MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., November 2, 2012 – We are nearing the end of the most expensive political campaign in history. The Citizens United “corporations are people” decision by the Supreme Court has raised the ante, and some of us have been bombarded day and night with political ads. Almost continuous polling is telling us at this time that the election is too close to call. However, I am convinced that President Obama will be reelected. The two main reasons are the things that Republicans will not be able to shake. One is the 47 percent remark, and the other is the abortion/contraception/rape gaffes by the conservatives.
The 47 percent remark
By now most people have heard and seen the tape of Mitt saying to his conservative donors that 47 percent of the voters will not vote for him because they expect the government to support them. His campaign promptly tried to minimize the damage and clamored that this was just a slip of the tongue.
The trouble is that this is nothing new and it is ingrained in the minds of most conservatives. After the original reaction to the statement, Romney promptly countered that he would be the president of 100 percent of Americans. This appears to be the final position on this by Governor Romney’s campaign.
Self-made persons are to be admired and we may excuse their belief that others could do as they did. However, trust-fund babies who start “small” businesses with millions of family dollars are not admirable when they exhibit disdain for the average working person.
I hope that more than 47 percent of voters would be insulted by this attitude. I certainly am!
Mitt Romney has stated that he would sign legislation or support a proposed amendment to the Constitution vacating Roe vs. Wade and prohibiting abortions except in the case of rape or incest. He would also end the funding of Planned Parenthood (“We would get rid of that”) and has stated in the past that he supports making coverage of contraceptives by insurance companies optional. His campaign has tried to move to the center on some of these issues.
The problem is that in many a conservative’s mind, the things that may make contraceptives necessary may be traced to personal responsibility issues. I have heard some say that if insurance companies don’t cover erectile dysfunction drugs, why they should cover contraceptives. The answer is simple: The latter are associated with fairly important societal issues.
However, this pales in comparison with the statements of other Republican Congressional candidates who have made statements difficult to support. Todd Akin made the statement that in cases of legitimate rape, the body of the victim would reject the sperm and conception is very unlikely. More recently Richard Mourdock made the statement that pregnancy resulting from rape was God’s will. Akins’s position is one that has been repeated for some time. It originated with a physician who has been very much in front of the anti-abortion movement. Mourdock clarified his words and declared that rape was a horrible crime.
Akin and Mourdock may believe these statements and probably are not motivated by hate of women; however, they affect women gravely. One can speculate that they are driven by moral opposition to abortion or the concept of pandering that many conservatives abhor.
The cumulative effect of these statements and political/moral/philosophical positions is that a woman may get pregnant because her employer doesn’t provide insurance coverage for anti-conceptive drugs. This becomes even more critical for the woman when she could be denied the (current) right to have an abortion.
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is a bleeding heart liberal, agnostic, exercise fanatic, Redskin fan, technophile, civil engineer, combat infantry veteran, jewelry maker, amateur computer programmer, Environmental engineer, Colombian-born, free thinker, and, not surprisingly, pacifist. You can find his articles - ranging from politics to cooking a mean brisket - in 21st Century Pacifist <http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/21st-century-pacifist/> at The Washington Times Communities. Follow Mario on Twitter @chibcharus #TWTC and Facebook at Mario Salazar.
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