Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spouse Attack

I read in today’s New York Times that, according to a recent CNN/ORC poll, 31 percent of Republican woman would be upset if Trump were to receive the GOP nomination. This is an astonishing number. I mean, only 31 percent? What’s up with those other 69 percent who wouldn’t be upset? Haven’t they been paying attention?

I suppose we have to consider the alternatives though. None of the Republican candidates are all that cool where women’s issues like abortion rights are concerned. Again, from the New York Times, here’s a bit by columnist Gail Collins:

“One thing that all these guys have in common is a desire to put themselves in charge of the reproductive rights of the entire female half of the country. Trump used to be pro-choice, but he evolved’ at some undisclosed point in the 21st century. Ted Cruz opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. John Kasich is willing to allow a troubled teenager to get an abortion if she’s seduced by her father, but not if the seducer is the next-door neighbor. This is why Kasich’s the moderate.”

In order to understand what has led the Republican Party to this point, I consulted my friend, Professor Fulano Sabelotodo at the Reagan-Milhouse Institute of Liberal Studies. Here’s what Professor S. told me:

“Look” [editor’s note: Sabelotodo always says “Look” when he believes he’s about to dispel all nonsense and offer us the real, authentic truth], “the Republican Party has come a long way from its Lincolnite origins. Back in 1860, it was the party of progress; it led the fight against slavery which was then defended by the Democrats. But in the 1960s, President Nixon decided the party needed to court as many conservative southern whites as possible, and launched his ‘Southern Strategy.’ GOP leaders since then have faithfully gone along with this. But to hold on to these voters, they had to do two things at once: 1. Promise to make the economy work for working class whites, and, 2. Encourage them to blame foreigners and minorities for their problems. It worked for a while, but now that the working class has figured out the economic part was a con, they have decided to follow Trump with his straight up bigotry. So, what started out as the Party of Lincoln later evolved into the Party of Nixon, and now is about to give birth to the Party of Trump.”

“I see, Professor S.,” I replied, “I’m grateful for this clarification, but why all this stuff about abortion?”

Sabelotodo: “Look, the Southern Strategy would only work if the Republican leaders pretended to be anti-abortion, because that policy platform had become a kind of litmus test for the evangelical Christians who made up a big part of the southern conservatives. So, you get Governor Reagan ‘evolving’ away from his support for abortion rights when he became Presidential Candidate Reagan – much to Nancy Reagan’s annoyance.”

“Okay, I see. But, Professor S., mention of the late Nancy Reagan reminds me of the disturbing turn that the GOP campaigns have taken recently. I’m talking about the trashing of the wives that the Trump and Cruz supporters have been engaging in. The whole thing is creeping me out - not only Trump’s tweets but also Cruz’s smarmily indignant posturing in defense of his wife, Heidi.”

Sabelotodo: “Look, this whole scenario was quite predictable”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because Trump is a consummate rodent-copulator and Cruz is an unctuous phony.”

And so ended my enlightening interview with the learned Sabelotodo.

Sadly, I had hoped that I would be able to avoid being drawn into the squalid realm of political attacks aimed at spouses, but alas, I am weak. With apologies for this character flaw, I give you pictures of two spouses, one Melania’s, the other Heidi’s, in light of which I invite you to judge the women who married them.

                                                                    (from Salon)

                                                                    (from Twitter)