A read of my colleague Rmuse’s November 19th tale of Republican food stamp savaging referenced a Pew Research report that Republican lawmakers grotesquely consigned nearly 48 million U.S. recipients to less than one meal a day. The story left me wondering how such legislators could command even one vote in a civilized society.
Among the victims are millions upon millions of children. Giving billionaires a pass on taxes is one thing, intentionally starving small children, quite another. How heartless must you be to attack little kids?
Where children are concerned, America is a third-world nation. And the fault can be traced overwhelmingly to Republicans, especially those hypnotized by the inane Tea Party. Why else would Republican legislators add to the miseries of poor children and even those not so poor when you look at their actions directed at the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These misdeeds are not limited to Teapublican federal acts, but also by the refusal of about half the states (again goaded on by the Tea Party) to expand Medicaid coverage, which would be of great benefit to affected children and adults. These states are turning their backs on expansion even though the deal being offered by Washington is like buying a new Mercedes for the price of an old Buick.
Adding legislative insult to injury, there are even states that are lowering CHIP benefits, payments and reimbursement rates.
Needless to say the earliest legislators and governors’ crowd of “no to Medicaid expansion” resided in the reliably Southern anti-government states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas at last count. Also included, honorary fed-haters Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma and finally, Kansas. Really? Yes, under the sketchy gubernatorial guidance of former DC insider Sam Brownback, a rare combination of evangelical and Catholic zealotry, Kansas is a prime offender when it comes to not giving a damn about children or others in need for that matter. More states to follow.
In an act of supreme irony and hypocrisy, Tea Party types, while blocking most efforts to help children, incessantly allude to the good book in averring their spiritual allegiance to the sanctity of life; as in no abortions or contraception. May I kindly offer the following perspective on the matter of right-wing biblical love and protection of ‘life’?
First of all, I personally think a daily dose of the bible is a wonderful guide for a better, richer and more spiritual existence. But in purely practical terms, I currently reside in the year 2013. Back in Jesus’ day of holy transcendent perfection, human excrement was routinely tossed in the middle of the street (uggggh!). Word was, and this should be mighty comforting to the Tea Party, the distribution of wealth was about what it is today, meaning the top 1 or 2 percent controlled a majority of the goodies. One of my sources says teachers were held in low esteem when Jesus walked the earth. Sound familiar? The right considers public school teachers just this side of serial killers and elects state legislators who fund public education accordingly.
Ergo; living by the tenants of the bible, fine; living as people did in biblical times? Hardly! Let’s deal with issues currently outside our front door, not 2,000 years in the past.
We’ll start with abortion in looking at life through contemporary lens. Most women favor abortion. May I repeat MOST women are not against abortion under certain circumstances. Otherwise there would not be millions of abortions on record. In fact, in objective numbers from state records and the Guttmacher Institute, from Roe v. Wade (1973) through 2012, there have been about 55 million abortions. Some women can carry heavy guilt trips lasting a lifetime from an abortion, but, there are legitimate reasons for abortions and these cannot be tossed aside because mind-bending propaganda experts have utilized Fox-TV, talk radio and other right-wing media to push this socio-religious issue front and center to win elections with often huge secret financial sugar from far right PACs and foundations.
Do you really think the Koch brothers and Karl Rove give the least little damn about whether you have an abortion or not?
If you’re totally, irrevocably against abortion under any circumstances, then might I recommend birth control (pills, prophylactics, IUDs)? How about total abstinence for our God-fearing Tea Party sisters? Highly doubtful as Guttmacher reports that over the decades, over 90% of women have fessed up to having premarital sex. Even Sarah Palin??? Shocking!
For all practical purposes, every adult women has used contraception at one time or another in her life. Most, for all their reproductive lives. So Tea Partyettes, don’t become “bleeding hearts” about your opposition to contraception. Married women use it; single women use it. YOU use it. If all of you didn’t, every family would include about 6-10 kids.
CIA World Factbook indicates there are 2.06 children born per woman in the U.S. Some African countries double and triple that number. Interestingly enough, abortion laws are highly restrictive in most African countries, but there are still numerous abortions being performed; abortions that are deemed highly unsafe according to the Guttmacher Institute. After South Africa’s abortion laws were liberalized, abortion deaths were reduced by 91%. In the U.S. legal abortions result in 0.6 deaths per 100,000 procedures; worldwide, unsafe abortions equal 350 times the number of deaths per 100,000.
It wasn’t that many years ago that the U.S. suffered the same consequences through back alley abortions, the type encouraged by ill-advised right-wing anti-abortionists apparently content to butcher many hundreds of thousands, maybe even a million-plus women. From the late-1800s to Roe v. Wade, anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 women died each year from unsafe abortions.
No, it’s abundantly clear that children and by extension, women, are at the bottom of the chain of concern to Teapublicans. Come 2014 and 2016, Democrats can actually campaign on a truth platform. The truth is that the opposing party by cruel cuts in programs for children, women, the unemployed, the poor and minorities, by right-wing enthusiasm for weakening regulations that would lower pollution and markedly decrease asthma and countless other respiratory consequences, by attempting to destroy the Affordable Health Care Act and hand entitlements to the financial private sector, by hatred of public schools and by a zeal for wars to benefit the Cheney-types in our population, has no interest in you or your kid’s well-being.
Dammit, Democrats; run for office. Don’t pull an Elizabeth Colbert-Busch scaredy-cat DINO run where she fled from even mentioning the party during her debate with horndog, Mark Sanford, even declaring her love for guns and the fact she was an “Independent” businesswoman. She got a deserved whipping in a race she should have won by double digits. No, go out and run your campaign and take these heartless cowards on in every town hall you can find. Talk about the Affordable Care Act. Embrace it. Shore up public education. Rip into polluters. Fearlessly address abortion and contraception and every woman’s issue extant. Say what’s in your heart. You can – you MUST win!
Remember, it’s all about the children!!!