Sunday morning re-up: The GOP rides into the sunset.

I don’t usually post on the weekends, but the readership of this blog has leapt exponentially since Thursday, when I posted a little reminder to the Republican Party regarding how babies are made. So, given the interest and the audience, not to mention the despair that so many of us are feeling about the anti-woman tactics of the current GOP, I thought it made sense to re-up the post I wrote a month or so ago, in which I posit that the Republican Party, as currently constitued, is not long for this world.

So I despair — and I grieve for the lives currently being ruined by these cruel acts of anger, ideology, and political posturing — but I also hope. I don’t forsee (or even wish for) an end to the Republican Party (a two-party democracy cannot thrive in the absence of two viable parties, and our two-party democracy is far too important to me to lose sight of that), but I do quite genuinely foresee an end to the race-baiting, homophobia, poor-shaming and misogyny. Because the American people simply doesn’t buy it anymore.

(And thanks again, so much, for coming by! If you scroll down, you’ll also find a general introduction to the blog).

*******************************

Ok, I’m just going to say this crazy thing out loud:

It is my professional opinion, as a typer of words for little pay and longtime citizen of these United States, that the GOP as we know it will soon, within my lifetime, be a thing of the past.

BEFORE YOU START TELLING ME I’M WRONG, let’s focus on the words “as we know it.”

I’m not suggesting that the Republican Party will disappear, nor that a third party will rise to threaten it. No apocalypse, no Zombie Lincoln coming back to regain the brand.

I’m merely suggesting that the GOP that very clearly has little-to-no time for gay people, black people, Latino people, Asian people, not-rich people, not-Christian people, or women people, will, within a generation, have to find a new way to keep big business afloat.

My evidence?

The American people.

First of all, fewer than two-thirds of Americans are non-Latino whites. At a certain point, the percentage of the nearly-40% of Americans who are not-Caucasian who get fed up hearing that they don’t know how to work, speak the language of the ghetto, and/or are threatening our economy will reach a tipping point, and the GOP-as-we-know-it will not be able to get them back.

Second of all, the issues on which the GOP-as-we-know-it is campaigning have simply stopped resonating with most Americans. A wee sampling:

Gay marriage is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Really GOP? ‘Cause 53% of America disagrees with you. Perhaps more to the point, 70% of Americans aged 18-34 disagree – and according Gallup, that number is up from 54% the previous year. Sixteen points in one year!

Birth control is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. Abortion? Sure. But suggesting that there’s something wrong with controlling our fertility even if we’re adults, even if we’re married, even if…? Wow. Sorry, GOP, but even Catholics disagree with you here, even when we take into consideration that (contrary to what we were all saying last week) it’s not quite true that 98% of all Catholic women have used birth control (it’s 98% of Catholic women aged 15-44 “for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant“). Apparently, 61% of Catholics support federally-mandated contraception coverage for religiously-affiliated employers — a percentage identical to that of Americans more broadly. (And even on abortion, we’re not really with you: 57% of Americans think abortion should be legal “in all or most cases”).

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Not only do 72% of Americans disagree with the GOP-as-we-know-it on this, but that includes 55% of self-professed Republicans!

Being not-Christian (in a particularly narrowly defined sense of “Christian”) is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: It is true that 78.4% of Americans identify as Christian (51% Protestant, 24% Catholic, the rest various others manners of Christian) — however, not only do 70% of religiously affiliated people (of all religions) believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” but 68% believe that even within their own faith community, “there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.”

And finally, even the GOP’s central, driving issue — Barack Obama is evil/unnatural/will ruin America – has lost a lot of steam: Today the President has a 47% approval rating (including among Catholics [46%. Let’s not quibble]) — whereas the GOP’s nominee (stop it – it will not be Santorum) currently has a net favorability rating that has dropped to -24%. That’s right: “Mitt Romney’s net favorability rating has plummeted to NEGATIVE TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT.” I’ll be honest – I’m not sure what that means or how it’s even possible, but I do know that “47% job approval” is better than whatever the hell that is.

So, gentle reader, here’s the point: Whether its leaders realize it or not, the GOP is pulling away from the American shore. Way, waaaaay away. As its primary function is to protect the moneyed class and promote the world-view (to which I believe many Republicans sincerely subscribe) that being not-poor is a simple matter of will, the Republican Party will soon have to start shifting its place on social issues if it’s going to stick to its larger goal.

Bottom line, this is good. There will always be rich people who want to protect their hoard from the hordes, but as we chip away at the social issues, we’ll also (unbeknownst to them) be chipping away at the economic ones. The more people who are genuinely enfranchised, the better the power will be distributed.

Other bottom line? It’s up to us to give the GOP the push. If we want the Republicans to stop assaulting the rights and dignity of entire American communities, we need to act on the knowledge that Americans don’t like what they say. Whatever the hell kind of not-Republican you consider yourself to be, you have to get involved with the 2012 election. You can start here, or here, or by picking up the phone and calling your local Democrats.

Let’s regain the House, strengthen our hold on the Senate, sweep through our statehouses and city halls, and show the GOP what America really thinks.

Remember 2010: Elections have consequences. Polls don’t matter, unless people vote.

Super Tuesday – Vote Republican 2012!

In honor of today’s many GOP primaries (eleven! ten!), I thought I’d just leave this here:

For details on the foregoing, you could always read my recent post entitled The GOP rides into the sunset, but there’s nothing like a good graphic artist to make a person humble: What I took 850 words to write, graphic artist Will Amato (I’m guessing that’s him in the Batman mask on his website’s front page) accomplished in 12 lines.

Vote Republican 2012!

h/t David Graham at The Atlantic

A day in the life of the GOP. And American women.

Over on TPM, Evan McMorris-Santoro sums up the day on which the GOP decided it was time to time-travel back at least sixty years, and drag us all along with them for the trip.

Today. That day was today:

There you have it: modern women being told by Republicans that they’re not qualified to talk about their own sexual health, are dressed like “whores” and probably need birth control because they’re so slutty. And this is just in one day.

For details, click here. But hold on tight, because that time machine moves fast.

And here you were worrying that I was being over optimistic in yesterday’s post. Tch.

The GOP rides into the sunset.

Ok, I’m just going to say this crazy thing out loud:

It is my professional opinion, as a typer of words for little pay and longtime citizen of these United States, that the GOP as we know it will soon, within my lifetime, be a thing of the past.

BEFORE YOU START TELLING ME I’M WRONG, let’s focus on the words “as we know it.”

I’m not suggesting that the Republican Party will disappear, nor that a third party will rise to threaten it. No apocalypse, no Zombie Lincoln coming back to regain the brand.

I’m merely suggesting that the GOP that very clearly has little-to-no time for gay people, black people, Latino people, Asian people, not-rich people, not-Christian people, or women people, will, within a generation, have to find a new way to keep big business afloat.

My evidence?

The American people.

First of all, fewer than two-thirds of Americans are non-Latino whites. At a certain point, the percentage of the nearly-40% of Americans who are not-Caucasian who get fed up hearing that they don’t know how to work, speak the language of the ghetto, and/or are threatening our economy will reach a tipping point, and the GOP-as-we-know-it will not be able to get them back.

Second of all, the issues on which the GOP-as-we-know-it is campaigning have simply stopped resonating with most Americans. A wee sampling:

Gay marriage is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Really GOP? ‘Cause 53% of America disagrees with you. Perhaps more to the point, 70% of Americans aged 18-34 disagree — and according Gallup, that number is up from 54% the previous year. Sixteen points in one year!

Birth control is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. Abortion? Sure. But suggesting that there’s something wrong with controlling our fertility even if we’re adults, even if we’re married, even if…? Wow. Sorry, GOP, but even Catholics disagree with you here, even when we take into consideration that (contrary to what we were all saying last week) it’s not quite true that 98% of all Catholic women have used birth control (it’s 98% of Catholic women aged 15-44 “for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant“). Apparently, 61% of Catholics support federally-mandated contraception coverage for religiously-affiliated employers — a percentage identical to that of Americans more broadly. (And even on abortion, we’re not really with you: 57% of Americans think abortion should be legal “in all or most cases”).

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: Not only do 72% of Americans disagree with the GOP-as-we-know-it on this, but that includes 55% of self-professed Republicans!

Being not-Christian (in a particularly narrowly defined sense of “Christian”) is evil/unnatural/will ruin America: It is true that 78.4% of Americans identify as Christian (51% Protestant, 24% Catholic, the rest various others manners of Christian) — however, not only do 70% of religiously affiliated people (of all religions) believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” but 68% believe that even within their own faith community, “there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.”

And finally, even the GOP’s central, driving issue — Barack Obama is evil/unnatural/will ruin America — has lost a lot of steam: Today the President has a 47% approval rating (including among Catholics [46%. Let’s not quibble]) — whereas the GOP’s nominee (stop it – it will not be Santorum) currently has a net favorability rating that has dropped to -24%. That’s right: “Mitt Romney’s net favorability rating has plummeted to NEGATIVE TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT.” I’ll be honest – I’m not sure what that means or how it’s even possible, but I do know that “47% job approval” is better than whatever the hell that is.

So, gentle reader, here’s the point: Whether its leaders realize it or not, the GOP is pulling away from the American shore. Way, waaaaay away. As its primary function is to protect the moneyed class and promote the world-view (to which I believe many Republicans sincerely subscribe) that being not-poor is a simple matter of will, the Republican Party will soon have to start shifting its place on social issues if it’s going to stick to its larger goal.

Bottom line, this is good. There will always be rich people who want to protect their hoard from the hordes, but as we chip away at the social issues, we’ll also (unbeknownst to them) be chipping away at the economic ones. The more people who are genuinely enfranchised, the better the power will be distributed.

Other bottom line? It’s up to us to give the GOP the push. If we want the Republicans to stop assaulting the rights and dignity of entire American communities, we need to act on the knowledge that Americans don’t like what they say. Whatever the hell kind of not-Republican you consider yourself to be, you have to get involved with the 2012 election. You can start here, or here, or by picking up the phone and calling your local Democrats.

Let’s regain the House, strengthen our hold on the Senate, sweep through our statehouses and city halls, and show the GOP what America really thinks.

Remember 2010: Elections have consequences. Polls don’t matter, unless people vote.

The vocabulary of bad behavior: Adultery, harassment, assault, and rape.

Source: Melina Mara/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Herman Cain is imploding. If anyone’s still pretending this is a surprise, can we stop that right now? I would also be grateful if we could finally stop acting as if he was ever a serious contender for the GOP nomination. He wasn’t, and not just because he’s black. Cain was never a serious contender because he’s wildly ignorant, and borderline crazy. The GOP has a history of allowing these people (Bachmann, Perry, Santorum, Paul, Cain, etc) to toddle out onto the stage and push the boundaries of civil conversation a little farther out, squeezing out every last drop of anti-social outrage they can, and then tossing them onto history’s famous scrapheap, in favor of the one fella who has money and isn’t certifiable. In 2008, it was John McCain. In 2012, it’ll be Mitt Romney. Have we cleared that up? (No, it won’t be Gingrich. Stop that! He’s made too many Republicans mad. Much as they hate Romney, they hate Gingrich more). (No! Not Huntsman either! He’s too reasonable, and too poor. Maybe 2016, when they’re done purging the party of the crazy following what they already know will be Obama’s re-election). (Yes. That’s what’s going to happen. Can we get to the point now? Thank you).

Herman Cain’s silly White House run having served more as useful foolishness than reality, I don’t have any interest in discussing it as a political exercise. I do, however, have a very real interest in using it to continue the conversation we began earlier this month about the ways in which harassment and assault shape women’s days, and to move into the vocabulary we use in conversations about sexual violence, whether they are about Herman Cain, or Jerry Sandusky, or Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or the asshole down the street.

Cain stands accused of three things:

  1. Adultery
  2. Harassment
  3. Assault

One woman has said they conducted a 13-year affair, and Cain’s lawyer has all but admitted this to be the case. Several woman have accused him of harassment, and in the one case where the details have emerged, it became an accusation of assault at the very moment in which the accuser said he’d groped her inner thigh, and attempted to pull her head toward his crotch.

We (and here I think I mean pretty much everyone, not just Americans) have a terrible problem remembering that these are three different things, and that the latter two legitimately overlap.

Adultery means you’re bad at monogamy. Depending on your relationship, it probably means you’re a bad spouse. In most cases, I believe adultery to be an entirely private matter, but if you happen to be running for office on a platform of some kind of mythical family purity, it also means you’re a dangerous, damaging hypocrite, and your peccadilloes are justifiable fodder in my efforts to defeat you.

Harassment, however, and assault are something else altogether. Adultery presumes consent. Harassment and assault (and rape) presume a relationship of dominance, one in which one person is Subject/Actor, and the other is Object/Acted-Upon.

When men ask our cup size, or yell at us to smile, or suggest the workday might go better if we go down on them first – they’re not treating us as people, they’re treating us objects, tools through which they may express their own desires and their position of social dominance. They’re creating an environment in which women are set on a knife edge of, at the very least, discomfort, if not fear.

When men grab our breasts, attempt to kiss us uninvited, or pull our heads toward their crotch, they’ve not just ignored our humanity and treated us as tools, but they’ve acted on that bias, handling our very bodies as objects with which they may do as they please. The discomfort or fear is no longer in response to a vague, difficult-to-judge level of threat, but a reaction to events which say quite clearly that we’re at risk.

And it bears noting (and repeating endlessly) that as much as we may dislike adultery — harassment and assault are actual crimes.

As is rape.

Rape is on a continuum with harassment and assault, and while each step along that continuum is worse on increasing orders of magnitude, they start at the same root: The denial of another person’s humanity, the erasure of that person’s autonomy, the transformation of a blood-and-bone human being (a chamber maid, a co-worker, a boy who’s turned to you for guidance) into a thing.

I wrote about this with far greater heat when Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of rape (and for what it’s worth: I still believe the accuser. Like I still believe Anita Hill), but I actually think we have a harder time drawing these linguistic lines when the crimes under discussion are lesser. We still find it far too easy to interpret harassment as boyishness, and assault as crossed signals. We still find it far too easy to presume that in matters of sexual congress, men are predators because they should be.

When we lump Cain’s adultery in with his (alleged) harassment and assault, when we lump Strauss-Kahn’s infidelities in with his (alleged) rape, when we somehow talk about these things in the same breath in which we discuss Sandusky’s serial rape of young boys — we further the problem.

Cheating for 13 years, or repeatedly, or on one ill-considered night — that’s a sex scandal.

Harassment, assault and rape, on the other hand, are crimes. Let’s be very clear about that when we open our mouths and start talking. We are all damaged when we fail to do so.

%d bloggers like this: