Roundup: McCain’s Crude Jokes and His Stances on Abortion and Birth Control

The Serious Matter of McCain’s Crude Jokes … John McCain’s ‘sense of humor’ may just be a red flag for a man who disregards women as something lesser than men. On MSNBC’s Countdown last night Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow examined some of the crude anti-woman jokes McCain has told, in public, throughout his career in Washington.  The McCain campaign did not really apologize for the jokes, including one about an ape raping a woman, saying instead that these jokes are examples of "McCain being McCain" and evidence of his "authenticity."

McCain’s Speaks Out On Abortion … John McCain spoke openly about his devout anti-choice stances at a town hall meeting in Kansas City yesterday:

Sen. John McCain went out of his way to speak
against abortion twice today at a town hall meeting before a friendly
audience that vigorously applauded a range of conservative proposals.
It’s a subject he rarely raises on the campaign trail unless asked
directly about it—and one where Democrats think they have the edge.

“I also would like to say one other thing very quickly to you–that
is I am proud of my record of protecting and advocating the rights of
the unborn. I believe this is also an important issue,” he said. He
said the noblest words every written were the rights to “life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness.”

Abortion rights advocates believe that many voters mistakenly believe
that McCain supports abortion rights and that they will be less
inclined to vote for him once they realize he does not.

McCain’s Opposition to Birth Control … Katha Pollitt has a great piece in the Chicago Tribune today explaining that McCain, like the Bush administration, is opposed to birth control and voted against requiring insurance companies to cover contraception: 

So, John McCain is so opposed to contraception he voted against
requiring insurance plans to cover it like other drugs, and either so
indifferent to women’s health and rights or just so out of it he
doesn’t even remember how he voted. That’s the way to show American
women you really care.

This is not a trivial issue. There’s
the basic unfairness of not covering these essential—even
life-saving—drugs and devices, so fundamental to women’s health and
well-being. And then he adds the insult of denying coverage while men
are lavished with cut-rate erections. There’s the craven submission to
religious extremists that moves the politics of that denial.

a pocketbook issue too: A year’s worth of contraception can cost a
woman $600. That’s a lot of money. Is it too much to expect the next
president of the United States to understand that? Especially now that
every politician in America prides himself on knowing the price of a
gallon of milk, and talks like he’s just finished doing the week’s
shopping for a family of 10?

More Responses to Bush’s Anti-contraception Proposal … We’re on the fourth day of newsmaking for a leaked HHS proposal that would limit women’s access to birth control.  Yesterday Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray jointly sent a letter to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt condemning the proposed rule change.  

Murray and
Clinton said the proposed rule change is a "poorly veiled attempt to
roll back women’s health care options before the current Administration
leaves office."

misguided attempt to restrict health care services and limit access to
contraceptives defeats our common goal of reducing the number of
abortions in this country," said Murray.

They said one of
the most troubling aspects of the proposed rule is the overly-broad
definition of "abortion."

"This definition would allow
health-care corporations or individuals to classify many common forms
of contraception – including the birth control pill, emergency
contraception and IUDs – ‘abortions,’ and therefore to refuse to
provide contraception to women who need it," they said.

Murray and Clinton go on to say "the regulations could even undermine
state laws that ensure survivors of sexual assault and rape receive
emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms." 

The far-right blogs have been strangely slient on this development.  The Catholic World News did publish a short piece simply restating the major aspects of the proposed rule change with no mention that it will have the effect of severely limiting women’s access to birth control pills and IUDs. 

Daily Show’s Senior Women’s Issues Commentator Kristen Schaal Takes on the ‘Cougar’ Label … After all this seriousness we need some comic relief and there’s nobody doing comic relief right now better than the Daily Show.  Kristen Schaal goes to great lenghts to prove to Jon Stewart that the term ‘cougar’ is dehumanizing:


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  • invalid-0

    A joke that he told twenty years ago? And come on, even SNL made jokes about Janet Reno being ugly! Whether these were said in private or public, they shouldn’t be at the the top of our list and putting it there makes us look trivial and stupid. A post only about his making fun of people makes it look like we really DO need to lighten up!

    Yes, making rape jokes is destructive, but the real issue is McCain’s positions on the war and birth control and the economy and abortion, infrastructure–I never hear anyone talking about infrastructure…

    At least the story proceeds to the part about his voting record. The voting record is the real measure of a politician.

  • invalid-0

    With the price of oil at a near all time high. And with food prices rising and the mortgage crisis; our country has so much more to deal with than a joke. Every Presidential candidate has a skeleton or two in the closet. We should feel blessed there is only a joke that can be brought out of the wood works.

  • invalid-0

    I have trouble understanding why insurance companies would balk at covering birth control expenses for women.

    As a new parent, I know about what the health insurance companies had to pay for my child’s birth (and pre-natal care). Well over $25,000.

    Passing a law that says that health insurance companies are not required to cover birth control will probably have very little effect, unless there is a policy out there with an exclusion for all expenses related to pregnancy (and I don’t know of any policies that do this) there is absolutely no reason that the insurance companies shouldn’t be bending over backwards in order to prevent the $25,000+ childbirth.

    If a woman has health insurance in the first place, its cheaper for her insurance provider to make sure she stays not pregnant!

    It is every bit as completely ignorant and wrong-headed to think that health insurance companies can “save money” not covering birth control as it is to think that an uninsured person can “save money” by having unprotected sex!

    • invalid-0

      the same insurance companies which balk at covering BC will happily cover Viagra, Cialis, et al without even a quibble.

  • invalid-0

    I so love it when I’m told to “lighten up” on feminist issues. Let me guess, you’re a male “progressive,” right?

    The point of the post is that the jokes shed light on McCain’s retrograde attitudes toward women that feed into his anti-choice stances.

    Sorry that was lost on you.

    • invalid-0

      I (a female) just stumbled upon your site while looking for something else.

      Since it seems to honor feminism, I hope I can ask a question, as a female.

      Why would a woman consider it a victory to win/retain the right to kill her own child?

      So odd.

      • invalid-0

        It’s about having control over one’s body, you ignorant fool.

  • invalid-0

    I so love it when teh menz show up at feminist blogs and attempt to tell us what we should be worrying about. Women’s issues are somehow never on that list.

    Incidentally, if McCain had told a racist joke, I doubt you’d be dismissing it so readily. Oh, wait, I forgot. Women aren’t really people. It’s so whiny to object to misogyny, let alone not want a misogynist in the oval office.

  • invalid-0

    Where’s the Daily Show’s coverage of McCain’s heart attack when asked about the BC coverage? Where’s their coverage of the recent supreme court ruling changing abortion availability? Where’s the coverage of the repeal of funds to international bodies unless those people pledge not to work with sex workers, aka, those most susceptible to HIV. When 1/2 of the population in most nations have to struggle for needs based on their gender, it occupies all their time, preventing them from creating things bigger.

    Thanks for the post Brady.

  • invalid-0

    Most feminists say that most men are sexist. Well. If you are saying that then you yourself are sexist. So stupid feminists need to shut up guys can be pigs, but there’s a lot of women out there that can be bitches too. Women are treated better in America than they are anywhere else. In fact women are treated better than men in America. Our country focuses so much on not being sexist against women that they forget that women are sexist against men in just as many cases. So feminists just shut up and take it. Men have been taking women’s crap for years. Women just bitch about it more.

  • invalid-0

    and you’re not doing your gender any favors by spouting your ignorance.
    yeah, women are treated so much f’ing better than men in the u.s. – that’s why we make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. you’re a complete ass.
    you know, there are countless close-minded, moronic, right wing, anti-female, bullshit websites. why don’t you go play there?