In Thursday’s NYT Opinionator column [Here], Gail Collins wrote this in her “conversation” with fellow columnist David Brooks:
David, if you had asked me what the big topic of the presidential race was going to be, I’d certainly have said jobs, jobs, jobs. But lately, we seem to be talking about women, women, women.
In Washington they’re fighting about whether it’s a good plan to have all-male panels discussing women’s right to get contraceptives under their health insurance. In Virginia they’re debating abortion and Mississippi is thinking about bringing back the personhood amendment its voters defeated last year. In Indiana this week there was a dust-up in the State Legislature over the Girl Scouts, and whether they promote abortion and homosexuality.
The sad problem is that Collins isn’t making any of this up and the boys who are beating the drums are dead serious. And we should add an important fact that Collins didn’t mention, viz. that the boys who are beating those drums are all conservative Republicans. (I keep wondering if there are any Rockefeller Republicans left or have they all been eaten?)
Also on Thursday, Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student, whom the House Dems had selected to represent women’s views of contraception, finally got to testify before Congress. It wasn’t because Chairman Darrell Issa relented--he’s not that kind of guy. No, it was because Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi got mad, stepped up to the plate and arranged a rump committee session--she’s that kind of a leader.
And by the way, you won’t see official videos of Fluke’s testimony before Pelosi’s Committee because House Republicans blocked the televising of any of it. (See how dangerous women are!)
What Sandra Fluke talked about in front of the blackened cameras was the impact on her fellow students of Georgetown Law School’s lack of contraception coverage in their student insurance plan. She told of one of her friends in the law school who had used a contraceptive drug to control her ovarian cysts but was forced to stop the meds because of the expense of the drugs. As a result, one ovary had to be surgically removed; she is now showing signs of an early menopause.
When asked to comment on her exclusion from testifying and Chairman Issa’s referring to her as an “energized” college student who lacked “qualifications.” Fluke responded, “Well, I will confirm that I was energized...I’m an American woman who uses contraception...That makes me qualified to talk to my elected officials about my health-care needs.” [Here]
Bingo! Ms. Fluke nailed Darrell Issa, the House Republicans and the current sexual idée fixe of the GOP with her simplicity, candor and directness.
As the current GOP’s obsession with all-things sexual grows more and more bizarre, Virginia’s State Legislator David Albo’s recounting on the floor of the Virginia’s House of Delegates--complete with giggles and winks--his wife’s refusal to have sex with him gets my vote for Tasteless Vulgarity Of The Week Award. [Here] It might also give us some insight into how utterly antediluvian the current GOP is.
On Friday a group of Democratic women Senators took the Senate floor to protest the exclusion of any female voice in Thursday’s House panel on contraception. Senator Patty Murray (D, Wash) summed up the episode while looking at a blown-up picture of Chairman Issa’s all-male panel: [Here]
Reading the news this morning was like stepping into a time machine and going back 50 years. It’s a picture that says a thousand words, and it’s one that most women thought was left behind when pictures only came in black and white.