Republicans have always been proponents of ‘Small Government.’ Even way back in the 1960′s when the party was more focused on economics and taxation. They saw small government as allowing for state and local rights. Today, the Far Right in America has pushed the party to a new breaking point, a ‘War on Women.’ In the last three years we’ve seen the Tea Party pull the federal government and national conscience with a proclamation for small government, all the while purporting increased federal regulations on your right to privacy. Today the talking points are all about uteri, vaginal probes, unborn babies, birth control pills, holding aspirin between the knees, and whether or not Sandra Fluke is a slut (not that it should matter).
Many state legislatures are dominated by Republicans and Tea Party members who have successfully pushed statewide mandates against women. The Pennsylvania and Virginia compulsory trans-vaginal ultrasound bills may represent the most forceful and invasive policies ever crafted. If you choose to obtain an abortion you must go through this procedure, watch a monitor while the procedure goes on, and then pay for it yourself. Earlier on Mississippi attempted to pass a law making Birth Control the equivalent of homicide by legislating that life begins at conception. Just last week Arizona decided to push through a new Birth Control Ban, forcing women to let their employers know why they are taking the ‘Pill.’ The most ridiculous yet may be the Kansas legislation on abortions. They are proposing that a doctor can lie to a patient about her pregnancy if they feel the patient is likely to terminate her pregnancy due to the information provided. Additionally, it will be mandated that doctors must state that abortions are linked to breast cancer–even though this is completely false and has been proved false by the American Breast Cancer Foundation. All of this has forced John McCain to speak out, calling for his fellow Republicans to drop the contraceptive and reproductive health nonsense. Wise words from the man who gave us Sarah Palin. Meanwhile Rick Santorum has charged a war on pornography.
Many might be asking themselves, ‘where are the women?’ When one woman decided to speak out at a Congressional hearing composed of an all male panel, she was kicked out. Luckily the democrats of the House were willing to hear Fluke’s testimony on why religiously affiliated organizations (like Georgetown University) should allow their private insurance to cover birth control. Her testimony was then bent and manipulated by Rush Limbaugh who called her a prostitute and a slut on the air over a series of days. Because if a woman is willing to speak out on reproductive rights, she must have loose legs.
The Grand ol’ Party might as well loose the tag-line of ‘Small Government’ and replace it with ‘What’s going on in your bedroom? Can we regulate it?’ In America’s time of economic degradation, the best thing they can bring to the pulpit is contraceptives. The Republican Party has fragmented and polarized itself as it continues to reach for their base to support them in the upcoming presidential primaries and elections. Through these policy proposals they have lost touch with the majority of American voters and will need more than a probe to win this upcoming election.
Martha is a recent graduate from an MSc programme in Comparative Politics-Conflict Studies, at the London School of Economics, and currently a temporary Research Assistant pursuing a more permanent role. She completed a masters dissertation entitled: The Russian Empire Strikes Back! How Russia Controls Hydrocarbon Resources and Energy Access for Europe. As an undergraduate at the University of Central Florida she completed an undergraduate dissertation entitled Resource Conflict in the Caspian Sea Basin. She has also worked for an array of different campaigns, such as: Obama for America and Kendrick Meek for US Senate. Martha has a vested interest in both American politics and international affairs. Martha loves traveling anywhere and everywhere, and just came back from a road trip through the Balkans inclusive of Kosovo, and a trip through Europe and Morocco.