Charles Krauthammer, bemoaning the lack of basic wits and political agility afflicting one dumb Republican man after another, especially when that man blunders into talking about women, said yesterday in the National Review that he has the solution.
In an article entitled “How to Debunk the ‘War on Women”, Krauthammer argued that Republicans needed, rather desperately, to refocus on one thing only: “winning policies”. But, what Krauthammer ended up saying this meant, in his critical reaction to the “puzzling and weird” Mike Huckabee and his “libido” policy, seemed just as stupid and misogynistic as ever.
Basically, what the new way will boil down to, according to Krauthammer, is that Republicans will stop “wandering into the psychology of female sexuality” and affirming belief in women’s magical rape remedies, and instead will start chanting, like Matthew McConaughey in Wolf of Wall Street, this inspiring, anti-rational, reduction:
WENDY DAVIS=BABY KILLER! (more about this below)
Well, that’s easy to remember, huh?
It’s a simple matter, Krauthammer says, of taking woman-related policy issues like contraception and abortion, and man-splaining them to the poor stupid majority (of women) in terms that will seize “the moral high ground” from Democrats, and will make the debate all about the one thing that can save the Republicans from imploding into ideological irrelevance: don’t just point out what sluts women are, point out what cold-blooded killers they are.
Specifically, Krauthammer advises a two-pronged attack strategy:
Krauthammer says “there’s a good policy question to be asked about the contraceptive mandate”:
“By what moral logic does the state provide one woman with co-pay-free contraceptives while denying the same subvention to another woman when she urgently needs antibiotics for her sick child?”
Most women probably were not aware their contraceptive choices were governed by this false moral dichotomy. Indeed, most women probably don’t consider their use of contraceptives to be a moral choice at all. Certainly, the government doesn’t see it that way, and one should point out that the “contraceptive mandate”, as Krauthammer calls it, is just one of MANY preventive services, guaranteed at no-cost to patients in the Affordable Care Act, for women, children, and men.
And why provide contraceptives at no-cost to women?
Because contraception is an important preventive health care service, and it has been determined that even small co-pays, which can be difficult for poorer women especially to afford, can be a prohibitive cost in using the service:
“Cost sharing (including copayments, co-insurance, and deductibles) reduces the likelihood that preventive services will be used. Especially concerning for women are studies showing that even moderate copays for preventive services…result in fewer women obtaining this care.”
See, it’s not some immoral plot against Jesus Christ. It is women’s health care.
Krauthammer’s insistence on stupidly, illogically, mocking contraception as an amenity that likely only slutty women in bondage to their libidos would count as so essential they need it for free, is precisely the argument Huckabee was making—except Krauthammer is embracing it fully, rather than dishonestly framing the Democrats for inventing it, as Huckabee did.
Krauthammer understandably doesn’t stay long on the anti-contraception argument, since it is so obnoxiously rooted in pure, GOP-style, illogic.
His next target for “sticking to policy and forswearing amateur psychology” is abortion.
Before we get to Krauthammer’s argument here, we should note that for many years Americans have expressed a decreasing interest in arguing about abortion. Most Americans, by a large margin (54%-40%), support abortion rights, and do not want Roe v Wade overturned. Despite intense efforts by the anti-abortion-rights proponents, these views have changed very little over the years. What has changed is that Americans are far more concerned about jobs and the economy than they are about rehashing what most people consider a settled issue.
However, what most Americans count as important, is simply not what most Republicans count as important.
Opposing the majority of Americans on abortion rights are the 59% of Republicans who want abortion outlawed in the USA.
This is consistent with the chief regional opposition to abortion rights in America, which is in the South, that is in the old-Confederate base of the GOP, where the growing support for outlawing abortion also echoes the prevalent (again, Southern-based) conservative Christian view of women as divinely ordained incubators and stay-home mommies, who need to shut up and obey their husbands.
As Krauthammer admits, ultimately being opposed to abortion rights is “a matter of faith”.
And this faith, that all abortion is demonic, serves as an inspiration for Krauthammer’s two-part anti-abortion plan for Republicans.
First, while abortion cannot yet be totally outlawed, because most Americans don’t want that to happen, Krauthammer argues the groundwork for the great criminalization of women’s rights can nevertheless start now:
“Regarding early abortions, the objective should be persuasion—creating some future majority—rather than legislative coercion in the absence of a current majority.”
The “future majority” is to be built to obtain the overturning of Roe, which again is something that current Americans do not want to happen.
Second, and In the meantime, even though Republicans are in the minority on outlawing women’s rights, Krauthammer is happy to announce there is one brand of abortion rights, late-term abortion, that Republicans can target for banning.
“Here we are dealing with a child that could potentially live on its own—if not killed first. And killing it, for any reason other than to save the mother’s life, is an abomination. Outlawing that––state by state and nationally—should be the focus of any Republican’s position on abortion.”
But, is it true that fetuses at 24 weeks could “potentially live on [their] own”? While it is true that fetuses can survive at that age, their chances of severe birth defects are quite high (50%). And, under 24 weeks the numbers drop drastically, so that “the prospect of survival is only about 1 in 10 at 23 weeks, and if the child lives it is more likely to be handicapped than not.”
So, the mythology of the viable late-term fetus is statistically dubious. But, as always, facts are pretty much the last place partisans apply to, especially if those tend not to support their position. What Krauthammer can rely upon is that a late-term fetus looks a lot like a baby, and people naturally are attracted to thinking the baby-like fetus has all the superficial aspects of a human being. So, shouldn’t therefore a woman be forced to carry that fetus through to pregnancy?
This is where the alleged moral argument utterly breaks down. Let us recall again the real Republican position, which Krauthammer affirms: Republicans want to outlaw ALL abortions. They believe the state has the right and should exercise the legal power to force all women to endure any and all pregnancies, many Republicans viewing this obligation as being more important than exceptions for the health of the woman.
That the main advocates for this obligation, which only applies to the state’s power over women and their wombs, are men, whose bodies and liberty are untouched by the law in this regard, is the essence of injustice and bigotry.
It is, in truth, the essence of the GOP’s devotion to its base, which views women as chattel.
Further, and this is the most important point, for Krauthammer, his anti-abortion strategy is ultimately all about Texas, and all about Wendy Davis:
“A test case for this kind of policy oriented political strategy is the governor’s race in Texas…Talk policy—specifically the issue that brought [Wendy] Davis to national prominence. What was her eleven-hour filibuster about? Blocking a state law whose major feature was outlawing abortions beyond 20 weeks. Make that the battlefield. Make Davis explain why she chose not just to support late-term abortion but to make it her great cause.”
But, is Krauthammer telling the truth? Is the late-term abortion prohibition of the law Davis opposed really what her filibuster was about? Or, was it instead mainly aimed at stopping a Republican move to severely cut abortion services to all Texas women?
The law Davis stood up to oppose in an internationally famous filibuster last summer, called for much more than a ban on abortions beyond 20 weeks. It also called for drastic changes in the way abortion clinics could be run, thus insuring that most clinics in Texas, except the largest ones in a few big cities, would be shut down. Republicans claimed they were trying to protect women from some Texas version of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of running an illegal abortion operation, and who was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.
There was basically no evidence Texas abortion clinics were being run like Gosnell’s infamous operation. But, taking advantage of the publicity over babies having been murdered at Gosnell’s clinic, Republicans pushed through a law that cut late term abortions, and cut abortion services in general.
That was the real reason Wendy Davis decided to filibuster the the Republican anti-abortion bill—to protect the constitutional rights of Texas women from being further eroded by white-male-Republican dominated Texas legislature.
And Republicans have targeted her as Public Enemy #1 ever since.
This is the real reason Republicans are so interested in raising abortion as their primary attack strategy against Democrats. They are terrified that Wendy Davis, a popular, and so far well-financed Democrat, just might be the candidate who begins to turn Texas back to blue.
And if that happens, as everyone knows, the current configuration of the GOP, as the neo-Condederacy party, will be doomed.
Krauthammer claims that by refocusing on what he calls “substance”, instead of gender psychology, the facts of contraception and abortion will scare or shame Americans into voting for Republican men, whose holy grail (after impeaching and deporting Barack Obama and Obamacare back to Kenya) is the overthrow of Roe v. Wade, and by this the extermination of the protections of women’s constitutional rights to control their own bodies and their health.
Krauthammer and Mike Huckabee are supposed to be moderate voices of reason in the severely conservative (woman-hating) Republican Party. If that is true, the choice for women is, as it has been for a long time now—vote for Democrats—if for no other reason, women must do this as an act of sheer self defense against the misogynistic lunatics who now run the GOP, the House of Representatives, and all too many statehouses.