Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tottering in Tampa

On Monday, the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida begins. Oh, but wait, now the latest word is that the first day of the convention has just been cancelled.

Hurricane Isaac is bearing down on Tampa. It is expected to expunge the first two days of the convention from the news. The city closed the convention for safety reasons. The airports are probably closed, too. Bringing people in for a convention isn't going to happen until the airports are open.

The media circus is not going well.

Ann Romney's opening speech had already been pre-empted by re-runs at the major networks. So it was moved to Tuesday night.

The Republicans were hoping to focus on the deficit. Although the deficit is an abstraction for most people (there are six kinds of deficit), having an opinion about it makes a person sound like they know what they are doing.

Also they wanted to focus on reducing taxes even further by cutting ineffective government programs that do not directly stimulate business. To this end, they consider Social Security and public health care ineffective. That was to be their second big story.

But the Senate candidate for Missouri has now captured the spotlight with a clinker that just won't go through the grate.

This gentleman, Todd Akin, said that a woman's body can somehow reject the sperm of a rapist. That a raped woman does not get pregnant unless she somehow inwardly wants to.

This was an old belief. Girls who had been raped not only were no longer marriageable virgins, but if they then became pregnant it was because they had felt lust, so they were also sluts and whores. And possibly available for rape again. This was a useful belief for a culture, unless you were a woman. It defers blame for the rape on the woman. Why was she so pretty?

No proof has ever been found of this sperm-blocking proposition. Rape statistics deny it. Women deny it.

However, for opponents of abortion, the belief that pregnancies from rape happen because of a wish on the part of the victim has fueled the notion that pregnant raped women should carry their babies until they are born. That it was God's will that they should be raped,, become pregnant and have this child. Not every Republican agrees.

The Romney campaign just didn't know what to say, and in two instances, in Denver and Dayton, they told news people not to ask Romney about Akin or abortions.

The Republican Convention's discussions and decision on whether to support a rape/incest exception for abortion are very newsworthy. Lots of opinion available here. This issue was decided long ago, but Republicans are somehow re-considering it. Paul Ryan, the vice presidential candidate, has already confirmed that although he is personally opposed to rape and incest exceptions, he is willing to compromise.

So the free publicity that Republicans might have gotten from broadcasting Mitt Romney's pre-programmed slide to home base has been hijacked by an ultra-righteous anti-abortionist. Between the ultra-righteous and the wrath of God, Rove and the Kochs' carefully concocted hot-air baloney souffle is being flattened in a kerfluffle.

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Sunday morning 8/26: from a comment by Joe Carlin on TPM
"Would it be wrong to ask people to pray? Would it be wrong if we asked people to pray for rain? O.K., not just rain, abundant rain. Torrential rain. Urban and small stream flood advisory rain. Would it be wrong if we prayed for rain on, say, a particular night at, say, a particular location? Ah, say the evening of August 28th, right here at Mile High Stadium here in Denver. During the prime time t.v. hour when a certain presumptive nominee is set to give a certain acceptance speech at a certain Democratic National Convention?"

~ Focus on the Family spokesman Stuart Shepherd, speaking in 2008
What goes around... comes around. Twice as quickly every two years, sometimes.

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