Mitch McConnell is still an asshole. I know there are lots of you waiting with bated breath for the Saul-on-the-road-to-Damascus kind of thing, but you're better off waiting for something that has a better chance of happening. (Please insert amusing anecdote here regarding what you believe will be likelier to happen than McConnell's return to reality, because Republican pundits have exhausted my supply of sarcasm.)
McConnell, of course, is the turtle-faced Foghorn Leghorn twin who famously declared that the GOP's whole agenda, reason for living, heart's desire, etc., etc., was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Thus they declared war over stupid things like raising the Debt Ceiling, which they performed without a peep----sometimes dozens of times----for Republican Presidents; Bush II got it raised 19 times, which is not surprise because I wouldn't trust him with my checkbook, much less the country's, while Reagan requested his allowance be raised 18 times---and both got it. That millions of Americans suffered as a result of this did not trouble them at all. (In fact, one has to start wondering if they really enjoyed it). Before Romney even thought, much less uttered the now-infamous phrase, "47%", the Republicans were living it, making it clear that not only did such people not matter to them, but that they fully expected (after 2010's hopefully temporary insanity) them to forgive and forget by 2012. Off season elections, so to speak, historically pull smaller turnouts than the already-pathetic turnout rate of big elections, and 2010's was spurred on by the sort of people who didn't see or ignored the fact that the Republicans were blocking Obama at every turn---and blaming him for it. (No wonder they thought it was okay to talk about rape so arrogantly. Blaming the victim or the dupe is their MO.)
Boehner expressed a cautious desire to reach across the aisle. I'll even pronounce his name right if he does this, except he thinks raising taxes for millionaires and billionaires is a 'simple solution, a short term' solution.' You know what? The Koch Brothers and other anti-democracy rich people tried to buy this election. Dems and all those 47%ers dismissed by that kind of thinking knew about it---and rejected the people taking the bribes. You can call it Citizens United, but it's pretty obvious it's just a label change. More than that, sucking up to the rich, per the above link, does not work. You know what it does do, though? It gets lots of bribes for people who suck up to the rich. And who would that be? Yeah, Rapepublicans. It does not help anybody who's lower than Romney Hood's defined "middle class" of lower than $250,000 dollars per year. Do you know anybody on your block or in your building that earns that much?
Yeah, me either.
You know who I---and I bet you as well--- doknow? I know lots of people who deserve a quarter of a mil a year. Teachers. Firefighters. Good cops. Postmen. Garbage workers. Nurses. Soldiers. Daycare workers. Bus drivers. The Korean owners of the corner store near my block, who stock fresh fruit and veggies and ask kindly about me when I manage to get the two hundred feet or so from my house to theirs. (Last time in 2008. I'm not exaggerating.) Add your own! It'd be like a game, except these people toil around us every day, and you don't really notice them till you need them----but what keeps them employed is that every day, somebody needs them. Then there's people like Chris Stevens, who loved the Middle East because he understood it and could talk about and to its people in their own language. The President himself earns a little bit more than half that figure---by Romney's estimation, the President is an arriviste. It showed when he asked Obama about his pension plan during the debate----Romney, the guy with the $100,000,000 IRA. Count the zeros, if there's not nine there I made a mistake. Romney, the guy who one can safely say pays less taxes than the guys who collect my recycling, a job that helps conserve energy and material and is thus so much more worthwhile than anything Romney will do in his sad, pallid little existence, however well-funded that may be.
Here's a new game. We can make a set and see how many people it takes to equal Romney's salary per year. (That is, if we ever figure out how much that is.) We have to flip the measure of those respective jobs though. With guys like Romney, who measure their worth by making money, it's how many jobs they send overseas, how many lives they don't care they ruined, how many companies they broke apart, how many zeros they add to the numbers that define their lives. Plainly put, Republicans don't believe you're human unless you're rich, or can perform services for them silently and invisibly, but I suspect in the case of the latter you're considered something of a pet----one of the 'good ones'. The false equivalency people like to remove context here--- from oppressor and oppressed, the winner and the loser, and who's powerful and who's fighting for the powerless. The American people have been watching this for themselves, and they made it clear that they weren't fooled by the 'both sides are just as bad' crap excuse for disinterested cynicism. That Romney campaigned on lies and Obama essentially on the truth destroys it anyway.
With teachers, firefighters, paramedics, daycare workers, it's often intangibles that define their jobs, their worth. How many kids learned a hard word today? How many kids discovered the love of reading? How many lives saved, or beloved possessions saved from fire, from water, from disaster? How many blankets were wrapped about freezing people, how many lives were saved? How many kids were introduced to Big Bird? How many letters got delivered, flying from hand to hand and state to state and person to person, in a way that---sorry, big dork---still seems miraculous to me? How many people are sitting down to read a book at night, savoring something that many people don't have time, money, or ability to enjoy? What value do you assign those who create all these moments? Does it matter what color they are? Or what gender? Or where their country of origin is? If you define people by what they do and value enough to attempt, then it's impossible to view Democrats against Republicans, for the simple reason that one does not judge the attacker and the defender (or the victim) by the same measure. They aren't close to the same, but it's scary to see some people attempt to justify that kind of thinking.
(And let me just say, the idea that one has less value due to what the country of one's origin might be, in a nation that was taken by force from its original owners, is astonishing to me. People risk their lives to come here. Is there any higher compliment?)
Some Republicans are already making noises about blackmailing the people and the Dems by holding the debt ceiling hostage hostage yet again. They got their noses thumped just two days ago, and after being told by the people---as in, "We, the" thank you very much-----that they're too sexist, too white, too male, too racist, too homophobic, and too hateful, they're wailing that perhaps they need to be more sexist, more white, more male, moreracist, more homophobic, more hateful.
Mitch McLeghornConnell is already basically demanding that Obama take up the Republican platform if he wants the Repubs to reach across the aisle. Except, of course, per my title, they've got reach across confused with reach-around. That's a perspective that can only be possible if one views all acts as predatory rather than cooperative with an aim to achieve mutual benefits. If that makes you nervous, consider this charmer of an extortion note, tossed over the Fox News wall from the compound that Repubs live in.
"The American people did two things: they gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives. (Nice democracy you got here. Be a shame if somethin' happened to it.) The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the President’s first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control. (One can almost admire the unabashed gall in this passage, as it blames the President for the intransigence of the very party that wanted him to fail.) Now it’s time for the President to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely-divided (WTF?) Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office. (By sucking up to us and giving us all the stuff we wanted to appease our Koch overlords, and nothing else, which kind of defeats the whole frickin' point of the election.) To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, (except by Repubs0 we’ll be there to meet him half way.("Half" to Foghorn here means "all.") That begins by proposing a way for both parties to work together in avoiding the ‘fiscal cliff’ without harming a weak and fragile economy, and when that is behind us work with us to reform the tax code and our broken entitlement system. ("Work together" means "giving us everything we ask for or we'll try and fuck you again.") Republicans are eager to hear the President’s proposals on these and many other pressing issues going forward and to do the work the people sent us here to do."
McConnell was apparently not watching the same election the rest of us were. His policies and his party were thumpingly rejected, precisely for political blackmail like this. I do hope Obama realizes he can take the gloves off now. I've been waiting for a good Chief Executive-delivered whapping for years.
McConnell's inability to understand that he just lost----for precisely the same actions he's trying to repeat----is more or less the same bewilderment of sexists and racists who can't seem to get it through their heads that no matter how many times they say they love us, it's the walk we're paying attention to, not the whiny, insincere talk.
Don't strain yourself guessing which party this guy belongs to.
(They've taken it down, but Pharyngula helpfully provided a link to the cache, complete with some of the comments, which need to be read to be believed.)
".....Ever since the primary debate when George Snuffleupagus seemingly out of nowhere asked Willard Mitt Romney about birth control (he’s Mormon, so I guess his position is “missionary”), we should have known how the leftists in the media and the Obama campaign (redundant, I know) intended to define the campaign. Because on radio ads, on TV, and on the web, the Democrats tried to make this election about a single issue:
The right to slut.
Or more precisely, the right to slut without the responsibility of consequences. The famous “gender gap” isn’t really a gap based on gender. The right overwhelmingly wins older and married women. The “gender gap” should more accurately be called the slut vote.
Truly, aren't you astonished that a keeper like this is no doubt single?
Women, apparently, 'slut' (it's a verb, it seems) without partners and reproduce asexually, like those rare frogs in the Amazon, who suffer from a tragic lack of singles' bars and ladies' nights. (MISANDRY OMG.) Thus, men....men....Well, okay, apparently do have sex....with women, who then become sluts due to said sexual act, which does not result in men becoming sluts, and no, sweethearts, you cannot call men sluts and claim with a straight face that it carries the same punishment as it does with women.
The 'consequences' of these acts are babies, which apparently are punishments. But men don't get punished with these consequences. Men don't have anything to do with these consequences. When women have sex with men, it's an act to be punished.
According to other Republican beliefs, abortion is murder, but war and the death penalty are not, birth control either/and causes abortion/sterility and cancer, and/or gets women to believe they can 'slut' without consequences ---which do not apply to men---rape (which does not happen to men or boys) does not cause pregnancy, and (by implication) if we let the bitches get away with the rape exception, they'll all claim to be raped, or victims of incest, without convictions or anything, which is like, so unfair. Oh, and no women die because of pregnancy, and a pregnancy itself is no big deal, compared to death for the poor fetus, who deserves personhood at the expense of the woman's personhood, who being a slut, has no value.
Half the population has no value unless they're a virgin, Sealed For Your Protection.
Like a toilet.
Anyhoodle, to keep up with the Republicans' Sex Education for the Scientifically Shortchanged, apparently when women have babies, there's no sexual congress (congress, ew), just skin cells of their (very calculating, deliberate, immoral) choosing to clone somehow, but actual sex results in sluthood, but only for women, unless they somehow trap the guys with an unplanned pregnancy by.....stealing his condoms? Sabotaging them? (This overlaps with the MRAsshole movement, but since they both hate women, big diff. Am I supposed to care what stupid reason they come up with to justify bigotry?)
Our Hero: "Women make up about 54% of the electorate. It is very hard to win without winning that segment, or at least losing it only narrowly while winning men big. While the right usually wins married women, the fact is that married women constitute an ever-decreasing share of the female population. Women want to delay marriage as long as possible so they can “have it all,” and usually “have it all” means “have as much hot alpha sex as possible without any consequences.” And thus, less married women and more sluts (not that these two groups are mutually exclusive, per se)....
This guy never pauses to consider the notion that marriage might not the great deal (for women) that it was when women had no other options. (For men, it's sex and free house cleaning.) Nope, it's womens' fault. Here's a tip, guys: when you publicly brand women sluts you're pretty much admitting you're smelly, immature, intellectually stunted, lightning fast, and are so obnoxious and sexist when you're upright and the blood is flowing to your (one hopes) larger head that all desire to reverse the positions of large(r?) head and smaller one is not just stifled, but strangled and pounded to death against a rock. Rush Limbaugh, if stripped of his obnoxious mien and grotesque bigotry, would probably not lack for dates and company. (This is not yet how women are viewed.) When you live on a steady diet of Beck and Limbaugh and Fox, though, hatred is not exception. It's the norm. And nobody makes a better scapegoat than women. I hesitate to quote what this guy says about black women, for the simple reason that Rapepublicans view people who are lower on the social ladder than them with undisguised loathing and hatred. But that kind of squeamishness enables them to protest to the contrary, so here you go.
"And that’s where the Democrats come in. Contrary to common belief, the primary reason the Democrats own the black vote has nothing to do with civil rights. The Democrats were only partially supportive of civil rights in the 60′s (with southern Democrats advocating “segregation forever”). Lincoln was a Republican, and Republicans in the House and Senate voted for civil rights legislation in the 60s.
Rather, Democrats have won the black vote because the black community is dominated by illegitimacy, and the Democrats are willing to subsidize and support that illegitimacy (as well as provide access to cheap abortions) so as to take away from sluts the consequences of their actions. Consequently, young black people grow up on the dole and not only never realize there might be something wrong with that, but eventually come to believe that’s the way it should be. The Democrats have won the black vote by first “empowering” single black mothers."
Pro-life, they say, as if a pulse and an umbilical cord are all that is required. You'll notice that there are no personhood amendments proposed for adult women, who probably have other children or responsibilities, who are seeking an abortion within the first twelve weeks, and who were using birth control when they got pregnant. (Or they thought they were using birth control but their abusive boyfriend or husband sabotaged it.) Illegitimacy and abortion, as opposed to the previous options: forced adoption (which books like "The Girls Who Went Away" expose as traumatizing), enforced celibacy (for women only), and rape and illegal abortion, the rate of the latter of which remains constant whether legal or not, differing only in lethality, and which also included rape as the price for an operation which killed so many women that hospitals were able to close whole wards after Roe V. Wade. Doctors who were anti-abortion in those days could and did let women die as punishment for their attempting to control their own fates, and it's not that hard to find cases wherethe woman either died or nearly died due to a doctor's opinions.
".....Instead, we are looking at four more years of skyrocketing debt, stifling regulation, and the only First Lady who could possibly be bitchy enough to make Hillary Clinton look feminine...."
I especially like the slaps at not one but two of the most engaging and compassionate First Ladies we've ever had, including our present Secretary of State, who has been unabashedly blunt and devoted to turning the discussion to womens' issues whenever she can. The much-neglected plight of those invisible women who do much of the world's work has been highlighted in the way it deserves--and needs. I cannot say enough good things about Michelle Obama, though I can mourn that because she's already given so much to her country we probably won't be seeing her as a candidate for the Oval Office any time soon.
And yet, to the men lamenting the loss of that office, these accomplished women just a slut, because it was this party that did not protest when, after the 2008 election, some righties called the Obama daughters---then quite little girls, 7 and 10-----"whores." (Rush Limbaugh famously called 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton "The White House dog.")
Gee, ladies, don't you just yearn to vote for men for whom the most innocent of young girls is a whore? And for whom women are judged only by the numbers on the turnstiles in their vaginas, which determine their worth? Even cars are valued more after they attain a certain number of years and miles. I can only imagine the nuance these guys bring to social issues!
If by nuance, you mean, lying. Romney lied to auto workers' faces in Ohio, where Obama's auto bailout had restored old jobs and created new ones. When confronted Romney adopted the novel approach of doubling down on his lies, even when CEOs of two auto companies slapped him six ways to Sunday. While this was going on, Sensata workers were ordered to build a stage at their factory, which owed its existence making car sensors to the recovery of the auto industry.
They were fired from that same stage by Bain Capital workers, then had to watch as Bain shipped their jobs to China. The same country that Romney had promised to get tough on after a lifetime of sending them jobs---- the same jobs that Romney suddenly, abruptly, promised to save. (One of the factors in Romney losing might have been the countless cases of whiplash caused by his changing his positions at warp speed.) Republicans think so highly of themselves that they thought, "Sure, honey, I've had a vasectomy," politically speaking, would convince voters that what they saw and heard with their own eyes and ears was less valuable than what Republicans told them to believe. Who are you going to believe? The Rapepublicanas or your lying eyes?
The Rapepublicans are that guy in clubs, in class, down the block, at work, in the next cubicle, who says horrible shit about women and then is angry that they won't fuck him, because ....he says horrible shit about women. But....but! You have to fuck him! It's your job! Or something! It's all women are good for! This became especially glaring as Rapepublican after Rapepublican stepped up the plate and spouted 12th-Century rhetoric about rape that predated the 17th-Century Matthew Hale by four centuries. Matthew Hale hunted witches, hated women ("no sense above their girdle"), and knowingly convicted at least two innocent women of witchcraft, while opining that marital rape did not exist due the nature of the thing. He put into words the Republican viewpoint of rape, that women lie about it, and that it tarnishes a man's reputation forever. "rape...is an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused, tho never so innocent." This was read before the jury was sent to make their decisions and some defense lawyers still recite it to this day. Because only women were hurt by this, Hale has a reputation as a honorable lawyer and judge. The only primitive theory the Republicans didn't spout was the Medieval belief that the father of a woman's first child was the biological source for all her subsequent children. I saw a woman on a TV show recently sue another for ruining her purebred dog by allowing her mutt to impregnate it, thus rendering all future offspring mutts like their sire. No primitive belief, it seems, is too primitive.
For sexist men, the idea that women are less than men and live in a totally different world makes perfect sense. This means that anything done to women just doesn't matter as much due to their status as, you know, women. It might as well happen in Vegas, because women are supposed to be such non-entities that once you turn your back on them, they don't exist. Living as a sexist is totally fair, fun, and easy. Those dumb bitches, falling for their fake sincerity! But then when the bitches get smart and their jobs and education enable them to put their foot down and decide who they have sex with, when, and how well, it's even worse. For myself, I have to wonder who likes thinking that badly of people you get that close to? Do they do like Coulter does, compartmentalizing people behind walls in their mind? As the months went on, the statements made by Repubs, though horrible, were not as bad as their complete bewilderment at how could the public be upset at these things. It's the way everybody thinks, right? It offered a hint of how angry and upset they'd be once, on Election Night, they ventured out of their Scary Tea Bagger bubbles.
Rapepublicans resolve their hatred of sluts with their supposed love of supposedly good women in their own Party, who all seem to be pale blonde, extremely thin, and extremely sour, as if they only drank lemon juice. "We love women!" trilled Ann Romney at the podium of the RNC, but by that time her own husband had cluelessly said of Rush Limbaugh's slutfest involving a completely ordinary (if very intelligent) Sandra Fluke, "I wouldn't have used precisely those words." Which means, he would have used different, more polite words, but saying the same thing----calling her a slut when she didn't say one thing about sex. It's a real tossup as to whether or not it's Limbaugh's extreme sexism or extreme ignorance was more off putting. Over the course of the next several days, Limbaugh sneered at Fluke and other young women as being sluts and whores, scorned them for wanting free medication for their (imagined) sex lives, and revealed that he thought birth control was like Viagra: one had to take it before the beginning of the festivities. Never mind that Limbaugh's hypocrisy is staggering here; he was an addict himself for quite some time, and after that issue was settled he was busted getting off a plane with Viagra prescribed in somebody else's name. No, let's look at how scornful he was in the vituperation he hurled at Fluke, who spoke up about insurance companies that gave men like Limbaugh Viagra, but denied women birth control because....why, exactly? It highlighted another gap in mens' and womens' lives: men were aided in getting sex. Women were to be punished for it, with pregnancy and children. Any woman or girl who did so outside of tight circumstances, even where all decent people agreed she'd not had sex at all, had in fact been raped or forced, was a slut to men like Limbaugh--and Romney. With the whole country watching, Limbaugh made a faux apology and kept his job and soon was back to his old tricks. Meanwhile, Ann Coulter demonstrated the Serena Joy mindset of women who find this kind of thing attractive: It'll never be me being judged like that. I'm too pretty/smart/useful.
Ann Coulter routinely dismisses Democratic women with sexist slurs that Rapepublican men don't dare to say (in public, as the 47% tape shows), and serves as sexist surrogate for guys who were so arrogant that they seemed to forget that women, were, in fact, human beings, not aquariums for fetii. That number includes Paul Ryan, who famously said that 'rape is another means of conception.' As this came after over two hundred Republican attempts to restrict abortion by either abusive (transvaginal probe used on rape victims) or patronizing (listening to some anti-choicer recite anti-choice propaganda) or both.(Waiting periods, because we all know bitches would otherwise have abortions like facials.)
This time, though, the whole country was paying attention.
That low-bar-buried-in-the-dirt is no excuse for liberal guys to rest on their laurels, however, or think that their 'advice' about rape----often involving dark alleys, short skirts, and booze----is any different from saying to rapists that drunk women wearing miniskirts in alleys are fair game, because, if I remember correctly, well, we can't reach rapists, so you gals are gonna hafta watch your backs, because we won't. When one says that rape victims need to stop strolling about in miniskirts and halter tops, one is in fact speaking to rapists, because they are in fact that common. You should be horrified by that. You should be horrified enough to read a book or two about the subject. What you should not do is give advice. You might not change rapists' minds, goes the whining, but if you never try, I can guarantee you won't. What you tolerate is what you endorse. Rapists or rapist apologists are also the kind of guys who don't listen to women, so it's up to guys to crack down on the male friends, co-workers, relatives, and others who commonly rape, as well as not automatically disbelieving women who accuse their wonderful bro of rape. The fact that many men hear this and think it's unreasonable makes startlingly clear that they're not really offended by guys chattering about rape---unless it's the other party. Liberal guys need to step up and be a part of this fight, because you're not an ally by merely being better than the worst and lowest standard there is. If you're liberal about everything but 52% of the population, you don't deserve the title of liberal, which involves fighting the status quo, which is why Blue Dogs need to cut bait. They're not the only ones. No guy needs to explain or advise women about avoiding rape, thanks. It's just jerking off in public. The Republicans got caught doing in pubic what many men of all kinds do all over the place. (Check my post about how the miniskirt is to blame, not the guy.) When trolls swarm a post about rape, for example, and men are more offended at women objecting to the trolls than they are at the things the trolls say about rape, it's a vivid picture of their priorities. When they tolerate mens' ignorance but attack womens' irritation, it sends a message. As Romney said, "I wouldn't have used the same words." But nonetheless he approved of and agreed that she was a slut.
So it doesn't look like the Rapepublicans are going to examine their own consciences any time soon, because they are firmly convinced of your immorality. They really seem to think that if some greasy tub of Rush calls women sluts women will exclaim, "YOU'RE RIGHT! OMG, LORD, LET ME ATONE."
Of course, for the last thirty years the Republicans have courted the most racist, sexist, KKK-lite elements of society and have become the party of anti. They're not for anything. They're against any and everything that might assist not-white not-men -not straight
people uh, voters? in evading Republican judgement for their sins. They think that this is right and just that they and they alone judge particular groups of people for their particular actions, and deliver punishment accordingly. That people simply don't accept this gratefully stumps them. "Oh, thank you, Mr. Rapepublican! Thank you for forcing me to deliver a rape baby, to be fired for being pregnant, for being denied birth control---when Viagra is a sacrement)----and for being told I wasn't legitimately raped! Oh, thank you, thank you, I'll go put on a burka right now." And burkas don't work as a rape deterrent, much like long skirts and turtlenecks don't seem to have any sort of repelling power at all. Don't talk to me about that anti-rape condom, which requires women to actually be raped before it works, and which may cause rapists to escalate to homicide when their dicks get chopped up. Oh, and you know what this, like so many other supposedly well-meaning pieces of anti-rape requires of society, meaning men? Absolutely nothing.
People usually aren't as blunt about being sexist tools as the Republicans were this year, and I'd be willing to bet that all they've learned is to not 'use quite those precise words.' Their policies toward women reflected their hatred and contempt for women so glaringly, with the addition of the endless stream of men belittling rape, that the whole country got a look at the mindset behind it, and how Republicans treated not just women with utter disdain and sadism, but were planning on destroying everybody else's rights for the sake of pandering to the millionaires who yanked their chains. Women were not just the canary in the coal mine, they were the miners as well, and they shoved aside the obstacles and stepped out into sunlight, silenced no more.
I draw hope from the fact that people were sincerely disgusted by the Akins and the Smiths and the people who weren't upset at all, and by the way it and so many other offenses obviously resonated with so many voters that they lined up for hours despite age, infirmity, weather, health, discrimination, and voter fraud attempts. For years women suffered under Republicans and nobody much cared. (They sure cared when women got uppity about it, though.) The populace is composed of younger, darker, more gender fluid and more open minded people than ever before. "Were you in it just for me?" Hillary Clinton said at the 2008 DNC, when she nominated Barack Obama for the Presidency in a cynical era. No. We weren't. And on Tuesday, when all the people that went to the polls do so in rainbows of people, we all realized the same thing: we're not in it just for us, because though we're all different, they are, and they're going to treat us all the same if we don't join together and find common cause.
The Republicans represent nothing but the past and hatred. They have done this to themselves, and they have this opportunity to change it. Women, gays, African-Americans, Hispanics, and anybody who's not a rich white guy should not have to tolerate the verbal and political abuses of a party that is not for anything so much as it is against everything that helps people they think have no value. This past Tuesday we put the walk to the words and showed them.
Yes, we can.
And yes, we did.
And now, we owe ourselves and everyone else this promise: Yes, we will.