to dividing us in the name of bringing us together, it usually means that they’re either out of ideas or short on resolve to address the challenges of our time. At this time in our nation’s history, we face an abundance of hard choices. The vicious slogans and the declaring of phony wars are intended to avoid those hard choices and to escape paying a political price for doing so. [...]

Leaving these problems unaddressed indefinitely and resorting to provoking greater divisions among us at a time when we most need unity might not be a war against this or that group of Americans, but it is surely a surrender: a surrender of our responsibilities to the country and a surrender of decency.

Apparently, Mitt Romney's flip-flopping is contagious, and John McCain has a bad case of it.

As I previously wrote, and as readers of this series well know, Republicans can deny it all they want, but there is a War on Women. It's real, and it's dangerous, and it's not about zingers and slogans:

It's about a constant legislative assault by the Republican Party, at the state and federal level, on women's equality and basic rights, from health care to equal pay to funding programs to combat violence against women. Women aren't stupid, even if Republicans, like Herman Cain, insist that "men are much more familiar with the failed policies than a lot of other people."
Despite the best efforts of the 31 Republicans (yes, all men) who voted against it, the Senate passed the not-watered-down Violence Against Women Act. Next stop is the House, so tell your representatives to pass the Violence Against Women Act.


This week’s good, bad and ugly below the fold.

  • Dear Concerned Women Trolls of America, I got your "coarse vulgarities from the left" right here: Fuck you. No, seriously. Fuck you.
  • Looks like the forced-birth terrorists are trying to run another dumb sting operation on Planned Parenthood:
    The anti-choice crowd's big new thing is that, in the words of National Right to Life president Carol Tobias, "the real war on women" is that "roughly half" of abortions "are performed on unborn girls." Since roughly half of pregnancies are girls, that makes a general sort of statistical sense, though since the vast, overwhelming majority of abortions are performed long before sex can be determined, it's absolutely beside the point when it comes to a war on women.
    In other words, FAIL. Sting FAIL. Statistics FAIL. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL. Oh, and by the way, FAIL. You know what to do: Donate to Planned Parenthood.
  • Here's a super-duper pro-lifey idea: let's blame mothers when their prematurely born infants die, charge them with a felony, take their other children away from them, and toss them in prison for 10 years. Because that's totally the pro-life, pro-child, family values thing to do.
  • Dear Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant: Fuck you. No, seriously. Fuck you.
  • Democracy in action, Republican style:
    A young woman approached [Washington] attorney general and gubernatorial wannabe Rob McKenna to ask him his stance on the Reproductive Parity Act [...]
    Woman: "What's your stance on the Reproductive Parity Act?"
    McKenna: "My stance is I'm a lawyer for the State. You can turn that recorder off if you'd like, instead of trying to bushwhack me. It's not really very polite is it? Do you think you're honest?"

    Woman: "I'm just wondering..."

    McKenna: "Do you think you're being honest?"

    Woman: "Huh?"

    McKenna: "Are you being honest? Or are you just not going to answer my question?"

    Woman: "I'm a youth worker who's wondering..."

    McKenna: "You're not being honest. Forget it."

    Woman: "Okay..."

    McKenna: "You're just trying to gain a political advantage, sorry. Why don't you go get a job?"

  • Dear South Carolina State Sen. Kevin Bryant: Fuck you. No, seriously. Fuck you.
  • Your tax dollars at work:
    If you want to help carry out the anti-abortion mission of the taxpayer-funded Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center, you have to be a Christian.

    It’s right there on the Rapid City, S.D., center’s volunteer application.

    “Do you consider yourself a Christian?” “If yes, how long have you been a Christian?” “As a Christian, what is the basis of your salvation?” “Please provide the following information concerning your local church. Church name … Denomination … Pastor’s name.” “This organization is a Christian pro-life ministry. We believe that our faith in Jesus Christ empowers us, enables us, and motivates us to provide pregnancy services in this community. Please write a brief statement about how your faith would affect your volunteer work at this center.”

    But that hasn’t stopped the center from receiving federal funding and other forms of government support.

    In 2010, it was awarded a $34,000 “capacity building” grant as part of President Obama’s stimulus bill. [...]

    And it’s not just Care Net. Across the country, crisis pregnancy centers that refuse to hire non-Christians are receiving taxpayer funding and other forms of government support.

    Regular readers of this series are already well-versed in the insidiously misleading, anti-woman agenda of "crisis pregnancy centers," which a 2006 congressional report concluded "frequently fail to provide medically accurate information." An extensive investigation by NARAL of CPCs in North Carolina found that "61 out of 66 facilities did not report any medically trained or medically supervised personnel on staff" because the centers are far more concerned with preaching Jesus than providing actual health care. For example:
    [O]ne investigator who posed as a pregnant Jewish woman was given a Bible and told by volunteers at five different CPCs that she would not go to heaven unless she became a Christian.
    So while Republicans are trying like hell to defund women's health care because your tax dollars should never be spent on stuff like breast exams and birth control, they have no problem at all funding these "crisis pregnancy centers" that think health care means saying Jesus a lot.
  • Dear Archbishop John Carroll High School, who told a girl she can't go to her junior prom because she doesn't have a date: Fuck you. No, seriously. Fuck you.
  • Praise the Lord, pro-choice style:
    “Today we pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices.”

    “Today we pray for the men in our lives, that they may offer their loving kindness and support for women’s difficult decisions.”

    “Today we pray for Christians everywhere to embrace the loving model of Jesus in the way he refused to shame women.”

  • What digby says.
  • Adele M. Stan has a must-read article about still-alive professional woman-hater Phyllis Schlafly and some of the craziest, most rancid emissions of semi-coherent hate speak that have spewed forth from her pursed lips over the many decades that she's made a career out of, among other things, telling women not to have careers and warning that the Equal Rights Amendment would lead to the end of civilization as we know it. Or at least co-ed bathrooms. Here's but a small taste:
    "Let me tell you, I worked my way through college and got my college degree at a great university, Washington University of St. Louis, in 1944 -- no discrimination of any kind," Schlafly said. "I then went to the Harvard Graduate School and competed with all of the guys -- no discrimination whatsoever -- got my Harvard degree in 1945. And my mother got her bachelor's degree at a great co-ed university in 1920. So all those opportunities were out there before you all were born, and the feminists had absolutely nothing to do with it."

    In truth, Schlafly would have been barred from entry to Harvard's undergraduate programs in 1945, as well as from its law school. And while she studied with the men (Harvard, under pressure from feminists, had just begun admitting women to some of its graduate programs), her degree was conferred not by Harvard, but by the women's college with which it was affiliated, Radcliffe. Schlafly also failed to mention that at the time her mother earned her degree, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which -- thanks to the efforts of first-wave feminists -- granted women the right to vote, had not yet been ratified.

  • And speaking of the Equal Rights Amendment, a PPP poll for Daily Kos found that 91 percent of voters think the Constitution should guarantee equal rights for men and women.

    In other words: Fuck you, Phyllis Schlafly. No, seriously. Fuck you.

This week's marching orders:

Now go forth, sluts, and raise hell.

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