Saturday, June 25, 2016

Compromising Women's Rights, Again

I was alarmed, but not altogether surprised, to hear that one of Hillary's possible VP choices is Tim Kaine.  As I scan through articles about possible VP's, Kaine keeps coming up as the most likely because he is "safe."

Jeez Louise, isn't this the year we ought to finally stop going for "safe?!"  We have learned that that idiot with the ducktail can say any damn thing he wants and only garners admiration from his followers for saying any damn thing he wants.  Remember W???  He was admired because he said whatever came off the top of his head, and told voters if they didn't like it they didn't have to vote for him.

And this is the year -- this was the week -- that Dems led by John Lewis made history by recalling the sixties with a sit-in on the floor of the House.  Finally, finally, we were able to say enough killing, we will risk our careers to do the right thing.  Wow.  That doesn't happen often among Dems.

Meanwhile, Tim Kaine, along with nearly every other damn Democrat, supports the second amendment.  Because you sure can't begin a fight for gun control unless you reassure all the paranoids and wackos out there that you aren't going to take away their guns.  The man from the state that in 2007 ended up with 33 young people dead at Virginia Tech would propose to limit high-capacity weapons to ten bullets.  That means only ten dead as opposed to fifteen.  That's just pathetic.

But I want to talk about Tim Kaine and abortion.  Tim Kaine is one of those I don't believe in abortion but I support a woman's right to choose people.  Really.  What that attitude has gotten us over the years is more and more abortion restrictions as the people who are really passionate about women's rights -- limiting them, that is -- are willing to dig in the dirt to find any wormhole that will allow them to take away another path to access of that right.

The half-hearted support for women's right to choose by those who "don't believe in abortion" has led to an appalling lack of understanding of just how under attack women have been.  It has led to women on the Supreme Court joining with men in a 9-0 opinion to reverse Massachusetts' ruling allowing a buffer zone banning protesters around abortion clinics.  Nine justices saw the protests as a first amendment free-speech issue rather than the harassment and threat to women's rights that they really are.

Hillary had a number of women on her VP list, but the Dems are afraid that having two women on a ticket would jeopardize her ability to win.  I believe it was Amy Klobuchar who was asked by Rachel Maddow whether choosing two women would jeopardize Hillary's chances.  She replied that we have a long history of same sex candidates running together successfully on the presidential ticket.  Hmmm.

And then there is the fear of going too liberal.  Hillary, who won the nomination by claiming that she is a proud progressive.  Imagine the Dems surprise when Bernie supporters don't jump on board because Hillary's VP choice is just another safe moderate.

I am hoping that all the excitement about Tim Kaine is a circle jerk by moderate Dems who want to reassure themselves that Hillary isn't really going to try to shake things up the way her fight against Bernie led us to believe.  I wonder at the media that continues to act like Bernie doesn't count.  After all the people he got out to vote, I have heard it said more than once that he no longer has any power and that he should just concede and get out of the way.  This could be the way the Dems shoot themselves in the foot again, this time, when it seems that we have everything, including a hateful batshit crazy opponent, in our favor.

I like Elizabeth Warren in the Senate rattling all those cages, and apparently she likes it too.  But  Sherrod Brown, another VP possible, is one of my all-time favorite people, fearless and progressive, and with that sexy whiskey voice that I could listen to forever.  And then there are actually a number of extremely qualified women, Klobuchar included.

And that takes me, once again, back to abortion.  If the first woman presidential nominee does not feel confident enough about the fight for women's rights to choose a solidly pro-choice candidate for VP, she will be telling us all that women's reproductive rights are not important enough to fight for, right from the start.  If this is the year of the woman, this should be the year that we no longer allow others to philosophize, proselytize, waffle or opine on how a woman's reproductive life should be legislated.  It is time to stop listening, not just to the opinion of the anti-abortion brigade, but to the moderate equivocators.  For once, we need to start with Roe v. Wade and fight against all the bites that have been taken out of that freedom since 1973.  Ignoring the abortion fight means a lot of women are not going to be voting, because they will see that, once again, politicians are not fighting for them.

Here's another perspective.

How bizarre would it be for someone to say, "I don't believe in being gay for myself, but other people have the right to be gay."  Or, "I wouldn't believe in affirmative action for myself, but it's okay if other people want to believe in it."

It's the "believing in it" that has allowed pseudo science, religious bigotry and false facts to twist legislation around against far too many individual rights.  Women have the right to privacy, to the best medical care available, to a doctor-patient relationship not impaired by government oversight.  They have the right to affordable and accessible health care whether it is for abortion or a head cold, contraception or high blood pressure.

It would be absurd for someone to opine about whether high blood pressure really exists or needs to be treated.  Because opinions on abortion by those against abortion have been given validity, we are reaping hundreds of bad laws.  The laws that have sprung up around when and where a woman can have an abortion, whether she can access birth control, and forcing her to pay; the laws that force doctors to lie or not answer questions accurately about contraception and abortion; the laws that impose restrictions on clinics that force them to shut down; the laws that allow harassment and threats in the name of freedom of speech.  They all come from that crack in the window that lets people whose lives are not affected have opinions on women's reproductive rights.

And all y'all can have your opinions.  I don't have to listen to those opinions if I don't want to.  Unless you are in charge.  This is why we Dems need to fight for candidates that will fight for us.  Without compromise.  Without equivocation.  

And "moderate," "safe" candidates like Tim Kaine just don't cut it.

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