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.


  1. LOL!! New word for me too that "mansplaining."

    Also new is "legitimate" form of rape! NOT.

    What will the mansplainers splain to us next? Should be real interesting, no doubt.


  2. I truly want to see how the bishops 'splain this latest statement from the Republican party. Unless the bar is changed, American Catholics can't vote for either party, unless it's the democrats because abortion numbers go down under democratic presidents.

    1. Do any USCCB members belong to Augusta National? (N.B. That's a golf course, for you cloistered readers.) Billy Payne shows how that mansplainin' is done. In other tangential news, Joe Paterno's biographer says JoPa, a devout Catholic, but also a college graduate, had to ask what "sodomy" meant when confronted by the report that his colleague, Jerry Sandusky, had abused children. My morning newspaper says Paterno "... did not want to be thought of someone who did" know the meaning of the word sodomy.

      I have argued here, and in other forums that clerics cannot endorse any party based upon their religious beliefs. How did Karl Rove and Deal Hudson convince them otherwise. The RC church leadership plays dumb about being played by right wing politicians.

      And, also, too... congratulations to Dennis for not replying to the question Invictus posed. Which comment? Come on, which comment of yours doesn't that apply to? I laughed when I read that.

      Finally, what would JP2 think of JQ1? It is the BRDT inhibitor that causes a reversible contraceptive effect in male mice.

      We live in interesting times. Congratulations to to financeer Darla Moore, Condoleezza Rice and Virginia Rometty. Hey girls maybe you could shank one into that foursome of bishops ahead of you. That'd leave a mark. Make a good story back at the clubhouse too.


    2. p2p, Heard about that on the nightly news last night that the Augusta, Georgia golf club sent invitations out to a few women and two women joined, Condoleeza Rice and some other woman, a wealthy woman CEO business owner. I wonder if the invitations were just to Republicans? Their decision to "allow" women into their paradise of wealthy golf ball whackers is at least 50 years too late, imo.

      And you are right, that clerics cannot endorse any party. But they do. As for the Bishops being played by Rove & Deal, that's a hole in one p2p. We've all pretty much been played by the politicians in the course of our lives. At least us poor laity will admit it.


    3. The back story to the Augusta National 'mansplainin' is that IBM elected a woman CEO and the CEO of IBM always got an invite to join Augusta. What to do, what to do? The boys finally decided to invite a few more women just so it didn't look like they were 'forcibly raped' into changing their policy and they actually enjoyed the idea of opening their member ship up to women---so it's really just illegitimate rape.

      Some bishops do get invited, Atlanta's is one, and most of the rest are Cardinals. Augusta is where some real mansplainin' and manbizness has always taken a bigger place than their lousy golf.

      Nancy Lopez finally has a chance to play Augusta--thirty years too late.

  3. Thanks for the shout out, Colleen. I love the way in which you connect the dots between Akin and Ryan. And the term "bishopsplain" is equally brilliant.

    Somehow, "mansplain" doesn't seem to fit so nicely when it's the bishops we're talking about. Though, Lord knows, they do try.

  4. To Oliva Cook about her very useful comment of August 20.

    I am sorry that I have gotten behind the last month in my reading of this column. Maybe I will be able to catch up in September. I want to thank every one for the very useful comments to Colleen and Bill's posts. I once commented that those who read your blog Colleen really constitute a study or learning group. Boy we have all learned a lot together here, but we must continue to find truth as we can.

    Olivia, you said,
    "It is surely simple fact that the People of God as a whole would never have got us into the mess we are in, for their sensus fidei would have insisted on a far more rigorous and, dare I say it, Christian response. It is their children who have been abused and it is they who have had their faith weakened or destroyed. They have even, in one way or another, had to pay for the mess. The pope and the bishops have lost credibility and it is only the People of God who can restore it to them."

    This is a very useful comment. Only one thing I'd change, the people of God are currently called upon to get rid of this poor leadership in any way possible and the Bishops know that they are way over the top in screw ups. They just don't believe in a sensus fiedei. They are much to patriarchal to believe that the laity is in fact much more ethical than they. It is up to us to get rid of these men no matter what. Only then can new leadership attempt to regain trust and a proper perspective. It is necessary for all of us to speak out about the poor leaders, never support them with our talents or our fortunes. Let them blow in the wind and even eventually the wealthy will see no reason to support such an emasculated group. (This is what they really fear and this is part of the reason for all the misogyny and hatred of gays. BC and Abortion are the only thing left in their quivers and this fight was lost 45 yrs. ago. dennis

  5. Thank you, but I was in fact quoting a much wiser person than myself - Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Australia who said those words, so I can only take credit for finding them and thanking God that the Catholic Church still has some decent bishops left. :) And there are clearly some bishops left who indeed believe in the Sensus Fidei, but they do seem to be the voices crying in the wilderness a lot of the time.

    Frankly the greatest hope for the future that I personally have seen in years is the rise of the Internet, and the public discussion - prayerfully and respectfully but with a huge range of opinions - of matters that the Church has kept behind closed doors for centuries. Blessed John XXIII indeed got his much desired and prayed for "aggiornamento" the opening of the windows on the dawning of a new day, it just came slower than he would have liked and by methods he would never have dreamed of. The Holy Spirit moves in mysterious ways as always, but all over the world - the Spirit moves.

    1. I agree completely Olivia, the internet is truly a wonderful tool. I have learned an enormous amount in the time I have been writing this blog. These kind of internet discussions are windows the Vatican can never close.

  6. Yes, Olivia, but it was you who gathered Bishop Robinson's comments together at this time. One thing I noticed about this wonderful man when I met him after his address in Cost Mesa, CA a few years back, he was timid about his comments about fellow bishops. I think like in Father Doyle, the shock of the poor Roman Catholic leadership takes a while to register, but with these two men like so many American nuns, register it has. dennis

  7. Some bishopsplaining from Argentina:

    "It was only in 1996, thirteen years after the end of the military dictatorship [in Argentina], that the Catholic Episcopate carried out an examination of conscience (through the Conference of Bishops) in which they admitted certain errors and took some responsibility. But in general, these examinations vindicate the method of on-going dialogue that Church authorities maintained with the military."

    It's even more interesting when read in context:

    Getting a gay partner = ******evil******. Complicity in the murder of 7,000-8,000 people (perhaps 30,000) = error.

    I love the way these people - beg pardon, most reverend bishops - get to call what they do "errors", while calling what we do "sins".

    And the CC is not relativistic. Of course not. As long you have an utterly train-wrecked sense of morality.

  8. How is Ryan any different - from the POV of the kind of person who believes Joe Biden has a spare set of devil's horns - from Satan's Offspring, AKA Obama ? If Ryan is not attacked for his eeeeeeeeeeeeeevul "support for abortion", why the Catholic vilification of Obama for being "pro-abortion" ? Or do Obama's Catholic vilifiers think a degree of tolerance of abortion from a Catholic in the GOP is morally & doctrinally fine & dandy ? This incident is a test of the sincerity & consistency of Catholic Republicans & of those who agree with them. So how will they re-act ?

    1. Looks like they are going to react as if Ryan continues to be doctrinally sound. He deflected his own responsibility under the notion of obedience. Paraphrasing: 'Romney leads the ticket and he sets the positions."