You know, I’ve been percolating over a long-form thing about FreedomWorks, and the revelation that the whole Tea Party notion is a decade-long bit of Astroturf cooked up between the cancer-denialists of Big Tobacco and the Koch brothers, which is all of a piece with the unifying theory of modern conservatism (“Grifters gotta grift”), but you know what? Forget it. That could be a book, someday. In the meanwhile, I think this is as insightful a glimpse into the mentality of these Kochtopi as anything you could find:
Some FreedomWorks staffers worried last year about a promotional video created ahead of FreePAC, a FreedomWorks conference held on July 26, 2012, where thousands of conservative grassroots activists nearly filled the American Airlines Center in Dallas to hear from tea party favorites, including Glenn Beck and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The short film hailing FreedomWorks was intended to play on the large video screens inside the arena.
In one segment of the film, according to a former official who saw it, Brandon is seen waking from a nap at his desk. In what appears to be a dream or a nightmare, he wanders down a hallway and spots a giant panda on its knees with its head in the lap of a seated Hillary Clinton and apparently performing oral sex on the then-secretary of state. Two female interns at FreedomWorks were recruited to play the panda and Clinton. One intern wore a Hillary Clinton mask. The other wore a giant panda suit that FreedomWorks had used at protests to denounce progressives as panderers. (See here, here, and here.) Placing the panda in the video, a former FreedomWorks staffer says, was “an inside joke.”
Another FreedomWorks staffer who worked there at the time confirms that “Yes, this video was created.”
Uh. Huh. A very serious conservative advocacy group, indeed.
Pity poor General Jerry Boykin, who cites crippling pee-shame as a reason why women should not be allowed to take on combat roles in the U.S. military (never mind that women have been on the front lines of U.S. military engagements since the days of “Molly Pitcher” (for a stirring tale of heroism in the early days of the American Revolution, one can’t beat the “better than fiction” tale of sixteen-year-old Sibyl Ludington).
Boykin’s ridiculous assertion that shame about one’s dirty business would undermine morale in a gender-equal military reminds me of the “God of the Gaps” argument used by Creationists and other religious apologists, which posits that divine causes are necessary to account for lacunae in scientific knowledge. As science progresses, the gaps shrink, there’s less room for God, and the apologists move their goalposts and find another “gap” to defend. In the case of those arguing that women should not have equal opportunity, male supremacist apologists claim that women are unable to perform certain tasks. As women demonstrate that they have the ability to excel in traditionally male-dominated fields, the arguments of the sexists become more ludicrous, the goalposts move to the extent that assholes like Boykin are reduced to citing their, uh, assholes as a reason to deny equal opportunity to women- the “God of the Achievement Gaps” gets smaller and smaller.
I don’t anymore, and this sort of ignorance is exactly why:
What the hell is “taxpayer-funded abortion pills”? Taxpayer dollars don’t fund any kind of abortions under the Hyde Amendment. Now, because he is ignorant, he might have the singularly stupid idea not unpopular with fundies that birth control pills are abortifacients—they are not. They are contraceptives in the sense that they prevent conception, which in turn means they actually prevent abortions. And yes, those are provided by government dollars under Title X and without co-pay as a part of insurance plans under the ACA. But even somewhat anti-science, also strong social conservative LA Gov. Bobby Jindal just recently published an op-ed endorsing over-the-counter birth control. Now, of course Jindal’s op-ed is for the purpose of divorcing the birth control issue from government altogether so tax dollars are not even second or third hand involved—but at least he isn’t calling them “abortion pills”.
But listen again, and this is a very short clip, but packed dense with Kulturkampf dummkopf-ery, he is talking about things we “used to call disorders”, that we “now call normal”—whatever could that be? I am pretty well-persuaded by my general knowledge about Huckabee’s bullshit that he’s talking about LGBT* people. It’s sinful that gay and trans folk are treated as regular human beings, he’s saying. That’s what I think he was getting at.
I know I’ve said this before, but really, ginormously hump a bunch of Mike Huckabee. But this time, I think I mean, there ain’t no poll numbers in 2016 gonna support no kind of Mike Huckabee. He is reinforcing his FOX Mushroom Farm cred, but really at the expense of anything in the way of political viability. And if that is the way he feels, well—
Good. Happy death of political career to you. “Godspeed” you to irrelevance. Happy trails. And don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split ya, because that is probably some kind of sodomy, and stuff. And I care about Huckabee just enough to want to preserve his ass from understanding just how sinful he really is as a gluttonous grasping hypocrite so he’ll continue providing me with glurgy blogfodder. Forever and ever. Amen.
The failure of Congress to renew the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA has kind of dropped off the radar but is getting some attention again as it will expire at the end of the month otherwise.
As you may recall the Senate passed the bill routinely (which is something to remember as it’s one of the few they have lately) but the Rethuglicans in the House are hung up on the fact that the bill has additional provisions for women who are traditionally more at risk for being assaulted - undocumented immigrants, lesbian women and Native American women. Which is charming of them but, sad to say, not a surprise in today’s political climate.
Apparently Joe Biden, one of the authors of the original bill, has been working quietly with Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, to try and resolve the issue. That some progress is actually being made in these negotiations is probably less to do with Repubs really caring that these women risk violence in their lives on a regular basis and more to do with starting to realize that they are being rejected by pretty much every constituency except middle aged white guys.
And maybe that’s part of the explanation for the final hang-up.
But two sources familiar with negotiations on VAWA, both of whom requested anonymity given the sensitive nature of talks, have told HuffPost that Cantor is refusing to accept any added protections for Native American women that would give expanded jurisdiction to tribes, and is pressuring Democrats to concede on that front. There does seem to be room to negotiate with Cantor on the other two provisions relating to LGBT and undocumented immigrant protections, the sources say.
Cantor’s spokespeeps deny this but Senator Patrick Leahy, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee has a different story.