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Hatchetwoman

Karen Hughes, former advisor to GW Bush, and someone I never liked, has some advice for her Republican colleagues.

"And if another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue," she wrote. "The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of ‘legitimate rape.’"

Interesting strategy for intra-party enforcement at least. But…1) threats aren’t a viable strategy, and 2) I notice she just wants them to shut up, but not a word about changing their actual odious policies. I know I’d rather that all politicians were forthright about what they propose to do.

Comments

  1. says

    Cross-posted from the Lounge:

    More Republicans who have such a winning strategy when it comes to women’s issues:

    State Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black, is running in the Republican primary to replace longtime GOP moderate Rep. Frank Wolf, who is retiring. […] As a state legislator, Black opposed making spousal rape a crime, citing the impossibility of convicting a husband accused of raping his wife “when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth.”

    Black has referred to emergency contraception, which does not cause abortions, as “baby pesticide.” […] He has argued that abortion is a worse evil than slavery.[…]

    Mother Jones link.
    Check out the photo of this smarmily smiling dunderhead.

  2. says

    Yeah, I agree with #1 and was thinking much the same thing. Her solution to miscues on a topic that often involves violence is more violence? That’s the kind of lack of self-awareness that may be preventing them from coming up with viable strategies. [Thinks of Bobby Jindal's "stupid party" remarks.]

  3. says

    “And if another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue,” she wrote. “The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of ‘legitimate rape.’”

    Ms. Hughes, pardon me for pointing this out, while your outrage is absolutely justified, it would be more to point to inform your colleagues that the attitudes they hold are utterly wrong, and they need to actually think for once, and change those attitudes. You might also point out that those misogynistic attitudes lead them to loathsome behaviour, making and enabling laws which make things more and more difficult for women, especially in cases of rape. Thanks ever.

  4. says

    Hey, I don’t want to distract from this conversation so I’ll make this short and hope PZ may signal boost on this .

    It is relevant, and may lead to the arrest and conviction of an unprosecuted rapist in my home state of NM.

    Thank you everyone who reads this.

  5. moarscienceplz says

    The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of ‘legitimate rape.’

    Right, because other than the occasional unfortunate rape comment, everything coming out of today’s Republican party is perfectly logical and sensible.

  6. says

    Caine @3:

    You might also point out that those misogynistic attitudes lead them to loathsome behaviour, making and enabling laws which make things more and more difficult for women,

    Yes, this.

    In addition to their quixotic attempts to repeal Obamacare, and their endless attempts make second-class citizens of women, Republican policies regarding employment are making things more difficult for women.

    John Boehner recently said that jobs and the lack thereof will be a major talking point for Republicans during the 2014 elections. He plans to blame Obama. He thinks voters will ignore details like the fact that Republicans have obstructed job-creating programs. In the meantime, it is in his interest, and in the interest of Republicans in general to make sure that the economy does not recover more dramatically, and that job seekers can’t find a job. Boehner is working to keep the picture as bleak as possible.

    Hence, no extension of unemployment insurance, a policy that disproportionately affects women. And this is a policy guaranteed to slow economic growth and job growth.

    We’ve already discussed Republican attacks on programs like food stamps, with the cuts hurting women and children disproportionately.

    […] congressional Republicans hope to base their election strategy on public dissatisfaction with the economy. These same congressional Republicans have the ability to make the economy worse.

    You see the problem.

    This has the potential to shape practically every policy debate for the rest of the year. Democrats may remind Republicans that comprehensive immigration reform would give the economy a boost, but for those who don’t want the economy to improve ahead of the 2014, that won’t be a persuasive argument.

    Democrats can argue that investing in infrastructure and education would go a long way towards lowering unemployment in a hurry, but again, if the House majority sees self-rewarding value in higher unemployment, those investments are far less likely.

    More to the point, Congress is currently engaged in a fight over extended unemployment benefits. Economists of every political stripe have told policymakers that failing to extend the aid will undermine economic growth and cost the U.S. economy in upwards of 300,000 jobs, and yet Republicans refuse to pass the measure that used to enjoy bipartisan support.

    Perhaps now we know why?

    There’s no real need to speculate; the proof will be in the policymaking. Republicans have already fought for a series of policies that did real, measurable damage to the economy – debt-ceiling hostage crises, a government shutdown, sequestration cuts, the end of the payroll tax break, a rejection of the American Jobs Act, the expiration of federal unemployment benefits, etc. – making their “where are the jobs” rhetoric tough to stomach. […]

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/creating-the-wrong-economic-incentives#break

  7. stripeycat says

    My interpretation is that she’s more concerned about the poor PR/harm to the cause than the actual harm to women. In other words, she wants them to be better at being vote-grubbing hypocrites. Definitely a case of fixing the wrong problem, from an outsider’s perspective.

  8. Chris Terry says

    If her message of STFU extended to their private lives, I’d call it a net positive – it’s hard to pass on BS if you don’t talk about it.

  9. says

    Cross posted from the Lounge:

    Oh, FFS, another “panel of 12 men” getting ready to tell women what to do — not nice, not right.

    As the Senate takes up a measure to extend unemployment insurance, Republicans in the House of Representatives are looking to make 2014 another banner year for anti-abortion laws.

    A panel of 12 men on the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a bill Thursday that would deny tax subsidies to women and small businesses who purchase health insurance plans that include abortion coverage. The bill only makes an exception for rape and incest victims and women who would die without abortion care, which opponents say could prompt the IRS to audit any woman who claims one of these exceptions.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/house-gop-kicks-off-2014-_n_4563303.html

    If you don’t want to visit the dreaded HuffPo site, you can read most of the same info on the Maddow Blog:
    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/congressional-gop-renews-abortion-focus

  10. says

    Also cross posted from the Lounge:

    Here’s the NARAL Pro-Choice America analysis of the new bill Republican men are proposing (H.R. 7 is the bill number — top priority for 2014!).

    * Raise taxes on small businesses and individuals who buy insurance with abortion coverage outside the exchanges. It does so by imposing tax penalties on individuals and small businesses that choose private health plans that cover abortion care. (Absent political interference, 87 percent of private plans cover abortion services.)

    * Eliminate abortion coverage from private insurance plans sold through Obamacare exchanges. This bill includes a provision that would effectively end abortion coverage for women in state insurance exchanges who use their own, private funds to pay for their insurance and ban abortion coverage for millions of middle- and low-income women who will receive partial subsidies to purchase insurance.

    * Spur audits for rape survivors. H.R.7 eliminates medical-expense deductions for abortion services, with exceptions only for cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman is in danger. As a result, the bill could prompt the IRS to audit a sexual-assault survivor who seeks abortion care with her own, private funds.

  11. Rich Woods says

    @Lynna #10:

    As a result, the bill could prompt the IRS to audit a sexual-assault survivor who seeks abortion care with her own, private funds.

    Is it possible for a conservative to become yet more hateful and evil?

    OK, don’t answer that…

  12. qwe1 says

    … “The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of ‘legitimate rape.’”

    Apparently the mothers of “The college-age daughters” think the incomprehensible oxymoron “legitimate rape” is a OK?

  13. unbound says

    Well, keep in mind that the Republican party is pretty well packed with mostly christians. According to modern xtian thought, it is much about about what you say rather than what you do. Going to heaven is just about praying and not so much about your deeds.

    And with that thought in mind, it actually puts things very well in perspective on how the Republican party continues to remain successful. It isn’t about what they do, it is about what they say which is very much like prayer. There aren’t many christians left that actually follow their hero’s footsteps (Jesus).

  14. says

    I clicked on PZ’s link looking to read the entire article. I was surprised to find there wasn’t much more to it. I’d hoped that maybe Ms Hughes’ comments were expanded on or discussed in greater depth, but such was not found. It’s like HuffPo decided to simply report what she said and some of the context behind it. Thankfully, they provided a link to Ms Hughes’ opinion column. Of course there wasn’t much more meat to that either.

    I hope my fellow Republicans don’t take the wrong lessons from this campaign. Romney did not lose because he was not conservative enough. He lost because of communications mistakes that our party must correct if we are to earn the country’s confidence and elect a Republican president next time.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83632_Page2.html

    She attributes the GOP losses in the 2012 election to communication mistakes.
    “Legitimate rape” was one such communications mistake? If it and other comments about rape hadn’t been uttered by Republicans, it would have helped their chances at winning?
    I wish I could say that wouldn’t have been the case but far too many people focus on tone rather than substance.

    My response to Karen Hughes:
    “No, Ms Hughes. The problem is not with communicating. Your fellows communicate pretty well. I can see, quite easily, how they feel about blacks, hispanics, immigrants, LGBT, and women. It’s right there in what they say. In other words, a big part of your party’s problem is *what* they say, not how they say it. Another problem they have is a severe lack of empathy. You all care so little for anyone other than the important white people. Your disdain for others is going to seep out when you don’t give two shits for the “little people”. Horrible comments about rape are going to happen as long as your fellow Republicans continue refusing to listen to what people are saying and why. There was no shortage of explanations about why the various rape comments from Republicans were wrong. Did they listen to any of them? No. Do they understand why their comments were wrong? No. Did they educate themselves to ensure that next time they speak on the subject, they’re better informed? No.
    Ask yourself-and them-why that’s the case. “

  15. Rey Fox says

    If Republicans would like to be liked by women and minorities, they just need to stop being so Republican.

  16. cswella says

    Despite trying to fix the wrong problem, if they take this sort of thing to heart, it could be a good thing. Republicans stop talking about things they don’t understand, most of them wouldn’t have much to talk about anyway. Maybe then all the parties can shift back to the left because the “I’m more conservative than you are” contests can stop.

    Ah, pipe dreams…

  17. says

    cswella:

    Despite trying to fix the wrong problem, if they take this sort of thing to heart, it could be a good thing.

    I disagree.
    The problem is with their beliefs. These beliefs lead them to enact legislation that oppresses women (and other minorities). Not talking about their beliefs does not mean they’ve changed their minds. Until they change their minds, they are actively hurting women.

  18. says

    A long time ago (but not really long enough) when I was working at the state capitol in Sacramento, one of our enlightened legislators argued against a measure making spousal rape a crime. “If I can’t rape my wife,” he objected, “then who can I rape?” He wasn’t just making a tasteless joke. He was actually upset about the measure and encouraged his colleagues to vote against it.

  19. says

    Speaking of GOP candidates making asinine comments about rape:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/15/virginia-gop-candidate-spousal-rape-isnt-a-crime-if-she-is-wearing-a-nightie/

    After losing all major statewide races to Democrats for the first time in 24 years, Republicans in Virginia are pushing to replace a moderate GOP congressman with a candidate so conservative that he doesn’t even believe that spousal rape should be a crime.

    On Wednesday, Mother Jones pointed out that state Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black, who is running to take over retiring Rep. Frank Wolf’s seat, had fought against making spousal rape a crime because the woman was “sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie.

  20. Trebuchet says

    @22: See also post number 1.

    @10: No chance of passage, of course, they’re just preaching to the primary election choir. Kind of like Senate Democrats with their hopeless unemployment extension bill. Neither would ever get through the other house, although the latter would at least get signed if passed.

    It’s interesting seeing yet another Republican blasting their fellow party members for saying what the actually think, not for thinking it.

  21. Subtract Hominem, a product of Nauseam says

    In Maine, “one Republican candidate has decided to wear his domestic violence conviction as a badge of honor.”

    Erick Bennett is running in a primary challenge against incumbent Susan Collins to be Maine’s next US Senator. According to Bennett, he’s qualified to be a senator because beating his wife makes him brave enough to stand up for “family values.”

    In 2003, Bennett was convicted of domestic violence against his wife, who divorced him after he attacked her. Of course, Bennett denied beating his wife and appealed. But the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld his conviction, finding that “the court did not commit clear error or abuse its discretion in excluding irrelevant evidence at trial,” and that “sufficient evidence does exist in the record to support his conviction.”

  22. gshevlin says

    Once again, the GOP persists in seeing its current electorability challenges as a communication and marketing issue, not a policy issue. This is SOP for a party whose policies are becoming unpopular. The end results will not be good for them.

  23. krubozumo says

    I only have a basic grounding in biology which has been greatly enhanced and expanded by reading this and other blogs and paying some attention to the commentary. (I should note that in my high school
    freshman biology class all discussion of evolution was omitted and that was in about 1966.)

    Two things. I am interested in why you assert that threats don’t work. I agree they don’t but
    just exactly why is an important thing to know. The second is more obvious, the only course available to the republicans is to hide their agenda. None of them have ever once considered that it might be wrong on some level. They are believers. So obviously, even bold faced lies about their intentions are all to the good because the only good is for them to achieve their goals. Nothing else matters. For the most part it appears they will say or do anything to advance their goals no matter how egregiously false or dishonest.

    I don’t think I need to recount the number of ways in which their single minded intent on irrational aims
    has led to massive death, suffering and deprivation. One day the tide will turn.

    As Churchill said, KBO.

  24. unclefrogy says

    she is probably correct they would probably win more elections if they stuck to the patriotic pablum and posturing script that politicians like Reagen managed to follow. There was a pol. who could keep to the script.
    There are thankfully very few that can pull that off.
    They just can’t help blustering and showing off their moral superiority.
    Lets hope that they just keep talking and talking
    uncle frogy

  25. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Two things. I am interested in why you assert that threats don’t work. I agree they don’t but
    just exactly why is an important thing to know. The second is more obvious, the only course available to the republicans is to hide their agenda. None of them have ever once considered that it might be wrong on some level. They are believers. So obviously, even bold faced lies about their intentions are all to the good because the only good is for them to achieve their goals. Nothing else matters. For the most part it appears they will say or do anything to advance their goals no matter how egregiously false or dishonest.

    Threats on occasion effect a change in outward presentation; they do not affect motivation.

  26. says

    According to Bennett, he’s qualified to be a senator because beating his wife makes him brave enough to stand up for “family values.”

    As if the term “family values” hadn’t already been sufficiently dragged through the mud, let’s add spousal abuse.

  27. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    I think what she wrote was an expression of anger at her colleague’s offensive stupidity, rather than a logical critique or attempt to get them to change said values. The latter approach is certainly more helpful, but I think she’s entitled to the former too.

  28. says

    Take Ken Buck, for example. Buck’s extremism on women’s issues contributed heavily to his failed U.S. Senate candidacy in Colorado in 2010, but he’s back in 2014, apparently having learned very little.

    Speaking on a talk radio show on Wednesday, Buck attempted to explain his anti-choice absolutism — he opposes abortion in all cases, including rape and incest — by likening a woman’s desire to control her own body while pregnant to how he felt when he had cancer.

    “I am pro-life,” Buck said. “While I understand a woman wants to be in control of her body — it’s certainly the feeling that I had when I was a cancer patient, I wanted to be in control of the decisions that were made concerning my body — there is another fundamental issue at stake. And that’s the life of the unborn child.”

    Remember, Buck has had four years to figure out how best to talk about his opposition to reproductive rights. The best he can come up with is comparing pregnancy to cancer as part of a larger pitch on why he doesn’t think a woman should “be in control of her body.”

    If Republicans are being coached on how to talk without offending people, Ken Buck might need a little extra tutoring.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/how-not-appeal-women-voters

    http://www.salon.com/2014/01/15/tea_party_senate_candidate_compares_being_prengant_to_having_cancer/

  29. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    “I am pro-life,” Buck said. “While I understand a woman wants to be in control of her body — it’s certainly the feeling that I had when I was a cancer patient, I wanted to be in control of the decisions that were made concerning my body — there is another fundamental issue at stake. And that’s the life of the unborn child.”

    So I assume that he rejected all anti-cancer therapies? After all, when you kill cancer, you’re killing a living being.

    If he didn’t want to keep it, he could always give it up for adoption.