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Andrew Sullivan — Sane Conservative

I’m pasting in an article from Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Dish because it is so apt.  Sullivan is a gay, Catholic, Brit, and Tory style conservative who was initially a cheerleader for the Iraq war until he realized it was a crock, and has been outraged that the Bush/Cheney administration made him a party to torture.  I think this is well worth a read.  

Akin’s Position Is The GOP’s

That’s the truth whatever Romney now wants to say. 150 Republican congressmanvoted for a bill that would allow abortions only for “forcible rape”, as if there were some other kind. (Mercifully, the language was later stripped from the bill.) The distinction is designed to prevent women citing rape as a reason for abortion when there is no sign of physical trauma. It’s a disgusting form of contempt for women’s autonomy and integrity – and a truly despicable soft tolerance of all other kinds of sexual coercion. Remember the words of the mainstream pro-life figure John C Willke:

When pro-lifers speak of rape pregnancies, we should commonly use the phrase “forcible rape” or “assault rape,” for that specifies what we’re talking about. Rape can also be statutory. Depending upon your state law, statutory rape can be consensual, but we’re not addressing that here.

Here’s what Romney said about Willke in 2007: “I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country.” Someone should ask Mitt: is he still proud that his party platform is basing its social policy on the views of a man who thinks “statutory rape can be consensual”?

But in many ways, these nuances are just helpful signs of how the fundamentalist psyche thinks – it is always trying to tidy up the messy realities of human experience to conform to its eternal diktats. The real point is that the GOP platform would make all abortions, including those caused by rape and incest, illegal in every state by constitutional amendment. It would not just allow the states to decide, but insist on a national ban. As on gay rights, and medical marijuana, the GOP has total contempt for federalism.

Until this incarnation of the Republican party is destroyed at the polls, we live in its thrall. We have in this election an opportunity not just to re-elect a president capable of making the Grand Bargain we all need; but to punish and humiliate the most extreme, irrational, hateful version of Republicanism that now stalks the land, led by a brazen liar and fathomless cynic.

It’s an opportunity of a lifetime: to use this election to try and destroy the fundamentalist insanity that has effectively destroyed any American conservatism worthy of the name. Former Republicans, Independents and all non-fundamentalists, Christians and Jews and Muslims, have a chance to excise this metastasizing cancer from our politics.

6 Responses to Andrew Sullivan — Sane Conservative

  • Debbie Lentz says:

    I look forward to seeing what the official platform of the Republican Party will be during this convention. It will determine how hard I fight against them. I am not a registered anything; if anything I would fight to get rid of organized political parties altogether, and make people research their candidates’ true stances on issues that matter to them, and vote not with their party affiliation, but with their brains.

  • Melindas says:

    Doesn’t matter if you don’t have a party affiliation. Independents will decide this election. Just be sure you’re registered to vote. This is a critical election.

  • Here in California, at least a number of years ago, there are multiple categories of action that count as rape:

    *force or threat of force
    *alcohol or other drugs
    *deceit as to the identity of the rapist
    *deceit as to the nature of the act (I believe this covers “gynecological procedure” and “psychotherapy”)
    *underage partner

    Not all of these involve the use of force, unless you are taking it as true by definition that nonconsensual sex = force.

    Mind you, I have no sympathy for what has become the mainstream Republican position on abortion; I share Ayn Rand’s view that anyone who would deny a woman’s right to choose is not a defender of individual rights. I’m just not sure that your argument on this particular point holds up. At least the last two categories look to me like “fraud” rather than “force.”

  • Melindas says:

    I don’t get your point, William. Doesn’t matter if the woman had been dosed with a date rape drug, or had too much to drink and passed out, or was violated by a doctors, or is a 13 year old being “wooed” by a 40 year old. They were all still violated, and if they ended up pregnant they shouldn’t have to bear the child. What the Republicans tried and failed to do with the “forcible” rape requirement was narrow the definition of acceptable rape that would allow for an exception to allowing federal funds to be used to pay for a rape. Which basically required it be stranger rape, and the woman had to be beat to hell to prove it. The implication being — “otherwise she’s a slut.”

    I agree that the courts have to have way more leeway when it’s a a couple of teenagers giving in to hormonal urges — boyfriend/girlfriend, and one of them has attained the age of 18, and the partner is 16. That’s silly, but cases where someone much older has seduced a very young girl. That’s a power dynamic, and it’s coercive even if he didn’t have a gun.

  • My point, Melinda, is that you wrote “only for “forcible rape”, as if there were some other kind.” But there [i]is[/i] some other kind. The Republicans weren’t just making a meaningless distinction; they were making a meaningful distinction in the service of a harmful agenda. I’m entirely with you if you want to argue that women who’ve been drugged, or gotten drunk, and found themselves pregnant as a result, should have a right to an abortion

  • Melindas says:

    That line was from Maureen Dowd’s wonderful editorial on the idiocy of the idea of forcible rape. If a woman does not consent then it is ipso facto forcible. She cannot consent when she has been drugged, is unconscious, etc. etc. The Republicans are splitting hairs because they want to make the act seem less heinous if the woman hasn’t been beaten to hell or forced at gun or knife point. That she is a bad girl for ending up in that situation, and “deserves what she got.”

    It’s one thing that absolutely turned me off about the new Spiderman movie. The girl says no, and he continues to kiss her, and push himself on her. I understand he’s a horny 17 years old, but [u]she said no[/u], and he didn’t stop. It becomes even creepier when you factor in the fact he’s a goddan superhero.

    The entire thing shows utter contempt for women, and their rights to control their bodies beginning at the point of consenting to a sexual act through being forced to bear and unwanted child. At that point we have again been reduced to chattel.

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