The term culture war goes back to at least 19th century Germany and the Kulturkampf, “cultural struggle” or literally, “battle of cultures”. Like regular warfare the culture wars have battles and they are waged in phases over the course of weeks, months and sometimes years. One could say that the U.S. has been engaged in one long culture war for our entire existence. Though the one we’re most familiar with is the one that began in the 1960 with Nixon’s “silent majority”. From the very beginning of the modern culture wars the far Right has cloaked their side in victim-hood. While understandability frustrating to non-conservatives, it was all too predictable that with their eyes on the polls, conservatives have been forced to come up with an answer to the war on women. The ‘war on caterpillars,’ and what Reince Priebus meant
Democrats immediately jumped on Priebus’s comments, accusing him of comparing women to caterpillars.
“Reince Priebus’ comparison of Republican attempts to limit women’s access to mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and contraception to a ‘war on caterpillars’ shows how little regard leading Republicans, including Mitt Romney, have for women’s health,” said Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter.
That point is debateable. By our watching — and reading — Priebus is picking a fanciful idea (a war on caterpillars) to call into question the idea that Republicans are engaged in a war on women. He’s only comparing caterpillars to women if you accept the first premise — that the GOP is indeed conducting this war.
The larger point here is that Democrats are going great-guns to drive a wedge between Republicans (and specifically former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney) and women, using even the thinnest of threads — and that’s what this seems to be — to build a narrative that the GOP is no friend to females.
That was written by Aaron Blake at the WaPO. Let’s assume for moment that it was not Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus’ intention to compare women, women’s health care concerns and other concerns to insects. Conservatives are not dumb, remember. They keep saying they’re not. So having almost a month to prepare their counter -offensive after the Rush Limbaugh fiasco and the news of various state legislators controlled by conservative Republicans trying to impose hurdles to health care access, access to the same full benefits of their health care insurance as men seeking Viagra have and actually making it mandatory for doctors to sexually violate women, the best language, the best analogy that the chairman of the RNC could come up with is some imagery involving a caterpillar. Alright then. Having decided to be magnanimous about the whole caterpillar thing how does Preibus and all the genuflecting apologists on the far Right explain how Reince is trying to pretend that the war on women never happened. Does not exists. Conservative have no idea what you’re talking about. Conservatives? War On women? We were washing our socks and dipping our toast points in some old caviar. Couldn’t have been conservatives that declared women were only three fifths a person or that women were “sluts for taking contraception. RNC chairman reflects on women, caterpillars
This is becoming a popular defense — denial. War on women? What war on women? Democrats and the media just made this whole story up. It’s what South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) argued this week, and it’s the line Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the only woman in the Republican leadership in either chamber, adopted two weeks ago.
It’s also wrong.
As we’ve reported on the show many times, the effort on the part of GOP policymakers at the federal and state level to undermine women’s health care is as severe as anything we’ve seen from a major party in many years. Unlike the war on caterpillars, Republican efforts are real.
I’ll spare you the full list of every bill in every state, but the policy offensive is, well, offensive. Restricting contraception; cutting off Planned Parenthood; state-mandated, medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds; forcing physicians to lie to patients about abortion and breast cancer; abortion taxes; abortion waiting periods; forcing women to tell their employers why they want birth control, going after prenatal care, possible abortion permission slips … this is no minor policy initiative. (emphasis mine)
That is not about in-artful caterpillar analogies or faux outrage over same. Those policy prescriptions are real things that happen to real people – our wives, our mothers, our daughters, our friends. If the tables were revered and men were being forced to have their health insurance claims OK’s for meeting moral litmus tests of our boss or some church. Or if men were forced to have something inserted into their genitals to get a legal medical procedure for which the insertion was totally unnecessary. Or if men were singled out to pay a special tax on any male related medical procedure. Or doctors could lie to men about their health status. Or …well, you get the idea. We should all be outraged because these are draconian, bizarre authoritarian intrusions on our rights as individuals, regardless of gender. Today they are going after women. Tomorrow they could be requiring men to get a prescription for condoms or telling them to grab their ankles for the prescription. Phase III of the War on Contraception: Pretend It Was All A Dream
I won’t even bother you with Rush Limbaugh’s victim-posturing, since that’s basically the point of his whole life, much less his whole show. The claim that it’s not fair to criticize conservatives for supporting anti-woman policies because they aren’t the ones who “started” this has reached the mainstream of the Republican Party. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington trotted out the most recent talking point, arguing that it’s not that there’s a war on women, but Democrats are just making it all up to “scare” women into voting for them.
Of course, she’s creating a false dichotomy. Are Democrats trying to scare women? Sure. But sometimes scaring someone is what you have to do in order to make them realize they’re in danger. If I see someone about to step in front of a moving vehicle, and I yell, “Watch out! That car is about to hit you!,” you could argue correctly that I’m trying to scare them. But I’m also trying to save them from being hit by a car. When something is scary, you should be scared. And the attacks on women’s rights are scary.
Political culture war on women has real, dire consequences – a report from march that looked at the war on women from Rick perry in Texas, Chris Christie in New Jersey and radical conservatives in the Georgia legislature. In the conservative war on basic human rights – Conservatives in Nebraska War on Women-Forbade Induced Birth, Tortures Entire Family. While I find all the individual reports about the attacks on the very person-hood of women disturbing, that Nebraska video presents the picture of a culture diving head long into some USSR gulag of state intrusion in the very personal medical decisions of a family. Conservatives are not for small government, never have been. That small government garbage is partly a lie, but is mostly a figment of the delusional conservative mindset.Much of the conservative movement’s issues with women have to do with women getting uppity. One element of the war on women that crystallizes that is the conservatives tendency to cast victims of spousal abuse as whiners, or hey just get over it, and men prosecuted for such abuse are the real victims – Wisconsin state rep Don Pridemore needs to apologize for smearing spousal abuse victims. There is nothing moral or patriotic about how conservatives view health care issues and spousal abuse.
JB at Balkinization commenting on Attorney General Holder’s reassurances to that federal judge in the Fifth Circuit, Justice Department States Soothing Platitudes to a Deeply Troubled Fifth Circuit Judge
The letter reminds Judge Smith that “The Supreme Court has often acknowledged the appropriateness of reliance on the political branches’ policy choices and judgments” and that “The `Court accords “great weight to the decisions of Congress”‘ in part because `[t]he Congress is a coequal branch of government whose Members take the same oath [judges] do to uphold the Constitution of the United States.'”
[ ]…Our prayers are with Judge Smith in his never-ending fight against anxiety and emotional upheaval. Surely there is no greater hell than that suffered by a person who cannot control his feelings of dread, and who finds himself buffeted about by a secret, gnawing fear that others do not accord him the respect and status that he craves. All of us can sympathize with the plight of Jerry Smith; all of us, in our own ways, have experienced our own dark nights of the soul. Your Honor– and we use that term advisedly–we feel your pain.
It is generally known that regardless of political leanings federal judges generally have outsized egos. Smith may take the cake for most easily frightened by ordinary political speech.
Investors Business Daily is to conservatism what shallow out-house holes are to crap – Is Obama ‘Dangerously Close To Totalitarianism’? Conservatives don’t even try to keep their commentary based in fact with a few lies sprinkled here and there. They are happy to abandon any shred of honor and treat lies like a their best friend. Here we are in Obama’s fourth year as president, the most onerous things he has done are keep 90% of the national security policies that conservatives started and said we had to keep because if we don’t you’re pro-terrorist. They do quote President Obama, cue the scary background music,
“Whenever Congress refuses to act, Joe and I, we’re going to act,” Obama said in February at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, with Vice President Joe Biden off to the side. “In the months to come, wherever we have an opportunity, we’re going to take steps on our own to keep this economy moving.”
Better tell Mittens that should he become president he should not do everything he can to help the economy because that is the very definition of ‘Dangerously Close To Totalitarianism’. Talk about faux outrage.