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March 27, 2012 10:01 AM   Subscribe

The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women. Frank Rich on George Stephanopoulos's unanswered question, how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny since the 70s, and why Mitt Romney would be just as bad as Rick Santorum.
posted by Artw (160 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
how the Republicans have shifted to being the party of misogyny

Around these parts we call that "traditional values."
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:06 AM on March 27, 2012 [22 favorites]


If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.
posted by Legomancer at 10:08 AM on March 27, 2012 [12 favorites]


Same reason non-millionaires support the GOP.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:11 AM on March 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


Yeah, if you are any kind of minority who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how you can fucking live with yourself.
posted by elizardbits at 10:12 AM on March 27, 2012 [26 favorites]


My mother will never vote democrat, ever, because she believes abortion is morally abhorrent under any circumstances. She cannot in good conscience vote for a candidate who allows for any other possibility, and she cares about that single issue so much that it overrides all over considerations.

She liked Obama, but voted GOP, and always will, no matter how fucking crazycakes they get.

So I dunno, that's one woman. How they court the other two hundred million is a mystery to me, though.

And I bet my mom would have wound up feeling differently if she'd had even one daughter instead of four sons.
posted by pts at 10:13 AM on March 27, 2012 [30 favorites]



If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.


If you think that most people, on either side of the aisle, come to their political position via some deep, analytical, complex reasoning, then you are misguided.
posted by spicynuts at 10:13 AM on March 27, 2012 [32 favorites]


People who vote on single issues and have blinders up for everything else are terrifying! But there are a lot of them.
posted by troika at 10:15 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Large chunks of my Russian-origin extended family will never vote for a Democrat because they really really dislike black people.

These same people like cities, public transport, nature, and good healthcare. They don't understand why abortion is even an issue. They talk constantly about how ridiculous the Republicans are for being on the wrong side of such self-evidently commonsense things.

Nevertheless, black people.

</anecdata>
posted by tempythethird at 10:18 AM on March 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


My mother will never vote democrat, ever, because she believes abortion is morally abhorrent under any circumstances. She cannot in good conscience vote for a candidate who allows for any other possibility, and she cares about that single issue so much that it overrides all over considerations.

Yeah, my mom too. It's the only issue she cares about. I love asking her about the death penalty. "Well, I guess life is not so sacred in that case..."

My mom would vote for a candidate that outlawed vaginas if it meant saving another fetus.

So that's two women.
posted by bondcliff at 10:19 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.

Fred Clark (slacktivist) seems to think it's because of wedge issues and the sharp point being put on the wedge.
posted by pokermonk at 10:19 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if you are any kind of minority who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how you can fucking live with yourself.

Gay pride festivals in Philadelphia always seemed to make room for Log Cabin Republicans, who have in some ways done more for gay rights the last couple years than all the op-ed writers and Democratic politicians they work for. Not that I would join up with the LCR, but it's a big, complex, adult world out there, folks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:19 AM on March 27, 2012 [16 favorites]


Same reason non-millionaires support the GOP.

But those non-millionaires support the GOP because they think they're going to be millionaires someday. What do these women think they're going to be?
posted by Rangeboy at 10:19 AM on March 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's strange to me that people who say they want the government out of their lives also seem most willing to go with the most authoritarian candidate.
posted by rtha at 10:21 AM on March 27, 2012 [41 favorites]


Same reason non-millionaires support the GOP.

Non-millionaires support the GOP because they have drunk too deeply the wine of the "American Dream" and believe that just a year from now, when I finally get my big break, they too will be millionaires, and so of course they don't want to have higher taxes when that day comes. Needless to say, for the vast majority of people that day never comes, but human beings have a mind-bogglingly vast capacity for self-deception.
posted by Hargrimm at 10:21 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


What do these women think they're going to be?

Mothers of millionaires.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:21 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


In heaven, one can only assume.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:21 AM on March 27, 2012


Log Cabin Republicans, who have in some ways done more for gay rights the last couple years

? Examples?
posted by rtha at 10:21 AM on March 27, 2012 [11 favorites]


What do these women think they're going to be?

"Respectable" women would would never be stupid enough to get an abortion, I would imagine. Because, you know, the girls who get abortions are the Other.
posted by jaduncan at 10:21 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.

I can think of a couple of reasons. As a Democrat and a penis-owner, I can't speak from personal experience, but it's not hard to come up with a few. There are the single-issue voters, as several above have mentioned.

What's also common, I'd imagine, is that women who are by nature of a conservative mind won't switch teams over the misogyny or general cluelessness of their party, and will instead fight their own party to try and swing it to a more woman-friendly position. The Republican bloc, despite its best efforts to pretend otherwise, is not a monolith. Sexism within the party is not an uncontested issue. They're still Republicans because they feel that the Republicans are closer to correct than the Democrats are, and that the sexism in the party is not an inherent trait. (I actually agree with this; I'd wager that the GOP of 2052 will be downright congenial to women, Hispanics, and gays. Conservatism will take on a different shape, as it always does.)

Or perhaps they hold the idea that while the Republicans are sexist, the Democrats are just plain wrong about everything, and it's better to have a goon with the right mindset than a guy who's going to wreck everything, no matter his intentions.

I dunno. The world is large and people are complex.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 10:22 AM on March 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


? Examples?

Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, for one.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:22 AM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


she believes abortion is morally abhorrent under any circumstances. She cannot in good conscience vote for a candidate who allows for any other possibility

Just as one example, George W. Bush never proposed legislation making abortion illegal under any circomstances. I don't think McCain made a blanket ban part of his public campaign, though I don't recall the 2008 Republican platform. Even appointing SCOTUS justices who will overturn Roe v Wade would, at best, send the issue back to the states. And until and unless the SCOTUS overturns Roe, it doesn't matter what candidates promise; they inevitably allow for any other possibility. So I'm honestly curious as to what the end game is here, given that most candidates for national office do indeed allow for other possibilities. Does she just feel the Republican Party shares her values, regardless of what it does, has, or can actually do about the issue?
posted by Gelatin at 10:23 AM on March 27, 2012


If logic were the guiding force, the following groups would never vote Republican:

-women
-minorities
-anyone with disabilities of any sort
-anyone with a boss

That accounts for substantially more than half the population, and yet Republicans win their fair share. Go figure.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:24 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is no shortage of anti-abortion, anti-contraception, pro-patriarchy women still in this country. They can vote for the GOP because they share the GOP's values. Same reason that there are some rich white men who support the Democrats--not in spite of the fact that their taxes might go up, but because they think that should happen. Values interests and moral interests trump financial and social status interests frequently, on both sides.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:24 AM on March 27, 2012 [32 favorites]


Oh, shit. I left out:

-anyone who isn't straight
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:25 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


And the LCR has joined several efforts to push for marriage equality. Not everyone with a Republican affiliation is your enemy, even if there are a pair of raging assholes running for President who've made hating women a campaign platform. Like I said, it's a big, complex, adult world out there.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:25 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


And the LCR has joined several efforts to push for marriage equality. Not everyone with a Republican affiliation is your enemy,

Yeah, but the LCR are fringe. Hell, you know Reagan wouldn't make the cut today. And Nixon? Fugheddaboudit. He supported the ERA. And started the EPA. And indexed Social Security. And ...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:30 AM on March 27, 2012


My guess is, if one were a minority or woman who supported the Republican party in the 70s-80s, there's a certain momentum that builds up, and which one doesn't let go of easily or quickly.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:31 AM on March 27, 2012


Women are more divided on abortion and religious/conscience objections to funding contraception than liberals would have you believe.

In a NY Times/CBS poll from March 13, 2012, women were asked:
Should health insurance plans for all employees have to cover the full cost of birth control for female employees or should employers be able to opt out for moral or religious reasons? [i.e., the Blunt-Rubio amendment]
46% of women responded that employers should be allowed to "opt out", compared to 44% who disagreed that employers should be able to "opt out."

When women were also asked:
What about for religously affliliated employers, such as a hospital or university? [i.e. Georgetown University / Sandra Fluke]
The margin widened: 53% supporting "opting out," with only 38% opposing such exemptions.

On the abortion issue, women are similarly divided. According to a 2011 Gallup poll, 60% of women believe that abortion should be "illegal in all circumstances" or "legal in only a few circumstances." That number drops from 60% to 59% among young women (age 18-34).
posted by BobbyVan at 10:31 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.

Here's a quick breakdown:

1) God knows what I did back in high school and about all the unclean thoughts and this is the way to atone.

2) I'll shut up and vote how I'm told.

3) Don't want "The Blacks" to move into the neighborhood and subsequently seduce/rape us.

4) Don't want "The Mexicans" to steal our jobs and subsequently seduce/rape us.

5) SOCIALISM!!!!

6) The contents of this SHOCKING email forward about O[b]ama I received from cousin Sue (see also 3 and 5).

7) Won't somebody think of the children?!?

8) The contents of this SHOCKING email forward about an imaginary problem that our government is NOT doing anything to stop!!!

9) Actually well thought out (though easily debunked) fiscal argument.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:32 AM on March 27, 2012 [20 favorites]


Is it any wonder? We are a species that (against all evidence) smokes, eats meat, ignores global warming, tolerates gross obesity, judges others by the color of their skin, their sexual identity etc. and chooses belief over fact as a matter of course.
posted by chance at 10:33 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


And the LCR has joined several efforts to push for marriage equality. Not everyone with a Republican affiliation is your enemy

I group that theoretically supports all of the Republican party's policies except their stance on gay marriage is a group that wants the world to become a much worse place.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:33 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


tolerates gross obesity, judges others by the color of their skin

That's a heck of equation.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:37 AM on March 27, 2012 [22 favorites]


So is there an actual point to all this or is this just a rant session?
posted by Ideefixe at 10:37 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's just a rant session, courtesy of your two-party system.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:38 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ultimately when marriage equality comes about, and it's going to, the efforts of the LCR will have been as irrelevant to it as they were ultimately to the ditching of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
posted by Artw at 10:39 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, you should see some of the multi-party rant sessions the dutch have about their political system...
posted by DreamerFi at 10:39 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how. -Legomancer

Same reason non-millionaires support the GOP. -entropicamericana

Yeah, if you are any kind of minority who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how you can fucking live with yourself. -elizardbits


The answer is something called cognitive dissonance.
posted by Jernau at 10:40 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


For my mother, it was and still because Clinton got a blowjob. No kidding.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:40 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Related Onion link.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:46 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


A mother of four learned that she had a blood clot in her pelvis during a later, unexpected pregnancy, putting her own health and that of the fetus at risk. Romney visited the hospital where she “lay helpless, hurt, and frightened,” as she described it, only to tell her that “as your bishop, my concern is with the child.”

I am a registered Democrat because I will never vote for someone who wants the power to turn their personal religious beliefs into my reality. And while there are many women who would be fine with this, or who make their own peace with compromises (birth control pills, protesting abortions but would have one, etc.) I am not one of them.
posted by jetlagaddict at 10:46 AM on March 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


For my mother, it was and still because Clinton got a blowjob. No kidding.

Lots of older folk are like this. It works for the Republicans now but is ultimately doomed, because they're not getting any younger. It's why we've got stuff like Conservative Teen magazine, the ranks are being depleted faster than they're being refilled.

If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.

Do a Google search for prairie muffin and prepare to be depressed.
posted by JHarris at 10:48 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


The answer is something called cognitive dissonance.

In a two party system, pretty much everyone will always be engaging in cognitive dissonance. I spent Sunday at an African-American church, where I'm sure the majority of the congregation votes for Democrats, in a state where the Democratic Party worked to legalize same sex marriage. Those same people all seemed to agree with the preacher that homosexuality was an abomination that was dooming America just like it doomed Ancient Rome.

If you're got two choices (really, if you've got any limited number of choices) there's going to be cognitive dissonance.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:50 AM on March 27, 2012 [16 favorites]


> If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.

Republican women I know fall into two bins: bin number one is people who feel that lazy welfare mothers with packs of illegitimate children are a drain on the treasury; bin number two is people who feel that drugs and sex and rock and roll are Satan's grand scheme to lead us all unto eternal damnation.

That they do not even take one moment to think that these clusters of ideas are hardly dualistic Democrat v. Republican partisan issues is a great triumph of Republican Party public relations, the same people who scoff at those of us in the so-called Reality Based Community.
posted by bukvich at 10:50 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the conservative idea for some is not that women need to be punished but that sex is immoral outside of marriage and anyone who has sex outside of marriage or being fully capable of parenting a child without assistance knowingly chose the risk.

Further there is simply the idea that abortion is simply wrong, which among certain conservatives I know is sometimes not about hating women, but about truly believing at a certain point the fetus can feel and is worth protecting. I do know conservatives who are more open minded about plan B or abortions in the weeks before the development of some developmental milestones but usually they delve into slippery slope concerns "Well a two day old zygote seems obviously not to have much self awareness but what if at 14 weeks the fetus can feel?"

I do know conservatives who are in favor of birth control access, but not funding, and still value abstinance based "sex education".

My mind boggles that anyone would oppose abortion on religious (in America this usually means Christian) grounds and not be desperately working towards providing comprehensive familial support to struggling families and single mothers. I do think considering that many religious people I know think that women in unplanned pregnancies or parenting the children of such are inherently living in sin which might make it difficult to offer genuinely respectful support. There is a religious-free counterpart to this as well however, that women who failed to use their birth control or get abortion are either morally or mentally defective and aren't viewed a whole lot more favorably than the religious right.
posted by xarnop at 10:52 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Asking how women can support the GOP is like asking how women can be pro-Christian-Patriarchy. I think it really sells women short to insist that reproductive freedom is the only issue that they can or should care about. Even if we took abortion completely off the table, there are a lot of women in this country who believe in the husband as the head of the family and breadwinner because they believe it is better for their children. Extramarital sex, same-sex marriage, all things that can track back to a lack of trust that nontraditional family structures would be as healthy for children as traditional family structures are. The problem with social welfare programs traces back to the question of work ethic, distrust of the government, and the idea that churches are better sources of social support because there you *know* the people who are getting help. The support of the military and the problems with international cooperation and immigration come back to American exceptionalism and xenophobia.

If you can't really comprehend the idea of "a baby I wouldn't be okay with having", why would reproductive rights figure into your decision? For those of us who feel very differently about the concept of being pregnant, it's not going to be the same as it is for them. For someone who feels that way about pregnancy and children, who can't imagine a world where their own children didn't come first even before birth, you just can't win them over on this issue.
posted by gracedissolved at 10:52 AM on March 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


A woman I know is anicu nurse, has been for decades, to the point where she now teaches other nurses at world famous hospital system. She's smart, highly educated, pretty open minded and socially liberal with hippie roots. With her parents help, she managed to raise 3 kids and go back to nursing school after her husband literally kicked her out the house one fine summer evening.

As a nurse, she took part in abortion procedures where the child lived and by law she had to let them die. She was also part of program/research study that dealt with addicted mothers and their babies. She was essentially on the front lines there and got a really skewed view after many years.

She's been a staunch Republican for a while. Still a lovely woman in many ways and still largely a social liberal, against racism, sexism etc. but very much a member of the GOP.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:55 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Interestingly the article pegs the Republican anti-women agenda as predating the takeover by religious right.
posted by Artw at 10:56 AM on March 27, 2012


So that's two women.

So my Mom, at age 77, changed her affiliation recently from Republican to Democrat. She had been a Republican her entire life, although she never voted a straight ticket. Her sister is also a lifelong Republican who feels the party has abandoned her.

The two of them were visiting me recently, and bemoaning the fate of their party. "How did this happen?" they wondered.

I looked at them and said "In 1980, when the GOP insisted on adding a plank to the party platform to outlaw abortion, I understood that all the talk about being a party of small government was sheer nonsense. I was twelve years old, and I understood that position was anti-woman, which is why I've been a Democrat my entire life."

I think it was the proverbial frog in the pot of water. They got used to that nice warm water, and didn't see it coming.

Anyway, that's two ex-Republicans, so there's two for the other side.
posted by ambrosia at 10:57 AM on March 27, 2012 [13 favorites]


There are so many Republican woman partially because the left is terrible at presenting a compelling list of our beliefs and reasons they're superior. For years, the left has just been responding to the right, rather than actively pushing its own vision (with the exception of gay rights).

Take for example "Right to Work." It's a shit sandwich but the left's best response is to add "for less" to the end. It falls for the right's framing.

We need our own Frank Lunz.
posted by drezdn at 11:08 AM on March 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


Why? What's wrong with this picture?

Ooops there goes my soul. She just ate it.
posted by stormpooper at 11:09 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


For years, the left has just been responding to the right, rather than actively pushing its own vision (with the exception of gay rights).

Some people (myself included) see the left as being less of a monolith than the right, particularly in the past decade or two. This goes for politicians voting as a block (seems like it happens a lot more on the right than the left), and for any specific vision on the left. And this includes gay rights; there are still portions of the left that are against them (basically the opposite of the log cabin republicans, really).
posted by inigo2 at 11:13 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was in the middle of writing a comment to drezdn about how he denies Republican women moral agency when he says that Democrats just good enough at aren't sweet-talking them when stormpooper chimed in with a pitch-perfect example of leftist misogyny.
posted by BobbyVan at 11:17 AM on March 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


dang - "Democrats just aren't good enough at sweet-talking them"
posted by BobbyVan at 11:18 AM on March 27, 2012


Inigo2, that is definitely part of it, but we need leaders to effectively explain what unites us. If you're republican you're against abortion and taxes, other things are open to discussion (as shown by the disagreements between Santorum Republicans and Romney ones).

What things unite us? We need to more actively decide on and then spread core beliefs. Say equal rights for all, health care reform, etc.
posted by drezdn at 11:20 AM on March 27, 2012


but usually they delve into slippery slope concerns "Well a two day old zygote seems obviously not to have much self awareness but what if at 14 weeks the fetus can feel?"

Right, and then the saddest part is they see no moral/ethical/logical/psychological disconnect with the fact that they will still vote to cut government assistance and afterschool programs and health care to those same fetuses who have now grown into inner city children in low-income families.

If even 1% of the people who make the "but what if the fetus can truly feel pain?" argument spent actual demonstrable time and money and effort on lessening the societal problems faced by women and children post-birth, I would perhaps regain the slightest crumb of faith in the human race.

Maybe.
posted by elizardbits at 11:20 AM on March 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Non-millionaires support the GOP because they have drunk too deeply the wine of the "American Dream" and believe that just a year from now, when I finally get my big break, they too will be millionaires, and so of course they don't want to have higher taxes when that day comes.

This stopped being true long ago. Now, it's just that they've internalized higher taxes as being somehow immoral.
posted by mightygodking at 11:21 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Metafilter - offering pitch-perfect examples of leftist misogyny since 1999.
posted by Chuffy at 11:24 AM on March 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Republicanism is based on the principle that individual liberty is more important than equality. Thats fine. Nothing inherently wrong with it. Can Republicans not find one god damn woman who espouses that, is intelligent, and a leader? I almost cried when they touted Sarah Palin as a shining example of a Female Republican.

Jesus, guys. If you really care more about your ideals than a boys-only club, please advance women within the party who don't differentiate themselves from dogs by claiming they wear lipstick. Until you do, nobody cares about your ideals; you're the political equivalent of that frat that lets rapes happen within their house but still claims to raise money for the women's shelter.
posted by karathrace at 11:24 AM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]



I don't think it's specifically anti-woman. It's anti- specific types of women. Namely poor women, women who have sex outside of marriage, women who are promiscuous, women who don't do well in school, women with disabilities, women who are criminals, women with addiction issues, women with mental illness and women who get assaulted or are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, etc.

It's like saying that being anti male on female violence is "anti-male". That's not anti-male, it's anti specific men who do a specific type of behavior. It might wind up being heavily judgemental towards men of specific racial groups or income status or with mental health issues who fall more heavily into violent behaviors but it's anti- specific type of male.

It's easy on the liberal side to say "Yeah but hitting is wrong and abortion isn't!" but there are conservatives who quite literally think abortion is wrong and not because they hate women.
So they don't understand the cries of "But that's misogyny"! They LIKE women who are like them-- who don't get pregnant, don't get raped, don't have sex outside of marriage, don't do poorly in school, don't need help, don't have disabilities, don't use drugs... etc...
posted by xarnop at 11:27 AM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Anyway, that's two ex-Republicans, so there's two for the other side.

This is something I've been noticing among my more moderate Christian friends (from when I was a kid and being raised in a fundamentalist evangelical Christian church).

As for the "why??" part, yes, nthing "single-issue voters" and othering.

My mind boggles that anyone would oppose abortion on religious (in America this usually means Christian) grounds and not be desperately working towards providing comprehensive familial support to struggling families and single mothers.

This was easy-peasy in the evangelical church I was raised in. We were often separated into girls-only and boys-only groups in Sunday school and Wednesday prayer studies (my parents were taking us to church at least twice a week, practically all day on Sundays). It was made VERY CLEAR to we girls that there were two paths in life for us:
1. Get married, as a virgin (this was pounded into us with every hammer imaginable) between ages 18-20 to a nice guy from the church. Stay married. Or, get divorced if he cheated/left the church, and remain celibate until another decent church-going candidate came along.
2. Go to hell as a slut/whore/fallen woman.

Oh and birth control? Ahahaha, you mean "whore pills". And that's what I remember from 25 years ago. This has been going on for a long time.

Long story short, a lot of women in these churches vote Republican out of fear of shame. A fear so deeply entrenched, so firmly lodged in their souls through childhoods of evangelism, that they don't even realize it. It makes the invective towards "those women" all the more poisonous; their own denied liberties are (temporarily, but they don't realize that) expelled in projection.

How do you get beyond such a deepset fear? By learning to see "the other" as human. Which is very hard since that's essentially what the fundamentalist churches do their damndest (bad pun intended) to avoid.
posted by fraula at 11:27 AM on March 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think the Republican lady I know loooooves business and ignores the social issues. She has money, so she's comfortable in her current position.
posted by armacy at 11:30 AM on March 27, 2012


Republicanism is based on the principle that individual liberty is more important than equality. Thats fine. Nothing inherently wrong with it.

Says you.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:32 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


but there are conservatives who quite literally think abortion is wrong and not because they hate women.
So they don't understand the cries of "But that's misogyny"! They LIKE women who are like them-- who don't get pregnant, don't get raped, don't have sex outside of marriage, don't do poorly in school, don't need help, don't have disabilities, don't use drugs... etc...


Exactly, yes. And again, there's the disconnect that many of them steadfastly refuse to see, and which so many people on the other side of the argument get so het up about: when people are loudly espousing these beliefs and insisting that they embody "family values," and then get caught with a pregnant mistress who had an abortion, or caught with a same-sex lover, or when their child is caught cheating in school or doing drugs.

I mean, despite the repressive and exclusionist ideals they preach, it would be a lot easier to enter into meaningful and mutually respectful dialogue were it not for their epic hypocrisy which we run into again and again.
posted by elizardbits at 11:37 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


The status quo fighting against advancing women's rights is nothing new and nothing uniquely American sadly. When Scotland Yard bought its first camera, it wasn't to photograph murder scenes - it was to gather intelligence on suffragettes. And, let's not forget about Margret Sanger, who had to write her "lectures" on a blackboard wearing a gag because it was literally *illegal* to teach about birth control.

Privilege is a hell of a drug.
posted by absalom at 11:37 AM on March 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Republicanism is based on the principle that individual liberty is more important than equality.

There are huge swaths of the Republican platform that prove counterfactual to this claim.
posted by grudgebgon at 11:37 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Republicanism is based on the principle that individual liberty is more important than equality.

Wha--? Ahem, no.

Maybe in some weird alternate reality that exists only inside Geraldo's syphilitic mind, this statement is true, but in this one (where 2 + 2 != 5), Republicanism is based on support for the ideals of the Republican form of government, which is a specific system of representative state government. The fact that in the more contemporary parlance it refers to precisely those political interests who are most fervently opposed to the existence of the Republic and who seem most passionately dedicated to dismantling it, is just one of those bizarre accidents of history that defies any rational explanation (barring the possibility the universe just has a wicked sense of humor and enjoys seeing us slap ourselves in the face with our own hands for its amusement).
posted by saulgoodman at 11:44 AM on March 27, 2012


If logic were the guiding force, the following groups would never vote Republican:

-anyone who isn't straight


Actually, I don't usually vote Republican either.
posted by straight at 11:46 AM on March 27, 2012 [39 favorites]


Revised, then:

Republicanism is based on the principle that individual liberty for those who deserve it is more important than equality.

Who deserves it? Who else? Those who believe in and submit to a Traditional Old-Fashioned Old-Time-Religion Fuck-You-Got-Mine chain of authority. The intellectuals, the libertines, the atheists, the feminists, the environmentalists, the pro-choicers, the homosexuals, the liberals, they all fall short of accepting Traditional White Religious Male-Centered Authority Figures as their natural leaders and sources of morality.

And good for them.
posted by delfin at 11:47 AM on March 27, 2012


Republicanism is based on the principle that individual liberty is more important than equality.

Homeland security, same sex marriage, women's rights, forced trans-vaginal ultrasound required to enact granted rights,

I would counter that Republicans by and large see white straight rich male individual liberty as more important than equality, and I think there is a real problem with that.

Make no mistake, Democrats are not a panacea, but it is sort of like have the options of being disinterestedly kicked in the ass and being kicked in the nuts while being mocked.


FWIW, 2010 was the watershed year for me. I finally understood how someone becomes marked for life against voting for a particular party. The sheer meanness and nastiness of the statewide and nationwide GOP coupled with a deafening silence from ANY Republican to call them out has forever ruined any chance I will ever consider voting for a Republican again. Which is not saying I will always vote Democrat. But prior to 2010 I would at least give each candidate a fair shake. Every once in a long while there would be a sane Republican worth taking seriously (Arnie Carlson in MN for example, but they have since kicked him out of the party). No more.
posted by edgeways at 11:51 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: The intellectuals, the libertines, the atheists, the feminists, the environmentalists, the pro-choicers, the homosexuals, the liberals.

sorry
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:53 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do a Google search for prairie muffin and prepare to be depressed.

I figured that was a variant on cow pie. Shows me.
posted by feckless at 11:55 AM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.

Among women I know, mostly independent, the upcoming election is not so much a question of voting for a republican as voting against Obama. A few of their reasons, in no particular order:

- Fear of Bernanke being reappointed and continuing his cheap money policy.

- Current fiscal policy in general (they would be happy to counter allegedly easy refutation, and I'm not going to proxy for anyone on this one)

- Anger that Obama’s failed his promise to get us out of war

- Distrust of medical overhaul (which is not to say they like the current system)

- Disgust with this year's most complicated tax form yet (it is tax season, after all)

They do not necessarily go rightward happily. They do not believe that Romney will necessarily do all they want. They simply do not see the current crew as being great bargains.

That said, if the republicans nominate Santorum, the screaming you hear will most likely be coming from them. Then it'll be third party protest vote or just stay home and drink heavily.

By the way, some fun statistics here addressing the question of generational shifts in political affiliation and stance. Mind you, what people think at age 20 is not necessarily what they think at 30 40 or 50, so to assume that age is on the democrat's side from here on out should not be a given.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:58 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


And yet, they'll still get ~35% of the vote as an absolute basal figure across the nation.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:02 PM on March 27, 2012


And yet, they'll still get ~35% of the vote as an absolute basal figure across the nation.

The Wrong Lizard Theory is never out of season.
posted by delfin at 12:04 PM on March 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


If you actually know a sizable number of independent women who are thinking about voting Republican, if you could ask them a question for me? It's this: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Actually, replace "independent women" with "people." There is no one on the Republican side right now who looks in any way like a more capable President than Bush was. And if you actually think Bush is better than Obama IN ANY WAY, might I suggest that you don't have so much a brain as a sheet of paper in your head on which is written the word stupid.

I admit it, it felt good to write that, but it probably won't convince anyone.
posted by JHarris at 12:08 PM on March 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


Women are 51% of the population. That's a lot of people with a lot of diverse backgrounds.

Misogynism in women, when I run into it, basically seems to occur in women who have Done the Right Thing (as they define it). No pregnancy before marriage, no drugs, go to church, raised kids, faithful to husband, etc. There is a feeling therefore that what they have, they earned by doing the right thing; other women don't have what they have because they didn't do the right things. They are stupid, or slutty, or low-class, or white trash, or what have you.

Because otherwise, they might have to face the idea that their "good behavior" was really not that important, and what they thought was the path to rewards and praise was really just a way of keeping them caged up and cleaning up after the menfolk.
posted by emjaybee at 12:08 PM on March 27, 2012 [32 favorites]


One of my aunts is a GOP supporter because she's of the "obama-is-a-seekrit-muslim" variety. Another of my aunts is a GOP supporter for fiscal reasons (which I can understand only after knowing a whole personal interfamily dynamic that I can't get into, but trust me, it may be more about family than country and I get it). Go figure.

Do a Google search for prairie muffin and prepare to be depressed.

I....I'm kind of afraid to now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:12 PM on March 27, 2012


It would be nice if we could not perpetuate the notion that married women don't also want/need abortions.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:12 PM on March 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how.

Men aren't the only ones attracted to the idea of being judgmental, hypocritical bullies who can hide behind numbers and convenient political philosophies when someone tries to call them on their shit.

I won't paint all conservatives with that brush by any means, but it's an integral part of the base.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:20 PM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I recently went on a vacation with my inlaws and my husband's step mother randomly began rambling about how charming Rick Santorum is and how he's such a nice, genuine guy and not like a politician at all. I sat there digging my fingernails into my palm, but my husband bit. He said that Santorum is not a nice guy at all and he'd be happy to send his stepmom some links about his policies, to which she responded that she doesn't carry about his policies, she cares that he's a nice guy.

So, there you go. The female Santorum voter, ladies and gents.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:23 PM on March 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


IQ. Bell curve. Left side.
posted by goethean at 12:31 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


*looks up "prairie muffin" on the googletubes*

*first result is the "Prairie Muffin Manifesto*

*wishes to not live on this planet anymore*

*reads point #2 and for the first time looks up the term "helpmeet"* ... HELPMEET? WHAT.
posted by pyrex at 12:35 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do a Google search for prairie muffin....

Dan Savage please pick up the nearest white courtesy telephone.... Dan Savage....
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:35 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


While the Left doesn’t seem to appreciate the extremes to which some of the more vocal Republicans would be willing to go to reduce the number of abortions or ban them altogether, they seem pretty clueless that their own positions are generally regarded as extreme by moderate Republicans or independents that might be willing to vote for their candidates otherwise.

Whereas an extreme right wing position might be to enact an all out ban on abortion, even if the death of the mother is certain without an abortion, the left’s demands for unfettered access to abortion services seem pretty extreme. I’m sure many here on Mefi can appreciate the right’s abhorrence of third trimester abortions, yet that type of abortion still has its defenders on the left. Clearly those on the right that advocate for an outright ban on every type of abortion are motivated apparently by their hatred of women, tendencies towards patriarchal domination and secret admiration for the Taliban. Similarly those on the left that advocate for unfettered abortion access must be motivated by their hatred of babies.
posted by otto42 at 12:43 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are probably serious polls out there if you want a serious answer to the question why do women who vote Republican, vote Republican.

First of all, you are talking about a small hard core group. While there are those who occasionally vote Republican or vote for their local representative, those who vote block Republican are probably about 40% of voters (let's say 20% Independent/swing, 40% Democrat). And voters are about 55% of the eligible population. And women hardcore Republicans are probably about 40% of hardcore Republicans. Put together, that makes up 9% of the electorate.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:46 PM on March 27, 2012


What do these women think they're going to be?

Fetuses.

In a survey by the Pew Forum in 2009, 24% of American Christians expressed a belief in reincarnation.
posted by BEE-EATING CAT-EATER at 12:47 PM on March 27, 2012


Similarly those on the left that advocate for unfettered abortion access must be motivated by their hatred of babies.

Well, I mean, I can't speak for everyone.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:48 PM on March 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Otto42 nailed it. Us libs hate babies, and with a passion. Their indignant, smushy little faces, their constant peeing and pooping without regard as to how said bodily function will be cleaned up, their unintelligible "gooing" and "gaahing", their unquenchable perversity in demanding to be exposed to boobs and then sucking on them! Hell's bells! Annihilate them all.
posted by pyrex at 12:54 PM on March 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


If you are a woman who supports the GOP I would honestly like to know how

I guess I don't need to answer this question as I used to support the GOP.
But I will anyway.

First of all, the GOP used to be an umbrella party, which embraced outright liberals like Mark Hatfield and Edward Brooke and Lowell Weicker, many moderates, and the usual right wingers. That's in the past, and now RINO is a dirty word for one R to use about another.

Second, the GOP used to have a general individual rights oriented view, which favored freedom of opportunity and community/family support rather than government-provided opportunity and government-provided support. And the GOP used to be the party that was cautious and careful about involving the US in overseas adventures, though in favor of a strong military as a protector and deterrant. And of course there was a time that the GOP supported fiscal discipline, meaning balanced budgets versus deficit spending.

Today I find it hard to recognize the party at all, on any front, and the disrespect for civil liberty and individual liberty continues to astound me. The willingness of nuts like Rick Santorum to attack woman's basic rights to make fundamental health decisions without government intrustion or regulation is one thing -- but the entire GOP establishment is on board with this now. I cannot believe the (successful) concerted effort to limit the voter franchise, or drown out all voices in favor of monied interests' speech, or the absolute abrogation of the 4th amendment in our domestic airports and domestic buildings, to name a few other GOP causes.

But I'd add that I find it hard to support Democrats as a group too. Democrats have not been icons of civil liberties, not at all. Do I need to list all the ways that Democrats have not stood up for Constitutional rights, or the groups that support them? I would add that I am a very, very strong Obama supporter but this is an area where I have often found him extremely disappointing.

And, as BobbyVan pointed out earlier in this thread, there's lots and lots of left wing misogyny too. I really dislike Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, the current Mrs. Gingrich, and many other R women, but not, repeat not, because they are women.
posted by bearwife at 12:56 PM on March 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


the left’s demands for unfettered access to abortion services seem pretty extreme.

I note that you used the word "seem" instead of "are", indicating that it's a matter of perception rather than one of reality. I completely agree.
posted by Aquaman at 12:59 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


And, as BobbyVan pointed out earlier in this thread, there's lots and lots of left wing misogyny too.

So vote Republican?
posted by Aquaman at 1:00 PM on March 27, 2012


Until recently, my parents were still voting for the Republican party of the early 1980s, or so they thought. I suspect a lot of people don't pay much attention and just don't realize how insane the mainstream Republican party has become.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 1:03 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


there's lots and lots of left wing misogyny too

Not treating republican women like delicate flowers in need of special protection is not the same as actively attacking them. There may be some on the left who do actively attack women because of their sex but not "lots and lots" by any measure when compared with Republicans.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:07 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


So vote Republican?

Of course not. In fact, almost never nowadays, as even reasonable Rs feel compelled to toe the crazy party line.

This does not mean that every woman who votes GOP (or every person of color, LGBT person, or poor person who does so) is a moron. And treating them or the convictions that motivate them with contempt is not going to win a lot of new left-leaning votes.
posted by bearwife at 1:27 PM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not treating republican women like delicate flowers in need of special protection is not the same as actively attacking them.

Considering that the dominant tone of this thread has been "woman who vote Republican are morons" I'd say that's closer to attacking them than anything else.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:29 PM on March 27, 2012 [9 favorites]


Anyone who votes in favor of candidates who are openly and loudly opposed to acting in alignment with said voter's self-interests -- from specific niche issues right down to basic questions of equality in society and under the law -- is a weapons-grade moron.

Whether or not this applies to Republican women as a general rule is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by delfin at 1:34 PM on March 27, 2012


According to this poll just released, Republican women prefer Santorum to any of the other candidates
posted by holdkris99 at 1:38 PM on March 27, 2012


A few weeks ago, we had a discussion in MetaTalk about expressions of minority opinions in which many posters said that they did not understand why someone who leans conservative might feel uncomfortable participating in politics threads on MetaFilter. I hope this answers their questions.
posted by decathecting at 1:38 PM on March 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


the left’s demands for unfettered access to abortion services seem pretty extreme.

It just seems to me that "unfettered access" just means "accessible to poor poeple". It's true that many people love to look down on those who are in worse circumstances than they are. I can't see that the choice to not look down on those poeple is an extreme one , though.
posted by Quonab at 1:40 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I should really spend more time in preview
posted by Quonab at 1:42 PM on March 27, 2012


According to this poll just released, Republican women prefer Santorum to any of the other candidates

Not surprising. I prefer santorum to the entire Republican slate of... oh, you meant RICK Santorum.
posted by delfin at 1:43 PM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you actually know a sizable number of independent women who are thinking about voting Republican, if you could ask them a question for me? It's this: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Please un-twist your knickers and go back and read the rest of what I reported, not neglecting the bit where I noted a Santorum vote would queer the deal.

You're missing a significant point here. Obamamania did not intoxicate all of America and a good number of those cautiously optimistic in 2008 have been bitterly disappointed. They didn't like Bush either, but they are now asking, in effect, why throw good money after bad? The war? The economy? The deficit? These things matter. Lacking a third choice, a Romney vote, however distasteful, might be the only option.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:00 PM on March 27, 2012


One thing I would point out is that state parties matter. I grew up in Illinois, outside Chicago, where there's historically plenty of corruption to go around, but in Chicago the party of corruption was the party of power -- the Democrats. Republicans in the Chicago suburbs tend to be pretty moderate, and tend to run on cleaning up state or local government and fiscal matters; "moral issues" didn't come up as much and there was a fairly broad consensus about them among, say, wealthy North Shore whites. You're running for village board in Highland Park or for State Rep in Lake Forest, there's probably not a whole lot of difference on moral/social issues between you and your opposite number.

A very good friend of mine, who's very feminist, and who I think is actually *more liberal* than I am on moral/social issues, vote Republican, because in her town, recent fraud and waste comes from the Democrats who were running things; the Republicans have been the party of good and transparent government and responsiveness to taxpayer needs (sidewalks, sewers, snowplowing, etc.). We don't discuss politics a lot, but I know she typically (but not always) votes Republican in national races because most of the politicians she "knows" (in local politics) and supports are Republicans, and most of the Democratic politicians she knows have been corrupt. (I know she voted for Obama last cycle partly because she had a real problem with Palin and the direction the race went after Palin was nominated, and she didn't like McCain turning more ideological instead of running moderate, but she voted for the GOP guy in her House race. She dislikes Santorum intensely; she doesn't adore Romney, but she doesn't love Obama either.)

I know plenty of feminist women who call themselves Republicans and tend to vote Republican (I only know a few people who vote straight ticket). Many of the older women still view the Republicans as the party of fiscal responsibility. (And I know a number of such women who still call themselves Republicans but voted Obama because they did their due diligence and could see where the actual fiscal responsibility has been lately.) The younger ones are often influenced by local, not national, politics, and for various reasons find the local Republican party to be the more attractive party. Again, moral and social issues don't tend to come up a lot in local races, and in our recent primary, local Republican voters mostly rejected the more extreme candidates in favor of moderates in local and state races.

Yes, I do know feminist, professional women who vote GOP in national races because they think they shouldn't have to "pay for welfare queens" or because "I don't want my taxes to go up," which aggravates me and I have, on occasion, tried to explain why I think they're wrong in their perceptions, but I don't talk a lot about politics in social settings so I don't do it a lot.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:02 PM on March 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


On the topic of Ann Coulter who was mentioned earlier, and other outspoken/vocal, extremely right wing women... Here is what I find baffling: they are allowed to make these statements publicly because their liberal sisters fault for equality over all of these years. And now they have it. Yet their viewpoints that they speak so loudly about come from a time when women should not be seen nor heard in the public sphere. They do not represent the progress that their sisters made for them. In fact, the seek to take us back 50+ years. That is what I find astounding!
posted by mrzer0 at 2:02 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chiming in with some of the above posters: I have a number of female relatives, many of them with daughters, for whom abortion is The Issue. One woman in my family is socially liberal, very gay-friendly, the mother of a girl who she has raised to be mighty strong (and who encouraged her to have pre-marital sex because "you don't know unless you try"). But she just can't pull the lever for murdering babies, and that is what she considers abortion to be.

Personally, I come down on the Judith Thomson side, that even if a fetus is a life you can't ask another person to suffer pain in order to preserve that life. But anyone who says that people who are against abortion rights are anti-woman isn't very good at listening to women.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:07 PM on March 27, 2012


that people who are against abortion rights are anti-woman isn't very good at listening to women.

It's possible to be a women who is against your personal best interests on moral grounds. The ability to be in that position is one of humanity's best, and worst features.
posted by Phalene at 2:09 PM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fair point, Phalene.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:23 PM on March 27, 2012


the left’s demands for unfettered access to abortion services seem pretty extreme.

That's such an interesting word, unfettered. As in lack of fetters, i.e., chains or shackles for the feet. Why yes, I am against fetters, as a general rule. I don't know why anyone would be for them. I don't think women should have to be shackled in order to access a basic medical procedure.

If what you mean is that access should be based on medical advisability (as in safety), well, we already have laws governing that, as we do for any medical procedure. Doctors don't hand out abortions to all comers any more than they do appendectomies. And by and large, except for abortion, our government seems to find that sufficient to protect the public health.

Which is why when most people use that phrase, I get the feeling they are really talking about the first definition.
posted by emjaybee at 3:06 PM on March 27, 2012 [17 favorites]


Anger that Obama’s failed his promise to get us out of war

He got us out of Iraq, which is what he promised to do. He initially sent more troops into Afghanistan, which is also what he promised to do.

Most of the troops from the Afghanistan surge are due home this year, and most of the remaining troops are due home in 2014.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:18 PM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Decathecting, I think this is a question of semantics. I remember that MetaTalk thread; someone actually said they frankly don't want more conservatives on this site. And to any members of the site from outside the US I can see how troubling that sounds. But I think this is a good time to point out that there's a difference between small-c conservatives and the modern (post-1980) American Conservative Movement.

Now, I think no one should feel afraid to express small-c conservatives views here. Hell, in many ways I'm a small-c conservative myself. For example, I think tattoos and piercings are both an incredibly juvenile waste of money. And I do believe in some traditional gender roles because men and women ARE different in some ways; we both have strengths and weaknesses in particular areas. I also believe in same-sex marriage, same-sex couples adopting children, safe access to legal abortion, etc.

As to the poster who said he/she didn't want any Conservatives on this site? If I'm being honest here I'd have to agree with that person. You know why? Because modern American Movement Conservatism is not a philosophy that naturally arises as a good-faith interpretation of the same set of facts that the rest of us have. In the year 2012 Conservatism is merely, to quote some commenter on a political blog, "the opposite of what liberals want, updated daily" (e.g., Obama's Health Care Reform was based on what Conservatives wanted in the early 90s, now they hate it). It is pure reactionary identity politics that has a single overriding objective: to keep rich, privileged powerful people rich, privileged and powerful. And they have spent a lot of time and money constructing an alternate reality and news media environment to further this goal (with the pillars of this alternate reality being Fox News and Talk Radio).

I realize this is getting into derail territory so I'll stop here, but I think this a crucial distinction to point out.
posted by MattMangels at 3:48 PM on March 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


wow, I'm tempted to vote GOP just to react against some of the people in here. So maybe there's a couple other women.
posted by jacalata at 4:36 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, jacalata, good idea. Fix their little red wagons. That'll show 'em who's boss.
posted by John of Michigan at 5:23 PM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


wow, I'm tempted to vote GOP just to react against some of the people in here.

That enemy of your enemy? Often enough, they're not your friend, despite any old idioms floating around.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:41 PM on March 27, 2012


Don't forget about 9/11. For many Americans, that was their very first taste of terrorism. That single event drove hundreds of thousands if not millions towards the right. The republicans were and are the war-hawks who will fight and start wars to defend this country, so people cling to them like children.

There is no intelligence behind it, people are still just scared and are totally willing to sacrifice civil rights for the sake of keeping us "safe". We're still stuck with a lot of 9/11 shit these days.

One of these days I might do an FPP on Mega Churches and their rise post 911.
posted by snsranch at 5:42 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


MattMangels, I live in the United States, and I spend a lot of time having political discussions with thoughtful, intelligent, well-informed Republicans whose views are grounded in facts and principles and honestly-held moral beliefs just as much as yours or mine or anyone else's are. I'm sorry that you have not had a similar experience. I suspect that it's more difficult to find reasonable debating partners when you preemptively dismiss those who disagree with you as deranged or meanspirited.

If Metafilter wants to take this opportunity to have a three-minute hate against Republicans, there's nothing I can do about that other than flag the worst of the comments. But there are roughly 30 million registered Republicans in the United States, and it is neither helpful to your political causes nor conducive to creating a peaceful and healthy society to speak as though they are collectively suffering from some psychosis that causes them to be dumber than you are.

I do think we need better discourse about the changing role of women in cultures that still try to adhere to more traditional values. I think we need to make space for people who agree on the desirability of equality and tolerance and opportunity for all to continue to disagree about how best to organize our political and economic systems to best promote those values. I think we need more options in the political marketplace so that single issues don't so polarize us that we can't have a real debate about how we govern ourselves. But that's not a conversation that's going to happen in any sphere where it's acceptable, and even encouraged, to state outright that people who disagree with you are vile, power-mad bigots who are too stupid to understand their own political views.
posted by decathecting at 5:45 PM on March 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's great that you know Republicans who are grounded in facts and that you can have productive arguments with them; almost every single Republican I know is broadcasting straight from Tea Party crazy land, and the ones that aren't will spout nonsense like "all we need to do is cut the size of government by 10%", and they have zero answers for how to deal with the repercussions that will bring. The one Republican I know who falls into neither of these categories is quite wealthy, but also believes global warming is a hoax.

So the reasonable Republicans you know notwithstanding, I stand by what I said. I submit this as further proof that the vast majority of Republicans in this country are simply NOT in the same reality as the rest of us. And to bring this back to the original topic, I think that's why so many women are enamored by Santorum and vote Republican: these candidates' bloodthirsty misogyny doesn't exist in their alternate la-la land.
posted by MattMangels at 6:06 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


it is neither helpful to your political causes nor conducive to creating a peaceful and healthy society to speak as though they are collectively suffering from some psychosis that causes them to be dumber than you are.

Yeah, you need to deify radio and tv personalities to do that sort of thing for you.
posted by inigo2 at 6:13 PM on March 27, 2012


But those non-millionaires support the GOP because they think they're going to be millionaires someday

Non-millionaires support the GOP because they have drunk too deeply the wine of the "American Dream" and believe that just a year from now, when I finally get my big break, they too will be millionaires


This is simply not the case, and the sooner the left makes a better effort to understand the right and stop treating them like deluded, misguided idiots, the better off we'll all be.
posted by rocket88 at 6:20 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, there are also Republican women because Republican politicians pretend they are protecting women's interests. In all this misogyny, in all this rolling back of access to contraception, in this threat to women's bodily autonomy, have you heard any one in the Democratic party actually proclaim that we need to protect abortion rights? Not that we shouldn't go so far as to require transvaginal ultrasounds, but actually say "I will protect the right to an abortion on demand without forcing you to prove you really need it." Because I sure as fuck haven't.

I got a survey from the Obama re-election campaign today. It asked me to rank a bunch of issues in order of importance to me: health care, clean energy, jobs, national security, marriage equality, income equality. Women's rights--specifically, the freedom to control my own body--was not even a choice on their list of issues important to me.

So of course women vote Republican. Neither party actually wants to protect abortion rights or contraceptive access, so you might as well vote on another issue.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:38 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree crush. Just because I think the Republican party is a cult (and I do) doesn't mean I don't have my share of criticisms of the Democratic party as well. However, part of me suspects that if they didn't have to worry about getting murdered by religious fanatics more politicians would be willing to stand up for abortion rights. See: Dr. Tiller.
posted by MattMangels at 7:02 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I will protect the right to an abortion on demand without forcing you to prove you really need it."

Well, you probably ought to be able to prove you are pregnant.
posted by gjc at 7:28 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Neither party actually wants to protect abortion rights or contraceptive access

Except one party is actively trying to pass laws to take away those things, and one party isn't.
posted by inigo2 at 7:33 PM on March 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm sure I am generalizing here, but based on the Prairie Muffin thing (which was totally NOT what I hoped, but exactly what I expected), there are a lot of Daddy and Mommy issues in the Republican ranks. They want to marry people who will tell them to do what they want to be told to do. Even in country music, for god's sake, there are plenty of songs about how men wish they had the stones to be as tough as they believe they should be, or as tough as their daddies were. Maybe it is just an inferiority complex? If you aren't sure of yourself, you choose an authority that you believe will use God's mighty hammer to pound you into submission. And everyone along with you, since what's good for you is good for them.

When some of them carp on about freedom, what they really mean is the gub'mint not looking too closely at them, because there are other people whose necks need to be stood on. They don't want to be caught working their hustle, because there are others getting away with even more.

I know a guy who is a democrat (Chicago Democrat, of the old guard, "don't send me nobody nobody sent" variety), but he'd fit in real good on the R side. Every time he goes to court for some traffic violation, he works himself into a lather because even though everyone gets the same fine, "those people can just say they don't have the money, but *I* have to pay".

Another complains that he has "paid enough taxes" in his life and resents paying one dime more. I guess the Social Security isn't a big enough senior discount.
posted by gjc at 7:46 PM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Many, many women support the GOP for the very same reason that they become pregnant as teenagers -- it is SAFE.

Think about it -- by choosing either of these options, you are abdicating from some of the hardest questions that life has to offer. Who am I? What is my purpose? Where do I want to go? What do I really want?

With one stroke, either the GOP's roles for women or a pregnancy can take away all that scary, scary freedom and land you with a more-or-less permanent identity. Mother. Wife. You don't have to figure out your own life anymore because your entire identity is now centered around another person's. Plus you get a lot of social approval for being so self-sacrificing, feminine, traditional, etc.

And of course some women do genuinely want to choose that path. But to judge from the number of women who talk about lost dreams and frustrated ambitions and lives sacrificed to family, many choose it and regret it later.
posted by jfwlucy at 7:51 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a nice Santorumy mixture of misogyny, concern trolling and baseless speculation mixed in with the more rational thoughts in this thread already, but I'd love to add some more frothy lube to the compound, so here's my two cents.

The Frank Rich article is really worth reading in so much as he establishes a clear link between catering to sexists and the Southern Strategy. The description of how there was a sort of political calculation suggesting that they could capitalize on a projected backlash against feminism was, in particular, revealing.

I know this has been said elsewhere and better, but the Southern Strategy - predicated especially on racism, but also on sexism and classism - started off as cynical ploy to get votes. In our century, many of those voters were co-opted into the Tea Party movement. For many years, Republican politicians merely pandered to their voters as a way to get elected into office and pursue the economic goals of their corporate masters (same as most politicians everywhere in the world, really). The rise of the Tea Party, however, placed many of the voters they pandered to into places of power.

So, in essence, talking points that were originally created to sway/trick people into voting for them - but which they had no intention of pursuing with any vigor - turned into things that the current crop of Republicans genuinely believe in. They did such a good job of selling institutionalized misogyny that the people who bought into it are now in state and federal houses peddling that snake oil.

Respond with false equivalency here

Anyhow, watching some of the Peggy Noonans of the world wring their hands and freak out that the anti-women Republicans are making the party look bad and wondering where those attitudes came from reminds me of the classic "I learned it from watching you" anti-drug PSAs. They've spent forty years teaching a growing block of their voters to be exactly what they are now, of moving the Overton Window farther and farther right in the interest of votes and money, and of acting like smug assholes creating a "permanent Republican majority."

Frankly, fuck those Southern Strategy party elites and politicians who made this happen. If they don't like what the world they've been promising for forty years looks like, they've got nobody to blame but themselves.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:15 PM on March 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


What puzzles me is the people like a relative of mine, who is a dyed-in-the-wool atheist, but a staunch Republican who always leans toward the front runner and willing to argue until dessert time about why his guy is so great. Why isn't he just a libertarian, if he's so bent on small government and personal liberty? Why is he throwing so much energy toward supporting people who would put his ass up against the wall as soon as they were done shooting my liberal babykilling self, come the Handmaid's Tale revolution?

And then of course as a sideline I am puzzled by this relative's wife, who is a genius in every other way but lets her husband do all the political legwork for them. What is she teaching their two lovely daughters?

Nothing makes me feel stupider than trying to work this out.
posted by padraigin at 8:29 PM on March 27, 2012


Gah! Why are you accepting the premise?

The premise being "a GOP woman exists", from which it follows that women are either GOP or DEM; now you are forced to color them as different, focusing on differences, as otherwise you couldn't tell one from the other. Which further reinforces the notion!

What about what all women have in common, starting from the glaringly obvious fact they are women?

What about the fact that it maybe not be ladylike to flip a bird to anybody (man,women,whatever) telling you what you ought to do, but at the end the bird is flipped mentally anyway? UP YOURS...politely and not so politely, minor differences, major similarities!
posted by elpapacito at 7:17 AM on March 28, 2012


Yeah, my mom too. It's the only issue she cares about. I love asking her about the death penalty. "Well, I guess life is not so sacred in that case..."

So you can't tell the difference between a child and convicted murderer, and that's your mother's fault?
posted by snookums at 7:47 AM on March 28, 2012


You're missing a significant point here. Obamamania did not intoxicate all of America and a good number of those cautiously optimistic in 2008 have been bitterly disappointed.

But none of the people who would have been optimistic about Obama would run to the Republicans, the very group they had been feeling pessimistic about before, for a solution.

The war? The economy? The deficit? These things matter.

As do education, foreign policy, health care and peanut-butter sandwiches. Matter matter matter.
posted by JHarris at 8:31 AM on March 28, 2012


Snookums, "Thou shall not kill" has no caveats that I know of.
posted by drezdn at 8:35 AM on March 28, 2012


There's a nice Santorumy mixture of misogyny, concern trolling and baseless speculation

Which is interesting, considering how few conservatives are participating in this thread.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:18 AM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Snookums, "Thou shall not kill" has no caveats that I know of.

This is infinitely less clever than you think it is.

Kill is a mistranslation---the word in the Torah is actually closer to "murder", which does indeed have caveats. As would be pretty glaringly obvious if you read any other page in Exodus, where the Hebrews take orders from Yaweh to kill all over the damn place.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:52 AM on March 28, 2012


So you can't tell the difference between a child and convicted murderer, and that's your mother's fault?

Sorry, when she goes on and on about how "every life is sacred" she leaves out the part where she says "unless they're convicted of murder."

Also, everything is my mother's fault. Just ask her, she'll tell you.
posted by bondcliff at 10:04 AM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also also, I can tell the difference between a child and a fetus.
posted by bondcliff at 10:06 AM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hargrimm: "just a year from now, when I finally get my big break tax refund..."

FTFY
posted by klanawa at 11:52 AM on March 28, 2012


This is infinitely less clever than you think it is.

No, it's 'bout 60% less clever. Infinitely less clever would be DURRRRR.
posted by JHarris at 12:17 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which is interesting, considering how few conservatives are participating in this thread.

Truth.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:56 PM on March 28, 2012


Business Bets on the G.O.P. May Be Backfiring
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on March 29, 2012


As someone else has pointed out, it's closer to "Thou shalt not murder."

As for you comment, I found it be a tedious pedantic act of word fencing. If you can't understand the arguments that others make, to the point that they have to spell them out in legalese, that isn't their fault. You're essentially berating people for using slightly ambiguous language and acting as though you've discovered a stunning weakness.

You're accusing your mother of being simplistic, when it's obviously you who have chosen to oversimplify her moral precepts based on one sentence. You even admit that she has clarified to you that she doesn't think the same applies to murders, a completely reasonable exception that in no way invalidates a respect for innocent life.

It's a cheap shot.
posted by snookums at 12:51 PM on March 29, 2012


According to my bibles (New American Bible, Saint Joseph edition and red letter edition) it's "You shall not kill." Kind of curious about this book though.
posted by drezdn at 1:32 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


From a review...
Reviewing word usage in the key Hebrew texts she demonstrates that "murder" is not a fair translation of the original Hebrew word used in the Bible, and she builds a strong case that the revisionist translations were made in response to social and political changes within various religions and within American society in the late 20th century.
posted by drezdn at 1:34 PM on March 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


drezdn wins the point.
posted by JHarris at 1:53 PM on March 29, 2012


Reviewing word usage in the key Hebrew texts she demonstrates that "murder" is not a fair translation of the original Hebrew word used in the Bible, and she builds a strong case that the revisionist translations were made in response to social and political changes within various religions and within American society in the late 20th century.

Yuck. How very Animal Farm.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:02 PM on March 29, 2012


Arizona Outdoes Everyone With New Anti-Abortion Bill - they're not letting anyone get ahead of them in there efforts to be the worst and most crazy state.
posted by Artw at 6:32 PM on March 29, 2012


THOU SHALT NOT KILL*

*Conditions apply. Please check with your religious leaders for details.
posted by Grangousier at 11:50 PM on March 29, 2012


Thou shalt interpret my words however thou want, because it's really more of a guideline than a rule, man.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:13 AM on March 30, 2012


You're accusing your mother of being simplistic, when it's obviously you who have chosen to oversimplify her moral precepts based on one sentence.

Well, no. It's her and her ilk that go on and on about how every life is sacred, how only God can take a life. Full stop. That was, after all, the reason all those nuts prayed for Terri Schavio and stooped so low as to claim she was the victim of her husband's abuse and he just wanted to finish murdering her. Only God was allowed to remove those human-made machines that were keeping her alive. It's not up to us.

It's not a matter of arguing about the words "murder" and "kill." Only God has the right to take a human life. That's what she claims. That's what so many of her friends and her priests and her prayers claim.

Now I can certainly see why someone might want to save a fetus yet want a murderer to die in front of an audience. Sure, I get that. I might not agree with it, but I get it. But to claim that Jesus is cool with one of them is, well, bullshit.

But in my mind it's all bullshit, because I'm a narrow-minded, hell-bound idiot.

I'm cool with that.
posted by bondcliff at 8:58 AM on March 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


How about: Thou Shalt Not Use Words From A Long-Ago Desert Tribe That Are Really Hard to Translate Correctly As A Basis for Public and Criminal Justice Policy.
posted by rtha at 9:02 AM on March 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


How could anyone possibly think Yaweh's command of "Thou shalt not kill" means "No killing anyone, ever," when every book of the Torah highlights episodes where Yaweh makes it quite clear who you are supposed to kill? Indeed, the Ten Commandments are really only the first of a long list of commands, many of which detail what crimes receive the death penalty.

Obviously, the rules of a long-ago desert tribe aren't of much relevance today, or shouldn't be. But the only way you could think it's a very clever point to say that "kill" means "kill" would be if you failed to actually read---or even acquire basic knowledge of--- the book you're quoting.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:22 AM on March 31, 2012


drezdn wins the point for quoting an Amazon reviewer of a book that seems to have its facts wildly wrong? Amazing what you can achieve when you make stuff up in service of things people wish to be true.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:24 AM on March 31, 2012


That article is just a bunch of partisan BS. Have we forgotten already about the Clinton years? As I recall there were at least three women that charged Bill Clinton with sexual harassment during his time as President and Governor. And what was the response from the Democrats? We were told that these women were "trailer park trash".

They even formed an organization called "MoveOn.org" whose sole purpose was to get everybody to shut up and quit talking about it. And now this very same organization is calling for a boycott of Rush Limbaugh. Hypocrisy?
posted by republican at 4:05 PM on March 31, 2012


I am the lord high awarder of points, and the point stands. You lose a point for questioning the award, how about that?

republican, too obvious, and off-topic too. If yer going to troll, do it right.
posted by JHarris at 4:32 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I fully supported the impeachment and removal from office of Bill Clinton because that would have made the more moral and more liberal Al Gore President, allowing him to accomplish some great things.

And I was delighted to see how Move On changed in the years since its establishment as a Clinton Apologist group into a solid force for Progressive principles, many of which Clinton never supported while in office. Compare the current policies of the Republican Party to those of only a few years ago and you will see far more of what 'republican' calls Hypocrisy.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:22 PM on March 31, 2012


GOP: Preventing violence against women in detention centers is a “luxury”
posted by homunculus at 5:55 PM on March 31, 2012


@JHarris: It's on topic. I hope it is not your intent to silence me. My viewpoint is in the minority but as an 11 year member I believe I am still welcome to post here. I stated facts in a respectful manner with no insults. It's not my fault if that enraged you. But now we both have gone off-topic. Please take this to Mefi Mail is there is anything else or if you want to instruct me how to "do it right" as a "troll".
posted by republican at 7:41 PM on March 31, 2012


Hmm, it may well be on topic after all on closer examination. Sorry 'bout that.

I don't know whether to hope more that you're trolling or that you're not, honestly. If you're not then you're being forthright and arguing in good faith, but that means you actually stand by your comments. Do you have Kool-Aid for blood, man? The last time I remember seeing one of your responses in a thread, honestly, your comments seemed almost cartoonish.

In the event that you're serious: I don't think there was actually that much of a "call" for boycotts of Rush Limbaugh's program, it just seemed to happen. I mean the man has said some pretty eyebrow raising stuff ever since the show debuted, from saying Michael J. Fox was faking the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease to calling women "feminazis." Back in my right-wing days I listened to a fair amount of the show, I'm sure I could come up with more examples. There have been plenty of reasons for the show to get boycotted in the past; this is just the one that stuck. Honestly I kind of look down on boycotting as a way to affect real change; it's far too often too little to make a real difference. I'm as surprised as anyone to see typically pragmatic companies abandoning the ship.
posted by JHarris at 9:00 PM on March 31, 2012


Republican, I don't think you're trolling. But you're incorrect. The problem with your point is twofold:

Regarding Clinton, he was impeached over a consensual sexual relationship, one that never would have turned into a legal problem had Linda Tripp not recorded Monica Lewinsky without her consent. Given that Lewinsky, by her own account, made the first move on Clinton, it's not even workplace harassment. The other accuser, Paula Jones, never brought her case to court, which left a lot of people, myself included, suspecting that she didn't have a case. Other than that, there were a lot of accusations, but no one willing to testify under oath; it was just another Whitewater: lots of smoke with no fire.

More importantly: While Clinton's personal behavior was caddish, he supported a number of bills that would make life better for women. Individual Republicans can be very moral in their behavior towards women---why, individual Republicans can even *be* women!---but they support policies which undermine the freedom and dignity of women as a whole.

Hence, the Limbaugh issue: It's not that he was personally treating a woman poorly, it's that he was using his public persona to attack a woman in a purely gendered way. In person, he could be the most gentlemanly man alive, but he is using his power as a radio host to make women's lives worse.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:17 PM on March 31, 2012


God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule
posted by kirkaracha at 1:35 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The real war on moms: The Romneys and other Republicans have nothing to offer parents other than manufactured outrage
posted by homunculus at 2:11 PM on April 12, 2012


I hope it is not your intent to silence me

Dude... the only people on MeFi that can 'silence' you are the mods, and frankly if you are going to drop such a charged assertion into the thread you can rightfully expect some push-back. Equating that to being silenced is being hyper defensive so chill out a mite eh?

ThatFuzzyBastard, already addressed the silliness of most of your claims, and if that is the best you can do,12+ year old questionable allegations, you are about as organized as mittens himself.
Hell, even as a progressive I can do a lot better than you in coming up with much more recent, and relevant examples of misogynistic crap members of the Democratic party and their supporters have pulled. Difference? The GOP as-a-whole have shifted their attitude towards issues such as equal pay, personal choice, medical issues, paternalistic chauvinism so hard to right that it can be fair to say they are hostile to the very notion of the "modern women". It is the difference between asshole individuals and and an asshole institution. Frankly, supporting the GOP in this day and age marks one as a retrogressive, mean spirited, idiot.
posted by edgeways at 2:55 PM on April 12, 2012


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