Nelson Gets Around The Vote, And Sexism Still Thrives In America


Barbara Berg talks about why sexism is still a major problem. Also, the health care debate turns to back room deals over abortion and prayers asking God to smite enemies.

 

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Court-martialed for getting pregnant?

Not even paying tribute to the truth

Praying that God smites Robert Byrd

Passive-aggressive praying

The Puritans didn’t actually write the Constitution, you know

Honor your father and mother by denying them professional health care

Holey moley that’s racist!

 

On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll be interviewing
Barbara Berg about her new book on why feminism is still so necessary.  Also, health care health care health
care.  Nelson recovers from defeat
to reattach abortion shaming to the bill, and health care opponents start
praying for god to smite their enemies.

 

Now here’s a story I’m hoping I can pay more attention to in
the future. 

 

  • army *

 

I’m pretty sure that banning pregnancy in the military has
got to be illegal.  If anyone out
there has a tip on who might be pushing back against this, please email me at
amanda dot Marcotte at gmail dot com.

 

*********

Last week, I was premature in my joy that abortion might be
taken off the table for awhile, having foolishly thought that Ben Nelson was
going to be a grown-up and roll over after his amendment to restrict abortion
funding was defeated.  I failed
you, listeners.  Even I cannot
believe the depths that some will sink when it comes to proving their deeply
held misogynist beliefs.  Nelson
had a trick up his sleeve, it turns out.

 

  • nelson
    1 *

 

And his strategy was to threaten to hold up the bill with a
filibuster unless the bill was amended to make sure that insurance cannot pay
for abortion coverage with private funds paid to the insurance companies.  Nelson was pandering to his anti-choice
buddies, but of course, he immediately went into minimizing this amendment.

 

  • nelson
    2 *

 

He’s trying to sell this as less invasive than the Stupak
amendment.  I guess it is, but only
on paper.  In reality, what he’s
proposing is what I like to call the dirty slut payments.  Which is, they’re basically requiring
women who think they might need an abortion one day to keep a policy just for
that, knowing full well that this measure is intended to shame and insult
women.  And that’s the point, of
course.  Anti-choicers know this
probably won’t save a single fetus, nor do they care.  The main thing is shaming women for being sexual.  If they could legally punish them,
they’d do that, but in the meantime it’s all about the shame and stigma.  And frankly, we know most women won’t
pay for the rider.  Why not?  Because no one plans on getting an
abortion, duh.  If you have an
abortion, a lot of people will think you’re a dirty slut.  If you plan for it, then it’s really
embarrassing.  Sometimes I’m amazed
at the endless creativity anti-choicers show in their perversity. 

 

Of course, the endless complexity of these negotiations has
been seized upon by health care opponents in an effort to dismiss the entire
bill.  Senator Lindsay Graham hit
all the points, from race-baiting to playing sentimental on abortion.

 

  • nelson
    3 *

 

Well, there doesn’t have to be complexity on abortion
coverage.  It could be paid for
straight up.  And seriously, I’m so
sick of people using language like "emotional" to describe anti-choice
sentiments.  Yes, sex-phobia and
misogyny are emotional, but they’re nasty emotions, and the word "emotional"
doesn’t really come close to describing them.

 

Tom Coburn took another tactic, which is my favorite health
care opponent tactic, which is straight up lying. 

 

  • nelson
    4 *

 

Let’s face it: Even if they banned abortion and overturned
Roe v. Wade in this bill, health care opponents would claim that the government
is paying for abortions.  They
aren’t constrained by truth in their quest to shut this bill down.  It just makes all the attempts by Ben
Nelson and Bart Stupak to pander to anti-choicers seem all the more pathetic.  This was never about abortion, paying
for it or not paying for it.  It
was always about the health care bill and killing it, by using women’s
sexuality to get people upset and distracted.  Too distracted to remember that they need health insurance
to pay for more than their neighbor’s sexual habits that don’t involve them.

***********

Insert interview

***********

Now that the health care bill is getting much closer to
becoming a law, you’re seeing the opposition moving from angry protests that
they can stop this thing to straight up praying.  Yes, I said praying. 
They want god to intercede against reforms that could improve the health
and well-being of millions of Americans. 
And if you think that there’s no part of that which is just wanting
other people to get sick, well, let me just play this clip of Tom Coburn
praying. 

 

  • prayer
    1 *

 

Oh yeah, you heard that right.  He actually just told people to pray directly for Senators
to miss the vote, which is a not subtle way of wishing that they fall ill.  So, should anyone tell you that there’s
no sadism in the opposition to health care reform, I point you to this.  He’s not just resisting helping people
not get sick, but taking active steps towards making people sick.  Unless Coburn doesn’t believe prayer
works, in what case he’s just a liar and not a sadist.

 

Luckily, Dick Durbin did not let this pass. 

 

  • prayer
    2 *

 

Yeah, well, we know why he has to pretend that he doesn’t
know.  But we do. 

 

But Coburn wishing illness on his peers was far from the
only form of health care opposition praying going on.   The Family Resource Council had a "prayercast" to beg
god to defeat health care reform. 
Unsurprisingly, Michele Bachmann is really good at the
passive-aggressive prayer, where one pretends to be humble in front of god in
order to take swipes at their enemies. 

 

  • prayer
    3 *

 

After that, she begs for mercy, apparently in the form of
denying other people health care. 
I fail to see how that’s mercy, but I’m not an expert at using prayer as
a passive-aggressive political tool. 
FRC also had Representative Todd Akin praise the Puritans for having a theocratic
form of government.

 

  • prayer
    4 *

 

Nevermind that the Puritans also practiced a form of
socialism.

 

It’s alarming to me that Akin not only doesn’t realize that
the Puritans didn’t write our Constitution, but also that he actually thinks
that you can get an argument against health care reform from the Bible.  But of course he thinks that, because
Pastor Jim Garlow actually tries to make that argument. 

 

  • prayer
    5 *

 

Let’s all just take a moment and enjoy a man who is
deceiving his followers about the reality of health care reform acting
self-righteous about deceit.  Just
when you think they can’t go any lower, they do.  Though I suppose it’s hard to get lower than exploiting
people’s earnest desire for faith in order to deprive them of health care
reform because some rich people are worried it might affect the marginal tax
rate.

**********

And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, the subtext is
definitely becoming the text edition. 
Lindsay Graham got a little ahead of himself in whining about the costs
of health care reform and forgot to put the racism filter up.

 

  • south
    Carolina *

 

It’s hard to tell what he’s saying. I don’t know if he’s
implying all African-Americans are on Medicaid, or if he’s just generally
complaining.  Either way,  holy moley that was racist, Senator
Graham!

 

 

Follow Amanda Marcotte on Twitter: @amandamarcotte

  • brianh

    Lies? Really?  When your article appears right under a video from Sebelius making sure in very clear language that everyone understands that everyone will pay for abortions?

     

    Lies?

  • amanda-marcotte

    Maybe you antis are so used to deception, you don’t even see that it’s a problem anymore.  Fascinating.

  • crowepps

    And seriously, I’m so sick of people using language like “emotional” to describe anti-choice sentiments. Yes, sex-phobia and misogyny are emotional, but they’re nasty emotions, and the word “emotional” doesn’t really come close to describing them.

    Most mothers rule learn to deal pretty preemptorily with the threats “If you make me I’ll hate you forever” or “I’ll hold my breath till I turn blue”.

     

    In my opinion, the fact that someone is ‘emotional’ about an issue means they should be given LESS consideration, not more. Emotionalism is not an argument, it is a mental health problem.

  • ahunt

    Yah, rub it in, Crowepps! 8-]

    I confess to being less than dispassionate when it comes to issues like anencephaly…and…stuff. Damn glad when you pull me back to the rational realm.

  • crab430

    It is a pity that those so adamant about saving fetuses are not as enthusiastic about helping them once they are born. If they were, the millions of children that are starving and suffering from diseases without any medical care would be much better off!!

  • faultroy

    Amanda: I’m not sure if you read this article wrong or what, but that is in no way what the General said. To begin with no one is suggesting that they will ban pregnancies in the Military. What the General did say is that in WAR ZONE AREAS, a woman making the conscious decision to become pregnant may be court martialed and furthermore, that goes for the person inpregnating the woman as well. This falls under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Once you sign up in the military, you are no longer able to have all the rights and privileges of a private citizen and the United States Constitution, and you now fall under the UCMJ. This is applicable to all military personnel. A commander can pass almost any regulation that he feels is necessary to perform his duties as per the mission. This would fall under the same category of a serviceman being drunk and unable to perform his military duties. For the record, he has already backtracked on this and indicated that he will not implement this order. But that just goes to show what a spineless sniveling coward he is and nothing more. Those of us that have served in the Military take a dim view of either men or women undermining our mission. Failure to "show up for work" because of your irresponsible and poor choices should be prosecuted. This is not some kind of office job kid. People’s lives are at stake. If you feel that you need to have sex while in a war zone and put your fellow soldiers in harms way, pretty much all of us think you should be drummed out of the military with a Dishonorable Discharge If you have been keeping up with the stats in Military publications, please note that this feeling is supported by both males and females–the mission comes first! The last survey I saw indicated that 75% of military men and women are complaining that these sexual assault charges are way over the top. Note I said that includes WOMEN. Female servicemen now make up 20 per cent of our armed forces personnel. Because they are women, they get most of the administrative and coordinating effort type jobs. This frees up males for active combat duty status. Without people being able to consistently perform these crucial administrative "white collar," jobs, these men are put in serious jeopardy. If you look at it unbiasedly, it makes a lot of sense. And while you are at it, perhaps you may want to read the most recent Dept. of Defense Survey on Rape and Sexual Assault, 2009. You will find some very interesting stats in there. It is available as a PDF–just google it.