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August 4th, 2015

What, Me Warry?

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Memo to Jejb Bush, Jeb Bush, and Todd Starnes: GOOD JOB ON THE NON-WAR FRONT.

There is no War On Women in the Republican presidential campaign. And when I say there's none, I mean, yes, there is a little bit. There are two major fronts for the War on Women as it currently stands - the first is that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner, and she's a woman. And second, the fake Planned Parenthood videos and the subsequent lie that they're carving up fetuses and selling the organs as spare parts has put the forced-birth movement in the driver's seat. But there can't be a War on Women. Just ask anybody! And don't listen to what they say! Because IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"You can take dollar for dollar -- though I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues -- but if you took dollar for dollar, there are many extraordinarily fine organizations ... to provide quality care for women on a wide variety of health issues," - Jeb Bush, proving it's difficult to pretend to be a moderate in the Republican primary.

See, what tripped Bush here is that moderates are supposed to use phrases like "women's health services" instead of "abortion mills" in order to seem all moderate and stuff. But the GOP primary is now demanding as a litmus test that the government shouldn't be spending it's money on abortion mills. So Jeb split the difference, and said he doesn't know why the government is spending half a billion dollars on women and their health needs.

Whether Jeb meant that or not is the subject of the next quote, but it kind of doesn't matter, because a LOT of Republicans believe exactly that. Women don't need reproductive health services because they shouldn't be having sex unless they're married and trying to get pregnant. And even then, all they really need is a Jesus-loving midwife. But Jeb's not trying to play to that crowd. Well, OK, he is, but he's trying to come out of the primary process looking like he didn't play to that crowd, and, well, he's not actually "the smart one".

"With regards to women’s health funding broadly, I misspoke, as there are countless community health centers, rural clinics, and other women’s health organizations that need to be fully funded... I was referring to the hard-to-fathom $500 million in federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood – an organization that was callously participating in the unthinkable practice of selling fetal organs." - Jeb Bush, clarifying.

So, what Jeb is saying he was saying is that the government should be spending $500 million on women's health, just not one that sells fetal organs like we're all pretending Planned Parenthood does now. OK. That's a valid policy approach if, again, you're pretending that Planned Parenthood is doing that thing that they're not actually doing. And if there actually were other women's health organizations that could do what Planned Parenthood does if only they had that sweet, sweet federal money PP is hoarding.

But if you look at Jeb's first quote again, and take out the aside about spending money on women's health, what you're left with is what he said in his clarification. There are other organizations we could give Planned Parenthood's money to. So why did he put that extra bit in there? It's a stand-alone clause. So either he was throwing out a bit of red meat that backfired, he was sincerely throwing out a bit of red meat that backfired, or Jeb Bush doesn't know what words are coming out of his mouth at any given moment.

"This is the guy who is saying what the American working man and American working woman want to hear. And here it is in a nutshell. And I get what Jeb Bush is doing. Everybody is trying to be the kinder, gentler, you know, the compassionate conservative. But you know what, Jamie? The average American, they don't want one of those metrosexual purse dogs, they want a pit bull in the White House. " - Todd Starnes, doing that thing.

That thing, by the way, is the all-too-common practice of someone who's considered respectable and serious enough to go on mainstream TV, where they sort of behave themselves, and then they spend the rest of their lives on Twitter and wingnut radio being complete and utter douchenozzles without conseaquence.

I mean, "metrosexual"? I remember there was a summer like twelve eyars ago when a much more homophobic America tried to use it as a derogatory synonym for the archaic "sissy-boy", but apparently Todd Starnes never got the memo that we'd all moved on. I'm not saying Starnes is wrong about Trump's "pit bull" appeal. That's so clearly what's happening here that even Todd Starnes can see it. It's not the "average" American's worldview, but we'll let that slide because I'm sure Starnes thinks he's in that group. But the whole approach, that what women really want is a tough, forceful man's man to tell them what to do? That's not gonna help the War on Women narrative much.