Off the Cliff and Then Some

Yesterday, I took the time to watch both the Fox Debates, both minor and major.  It’s the first time I’ve watched FoxNews ever, I think.

The first debate was at 2PM.  I was amazed and dismayed at the overall tone presented by Fox and it’s hosts toward their party’s candidates.  Why was it necessary to stage it in such a way to maximize their ability to show they were playing to an empty arena?  Why did they continually pan in on the hosts in such a way that they could show what few audience member there were either talking amongst themselves or texting to others?  But most importantly, why prey (I use that misspelling purposefully) tell, did they ask such rude questions of “their” candidates as though they had no right to be there and they were imposing on the hosts.

In the second debate, that of their “major” candidates at 6 PM, the verbal assaults continued.  Though different hosts for both debate sessions, the tone each team used in asking their questions was one of denigration of the participants on the stage.  Why did they position the camera to ensure it showed Sen. Lindsey Graham standing on a box so he appeared taller? Why did the pan to Gov. Scott Walker everytime he did his boobble-head routine as Dr. Ben Carson was speaking?  Grant you, I don’t believe that any of the Republican candidates are worthy of holding the office they’re seeking, but still, a modicum of civility should have been maintained.

Additionally, I thought most interesting was that no instructions were given to the audience to display no emotion, no yelling, no clapping and candidates were left trying to talk over the audience to make their points during the one minute allowed for their responses.

The 2nd debate started with a question immediately aimed at their number one candidate.  Would he pledge to support whoever won the Republican nomination and not wage an independent run for the Presidency?  Mr. Trump would not make that pledge.  Other stabs at Mr. Trump included jabs about his four bankruptcies, his transition from pro-choice to pro-life, and his donations to the Clinton Foundation.  The answer to the donation issues absolutely made the case for needing to do something about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and getting the money out of politics.

What I learned is that there are relatively NO policy differences between the 17 Republican candidates.  It was like watching “group think” in practice.  Each and every one of them want to “repeal and replace” anything and everything that has been enacted to pull our nation out of the ditch their Republican predecessors  so abruptly put us in by the end of 2008.  They want to repeal and replace the Dodd/Frank financial regulation, but not one indicated ‘what’ they intended to replace it with.  They want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but again, not one indicated ‘what’ they intended to replace it with.  Then, they all resoundingly declared they would roll back any and all environmental regulations aimed at mitigating ‘climate change’ and though no one used the phrase, it was clear their means to assure ‘energy independence’ really meant more ‘drill baby, drill’ anywhere and everywhere around the globe.

Every one of the debaters except former CEO Carly Fiorina loudly declared they’d quelch the Iran Deal and re-impose sanctions.  Fiorina instead declared she would make two calls on day one, one to Israel’s Prime Minister BiBi Netanhayu and the second to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to let them know exactly where we stood as a nation.  The rest were pretty much in favor of literally ripping it the agreement in front of TV cameras in the oval office on Day One. Not one of those ripper-uppers could explain how they’d get China, Russia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and any other foreign governments that it would be prudent to scrap all joint diplomatic efforts made over the last two years negotiating with Iran only to go back.  Additionally, none of them offered an any explanation as to how that might make the global community at large any safer from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Gov. Christy declared that we should raise the retirement age.  Senator Lindsey Graham somehow managed to work into any question he was asked, that we should increase the number of troops in the ground in darn near every country in the middle east. So if you think America should dominate the world militarily, he’s definitely your guy.  Former Senator Rick Santorum wants to send pink slips to >100,000 employees at the IRS and impose a flat 20% tax.  He didn’t expand on that to indicate whether that would be assessed on those families who earn wages and whether it would also apply to those who merely earn dividends/interest from stock and other financial instruments. Former Gov. Huckabee also wanted a flat tax and declared he would go after prostitutes, pimps and drug pushers to make sure they paid their fair share (but interestingly, for a preacher, didn’t say he would prosecute them for such crimes).

As expected, and whenever possible, when stretched for an answer to the question, there was clearly some Hillary Clinton bashing.  One of them went so far as to declare “at least Bernie Sanders has the decency to call himself a socialist.”

But the most disturbing declarations of the night were the number of candidates who not only want to totally defund planned parenthood, but who espouse ‘personhood’ … that once conceived, the rights of the fetus are paramount to those of the woman who’s carrying that fetus. Sen. Ted Cruz declared solemnly that on Day One, he would dispatch DOJ, IRS and any other governmental dept/agency he could to investigate and “persecute” (his word) Planned Parenthood.  Sen. Marco Rubio went so far as to proudly declare that he would even outlaw abortion not just for incest, but when the life of the mother was in peril as well. That certainly puts women in their place across the nation doesn’t it.  Apparently, we’ve been demoted to mere incubators for men’s seed.  I hope women across this nation paid close attention during this debate and will pay even closer attention as further debates ensue.  In the interim, here’s some information about where the candidates from both sides stand on women’s issues.  Make sure you share it with your Republican lady friends:


The Democrats:

257
256
251
244
248


Now the other side—The Major Candidates Republicans:

238
239
243
245
255
259
254
253
258
242


The Minor Candidate Republicans:

249
247
241
240
250

A work-up for former Jim Gilmore is not yet available as he just recently joined the race, because, well you know, it looked like a good opportunity?

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Open Letter To MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow And Ed Schultz

— by Kimberley Johnsonaarom1

The three of you are the big MSNBC liberal spokespeople. You have powerful positions. You are admired and influential.

Ever since the Republican Party started going medieval on women’s rights, I have seen it covered in the media and on MSNBC. Outrage is expressed when it works for the segment but all in all, it’s not been properly reported on. Why? Because not enough women know about the War On Women and no real solution is provided. There is something that will make a huge difference and though it’s not an absolute solution, it would make an enormous and positive difference in women’s issues. The Equal Rights Amendment. It needs to be broken down in the simplest terms and sadly, I see no one person with major influence taking the problem to everyday women and breaking it down. If this were to happen, we would see swifter change.

Approximately 70% of women in this country don’t even know the ERA never passed. Someone who is influential in the mainstream media needs to address this.

Recently, a White House petition received the required signatures for the ERA to be ratified. This means the President must address it. I have not heard him do so. Rachel Maddow was Twitterbombed with tweets begging her to spread the word. Nothing.

Why would a Rhodes Scholar, who happens to be a lesbian and a champion for women, ignore the ERA? If I were Rachel Maddow, I would be on TV with a bullhorn demanding action NOW. But Maddow doesn’t address it and a Google search resulted in only one story by Maddow in 2011.  The same search showed zero results for Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz. No one is addressing the ERA now.

Why?

Feminism still carries a negative connotation. The women who don’t shave their legs and run naked through the streets in protest come to mind. Those women who take on the name ‘slut’ because they are SICK TO DEATH of not being equal and wanting choice and available, affordable birth control, are not wrapped up in a shiny, pretty media packages. Feminists are too often portrayed as angry and don’t make for appealing journalism unless there is a bill or legislation attached—and the guests on these shows talking about women’s rights are professional pundits, not everyday women who are working on passing the ERA. The idea of equality in the Constitution is largely ignored. Perhaps this is why we get angry.

Women dropped the ball in1972. We failed to get the ERA ratified, thanks in part to the lies anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly told in her successful campaign to stop the ERA. We did see progress in the following decades but we forgot about our mission and got lazy. 2011 changed all of that and our rights are under attack. Thousands, maybe even millions of women realize that it’s now time take the necessary action and are currently working  to make it happen.

The ERA also brings to mind the protests. Eww, yucky women’s protests that no one in the media EVER wants to cover. Women dress up like vaginas and make demands! That’s not very ladylike or classy and does not fall into the purview of how women ‘should’ act. Women should be graceful and know their place—right? Even liberals are guilty of expecting this behavior. We are also guilty of arguing amongst ourselves about the how of it, and the action falls by the wayside.

We rarely hear about the struggles women have gone through so that women today have the right to vote, the ability to be financially independent, go to college and earn degrees. Women didn’t used have these rights, and in order to achieve these rights we were forced to ‘get ugly.’

Alice Paul dedicated her life so that women have the right to vote, along with Lucy Burns, Susan B. Anthony and many other feminists. If we take a clue from herstory, we see that being ignored didn’t stop these women. Angry mobs didn’t stop them. Being falsely accused and arrested didn’t stop them. Being forced to wear a straightjacket, strapped down and force-fed raw eggs until vomiting blood didn’t stop them and neither did violence, solitary confinement and public ridicule.

The lesson here is that you can continue to ignore the bigger picture when it pertains to women’s rights, but women are not going to stop. I hope that no woman has to ever endure the atrocities inflicted upon our foremothers, but I believe that we will do whatever it takes, even at the risk of being ‘angry.’ The media can help things move along. The question is, will you?

Equal rights takes nothing away from anyone. It only adds to the freedom everyone should have. Someone on television needs to explain why the 14th Amendment isn’t enough. It needs to be explained that black suffrage and women’s suffrage were the 15th and 19th Amendments, and the 14th does not guarantee equality under the law.

Unitewomen.org. Feminist Majority. ERA Action Commitees.  Me. All of us would be willing and grateful to appear on your show to enlighten viewers on action they can take right now. These groups are working very hard and need exposure to hasten progress. We promise to keep our clothes on and we won’t say vagina. I’ll even shave my legs.

Will you talk about this? Or will you continue to ignore it?


Re-published with permission —Original post found at
Liberals Unite

Kimberley A. Johnson – A.K.A. The Anti Coulter is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or friend her on FB HERE. Check out her campaign to raise money for her next book on Women’s Rights and The Importance Of Voting.