Monday, August 20, 2012
Rep. Paul Ryan Has Some 'Mansplainin' To Do
I don't know where I've been, but I had never heard the term 'mansplaining' until I read Bill Lyndsy's latest masterful post at Bilgrimage. I laughed out loud when reading the explanation of the term. It does really explain the idiocy which puked out of the mouth of Missouri's Rep Todd Akins. Only a man who was stuck between over confidence and cluelessness could seriously 'splain' to us about this not so new concept of legitimate rape and how you know it's legitimate rape because the woman can't get pregnant because her body rejects the idea of getting pregnant by an invader. Betcha didn't know that! I sure didn't. Took a man to 'splain' that to me.
Now here's where it gets interesting. The Republicans are having all kinds of conniptions about Akins 'mansplainin' this fact of female biology. It has forced the Romney/Ryan ticket into publicly stating they do not support Akin's views of 'legitimate rape. The statement they issued is as follows:
“Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement,” the Romney campaign said in statement. “A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.”
How is Mr Ryan going to 'mansplain' away this change in his pro life out look? He is on record, and actually a cosponsor of the 'personhood' bill introduced by Republicans in January of 2011. That bill stated “each human life begins with fertilization,” which would effectively give a conceptus all the rights of a person and outlaw all abortions for any cause. How does he now explain he is in favor of Romney's position which has always allowed for abortion in cases of incest, rape, and threat to the life of the mother? Oh but wait a minute, that's Romney's position now, when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts he was a complete pro choice politician. I forget how Romney 'mansplained' this change of position, but there's been so many of those I guess I can be forgiven for not remembering the exact reasoning for this one.
As one of the Republican Party top 'mansplainers' --errg thinkers-- Ryan has consistently voted against any women's health programs. His current budget defunds Planned Parenthood and rescinds all monies for family planning grants under Title X. He was front and center in the religious freedom crusade of the USCCB against the HHS mandate for no copay birth control in the Affordable Care Act. Given his voting record, he appears to be a bishop's dream come true for a capital C Catholic Politician.
And yet, if one digs a little deeper, one finds Ryan might just be a 'go along to get along' kind of pro life politician. He has in fact, supported pro gay/pro choice politicians if those politicians follow his budgeting philosophy. In those cases he has 'agreed to disagree' over abortion and gay marriage. His main focus is debt, deficits, and entitlement spending--excluding military entitlement spending, of course of course.
Personally, I will be waiting for Ryan to mansplain what appears to be his surface compliance with pro life culture warrior policies. I want to know if all these Correct Catholic votes of his are as politically pragmatic as most of Romney's flip flops. That in fact he cast them not because he believed in them, but because he needed the endorsements from groups who track these things. A conspiracy theorist might see these votes as mere means to his greater end, which is serving up the middle and lower classes to his corporate sponsors. Sort of his way of deflecting any need to mansplain' his illegitimate financial rape of most Americans to the very Americans most likely to suffer severely under his budget. Kind of like having to mansplainin' his Randian social engineering under the guise of Thomas Aquinas.
In any event, I will be breathlessly waiting for the USCCB to explain to us how to vote now that Ryan is no longer absolutely and totally anti abortion. I will especially be eager to hear from one Robert C Morlino, Ryan's own official Catholic bishopsplainer.