Outsourcing most of the work to another blog here, so apologies. Here is George Will on the Republican Party’s alleged war on women (from Digby’s blog):
One of the wonders of this political moment is feminist contentment about the infantilization of women in the name of progressive politics. Government, encouraging academic administrations to micromanage campus sexual interactions, now assumes that, absent a script, women cannot cope. And the Democrats’ trope about the Republicans’ “war on women” clearly assumes that women are civic illiterates.
Access to contraception has been a constitutional right for 49 years (Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965). The judiciary has controlled abortion policy for 41 years (Roe v. Wade, 1973). Yet the Democratic Party thinks women can be panicked into voting about mythical menaces to these things.
Digby then cites the usual litany of Republican types inveighing against abortion rights, access to birth control, and so forth. To this extent (the extent which matters most I suppose), what Will says is patently ludicrous. Will himself frequently complains about the “judicial activism” which recognized these rights.
In any case, this is a nice example of the red herring tactic: the complaint isn’t that these things are not currently rights in some narrow legal sense, it’s that they’re under threat of elimination as rights from all sorts of key Republican officeholders and opinion types.
This is sadly very uninteresting. What is interesting is that Will fails to see the obvious objections to his claim:
Actually, Gardner favors over-the-counter sales of oral contraceptives. In addition to being common sense, Gardner’s proposal is his way of making amends for formerly advocating a state constitutional “personhood” amendment (it is again on the ballot this year and will be decisively rejected for a third time) and for endorsing similar federal legislation that has zero chance of passage. By defining personhood as beginning at conception, these measures might preclude birth control technologies that prevent implantation in the uterus of a fertilized egg. On this slender reed, Udall leans his overheated accusations that Gardner is bent on “trampling on women’s rights,” is on a “crusade” for “eliminating” reproductive freedoms and would “outlaw birth control.”
Indeed, the fact that such an amendment exists (and has the consequence of making certain kinds of birth control illegal) is the whole point of fearing attacks on reproductive rights. I imagine that Will doesn’t think we should take such things seriously. Good to know, I guess.
When people on your team, then, advocate crazy stuff that makes you look stupid, blame the people who believe they’re serious.