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GOP: I Know You Are But What Am I?

After the last three years (last few decades, really) of the Republican party pushing blatantly sexist policies like mandatory ultrasounds on women, they’re trying to weasel out of the backlash by playing the “I know you are but what am I” game. And they’ve got a female legislator carrying the water. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) lays out this transparently silly argument for why it’s really Obamacare that is the “war on women.”

“If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this healthcare law,” Ellmers countered in the weekly address. “After all, it’s often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families. We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets. So by canceling your insurance – despite a promise to let you keep your plan – the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”

The obvious response:

Spokeswoman for Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Ashley Etienne, slammed Ellmers’ claims. “This pathetic attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act is a profound insult to the intelligence of women across this country,” she said.

“Under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies cannot charge women more than men for health insurance coverage, and hundreds of thousands of women are now enjoying access to preventive care, like breast and cervical screenings. The question before House Republicans is why they’re trying so desperately to take these benefits away from women?,” she continued.

Which is only the beginning. It also provides no-cost contraception to give women, especially poor women, more control of their own reproduction. And it provides access to health insurance for millions and millions of low-income women who could not get it before. And prevents insurance companies from considering pregnancy a pre-existing condition. By any measure, this law is very good for women.

This is part of a larger pattern of this childish game of “I know you are but what am I.” We hear this kind of rhetoric constantly now. Want to pass a law preventing discrimination against gay people? You’re discriminating against Christians! Want to keep Christians from imposing their religious views on others? You’re violating their religious freedom! Want to do something to prevent bullying? You’re bullying them! Want to protect people from institutional racism? You’re being racist against white people!

This all goes back to Newt Gingrich, Frank Luntz and others who have taught Republicans that their best defense against criticism is to accuse their opponents of their own worst sins. And it’s quite ridiculous.

Comments

  1. rabbitscribe says

    Some of that would actually be a step in the right direction. Currently it’s “Want to pass a law preventing discrimination against gay people? You’re discriminating against gay people who need their disorder cured! … Want to protect people from institutional racism? You’re being racist against people of color by keeping them on the plantation, dependent on the government!”

  2. Michael Heath says

    Ed writes:

    It also provides no-cost contraception to give women, especially poor women, more control of their own reproduction.

    Obamacare is an enormously beneficial improvement to women when it comes to financing family planning. However, and it’s a biggie, over the past several years the Republican party has very successful in greatly reducing geographical access to healthcare providers, not just to poor women, but in some areas, all women.

    Most recently restriction has been reduced to poor women. After the terrorist attack and murder of George Tiller, Andrew Sullivan did an on-going blog post theme about late-term abortions. His reader contributions and his reporting revealed that even women with no financial limitations to healthcare whose health/life were at stake couldn’t access late-term abortions, to the point they had to go hundreds to 1000+ more miles to secure such services, and that for those where money wasn’t a factor.

    It continues to boggle my mind that so many women choose to be members or congregants of conservative Christian churches, the root source of who is effectively promoting these misogynistic policies into law. Reason and desiring optimal outcomes can not be factors in these women’s decisions.

  3. A. Noyd says

    “So by canceling your insurance – despite a promise to let you keep your plan – the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”

    Riiiiight, and the feds shutting down Bernie Madoff was the government saying it knew what was best for Jewish people and their families.

  4. says

    The Obama administration does not know what’s best for you and your family. Your health insurance company does. That’s why it cap’d your coverage, fine-printed the “cheap” insurance coverage you got so that it turned out to be only the veneer of insurance when you needed it, and when you needed it they rescissioned you when you submitted a claim.
    With all these benefits to insurance company shareholders, why Obama is sticking Big Government in to The Best Healthcare System in the World?

  5. Doug Little says

    Michael Heath @2

    It continues to boggle my mind that so many women choose to be members or congregants of conservative Christian churches, the root source of who is effectively promoting these misogynistic policies into law. Reason and desiring optimal outcomes can not be factors in these women’s decisions.

    Stockholm Syndrome?

  6. says

    Reason and desiring optimal outcomes can not be factors in these women’s decisions.

    It actually can. Many (most?) of them are in extremely tenuous economic positions, such that ‘optimal’ outcomes include eating regularly and continuing to have a roof. Many religious congregations provide a certain degree of support for their members, in the form of formal food banks, informal bringing of food to those who’ve suffered some major setback, small monetary loans/gifts from other members, etc. In the absence of a real social safety net, many, many people depend utterly on this support network to keep them (barely) on the right side of utter destitution, and that support will be withdrawn for those who don’t toe the appropriate line in public.

  7. cactuswren says

    ” … So by canceling your insurance – despite a promise to let you keep your plan – the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”

    This is the best thing I’ve heard since an anti-choicer on Usenet whined that she didn’t want legalized abortion FORCED on her and her family. When it was pointed out that nothing was being forced on her — legalizing abortion meant only that she had the right to choose whether she wanted to continue a pregnancy or terminate it — she replied that she didn’t WANT the right! The evil government was FORCING her to be able to choose one thing or the other!

  8. dingojack says

    Wait a minute – wasn’t it the insurance companies that cancelled the policies? So what do they want Obama to do, intervene on a business decision? Whatever happened to GoP’s religious fervour for the market’s invisible hand‘?
    Dingo

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