Laws Are Like Sausagefests II

If you’ve been paying attention to the politics surrounding women’s issues for very long, then congressman Darrel Issa’s controversial hearing on contraception yesterday may have had an oddly familiar ring to it. You may have experienced a sense of deja vu, a feeling that somehow we’ve all been here before, that none of this was particularly new. But maybe you just can’t quite put your finger on what it is about Issa’s Inqusition that makes you feel this way. Was it the way that women’s voices were systematically excluded from the hearings? Was it the way that Democrats were not permitted to offer any witnesses of their own? Was it the singular arrogance and patronizing tone of the hearings? Perhaps.

Or maybe it was something else entirely… perhaps it was something distinctly visual.  Permit me to jog your memory a bit. The sense of the uncanny you are experiencing is probably motivated by that photo that’s spread across the internets like a virus, you know the one I’m talking about: the one showing a row of five male witnesses invited to stand before the People’s House and pontificate on the evils of providing contraception to women, with nary a female witness in sight. The reason it seems so familiar may be that it has a political doppleganger, a virtual twin from the year 2003. That was the year that a Republican president signed a bill that, with no medical justification, criminalized a medical procedure known as “intact dilation and extraction” or as opponents refer to it: partial birth abortion.

Reproduced below the fold (to allow you a few moments to put down any breakable heirlooms you may be holding, or to ask an impressionable child to leave the room) is an image of the signing of that bill:

If at times you get the feeling that the Republican Party resembles nothing so much as a tree-house with a “NO GerlS Alloud” sign affixed o it, then you are not alone. It really is that bad. And the fact that medical issues that every day touch and affect the lives of millions of women across the nation are so often legislated by a pack of power hungry men who see them, principally, as a powerful electoral wedge issue, a weapon to be wielded in the culture wars, is a crime if ever there was one.


And let’s go back a little farther in the way-back time machine to 1991, when Anita Hill was grilled by the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing.

Sigh. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Of course, the backlash in 1992 by female voters was pretty damn strong.

As RML pointed out in the article he linked to last night, this contraception fight might just cause major blow back and knock down the GOPers on their ass in 2012.

@ManchuCandidate: Then again, the GOP has spent the past 12 years really perfecting their ability to disenfranchise voters and rig voting machines.

Only so many votes one can steal before people notice. I think those hacking of those lousy voting machines can only be useful in tight races where a few votes here and there will flip it same with voter caging. If the trends are correct (the MSM has been noticeably quiet about it) then all those efforts won’t really matter in Nov.

Issa thought he had the diversity issue covered when he had a Rabbi and a black guy on the panel. Apparently Phyllis Schlafy wasn’t available to represent her gender.

Now look, this nonsense has to stop!

This anti-contraception, ‘personhood’ laws, and anti-choice nonsense doesn’t stay in the US. It tends to spread and stain all conservative politics across the world, and especially here in Aust.

So if you could just slap some sense into the current political debate about lady-bits it would be appreciated.


*ps* Shout out to JNOV. “Still alive and happy here”

@CheapBoy: Will you sponsor all of us for political asylum in Oz?

That second pic could be an inset from The Handmaid’s tale.

@SanFranLefty: Can we get married there? I’ll marry you if you promise to divorce me once I’m a citizen so I can marry Mr. ‘Catt.

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