Friday, March 2, 2012

There Is No Big Dog In the GOP Anymore

I've been thinking about the obnoxious filth that Rush Limbaugh has been spreading lately, and wondering if this sort of thing would've gone down during the Bush Administration. . .

And, I don't think it would. If Rush had decided to smear a woman (who, by the way, was testifying about a friend's experience in needing birth control for something other than contraception), someone from the Bush Administration would have, ever so politely, told Rush to shut the fuck up front door.  And then Cheney would get on the phone with Rush, and his producers and would tell them that 1) Rush needs to "apologize" (the infamous, "I'm sorry if I offended you with my totally reasonable remarks" apology), and 2) Rush would shut the fuck up front door about any woman in the future.  And Rush and his producers would politely thank Cheney for informing them of what to do, and then do it.  And Bush would get away with this because he (and Cheney) were the unquestioned leaders of the GOP.

The current debate over birth control is a clear example of the lack of a big dog.  Oral contraceptive, or the pill, is popular, and has been in constant use since 1960.  Think about it - that's 52 years.  So, if women started using the pill at around twenty, then virtually every woman under the age of 72 has used the pill.  Throw in women who started taking the pill in their thirties during the 1960's, their daughters, sisters, friends, cousins, etc., and virtually every woman in the country knows multiple women who take, or who have taken the pill.  Throw in the fact that the pill is not just used as a contraceptive, but used as hormone therapy for women in their 20's to their 50's, and we're talking about something that is common to American life.
So, when the Obama Administration mandated that all employers cover the pill, most women probably thought, "about time."  The only way, and I mean the only way,  for the GOP to win this issue is to couch the fight in terms of religious liberty, and not in terms of anti-woman.   If the Bush Administration had been running things, you would've seen a lineup in Congress of all religious women, constant talk about religious liberty, and maybe (and just maybe) you would hear a woman like Laura Ingraham or Michelle Malkin slam feminists as sluts.

What you would not have is an all-male lineup at a Congressional hearing.  You would not have Rush Limbaugh attacking a witness - who was going to testify about the use of the pill for hormone therapy, not contraception - as a slut.  Now, its pretty clear that the GOP isn't defending religious liberty, but attacking women's rights.  But since the Bush Administration more or less decimated the legitimacy of the GOP leadership, no one controls the message.

The other interesting thing is that there are four candidates for President on the GOP side right now, and about 10-15 other guys who think they could run for President, and yet, the only person to denounce Rush's comments was Boehner, who did it weakly.  If any one of the Presidentials (candidates for 2012, or presumed candidates in 2016) came out and strongly denounced Rush's remarks, the press would be very, very favorable.  But they don't because Rush is as close to the big dog as it gets. 

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