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Monday, July 01, 2013

Republican Red Herrings

Republicans are masters at creating "red herrings". In other words, they're experts at diverting attention from their true intentions by stirring up trouble to divert attention from their real goals.

Abortion is an example.  Abortion is an extraordinary response to an unwanted pregnancy.  Yet, under the guise of a "right to life" morality, the Republicans take extreme positions on a woman's right  to an abortion, as though they are the moral regulators of all things sexual.  An obsessive right wing opposition to abortion is as difficult to understand as the issue is complicated.  

When a woman is raped or the victim of incest, the right to an abortion should be a reasonable, last resort, alternative to forcing her to carry a fetus created by assault.  Rather than acknowledge this reality, Republicans waste time and energy opposing all women's access to abortion, except, of course, if she can afford to travel to Mexico to pay for the procedure.  

Let's call abortion what it really is - it's an assault against poor women.  I don't know any woman who wants to have an abortion.  Yet, no one walks in the shoes of a woman who obtains an abortion.  We can counsel women to prevent unwanted pregnancy, we can adjudicate sexual assault, but we cannot completely eliminate abortions. Abortion is a red herring the Republican use to stir up a right wing agenda to prevent poor women from having access to quality health care.  

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis finally held up the red herring and disclosed anti abortion legislation as class prejudice.  She stood up to the right wing when a movement to close all safe abortion clinics was nearly passed in Texas.  

Davis showed Texans the red herring.  Abortion is a very difficult issue, but it shouldn't be a public policy that puts access to women's health care at risk.  In Texas, the abortion bill  filibustered by Senator Davis would close all safe abortion clinics, where poor women access the procedure.  This isn't about abortion. Rather, it's discrimination against poor women who can't afford to pay for services a wealthy woman can easily access.  

What's most remarkable about the Davis filibuster is that it happened at all, in conservative Texas.  Her notable effort may indicate how Texas is on the brink of a political sea turn and abortion might be the unlikely weather vane pointing to change.

Davis filibustered a bill which mirrored the U.S. Congress’ effort to pass a 20-week abortion ban .  She was as tenacious as right wing extremists are obsessive; but her efforts put a national spotlight on Republicans who, at a state level, are going after women’s rights. 
State Senator Davis has now created a 'women's spring".  Women will not be bullied...!!! is the outcome of the Senator Davis filibuster.  Clearly, most Americans are not impacted by laws preventing abortions, so it makes no sense to waste time and money opposing this extraordinary women's health procedure.

Other red herrings Republicans ingeniously have created include:

1.  Socialized Medicine - this is a red herring to oppose the progressive reforms passed in Obamacare's Affordable Care Act.

2.  Birtherism- this red herring was created to stir anti-immigrant sentiment because, in fact, it's a concept deliberately conjured up to stir hate against President Obama's father, who was an African from Ghana.

3.  Path to Citizenship - this red herring is an anti-immigration euphemism created to cause confusion about how hard working illegal immigrants can, through a daunting process, become American citizens.  It seems to me, people who entered the U.S. illegally, but work to pay $xxx.ooo in taxes and have been law abiding citizens, have a right to become American citizens.  Anyone who opposes a path to citizenship should explain how it is they, as opponents, are themselves, American Citizens and why they oppose others who want to share this right. 

4.  Second Amendment Rights - this is a red herring to protect the gun industry against regulations that mitigate the sale of deadly weapons.  People's rights to safety are secondary to the rights of gun owners who enjoy a magical immunity under the Second Amendment to own as many deadly weapons as they want to buy.  

It's sincerely difficult to understand how Republicans continue to get away with their red herring creativity.  This cunning influence over public policy is dangerous and it must be challenged.  

It's essential for Americans to vote out of office all Republicans who support extremist red herring positions where women, immigrants and citizens caught in the crossfire of guns are marginalized and devalued.  (Victims of gun violence, like the families of the children killed at Sandy Hook, are even shunned by some state legislators!)

If Republicans continue with their right wing agenda, the red herrings they create will cause their party to smell like the stinking fish who are influencing their extremism.

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