Rachel Maddow warned Republicans on Meet the Press that if they keep pushing things like state mandated vaginal ultrasounds on women, which former Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) called an “opportunity” for women, Democrats will be delighted to have that fight. Also, she reminded them, “(I)t’s the Wendy Davis of the world that are going to make you make the argument.”
This should have served as a warning bell for Republicans.
Watch here courtesy of NBC:
Rachel Maddow was not having any of Jim DeMint’s starry-eyed, liberty-stealing propaganda, even though he was, as always, dripping with the soggy, tragic aura of a Tennessee Williams character.
Maddow shut down the Republican president of the Heritage Foundation after he touted the “opportunities” offered to women via state mandated vaginal ultra sound bills. DeMint offered this sound bite, “(T)he more the ultrasounds have become part of the law where a woman gets the opportunity to see that there’s a real child, it’s beginning to change minds.”
Rachel Maddow: Women don’t get the “opportunity” with ultrasound bills. They’re mandated by the state. If a woman does not want an ultrasound or her doctor doesn’t want her to have one, if it’s not medically indicated, the state government is stepping in and saying you must have this ultrasound by order of the state government.
Because of the timing on a lot of these, and what is being mandated is a vaginal ultrasound, so it’s an invasive vaginal forced procedure that a woman cannot say no to by order of the state government. And that is all right with you. I understand that. You feel that you’ve got interest strong enough to override a woman’s desire to not have that happen to you that you can insist that it does as a legislator.
But most American women I think are going to balk at that. If you want to make it a federal issue, I’d say the Democrats will be delighted to have that fight. But as Republicans push this further and further and further, it’s the Wendy Davis of the world that are going to make you make the argument.
Jim DeMint: She’s forgetting about the thousands of women who want an nched choice, who want the opportunity to get a free ultrasound, which they can get not from planned parenthood but from a lot of these pregnancy centers.
Rachel Maddow: It’s not free.
Jim DeMint: It is in many cases.
Rachel Maddow: It would not be —
Ralph Reed: Women’s “right to know” laws are supported by the overwhelm majority not just of men but of women and 70% of the American people fav bans on abortion after the 20th week, late-term abortion.
Rachel Maddow: Do you think they should have an ultrasound if they don’t want one?
Ralph Reed: It should be litigated. I think it’s a matter of provincial judgment by the state.
Ralph Reed appears to have used a recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll to buttress the Republican position on the “opportunities” the “right to know” offers women, which concluded that a plurality of Americans supports a ban on late abortions, by 48 percent to 44 percent (I don’t know where he got the 70%, but this is the poll Republicans have been using all week). The National Journal 2012 polls came in second to last in accuracy according to Fordham University.
They worded their polling question thusly, “As you may know, the House of Representatives recently approved legislation that would ban virtually all abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of rape and incest that are reported to authorities. Would you support or oppose such legislation.”
However, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll of Texas (Democracy Corps polls, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, were the most accurate national polls in the 2012 presidential election) found that “63 percent say the state has enough restrictions on abortion and 71 percent thinking that the Governor and legislature should be more focused on the economy and jobs.” Furthermore, “(O)nly 34 percent trust the Governor and the legislature to make decisions about women’s healthcare… Support for a woman’s ability to make decisions on abortion for herself is both broad and deep, including among Independents (76 percent) and Republicans (61 percent).”
It’s all about how you frame the question when it comes to abortion, because contrary to Republican rhetoric, no one is “pro abortion”. It is a health care choice and sometimes a medical necessity that we prefer to leave up to the individual, their family and their doctor because that is where it belongs.
Without Rachel on the Sunday shows, the festering putrefaction of Republican patriarchal-based ideology stinks up the place as they smugly natter on about women’s health care, spinning their lies and propaganda with their concern trolling voices, and no one ever stops them. No one corrects them.
No one except Republican men think that an expensive, state-mandated, vaginal ultrasound is an “opportunity”. A vaginal ultrasound is not an “opportunity”. Has Jim DeMint ever had one? I have. It was very painful.
I have an “opportunity” for Jim DeMint: He is free to have a big wand shoved into his body (preferably his sexual organ, just so he can appreciate the level of opportunity he’s offering to mandate for women) at his personal expense for no medical reason other than to make him feel better about his religious beliefs. I look forward to hearing about the greatness of this “opportunity” after the former Senator has undergone it himself. A good leader should be willing to do what they tell others to do, after all.
Politically, Republicans feel free to enrage women by restricting their liberty because they never saw women as a Republican voting bloc, unless the female is married to a Republican, in which case they feel assured that her husband will tell her how to vote. So they not only aren’t losing voters, but they are giving the old white men (their base) something to feel good about when they put women in their “place”. They think kicking the dog (women) will win them elections.
So expect more of this foolishness from the boys of the Republican Party, who may have written off the women vote, but have also underestimated the motivation they’re giving women to get out the vote for Democrats in 2014. Rachel Maddow warned Republicans that they were inviting a fight with the Wendy Davises of the world.
Bring it on.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.