Column: GOP Provides The Laughs
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
This year's Republican primary season has been spectacular. Everything about it makes it entertaining – the quickly shifting political winds, the struggle to overthrow Romney, and Herman Cain. But among all the reasons to pay attention, my favorite is that the candidates just love to say really stupid things.
Take for instance, Mitt Romney's comments regarding the recent bit of health care reform that I discussed in my last column. Before Obama had amended the legislation to accommodate Catholic-affiliated employers, Romney lambasted it as an "assault on religion" and as evidence that Obama was unwilling to "protect our right to worship God."
Now, a similar version of the law came on the books in Massachusetts in 2002, but we were all relieved that once Romney became governor, he quickly gave us back our first amendment rights by repealing the measure.
And by that I mean he did exactly the opposite, passing a new law in 2006 that expanded access to contraceptives. He also lost a battle with the state legislature over whether hospitals, including Catholic ones, should be required to provide emergency contraception pills to rape victims.
Romney vetoed the bill at first, then had his veto vetoed by the state legislature, tried to get an exemption made for Catholic hospitals, and eventually just gave up after deciding that the bill wasn't such a bad idea after all. So by taking a swing at Obama, he was actually taking a swing at himself as well. Whoops.
That particular issue resurfaced a couple of weeks ago after Santorum brought it up, condemning Romney for being too much like Obama, whom he said had "decreed" that Catholics and other religious employers must offer "sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs" to their employees.
This came as shocking news to me, as I was totally unaware that contraceptive drugs actually sterilize you, so I was happy that "Dr." Santorum cleared that up for me.
And kudos again to Mr. Santorum for letting us all know that birth control "is not okay, because it's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be…it gets deconstructed to the point where it becomes simply pleasure."
Heaven forbid! It's funny because all this talk about banning abortion and contraception is coming from a guy who claims to want to downsize the government.
Of course, by downsizing he really just means that the government should intrude in everyone's private life where he feels it's appropriate and ensure that it keeps its grubby little hands out of his pockets.
Now, the brutal, if naive, honesty may win some voters over, but his extremist positions on women's health issues could very well hurt him if it alienates the GOP's more moderate female constituents.
Apparently no one told Santorum that a good 99 percent of women between the ages of fifteen and forty-four in the United States have used contraception at some point in their lives, and that they might not take kindly to his inflammatory rhetoric. Or maybe he just enjoys making really stupid, politically radioactive remarks. It's hard to tell.