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Shut the whole thing down

hurricane-isaac.gifAfter looking at the track of the storm running right at Tampa, it seems that the Almighty is as disappointed as I am in the current state of the Republican party. The past few weeks have seen some truly awful ideas voiced by members of a party who don’t even seem to be pretending to be working for average citizens any more.

But as much as we complain about things moving backwards, this does put things in some perspective: 92 years ago this week, the 19th amendment to the US Constitution, the amendment giving women the right to vote, was ratified. I mention this because 92 year is not all that long ago – my grandfather just celebrated his 94th birthday. That means that within his lifetime, women were both denied, and then granted, the right to vote.

This seems ironic, given the outrageously callous comments made about women by (male) elected officials in the past few weeks.  Women have had the vote for over 90 years – one would think that politicians would be better at pandering to them by now.

Alas, it appears they are not.

The off-the-wall comments of Congressman Todd Akin last week have highlighted the outdated and patently incorrectly assumptions that many still hold about rape. It seems that all of the “education” about intelligent design and lack of real sexual educational in our schools is catching up with us.

And the results aren’t pretty.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan affirm that they’re "on the same page" on the issues, and their campaign even says Ryan was picked because of his "big ideas" for the country. Unfortunately, Ryan isn’t too far from Akin when it comes his views on rape.

Paul Ryan and Todd Akin are actually on the same page when it comes to whether rape is rape.  They teamed up last year to pass a sweeping proposal to change the definition of "rape" to "forcible rape," which could exclude women who are drugged and raped, women who are mentally disabled and raped, and young girls who are victims of statutory rape.

For the record, one out of every 20 rapes result in pregnancy, for a total of more than 32,000 each year in the U.S. It seems that some of these “big ideas” are best left alone.

As President Obama said, “Rape is rape.” It’s just too bad the hurricane barreling towards the Republican National convention isn’t a woman – I bet she could “just shut the whole thing down.”