Let’s hammer away at this one more time. The whole point of the previous posts about the Republicans efforts to restrict access to abortion and yes, to contraceptives, was to illustrate the degree to which the traditional GOP “business friendly” message is now joined at the hip to religious curtain-twitching and theocratic social engineering.
Here’s yet another example, and it’s easy to find one or more on a daily basis. Now, the Arizona State Judiciary Committee has just voted 6 – 2 in favor of a lovely little piece of legislation that would allow employers, any employers, to deny HC coverage for contraception on religious grounds;
Arizona House Bill 2625, authored by Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, would permit employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment.
“I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union,” Lesko said. “So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom and pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.”
Lesko said this bill responds to a contraceptive mandate in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law March 2010.
“My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion,” Lesko said. “All my bill does is that an employer can opt out of the mandate if they have any religious objections.”
Yeah, well, I have a religious objection to landmines and cluster bombs, but I’m shit out of luck and still have to fund them because that’s not what she means, now is it?
OK, sure, this bill is going nowhere. It violates more privacy standards than you can shake a stick at, just for one thing, but that’s not the point at all. The point is that Republican commissars have now colonized the political process, especially at local level, and are pushing for this kind of bullshit everywhere you look, and in every corner of life — the workplace, schools, ballot initiatives, everywhere. And it telegraphs all the way to the top.
Quite naturally, outfits like Planned Parenthood speak out against this kind of thing. And so, equally naturally, the likes of Mitt Romney are saying that they will eliminate Planned Parenthood (even though a President has no such authority), thus completing a full-circle political journey from attending PP fundraisers and seeking their endorsement in 1994, on through advocating defunding on the last go-round, to now eliminating it.
Sensible conservatives might say “oh, but I don’t support any of that social stuff, what matters is a sane economic program” or some such. Fine. But the pig is now so firmly attached that you can’t vote for just the lipstick no matter how hard you try to spin it.
So now we have the spectacle of a political party touting freedom™ on the one hand, and jamming up the legislative process with intrusive Stalinesque proposals such as this on the other. Because, after all, we’re not the Soviet Union you know.
It’s damn close to being beyond parody. I have the instinct that the blowback will make their heads spin. I also have the instinct that some of the brighter bulbs in the the GOP bunker know that now, and are switching to about the only strategy they have left for any real election success. Sink the economy.
We’ll be talking about that before Spring is done, just you watch. War drums, anyone? Oil speculation?