Sex and the Republicans - it's not pretty

The American economy must be on the improve, which explains why Republicans have entered the country's bedrooms in a desperate bid to demonise Obama as the destroyer of the constitutional right to freedom of religion. At least they are kidding themselves.    

Just when Americans need strong political debate offering alternatives to Obama’s policies, the Republicans have locked themselves in the bedroom.

Not just their own bedrooms. The bedrooms of the nation. They have stepped, or perhaps tripped, into a culture war, and in so doing made themselves lightening rods for highly divisive issues which are the sort of distraction a political party needs like...well...another war.

The human condition however seems to find train wrecks fascinating. Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain to suggest a few.

The train wreck involving the rest of the Republican party publicly eviscerating itself is indeed compelling.

Republicans are grappling to find anyone but Mitt Romney to represent them in the Presidential race. The latest hopeful is the very pious, self-satisfied, far right religious fundamentalist by the name of Rick Santorum.

Saint Santorum doesn’t seem to understand that his protestations about Obama destroying American’s constitutional right to religious freedom (which he is not), is actually all about Santorum’s preoccupation with sex and making sure his religious doctrine is imposed on others - even if they don’t share it, or heaven forbid, they like sex.

There is nothing wrong with Santorum having strong religious convictions, but the days of foisting them on others are long gone. Even Santorum’s own party is concerned at the opprobrious tone of his pontificating.

On cue, the highly irreverent Bill Maher labels Santorum “the Little Creep that Could” which might be a tad harsh, but then Maher is referring to a candidate who defined marriage as excluding "man-on-child" or "man-on-dog".  It was Santorum’s bigoted way of reasoning why gay marriage is a no-no, because in Santorum’s brain cavity,homosexuality is synonymous with paedophilia and bestiality! Nice guy.

Santorum’s latest slander includes labelling Obama’s Christianity a "phoney theology" not based on the Bible; arguing it is not his job to correct his supporters when they continue to claim Obama is a Muslim; claiming that Obama has an agenda to increase abortions; that Obama doesn’t understand that man has dominion over the earth not a bunch of politicised scientists pushing global warming; that Obama is helping Iran develop nuclear weapons; that the government should stay out of the public education system (his seven children were of course all home schooled which is so easy to manage these days); and that women should not be in frontline combat because of the “emotions involved” which could compromise the mission.

On that last one, I suppose he means the male soldiers will have to open the doors of the vehicles for the chicks, or be worried about them being hurt, or stepping in a puddle, or the male soldiers fancying know...let’s deny the women the job opportunities because the men can’t keep their emotions in order...sort of like the reason some proffer for the complete veiling of Muslim women.

A quick Google of Santorum uncovers a fertile (he will like that) land of opportunity and fodder for slagging him off (he won’t like that).

But really, who wants to know that Santorum does not believe in contraception of any sort, even within marriage, and that the government was wrong in 1965 to consider married couples had the right to privacy in their own bedrooms. Keep it to yourself Rick. Too much detail already.

But no, Rick wants to be in the bedrooms of others, shining his anti-sex/anti pleasure (because sex is not for pleasure) torch on anyone who might not comply with his self-righteous and all importantly self-proclaimed-Bible-based theology. That’s the trouble with fundamentalists of any hue. They are just too pushy.

Obama must be, figuratively of course, wetting his pants with delight at the prospect of Santorum potentially beating Romney for the nomination. Evangelical leaders however believe theirs is the guy to fire up the rightists and religious voters whom they claim could severely damage Obama.

Whoa...pull up...what on earth sort of country would America be then? Perhaps the one from the 1950s which Santorum’s key financier, millionaire investor Foster Friess so fondly remembers as a time when contraception was so cheap as all it involved was “gals” putting a Bayer aspirin between their legs.

Oh ha, ha, ha. On so many levels is he so inappropriate, but most important of all, keep these people away from power.

All the Republican rhetoric about protecting religious freedom from Obama the anti-Christ is actually a deliberate but highly transparent distortion of facts.

Obama arguably enhanced religious freedom by compromising on a clause in the health legislation that initially required Roman Catholic run institutions to pay for contraceptives within the health plans of their employees.

Many of those employees are not Catholic and polls show 98% of Catholic women use or have used birth control. But that was not the issue. It was that Catholic institutions were being compelled to provide something which was against their doctrinal teachings. That would be hypocritical and not acceptable.

So, Obama’s compromise excuses the Catholic institutions from paying for contraceptives – even though many are prescribed for health issues and not birth control – and now the insurance companies will stump up the cash.

Case closed, you would think, but no, the potential for Republican self-harm is way wider than that.

The Republicans organised a Congressional hearing to ask whether the Obama Administration has trampled on freedom of religion and freedom of conscience! A loaded title for a committee if ever there was one.

The expert witnesses called were all men – mainly Roman Catholic or Jewish clergy. No dissenting voices there, but even more extraordinary when the key issue was women’s reproductive health, there were no women permitted at this top tier of ‘experts’. As Nancy Pelosi opined “duh!”

Well yes it was a group of guys, but some were in frocks so maybe that helps? Nup.

The organisers did not even see the idiocy of their own spectacle, and it is to be hoped they pay dearly for it.

Women in America should be very, very worried.

Rick Santorum may be a great guy and a charismatic leader for the converted, but in the 14th Century, not this one.

Retro can be fashionable, but it is not pretty when it involves men dictating to women what they can and can’t do with their reproductive systems, telling people of the same sex what they can and can’t do with each other, or, declaring one religion superior to another. No wonder Mitt doesn’t talk much about being a Mormon.

The best advice to the Republicans, if they want to be taken seriously, is control this whacky wing of the party before it IS the party.

They should vacate the nation’s bedrooms in favour of a few boardrooms in order to design some actual policy, or is that the problem? Despite the Republican's best efforts the economy is on the mend (albeit fragilely), and they have nowhere to go but to bed.