mercredi 9 novembre 2011

A glimmer of sanity in America

Could it be that Americans have already had enough of the Tea Party?

In Ohio, voters smacked around Governor and former Fox News-bot John Kasich, who came to office last year in a wave of Tea Party rage, only to overplay his hand and decide to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights. It seems that Ohioans are still cognizant enough of what unions did for their manufacturing-oriented states in the days before outsourcing and at least for a day, realized that "I Want You To Get Screwed As Badly As We In The Private Sector Have Been" really isn't a formula for a thriving middle class. That almost 40% of Ohio voters still believe that "I Got Mine And Fuck You" is a good governing philosophy is disturbing, but a 20% smackdown of this dictatorial governor is a good thing. Of course the Ohio Legistature is going to try to sneak this thing through piece-by-piece through legislation next year, so continued vigilance is important.

In Mississippi, voters weren't quite ready to decide that women of reproductive age are nothing but incubators, defeating the state's "Personhood Amendment", which would have amended that state's constitution to declare every fertilized egg a person (making every menstrual period a suspected homicide, since up to 2/3 of fertilized eggs never implant). ABC's "The Note" frames this as "Liberals Victorious", as if no one thinks women have any function in our society except the Occupy Wall Street crowd, even though the linked article is written by a woman.

Of course this battle isn't over. Personhood USA, the group behind this insanity, has gained enough signatures to put this travesty on the ballot in six states next year, and is working on all fifty states. Of course this group lies in its web site (to which I refuse to link), claiming that Amendment 26 wouldn't have given rights to fertilized eggs, but it is right there on the Mississippi Secretary of State's site that it did, in fact, define personhood as starting with a fertilized egg.

This is not going to go away. Personhood USA is framing its agenda using the verbiage of the civil rights movement, that change happens slowly. The fertilized egg issue is only part of what this movement is about. Les Riley, head of the Mississippi chapter is also chairman of that state's theocratic Mississippi Constitution party. Mississippi may be able to exhale for at least a little while, but we are going to be fighting this battle in perpetuity.

I remember when abortion was illegal, and high school girls who became pregnant were sent to "stay with grandma for a while". I remember even after Roe, girls in my dorm making deals with the fates, just please let them not be pregnant. Of course in those days, you could also go to free clinics in college towns were you could obtain contraceptives for free. Now we have people bombing Planned Parenthood. The anti-abortion crazies were always around, but they used to leave birth control alone. Then one day they started with trying to repeal Roe, and when that didn't work, some of the smarter political minds around them realized that Roe's existence made useful idiots out of the fetophiles, and they started working on the state level. But it's only in the last decade years that the fetophiles have completely gone off the rails, and that's what their plans to eliminate birth control and declare fertilized eggs to be people with rights that supersede that of their hosts. (I wonder what would happen to a woman with cancer who is pregnant. Would she have to forego chemotherapy if it might hurt a fertilized egg? And since chemotherapy usually takes place over a series of months, and birth control would be redefined as murder, wouldn't potentially every reproductive age cancer patient be a potential murderer?)

It's OK to exhale today. But after today, it's time to get back to work. Because these people are not about Teh Baybeezzzzzz. They view the fact that our economy is being systematically destroyed for the benefit of a very few as something that can somehow be healed if we just put woman back under the thumb of white Christian men where these people feel we belong.

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