Shady Politicians

I’ve mentioned on a number of occasions that Republican party politicians are much more likely than Democrats to deny man-made global warming and/or its danger. But I have hoped for some time that the Republican party would shed their extremist stupid wing and move back toward the center. I’d like to have a genuine choice when I vote, but I haven’t felt that way for quite a while.

I now discover that Republican party politicians are much more likely than Democrats to hold disgusting views on sexual violence against women. You should go read this post at DailyKos about some of the things they’ve said.

I’ll just share two samples of what I saw that I find especially offensive, starting with a championship example of blaiming the victim:

“There was an article about an 11-year-old girl who was gang-raped in Texas because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute. And her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students.”

— Republican State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo (FL), March 15, 2011

Was that 11-year-old girl asking for it?

Here’s one of the most insensitive comments ever:

“If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

— Republican Gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams (TX), Mar. 25, 1990

If it’s inevitable that Republican politicians are going to screw us, should we just “relax and enjoy it”?

35 responses to “Shady Politicians

  1. Add this to your list:
    “Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate”
    George Will

  2. I feel very disappointed in the Australian Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott, who is on record for saying Climate Change is ‘crap’. He campaigned in a populist way then is governing in a way that would inspire a lot of republicans who you view disparagingly. Eg, abolishing any ministerial portfolio relating to science, climate change or renewable energy. He is also holds the portfolio for women, I believe being the first time that is a portfolio held by a man in a government with only 2 women. I am sure you might have some entertainment googling ‘Abbott lies’ …

    • I too am embarrassed by our PM’s attitudes to, well, almost everything.
      However there is something we can all do. Show solidarity for truth and each other.
      Today is “Hug a Climate Scientist Day” (I think this is the third such)

    • Tony Abbott is a huge disappointment. Probably the first leader in a long time who really seems to think that he is only governing for his side. Everyone before him at least tried to govern for all of us.

      Even worse, he’s replacing our carbon tax with a direct action plan that looks for all the world like a way of giving money to big business for some rather improbable emissions reductions.

      • Canada’s Stephen Harper seems like an echo of George W. Bush – lip service about climate change, while putting the interests of mining and fossil fuel companies first (which happened to be his and his parties’ interests too). Hopefully, Harper may lose the next election, but Abbott seems another echo of this dismal pair.

        Why is climate denial such an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon? I am sure there are climate hypocrites everywhere, but few reject science with the vehemence of Abbott in places like China and India. Even in these islands, the “Celtic Fringe” (Ireland, Wales, Scotland) is sparsely populated by climate deniers.

  3. Kevin MacDonald

    Any chance Republicans’ offensive views on rape are informed by their stance on the right to choose? There certainly seems to be a corelation.

    Here in Britain we don’t seem to see quite as much of this kind of insensitive victim blaming, although it does pop up from time to time, eg; rapists share same moral burden as bar stools says leading QC.

    • There was a court case in Italy, in which the judges ruled the woman could not have been raped, because she wore a very tight pair of jeans, and taking them off would have required her to willingly participate. Look for “Denim Day” for the response to that.

    • No, they’re pretty much just a$sh0les!

  4. In my lifetime I don’t remember the GOP being anything but horrible towards women. Wikpedia dates the term “War on Women” to 1989, so it’s been in use for as long as I’ve been watching US news.

  5. There was an article about an 11-year-old girl who was gang-raped in Texas because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute.

    …show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students.

    Of course.
    It’s all about the clothing.
    The rapists who did the raping are not even involved in the causality of what happened to that 11-year-old.
    All those rapists were just passively doing what they had to, given the clothing.

    You know, rapists will be rapists.

    We should all be very concerned that the rapists’ lives will not be adversely affected by this unfortunate and avoidable incident.

    If only 11-year-old girls knew how to dress in ‘proper’ attire, rapist-shaming would never have to happen. If you have a daughter, please think of the rapists, and dress her modestly.

    And – it goes without saying that it’s perfectly fine to rape a 21-year-old prostitutes. It’s all about the clothing.

    • In Pakistan and other Muslim countries any woman who dresses immodestly is considered to be asking for it.

  6. Phil Scadden

    How can these guys stay elected? Dont women vote? If these views have popular support then US is one sick place.

    • Horatio Algeranon

      “We vote”
      — by Horatio Algeranon

      We vote for rank misogyny
      Vote for homophobia
      Vote for race homogeny
      And other hateful nausea

      We vote for guns and missiles
      Vote for endless war
      Vote for mammoth vessels
      Instead of for the poor

      We vote for sweeping spying
      Vote for bigger prisons
      Vote for leaders lying
      And unaccomplished missions

      We vote for water-boarding
      Vote for executions
      Vote for call recording
      And other such “solutions”

      We vote in endless terror
      Of what we do not know
      We know we vote in error
      But vote so even so

      • David B. Benson

        Well done Indeed.

      • And here it is, folks–the Republican platform…in verse.

        Absolutely masterful, Horatio!

      • Horatio Algeranon

        On a similar note

        “Freedom to hate”
        — by Horatio Algeranon

        We hate us for our freedoms
        We hate us for our rights
        We hate us for our blacks
        We hate us for our whites

        We hate us for our peaceniks
        We hate us for our OWS
        We hate us for our politics
        We hate us for our NOW’s

        We hate us for our Catholics
        We hate us for our Jews
        We hate us for our Protestants
        And for our Muslims too.

        We hate us for our intellects
        We hate us for our science
        We hate us for our openness
        And mutual reliance

        We hate us for our wealth
        We hate us for our cars
        We hate us for our lifestyles
        And even for our bars

        We hate us for our feminists
        We hate us for our gays
        We hate us for our socialists
        For all our different ways

        We hate us for our rich
        We hate us for our poor
        We even hate our tolerance
        Is this what we are for?

      • Re: “Freedom to hate”, very nice. Shade of Pogo. “We have met the enemy and he is us”.

        And again recent echos from Australia’s George Brandis “Australians have the right to be bigots”.

        And a rejoinder from someone I cannot recall, “… but not the right to be always taken seriously …”

      • David B. Benson

        “Freedom to hate” — Another award winner from Horatio.

  7. I had a long running debate with one of my lecturers as a philosophy undergrad in the 80’s about which was the greater inequity and which the more important issue, ‘right wing/Racist’ politics or Feminism and the oppression of women. We should have recognised then that the two go hand in hand.

    Along with your previous post on ‘yes, all women’ (which seemed to be the case back then, too), this brings to the fore the continuing and probably endless battle against a prejudice and injustice which persists across cultures and history, the oppression of the physically weaker by the physically stronger, because they can, and because they don’t see the victim as human – a bit like the slavery debate, when you think about it.

    While there are reasons to hope (rape is not, after all, universal, even if the fear of it is), this oppression is so deep rooted in our cultures that generations of fighting and pushing are required to make a change. For an equivalent, one need only look at the history of attitudes to people of different colour and note that whilst circumstances have changed and improved, the underlying prejudices still persist deep in the psyches of people.

    As with Racism, the practical end to the Oppression of Women needs to be forced onto the populus consistently and persistently, so, while it may not end, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

  8. In part what we are dealing with here is a very human tendency to attribute misfortune suffered by another person as arising from some action of theirs–psychologically, it gives us the illusion that we are in control of our fates and can avoid similar misfortune by avoiding the same mistakes. They think that if they can make “their women” dress modestly, they can protect them. When my wife had cancer, she got really tired of people saying things like, “You must be a very angry person.” Often the most vocal blamers of rape victims are other women.

    There is also the Republican myth of “personal responsibility”. If they admit that bad things can happen to good people through no fault of their own, their goes half the platform. Now throw on top of this the anti-choice attitudes, especially in cases of rape or threats to the life of the woman, and you have a recipe for some serious cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is often resolved only through some severely twisted logic.

  9. Tamino, can I ask you to add “please take a pill against sickness and sedatives before reading the Kathleen Passidomo’s statement” warning ?
    But, thank you for these posts, human race needs them.

    [Response: Yes, it’s hard to read. And yes, it’s necessary.]

  10. Seems to me that the current fairly extreme right thinking has its roots mainly in (a) fear and (b) impeded emotional growth.
    There is a very severe tendency to over-rate immediate gains at the expense of deferred benefits, to not plan but to react, and to do so based on very under-thought out self-pain reduction.
    It’s exactly as if a bunch of adolescents were transported in time and came to believe that only the beliefs caned into them at Jesuitical school mattered. That God would forgive all things but their questioning of their beliefs.
    The sniggering clownishness of Tony Abbott, his compulsive lying and overt mysogeny; and the incompatibility of Scott Morrison’s alleged speaking-in-tongues-Pentacostalism with his administration of a hideous defence-of-our-borders-by-brutalising-the-victims-of-people-smuggling administration all speak of people trained to act at other’s behest, but not to take responsibility for anything (God will forgive any incidentals). The schoolyard bully control of parliamentarians (called “discipline”) that prevents them owning up to their opinions. These are all based in a climate (sic) of fear.

    And all that really happens is that everyday we seem to be confronted with a choice. Do I allow a little evil now to enable a greater good later? Or do I face personally the wrath and scorn and fear of those who vote for “a little evil is better than a possibly bigger one”.

    And all that is guaranteed is that the little evils grow into big ones and the good is never done.

    Your mileage may vary – but to me the right is wrong. As wrong as the left ever was.

  11. Fergus

    t which was the greater inequity and which the more important issue, ‘right wing/Racist’ politics or Feminism and the oppression of women. We should have recognised then that the two go hand in hand.

    If you take this politico piece at face value, one can sometimes function as a substitute for the other.

  12. Texas governor Perry endorsed the Republican platform in his state, which includes “reparative therapy” to cure homosexuality along with other anti-science stands.

    • Horatio Algeranon

      Maybe Perry should check himself into the “Reperryative Therapy Clinic”.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        “Reperryative Therapy”
        — by Horatio Algeranon

        You need reperryative treatment
        To cure your wayward ways
        We recommend an ointment
        To keep away the gays

    • Does that include a cure for alcoholics as well?
      Rick Perry thinks they’re pretty much the same thing.

      “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that – and I look at the homosexual issue the same way,” – Rick Perry, Jun 12, 2014

      You know you’re living in a Bizarro world when if the current & former Texas Governors were being introduced on the same stage, Dubya Bush would be billed as “the smart one”.

      • “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that – and I look at the homosexual issue the same way,” – Rick Perry, Jun 12, 2014

        Perhaps, he has revealed here more than he wanted to, regarding the origins of his homophobia.

  13. Jeffrey Davis

    And then there’s Scott Esk who advocates stoning gays to death. He’s not just a random citizen. He’s a Republican Tea Party candidate for the state legislature. And that’s not a typo, misquote, or an exaggeration. He’s defended this on his Facebook page.

    But that’s not the beauty part. The beauty part is that he’s a libertarian who think this should be decided on the local level.

    New Weimar?

  14. One might add torture to subjects where republicans often have very disturbing views.

  15. Aaron Lewis

    The Constitution was framed after a serious consideration of history.
    They decided that the best way to protect their rights was to protect the rights of all. The way to protect the rights of Tea Party members, is to protect the rights of ALL people including gays and women. The ONLY way you can be sure of walking the street (or campus) unmolested is to make sure that all can walk anywhere, anytime, unmolested.

    This cannot be done by law. It can only be done by having a culture that teaches children to respect others. Part of this is respecting children. An 11 year old girl has rights that should be respected by all. If you cannot respect her rights, why should I respect your rights?

    The Tea Party needs to earn its rights, by respecting the rights of others
    If stoning gays, at a very local basis is legal, then any 12 of us can claim that Esk is gay, and stone him then, and there. I mean after all, “He was just asking for it!” ANYBODY that wears a blazer in Oklahoma is asking for it.. “Real men wear denim!” What tea party member can dispute the word of 12 local men, all good and true?

    Those who forget their history are condemned to to repeat it.

  16. Not asking for it. But ignoring human nature is unwise. Some men are beasts. I think where the parents failed is in not arms training the young lady and seeing that she was armed and dangerous. That tends to deter rapists.

    Arming youngsters was not thought to be unusual not so very long ago. Esp. farm kids. Now that we are all off the farm….

    [Response: So you think her parents failed? I think you’re a fool.]

  17. An analysis of trends — political, debt, budget. Surprise!
    So Do Outcomes Matter More than Rhetoric?