“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: democracy simply doesn’t work.”
— Kent Brockman
At least not in a way that genuinely serves the interests of the American people.
I don’t spend a lot of time on this blog discussing politics or ideological social issues. But that doesn’t mean these things aren’t important to me, or that I don’t hold convictions that are as strong as steel.
Back when the campaign for the 2010 midterm elections was at its most irritating peak, I remember saying to my mother, “The Republicans are just better at this.” I didn’t mean that they’re better at governing. Or better at supporting the average American. Or better at protecting this nation and the interests of its citizens. I don’t believe any of those things to be true. They’re simply better at winning. They’re better at spinning tales, and making empty statements land with the weight and heft of monumental declarations and insights. They’re just so much better at passing blame.
The federal government may very well shut down at midnight, and it will be women who get shouldered with the blame.
The main sticking point in the budget dispute appears to be a GOP rider that prohibits any federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other Title X organizations. I’m not going to get into a discussion about abortion (though trust that I have plenty to say, the short of it being that denying women body autonomy is basically asserting that women are not adults who are capable of making their own decisions), except to say that it is a totally worthless point in this debate. The GOP wants anti-choice Americans to believe that democrats are more interested in helping women terminate unwanted pregnancy through the use of tax-payer money than they are in fixing the economy and creating jobs. This rhetoric is so full of bullshit that my eyes are watering from the stench of it. The existing Hyde Amendment already prohibits Planned Parenthood and similar organizations from using federal money to fund pregnancy termination programs. It doesn’t happen. It can’t happen. Congress could create a budget that gives all the money in the world to Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood still couldn’t use that money to fund termination procedures. So this fight has nothing to do with abortion. It has to do with the Republicans cutting all funding to services that provide contraception and family planning. It has to do with cutting funding for cancer screenings, blood pressure screenings, vaccines, fertility testing, treatment of UTIs, ovarian cysts and countless other immensely important healthcare screenings and treatment for low income women and men. This is not about abortion. This is about health.
But the GOP has made this about abortion. They have made this about women being greedy and unwilling to sacrifice during a time when the nation has been told that everyone must do his/her part. They have made this about women wanting to kill babies (massive eye roll) when it’s really about women wanting (and deserving) access to very basic reproductive, sexual and general healthcare procedures.
If the government shuts down tonight, the GOP (and all of their loud-mouthed television pundits) will be able to say that they were just protecting the American tax payer, just making sure that Joe Hardworker’s hard earned money wasn’t going to help women who don’t know how to keep their legs together. Democrats, and the women they’re protecting, don’t care about America, or fixing this economic crisis. That’s the lie they’re telling. That’s the blame they’ll pass.
And that’s the way they’ll win in 2012. Because they’re just fucking better at this.