Every few months, a GOP male lawmaker says something crazy about women's bodies, specifically pregnancy and rape. Not quite at the level of Missouri Congressman Todd Aiken who last year suggested that women possessed magical powers that could "shut down pregnancy," Arizona Representative Trent Franks suggested that pregnancy from rape is rare, a justification for an amendment banning abortion after 20 weeks he introduced in the House Judiciary committee. That's when I hear:
"Don't Speak!," exclaims Dianne Wiest to John Cusack in Woody Allen's classic theater parody Bullets Over Broadway. Unfortunately, some GOP lawmakers are speaking on this issue, not just in private, on television, but in an official capacity to introduce an amendment that could change the current law of the land that allows women to seek an abortion.
To be clear, this is not THE Republican party but just some lawmakers. As these incidences continue to surface (when's the next bomb?), it's hard not to ask, not is this an outlier position, but will it hijack the whole party?
Among young Republicans, views on abortion are more nuanced--supporting some bans but uncomfortable with efforts to cut Planned Parenthood funding.
Their discomfort extends to lack of outreach towards minority voters, single women, crucially the young guns' concern that the GOP is perceived as the party that will help you when you've made it, but won't offer a hand while you're working to get to the top, according to the recent survey of young GOP voters.
The Republican's present and messaging are confusing, filled with as much drama and angst as a Woody Allen film. But how about the future and the substance that buttresses it?
This is one of the topics, along with Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Chris Christie's 2016 Presidential designs, discussed with the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut and Politico's David Chalian on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd." At the end, I "shamelessly" plugged my literacy and education organization L4LL's Summer Reading new group challenge for libraries, book clubs, and summer camps!
Click below to watch the Gaggle which aired on June 13, 2013.