A week or two ago I got an email from a conservative leaning lady friend who has argued politics with me for years. It had three words in it: You Were Right.
I’d like to think my finger is on the political pulse of the nation, or at least near a major artery some of the time. But I cannot for the life of me figure out the calculus driving the recent Republican obsession with birth control, and neither can any of my otherwise well-informed peers. Any ideas? I’ll post any halfway coherent idea below the fold.
1. The most common retort is little more than insults couched as an explanation: conservatives are just stupid, or they hate women. Can we dispense with that? Professional political advisors are anything but stupid when it comes to winning elections, it’s their job, and of course they’re aware women voters make up a big chunk of any given electorate and that they’re losing more of those voters every day this shit goes on.
2. Like the scorpion riding the frog, they can’t help themselves, it’s just their ugly nature. That could help explain how it started, but the GOP has bailed plenty of times on similar issues when it became clear they were political losers. Remember how fast they backed off on Terry Schiavo when it went down the drain?
3. They’re so misinformed and sequestered inside the conservative media bubble that they believe they’re winning on this. But it’s clear from Boehner and McConnell’s actions, and various op-eds and comments (Or avoiding making any comment) they’re at least partially aware of how bad its playing out.
4. The conservative apparatus is coming apart at the seams: the interests of national lawmakers, local state houses, and the grifters who exploit the socially conservative base have all sharply diverged. Maybe, but that smacks of wishful thinking. Who wouldn’t love to see the whole stinking thing unravel like that?
5. Some conservative observers are floating the crazy ass idea that democrats laid an eleventy-billion dimensional chess trap. Obviously that’s nonsense, but it does reinforce that they’re aware of the mess they’re in, which cycles back to the initial question, why the hell are they doing it?