Dear Mike Huckabee: You do know how reproduction works, right?

The original title of this post was Dear GOP: You do know how pregnancy works, right?, and it was my single most viewed post, ever, getting more than 100,000 hits in March, 2012. Apparently, though, Mike Huckabee didn’t get the memo. So I’m re-upping it.

I have been pregnant four times.

These pregnancies led to the following four results, in this order: abortion, baby, miscarriage, baby.

These pregnancies occurred over a span of many years, across two continents, and in three different homes. There were at least seven different health care professionals involved, my hair styles varied widely, as did my levels of nausea. The only constant, in all four cases, other than me, was the presence of a penis.

It happened to be the penis I eventually married, but regardless, that is how reproduction works. No matter who you are, no matter your sexuality, ability to reproduce, or family make-up, if there are children in your life, at some point along the way, there was a penis involved.

I mention this only because it seems the GOP, and star player Mike Huckabee, may have forgotten.

Because as we trundle along, shaming women for having any kind of sex, ever, that is not entirely focused on producing babies — even if we are married, even if it wasn’t so much “sex” as “rape,” even if having a baby would threaten our health and thus the well-being of the children we already have — we are completely and utterly ignoring the fact that the single, solitary way for humans to reproduce is for sperm to meet egg. And sperm, you may recall, come from penises.

Which are attached to men.

If women are having too much sex, so are men. If women are producing babies, so are men. If women are making irresponsible reproductive choices with which they want to burden “the American people” — so.are.men.

Birth control, abortions, prenatal care, postpartum care, child care — whatever we may think, whatever we may have been told — are not women’s issues. They are human issues.

There is a purely incandescent rage that comes over me now on a nearly daily basis over the blatant dehumanization of women that is currently sweeping the nation. It is exhausting. It is heart breaking. It is spirit crushing. And there’s nothing to be done but to continue to feel it, because I refuse to stop fighting for my right, my daughter’s right, my mother’s right, my sister’s right — the inalienable right of all women everywhere — to human dignity.

But every once and a while, a particularly galling aspect of the GOP’s War on Women floats to the top of the filth, and I am gobsmacked anew. And today it is as simple as this: Women do not reproduce on their own. If the libidos of heterosexual women who use birth control are out of control, Mr. Huckabee, you might want to consider the libidos of the men with whom they’re consorting.

If leading members of the Republican Party are so anxious to control women’s sexuality (and they clearly are), they’d better start shaming men, too.

That is, unless its representatives are willing to argue that men are constitutionally incapable of not sticking their junk into the nearest available lady bits, and we gals have all the power.

I, for one, have too much respect for men to buy that.

PS “Uncle Sugar,” Mike Huckabee? Really?

Why do black folks vote for Democrats?

Ok, so yeah. The African American community votes pretty solidly for Democratic candidates — this we know. The Washington Post decided to poll folks, asking why they think this might be so.

Hereunder the results of that poll (but note first that an accompanying article stated that the most common answer, from either side of the aisle, was “I don’t know,”  and that the numbers listed aren’t percentages but raw counts, from a poll done of 1,020 adult respondents, using both cell and land lines):

source

So, yeah. Even taking all the caveats into consideration, I still think the results are pretty striking: The vast majority of Republicans polled who think they know why blacks vote for the other party think it’s because African-Americans either: take/want government hand-outs; have been socialized into being Democrats; or are just plain ignorant.

It’s a wonder the GOP hasn’t won over more people of color. An absolute mystery.

Calling all Republican grown-ups.

I am a liberal. This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything, at all, about me. A life-long Democrat on these shores, I also strongly support the left in my Israeli home. I will listen to reason, I like to believe that my opinions are nuanced, but the likelihood that I will ever switch sides is pretty slim. Ok. That much is clear.

But before I am any of those things, I am a small-d democrat,  a person who believes passionately in the democracy established in our founding documents — and American democracy requires at least two sides to function. As such, I may be a Democrat, but I would really like to see the Republican Party pull itself together.

Via Jezebel this morning, I was made painfully aware of the in-fighting still going on surrounding the disaster that was the Palin nomination, and my god. It was a painful read. I have no doubt that there are many, many members of the Republican party for whom this period in GOP history is at least equally painful, but the simple truth is: They are not making themselves heard.

The only GOP I see most days is the Congressional Party of No, the Party That Won’t Cross Rush, the Party of Michael “Hip-Hop Urban to Suburban” Steele, the Party of Family Values Except for Us, the Party of Judge Sotomayor Is a Racist. A party that produces four-page health plans with no numbers (strikingly similar to its earlier budget proposal), loudly urges the President to take action that would undermine the Iranian protesters (which the Iranian protesters themselves have said he must not take), and failed to reign in its idiot fringe when said idiot fringe danced the two-step through the blood of Dr. George Tiller (to co-opt a phrase: Silence is not neutrality).

We will hear, now and then, from people who are no longer in power (Bush 41, Kissinger), or people who are erudite but not setting the tone (Noonan, Will). Regarding Iran, a handful of elected officials crossed the barbed-wire aisle to support the President (thank you, Rep. Dick Lugar, and Senators Mel Martinez, Bob Corker, and John Thune) .

But for the most part, there is a crashing silence from what I know to be the GOP’s sane middle. It is similar to the deep, deep quiet that prevailed during the Bush years (a silence that at least made sense, because everyone knew what that Administration would do to any who crossed them), a stillness that allowed those of us on the outside to feel like there were no grown-ups in charge anymore. Like the adults had simply left the building, pushed out or scared off by the adolescent bullies who had taken over.

Today, however, I can no longer make any sense of the silence. Maybe the Republicans who know how to be reasonable are still dizzy from the election; maybe they’re too exhausted to make the trouble-makers stop making trouble; maybe fingers are simply crossed all across GOPville that the storm will blow itself out. Whatever the reason, the up-shot is that there still appear to be no grown-ups in the Republican house.

How any Republican can think that this is good for their party, not to mention their country, is beyond me. America needs two functioning parties in order to function well, and as we groan under the laundry-list of troubles left to us by the last Administration, I would suggest that the GOP needs to get an handle on the actual mood of the nation — if it wants to, in fact, serve that nation.

Furthermore, as an American, it would do my heart good to see someone stand up to the bullies and dilettantes and out-right liars who still claim to represent Real America.

I know there are plenty in my party who can find no good in Republican ranks, but I am not among them. And I sincerely wish that those Republicans who know better, those who are now and have always been grown-ups, would step back into the building, and make their voices heard.

Republicans need you, Democrats need you — your country needs you. Please.