I knew the birth control-religious liberty issue was a GOP manufactured controversy when Kelly Ayotte, Republican Senator from New Hampshire, appeared in a press conference on February 9th and proclaimed, “This is not a women's rights issue. This is a religious liberty issue. And it can apply to all faiths.”
First of all, the announcement wasn’t made by the usual Republican camera-hogs, but a female claiming it wasn’t a women’s rights issue. I have to admit that was a pretty clever move by the GOP; having a woman saying it’s not about women. For those of you who don’t see through this carefully orchestrated political theatre, it was supposed to make the claim more believable.
When I received Randy Neugebauer’s email asking for constituents’ opinions on Obama’s war against religious liberty (his wording, not mine); I knew the GOP was working overtime to create an artificial controversy.
And then of course, we’ve had the Ayatollah Santorum spouting all of his hateful religious rubbish and then, his subsequent “back pedaling” on Face the Nation on Sunday.
Lately, that’s their prevailing strategy; using all manner of outlandish accusations that will stick in the minds of voters; somewhat like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it’s “done”. Most of my moderate Republican friends are pretty incensed about all of this. As one man said to me, “Do they think we’re that stupid?”
I would have to say “yes”. Clearly the extreme-right faction of the GOP tries to appeal to the more dogmatic and uninformed voters.
Cornell University’s Suzanne Mettler reports that Americans who are beneficiaries of government programs don't think they are utilizing any Government programs. In her study, 44% of Social Security recipients, 43% of those receiving unemployment, and 40% of those on Medicare say that they “have not used a government program.” (and Mettler’s study cites other programs also--Lifetime Learning Credit, Federal student loans, the Child Care tax credit, tax-exempt college savings programs) The sad part? These same individuals will be the ones screaming the loudest when the GOP politicians they’ve voted for actually follow through with their “small-government” agenda. Sadder still is that these individuals can only blame themselves. They voted against their own self-interest by not knowing the facts and remaining blind to political manipulations.
The GOP is fully aware that religious issues create contentiousness and fear; that was their covert plan: Fabricate a noisy and poisonous distraction from the GOP’s unsatisfactory record on the real issues of the economy and employment. Banana republics and third-world regimes use this strategy with great regularity to distract the citizenry from leadership corruption and performance ineptitude. They deflect the blame onto others in a way that divides common man from common man; effectively preventing their ouster from power.
What has the GOP done to solve the economy and employment?
- Birth control legislation
- Tired worn-out attempts about the President’s birth certificate
- Extend the Bush tax cuts
- Create a fictitious “war on religion” to stonewall Obama’s Healthcare efforts
- Destroy the unions by using overworked GOP catchphrases: Socialism, Marxism, Saul Alinsky
- Destroy the environment by using the “job creation” smokescreen
- Try to repeal Affordable Health Care so it doesn’t cut into their insurance company cronies’ profits
- Punish women for being raped
- Attempt to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act so Wall Street can steal from the American people again
- Take away food stamps from the elderly and poor
If the Obama haters would spend more time looking for solutions, than trying to create false controversies to gain back power, the Congress might actually accomplish something. People are slowly awakening from this soporific slumber. They are beginning to see the light. That’s why Congress’ approval rating is at 10%.
We can learn a lot about life and politics from the game of chess. That game demonstrates the importance of position and strategy; the impact of a player’s next move, cause and effect; and most of all, short-term gains verses long-term penalties.
The GOP, clearly, failed to anticipate their next “move”. They didn’t consider the ramifications of their manufactured controversies and the future effects it would have upon them.
I think perhaps Democrats and Progressives need to emulate the President. We need to stay cool, calm, collected, repeat facts (minus the explosive emotions), then sit back and watch the GOP hang themselves with their own rope. And it will happen, because individuals who create monsters are ultimately destroyed by their own creation.
Carol Morgan is a career counselor, writer, speaker, former political candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India. Follow her on Twitter @CounselorCarol1, on Facebook:CarolMorgan1 and her writer’s blog at www.carolmorgan.org