Who’s Next: The Easter Bunny?
The outrage over Obama’s new requirement that employers cover birth control and insurers offer it at no cost to women may turn out to be the crown jewel in his tumultuous presidency. Like Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, this decision has exposed the Republican Party as a group of middle-aged white men who are angry that the US has become multicultural and gender-equitable, instead of a nation controlled by a few wealthy white men.
Just like they did with all the progressive reforms of the 20th century, Republicans are trying to use their wealth and influence to repeal Obamacare.
They preach fear and use demagoguery to scare white voters into voting against their own interests, creating the impression that Obama is a purple people eater trying to socialize the nation by giving those who are poor and sick access to healthcare. The Republicans basically called him everything but a cannibal.
But the result has been good for the Obama administration. Pretty much everyone has turned against the Republicans; the party has alienated the young, the old, gays, blacks, women, and even moderate Republicans.
The extreme right says its agenda is tax breaks and limited government, but in the process they have managed to of- fend just about every race, creed and religion by attacking women and minorities with their social agenda. They are truly the party of the one percent.
If the Republicans were a stock, they would be at a new low. Once upon a time, the Republicans were a well-oiled machine, and saved their attacks for blacks and Jews. Then in the ‘90s gays started coming out of the closet, giving Republicans another social issue with which to outrage social conservatives. They tapped into homophobic fears to win votes.
They started using vicious language, generating fear that gays and immigrants were going to overtake America. They used Christian universities like Bob Jones and Liberty to churn out young Republicans groomed as foot-soldiers for Christianity and capitalism.
The irony is evangelicals of the past like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell would look like Ted
Kennedy and Mi- chael Moore today. Over the past six months, the Republicans have gone so far to the right that Ron Paul looks like a pinko Communist and Sarah Palin sounds like Jane Fonda.
Once upon a time, the Republican Party had conservatives with a con- science, like Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javitz, Lincoln Chafee and even Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney. Even George W. Bush paid lip-service to “compassionate conservatism.” Wealthy capitalists who felt guilty about screwing the poor at least tried to unite America, rather than denigrating everyone who works hard to keep a roof over their head.
Even Richard Nixon could arguably qualify as one of our most most liberal president, creating the EPA, HUD and affirmative action. Here’s what Nixon had to say about why we should increase taxes to ensure that Social Security benefits could keep pace with inflation: “I propose that the Congress make certain finally that the retired, the disabled and the dependent never again bear the brunt of inflation…This will provide peace of mind to those concerned with their retirement years, and to their dependents.”
Instead, today’s Republicans want to radically alter Social Security, offering plans that would privatize the program or make seniors use coupons to get benefits.
Republicans went from disguising their contempt for women, minorities and the working middle class to going nuclear on the rights of women. The re- cent outrage over contraception cover- age and reproductive rights, I believe, is not about the sanctity of life. For if these self-proclaimed Christians care so much about raising families, they wouldn’t attack government programs like Head Start and food stamps, that feed poor children.
They would ensure every child gets a decent education by not cutting funding for public schools. Instead, some are busy trying to deny kids the chance to watch Big Bird and Arthur Aardvark by cutting funding to PBS. Others want to end the Girl Scouts because they view the organization as a radical group that promotes homosexuality and abortion.
Make no mistake; the war on women is not about contraception, it is about ending the feminist movement and giving power back to the man. However, this Republican overreach will not only get
Obama re-elected but will also give the Democrats a majority and maybe rid America of right-wing
conservatism and send it to its proper place: satel-