Yesterday I wrote about how Todd Akin “used the wrong words in the wrong way” and I foolishly assumed by now it would blow over. Imagine my surprise to find it still in the newspaper this morning as well. In the previous blog post i explained how I feel Akin ‘accidentally’ put his foot in his mouth on purpose, to remind his grass-roots base that on the issue of abortion, he does not intend to waver, even if the beliefs backing up his opinion are proven to be wrong. he is a Believer, like those who helped him get this far, and in their book, faith simply trumps truth. This is the “truthiness” that Stephen Colbert lampoons on his Comedy Central tv series. It’s why the republican party continues to be unreasonable.
Anyway, I was wrong to assume this would blow over so quickly. I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and I’m terribly sorry.
Since my previous blog post, or perhaps as I was composing it I dunno, four former Missouri republican senators and republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney have publicly “urged him to step aside.” They say their reasons are because, “the issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important.” Notice that they have not actually admitted what he said was wrong. They’re just aware that other people took offense to what he had to say, and they no longer wish to be associated. They haven’t admitted to agreeing with what he had to say, but they do at least want people to think they agree that he said it wrong. Todd Akin himself is admitting that he said it wrong, but he’s not willing to admit it’s just flat wrong. In fact he stands behind his anti-abortion stance, and so does the republican party, even if they no longer want to stand with Todd Akin.
What the republican party seems to ignore however and what the rest of us know all too well is that the republican party is having something of an identity crisis. There’s the Grand Old Party of rich old white men blowhard dinosaurs in three piece suits by expensive tailors, and the Brand New Party aka “the tea baggers” which consist of poor old white men blowhard dinosaurs in clown outfits pretending to be The Other White Meat Percent. And even though this beast has two heads, both heads are still thinking with the same brain, though no one can point to which head that brain is actually in, or which asshole it’s coming out of for that matter.
The real reason why what a Missouri senator said when he thought no one was listening has reached the national public arena is because the republicans are worried that even if they win the White House this November (not totally out of the question currently believe it or not), they may lose control of the congress (more likely than Prez Romney but not by much). So Akin is catering to his base but a lot of prominent republicans are at the moment catering to any moderates or independents or other ‘undecideds’ who still foolishly drink their brand of flavor aid.
President Obama’s response to all of this? “Rape is rape.” …and then a cursory note that he’ll let the people of Missouri clean up their own mess. He washes his hands of it. Obama barely acknowledges the oil spill the republicans have made in their own gulf. He’s keeping his eye on the ball.
However, the republicans are far from done. Since 1984, the republican platform has been to put a ban on ALL abortions, even those where the conception of the fetus was against the will of the female, aka “rape.” This has essentially been the republican platform since Roe vs Wade, when the supreme court ruled on this and it shoulda been over back then. Over a quarter of a century later and we’re still fighting over this!?
Now here comes the funny part! Romney claims he has removed the abortion ban thing from his presidential platform, even though it’s still a part of the republican party’s platform. Now, how is this even possible? Romney hasn’t stopped being a republican! It still must be a part of his platform if he wants to be the republican nominee for POTUS. He says it’s not a part of his platform in order to trick the moderates, independents, and undecideds, but it still is a part of his platform so far as conservatives are concerned. He can say that all he wants but if he becomes POTUS, he’s gonna tow the party line on this. He ain’t gonna defend a woman’s right to choose. He’s gonna do what his party tells him to do, unless he too wants to be a one term president.
Republicans in congress decided on Tuesday they will call for a constitutional amendment outlawing all abortions anywhere in the USA. No exceptions. They’re using the same verbiage they’ve been using since the 1980s. They want to over rule the supreme court’s decision of Roe vs Wade and they don’t want the states to have a say in this. It will be federally mandated via the constitution if the republicans are left to their own devices. The upshot of this is if you’re in a state that doesn’t allow it, and you want an abortion, you won’t be able to drive to a neighboring state to get it done. You’ll have to leave the country to have an abortion, and don’t tell me that won’t happen cuz it will. Also, don’t tell me the wire hangers won’t suddenly become a more popular solution again, cuz history proves otherwise.
Missouri senator candidate Todd Akin has been set up by his own party as a sacrificial lamb to the undecideds in this year’s political race. They have tarred and feathered him and put him on display for the world to see. They do this so they can look to the moderates and independents and pretend to have excised the more extreme positions from their party, but they still maintain the rights of unborn fetuses over the rights of women. They still say old men in suits have a right to tell women what to do with something inside the woman’s own body. This is like saying you can’t kill an intruder inside your own house that you did not invite, cuz all life is precious. Yes, I will grant that all life is precious. I won’t even ask you to prove it, but if someone is in my home against my will, I don’t want old white men in suits looking over my shoulder shaking their heads and going tsk tsk tsk as I pull out my shotgun. This is like saying if I got something growing inside my penis, I can’t get a doctor to help me get it out. If there’s something in my penis I don’t want there, congress better shut the fuck up about it. It’s my penis. It’s her vagina. Stay out of our groin areas, republicans! If a woman doesn’t want her own child inside her own body for nine months, who the hell are you to even suggest she changes her mind about it? The gentlemanly thing to do would be to help her get it out with all speed, not block her way. We may not have to open a door for a lady anymore, but the least we can do is let her be in charge of her own pussy.
Human beings have a disturbing attitude in general over just what kind of control they think they can place not only on themselves but the entire universe. It’s staggering how self-righteous we actually are, while at the same time pretending to be so humble. Federal officials announced recently there will be public hearings held in Texas regarding the endangered species list. If you don’t know what the endangered species list I don’t either. It’s a list, right? Where we write down all the animals that we think may not be around much longer, so we can argue with one another over what needs to be done about it.
There are four species of salamander that some human beings wish to put on this endangered list. There are less of these salamanders then there used to be, and some human beings are concerned about this. Now, in your own lifetime, many animal species have ceased to exist. the dodo bird was a big deal when I was a child, even though it ceased to be several years before I was born. Back then it was a relatively novel idea for most people. To think that an entire species of animal could cease to be! How terrible is that? Oh, it’s awful! Something must be done! How can mankind allow this to happen!??
Over this brief span of time in my life, “as I understand it from doctors,” mankind has learned that not only do species cease to exist, but sometimes what causes the extinction of entire species is human behavior. We pollute the atmosphere. We mine the planet for fossil fuels. We lay waste to the land through deforestation. We rape and pillage the Earth for resources and leave behind more devastation than swarms of locusts. After we noticed this, some human beings decided to make efforts to do something about it. Sometimes what we do about it causes problems elsewhere. Sometimes it has little to no effect, but at least we’re trying.
We made up Arbor Day about this, and try to plant a tree when someone else cuts one down. That wasn’t enough so we made up Earth Day which.. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to do that day. Make mud pies or something..?
What we fail to accept or realize or contemplate is that maybe all this species extinction stuff is part of what’s supposed to happen. Maybe we’re part of a cycle of life that involves not only living but dying. Species evolve, they change, they appear, they disappear, they go have a siesta they come back they turn into linguini they contemplate their navels we don’t fully understand it all. We’re starting to understand it but maybe everything is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing.
We weren’t around when all the dinosaurs became extinct. We weren’t around when the trilobytes came and went. We weren’t around for Mother Earth for over ninety-nine percent of her existence and she did just fine without us. Now we think we can somehow turn the tide of extinctions on this planet and preserve everybody? Oh, but we don’t preserve everybody do we? Salamanders are cute. Eagles are regal. Pandas are lovable from a safe distance just don’t try to give one a bear hug she’ll eat your spleen. I bet if a species of vultures went extinct even animal lovers wouldn’t lose sleep over it. We sure weren’t all that helpful for the dodo bird, or any of millions of other species, some of which we never knew existed until after they were dead. I bet there’s a lot of species that lived and died on this planet that we don’t know about cuz they didn’t leave a trace. I can’t prove that though, so I don’t believe it, but it’s probably true even though I can’t prove it. Please don’t start a religion out of it tho cuz I could be wrong.
Scientists have also noticed though, that sometimes species dies out through no direct human cause. We may be able to blame ourselves indirectly, but sometimes nothing we could have done would have made a difference. Mankind is not the only factor. In fact, we are but a part of a vast ecology, and we’re not as big a factor as we like to imagine we are. We like to believe we can save everything, and that’s just not what the evidence suggests.
Human fetuses die all the time. Sometimes it’s on the delivery table and sometimes it’s a quiet moment of mourning that she doesn’t want to talk about and I don’t want to detail here. There are a lot of reasons, and we don’t fully understand them. We never really will, but to think there’s a god who has a grand design and plan for each and every egg in every woman on the planet is simply not looking at reality as it actually is.
We can’t save everything. Sometimes life just ends. Sometimes it never begins at all. To think that abortion laws are going to even put a hole in the dike of death that the universe has experienced since long before the homo sapien sapien species first threw a rock at the moon is pathetic. There are people who are ruled by their amygdala. They make choices bred on fear. We can control this, they think. Let’s prevent this and make the world better. Only, it won’t make the world better. Taking choice away from a woman only makes the world worse. We can’t save everyone. This leaves us with a very disconcerting fear: it’s not a matter of IF mankind ceases to be, but WHEN.
Whether it’s by our own hand or a planet killer asteroid or some other method we can’t even fathom, there will come a time when we no longer exist. We will join the list of extinct species, only there won’t be another species to put us on that list cuz so far we’re the only species we know stupid enough to keep up lists like this and the best rock bands of the 1900s and favorite songs of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and today.
We can’t save ourselves. We are not immortal. The best we can do is try to make life better for those of us here now. Most see the ecology of our planet as a very delicate precious thing which could easily become uninhabitable due to global warming or some such. By our own god-like hand. I suggest another possibility. I suggest that not only have we evolved from other species that no longer exist, we are continuing to evolve, and millions of years from now what may still exist that may or may not be related to us on some genetic level will hardly be recognizable as human. We’re not done. We are not the pinnacle of some god’s achievements. We are one link on a long chain that is still being forged, and we will not live to see the final result, just as our ancestors didn’t live to see it, just as some of the salamanders in Texas will not live to see it. Again, “as I understand from doctors” there is only one constant in the known universe, and that constant is change. Not the kind of change Barack Obama likes to talk about. I’m talking about the “shit happens” kind of change.
Mankind has assumed for most of its existence that the world and all we see is here for us. Most religions and philosophies place mankind in the center of the universe. Even Buddhism has more than its share of navel contemplation, but the monotheistic (most notably abrahamic) religions usually focus on that god’s intimate relationship with human beings. Some even claim to have made a pact with their god; a contract. A “covenant.” Many religions assume a god would want to make a pact with us for some reason. We are god’s greatest creation, and he wants to teach us how to properly behave. He will reward us when we do well and punish us when we do poorly. Actual evidence suggests this is not the case, but belief doesn’t bother itself with silly things like evidence. Despite our flaws, a perfect god still finds pride in us and wants to continue to mold and shape us into something better, even though a perfect god would have gotten us right the first time, for some reason this perfect god made us flawed and is still working on us. Many people believe all this fervently. It is a cornerstone of their world. They believe their god created us as stewards of the rest of his creation. Our job as the human race is to use god’s creation as we see fit, barring any rules he laid down a long time ago which are open to interpretation by flawed human beings, and our Lord will always provide. Others argue we must actively preserve and protect this god’s creation, as if he can’t do that himself. This seems to be a counter intuitive and contradictory paradox. if “the Lord” always provided, then we should be able to abuse the resources of this planet. If we do it wrong somehow or neglect the Earth in some way, a forgiving god will always forgive and then he will always provide. We live in a world of plenty made by a benevolent and loving god. Manna just falls from heaven all the time. Just look out the nearest window and see for yourself. Oh wait, the next shipment’s due next Tuesday.
Their god provides. This is what they believe. At least he did. If he stopped at some point, it must be because of those heathens over there. They did something bad, and god is going to punish all of us because they didn’t adhere to the contract made long before any of us were even born, between god and some goat herders which we must uphold without question. Punish the infidel and god will forgive us and will again provide. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. Read history books. Read abrahamic dogma. From virgin sacrifices to witch hunts to any kind of mob mentality events throughout mankind’s existence, in one way or another it boils down to some humans killing other humans to achieve a delusion of perfection. We have historically actively sought to kill one another. Do you honestly think four species of salamander are looking to us for their salvation? We can’t save every salamander. We can’t even save ourselves.
And no. Abortion laws will not help us save ourselves. If anything, it threatens our present far more than it protects our future. We can’t protect our future. Our mortality is definite. The best we can do is make our lives in the meantime as free and happy as possible. Ruling even a single woman’s vagina from a seat in Washington DC is a big step in the wrong direction for all of us.
LET ME BE PERFECTLY CLEAR.
A ban on abortion is anti-women’s rights. It is anti-human rights. It’s anti-the-rights-of-the-living. It is placing unborn potential as more important than what is already here. More important than that, it is perpetuating this lie that we can somehow legislate our own immortality by controlling how women perpetuate humanity’s future, and we can’t do that. We just flat can’t. It is insane to even attempt to do so, and women do not deserve to be treated in this manner. How dare you even contemplate stripping a woman of her right to decide what goes on inside herself. Shame on you.
“But what about the baby?” You may whine. The baby’s own mother doesn’t want to give birth to it. That is where this argument ends. Not with you. How much more clear can this possibly be?
It doesn’t matter if Akin steps down. The message has been sent and it has been received. Conservative republicans still believe women should abdicate their vaginas to congressional whims. They have made that abundantly clear. Clear as mud pies on Earth Day.