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Gut-wrenching social issues return to forefront of Campaign 2012

By DOUG THOMPSON
February 10, 2012

Abortion protest in Washington (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

This was supposed to be an election where America’s struggling economy takes center stage.

Then social issues got in the way.

Republican strategists know they can’t win on the economy.

“We’re weak on economic issues,” a GOP strategist admitted to Capitol Hill Blue this week. “The modest rebounds we’re seeing right now will most likely increase in the coming months and those improvements will help Obama, not Republicans.”

But the Obama administration handed the GOP a gift: A return to the gut-wrenching social issues of abortion, contraception and gay marriage.  The administration’s decision to force insurance for birth control on Catholic organizations brought the highly emotional social issues back to the front burner and gave the rabid right something to rally around.

Now abortion opponents can scream “murder” and wave signs with photos of aborted fetuses and pontificate about “God’s will” through the illusion that a deity really gives a damn about what happens in the American political process.

Tea party activists lick their chops over the prospect of an election centered around social issues. The faux “grassroots” movement funded by the billionaire Koch brothers was on the verge of irrelevancy.  Now the tea party zealots have a a familiar old cause.

“Clearly, this could energize the Republican base,” says another GOP consultant. “We’re seeing the emergence of issues that favor candidates like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.”

Politics, in many ways, follows an old rule called Lawyer’s Law.  It says:

When the law is against you, argue the facts.

When the facts are against you, argue the law.

When both the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and call the other side names.

14 Responses to Gut-wrenching social issues return to forefront of Campaign 2012

  1. egc52556

    February 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Yes. But social issues helps Santorum, a far weaker general election candidate than Romney.

    The gift to the GOP is also a trap.

  2. Sandy Price

    February 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    The Republican Party will never let go of this issue. They will hang on until abortions, birth control and gay marriages are all the new look at the final Amendment to the Constitution. The Sin Amendment will end up being the final straw making America a Christian nation. It will solve all the problems facing Americans in the future.

    Individual choices will no longer be an issue in the future because the Sin Amendment will take care of every questionable issue. No need for gay rights as gays will never be considered as anything other than a nuisance. We saw how women were considered witches back in the days of Salem and they were turned in to the authorities by their own family members. The American family will be defined by the government under the rules by the most powerful Christian PACs. These PACs will declare that women must continue to breed even beyond the ability of the body to produce.

    Why fight it? When the majority of the voters are willing to follow orders rather than to think as individuals, America will reach the final stages of Christian power.

    There is no movement to return to liberty for all Americans. We will be retrained, brain washed and told to obey or be put in prison.

    We see one nation after another bow down to the words of some holy dictator with the promise of furnished health care, furnished academics and furnished incomes. All we have to do is obey the loudest God blasting over the television, Internet sites and churches.

    A year ago I would have never believed that the religious right would ever have the power to destroy the American family. These born again fools kicked the crap out of our pillars of individual freedoms and replace them with one size fits all control. I would have bet that a man who spoke out for individual rights as Romney did when Governor with his promise of those same individual rights would back down and join the terrorism of the End of Days.

    This is the new America and not a single Republican can stand up for those rights we fought for over the years. America is not as strong as we were after WW2 and the history books will expose our weaknesses brought on by too damn much time watching television.

    Personally, I see no need to work another day for the freedoms of millions of Americans when they probably will not vote anyway. I can only hope that no African American will ever again run for office in America. This experiment only brought out the racism found from coast to coast. All our candidates are missing the balls to stand proudly for the convictions they thought they had.

    • KishinD

      February 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      Sexual repression is a hallmark of conservatism, and their are some interesting new studies showing a connection between the two.

      For all their small government rhetoric, the right desperately wants government interference when it comes to sex and related issues (birth control, homosexuality, marriage).

  3. Alex

    February 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    The country has moved to the left on Social Issues, as the right literally is dying off. This fight may actually energize the youth and help Obama.

  4. Tom

    February 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Sandy Once again you hit out of the ballpark.

    As I said somewhere else I ran into a fellow a couple of weeks ago, that was on opposite ends of the spectrum as to what has caused the problems in the country. We agreed that all we have to do is to keep people entertained. All kinds of ball, racing, golf, TV,movies, music etc.. is not for enhancement or enjoyment anymore but a way of life. Poor/middle class people making people rich and richer and giving underprivileged kids the idea that if they play hard enough they can be famous too. I know to many kids that had that mind set and did not finish high school because their parents and schools pushed athletics more than academics.
    Around my area there is a push by Lutheran Churches to get out of the ECLA because they do not oppose the LGTB people being leaders. There are some Presbyterians doing the same. As you say we are going toward a theocracy and will be like Iran or some of those other countries where do as I say or you will be in jail for the rest of your life. When it comes to this I just hope that there will still be enough same people to take out the others.

  5. Hal Brown

    February 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I get a kick out of Santorum. His first comments about women in combat seemed like gibberish to me:

    “But I do have concerns about women in front-line combat, I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission, because of other types of emotions that are involved,” Santorum continued. “It already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat, and I think that’s probably not in the best interest of men, women or the mission.”

    Then he clarified his comments on The Today Show:

    :

    “[I meant] exactly what I said. When you have men and women together in combat, I think there’s — men have emotions when you see a woman in harm’s way. I think it’s something that’s natural, that’s very much in our culture to be protective, and that was my concern.”

    NBC’s Ann Curry that some had interpreted his original remarks to be a commentary on “women being emotional.”

    “I’ve never raised that as a concern. No, the issue is — and certainly one that has been talked about for a long, long time — is how men would react to seeing women in harm’s way, or potentially being injured or in a vulnerable position, and not being concerned about accomplishing the mission.”

    Spoken like someone who not only has never been in combat, but who never noted why soldiers get medals of honor, and has never read a book or seen movies about heroism in combat.

    Sex has nothing to do with it. But for Santorum sex has everything to to with, well, just about everything.

    There, I made it through a Santorum comment without referring to santorum… ops…. my bad.

    • Almandine

      February 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Sex… or gender?

      • KishinD

        February 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        Both. I would not be surprised if it turned out Rick was abused, physically or sexually, as a child.

        There is no doubt whatsoever that he was raised to believe that the sexual impulse is evil. He’s got some serious sexual repression issues.

    • Danny Adams

      February 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      “Sex has nothing to do with it. But for Santorum sex has everything to to with, well, just about everything.”

      That’s exactly what I thought when I heard that, Hal. He apparently thinks that male soldiers are never protective of their fellow male soldiers in combat.

  6. woody188

    February 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Obama & Co. are not in the GOP gift giving business. If Obama is going to focus on social issues, then his people see him as weak on the economy, or they know the economy is about to take a turn for the worse.

    I’ve always called these social issues hot-button issues because they are used to divide us into factions. It’s via these divided factions that we are controlled by the corporations and the filthy rich and those they would have us believe lead us.

    Panem et circenses

    • Carl Nemo **==

      February 11, 2012 at 12:42 am

      Spot on commentary Woody188 concerning the movers and shakers that own this nation lock, stock and barrel diverting the attention of our seemingly ‘chicken headed’ masses away from that which will soon effect their very lives far moreso than these relatively trivial societal issues when juxtaposed against national insolvency and a complete collapse of our paradigm no different than Greece, but on a far ‘grander’ scale.

      I’ve used the term “bread and circuses” over time in my writings which you’ve now supplied in Latin for even greater impact. So I thought I’d supply a Wiki link explaining the phenomenon from that of Roman societal controllers, no different than those of our times, but 2000 years ago.

      We think we are all that due to our technology, but when it comes to basic human nature we’re aren’t far removed from citizens of Rome in the distant past. Monkeys of yore are no different than the monkeys of now…no?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses

      Our feeble attempt at ‘empire’ is a pitiful joke compared to an empire that lasted a thousand years; I.E.,that of Rome, the “Eternal City on the Tiber”, ours an infernal, short-lived upstart “Idiocracy of a Nation”, posturing as a soon to fail empire on the Potomac.

      Carl Nemo **==

  7. eve

    February 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    So as another election year approaches, the archaic, superstitious books of yesterday have found their way into the political process again, to the detriment of freedom loving people everywhere.

    • woody188

      February 11, 2012 at 12:49 am

      Yup. Decision Points rears it’s ugly head again. (I know I know, just trying to lighten the mood. :grin: )

  8. griff

    February 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Of course they are. As the article states, the social issues energize both bases in order to use government as a means to make the country conform to their agendas.

    Of course, what these morons fail to recognize is that they are, for the most part, being pandered to for votes.

    They believe they gain a certain amount of personal power in being on the winning team, but all along they’re just weakening themselves, submitting to the power structure, and allowing the elitist scum that run this country have their way with them.

    They are slaves to the system.