June 27, 2013
The GOP is spending $10,000,000 on its “Outreach” program, trying to reach out to the groups that did not support them in the last Presidential election. You know, the women, the blacks, the Hispanics, and those under 30 years old. OK, pretty much everyone except white men over 30.
Although it is clear that the GOP needs to do substantive work on its image, I personally think outreach within the Party is needed first. There is a monumental schism in the GOP between the far right whackos and wingnuts and those that are best described as moderates or centrists. As Abraham Lincoln pointed out in his unsuccessful campaign for the Senate, “A house divided against itself cannot stand...I will become all one thing or the other.”
As I discovered when I ran for Congress in the Florida panhandle in 2010, you'd better "Go right or go home." As a moderate, pragmatic Republican, I did not think it was feasible or warranted to "bus back the Mexicans," "blow up the Mosque at Ground Zero," or "impeach President Obama." To the majority of voters in my district, I quickly became a traitor to the Party by not aligning myself with the far right's radical views that defied logic, reason, or Constitutional authority. The book I authored as a result of that experience is entitled, "The Reluctant Republican: My Fight for the Moderate Majority," published by The University Press of Florida, March 2013.
Fast forward three years, and what has really changed in the party? Nothing. The far right continues to beat its drum on issues that attract its own base and repels everyone else.
This month the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) released its survey on under-29-year-old registered voters, and it is clear these young people do not think like the right wing base of the GOP. In fact, they view the GOP as largely racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, elitist, and insensitive. Here is one of the findings:
4. End the attacks on women’s reproductive health.
“[T]he issue of protecting life has been conflated with issues around the definition of rape, funding for Planned Parenthood, and even contraception. In the words of one female participant in our Hispanic voter focus group in Orlando, “I think Romney wanted to cut Planned Parenthood. And he supports policies where it would make it harder for a woman to get an abortion should she choose, even if it were medically necessary. That goes hand in hand with redefining rape.”
Michael Burgess this week joins an ignominious line of Republican legislators with unbelievably offensive comments about abortion. His statements to support the recent bill to limit abortions to the first 20 weeks after conception, because sonograms show “male fetus with their hands between their legs” meaning to Rep. Burgess they are “experiencing pleasure.”
This Republican litany on abortion by former and current members of Congress is nothing short of appalling, Todd Akin, thought that rape should not be an exception to abortion because “legitimate rape cause a woman’s body to shut that whole thing down.” Richard Murdock, finding it “God’s intent “ that rape occurs. Joe Walsh discounts “the health of the mother” exception, because of improvements in medical science. Phil Gingrey, Representative from Georgia, stating that, well, women lie about being raped. He found “nothing horrible” about Akin’s statement about “legitimate rape.”
This pattern of attacking women’s integrity, the science of biology and reproduction, to discount the exception of “rape, incest or health of the other” is an attack on women. I am all in favor of different viewpoints on issues, and find that a freedom under the First Amendment. Those that are against abortion for any reason have the right to their opinion. They don’t have the right to make up facts, evidence, support bizarre theories, and attack the integrity of others in order to try and make their views credible.
Let me be blunt: a bunch of gentrified white men espousing on women's reproduction, issuing offensively stupid and patronizing statements that can only be described as idiotic does not play well with many in this country, including women, who, by the way, are the majority of voters in this country. And, it needs to stop.
My first suggestion is for Reince Preibus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee to send the following memo:
To: All Male Members of Congress
Re: Anti-abortion Issue
SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP NOW!
You are killing our chances to win in 2016!
Regarding abortion, please only say one of the following:
- “I am anti abortion, no exceptions.”
- “I am anti-abortion, some exceptions.”
- “I am pro choice.” (Probably not many of these.)
No explanations, no discussions on anything scientific, and please let’s not mention that the male of our species masturbate in the womb.
My sincere suggestion-not that I don’t think the above is a good idea- is that the GOP spends some of its allocated $10,000,000 to tutor its members in Congress on issues of science, logic and reasoning, or, in the alternative, some sort of aversion therapy for stupidity.
I can see only one downside to this suggestion:
It will take a heck of a lot more than $10,000,000.