Each nation and society has issues which are so emotive that no sane politician wants to touch them, even if doing so could give them a short-term boost amongst their supporters. These issues are popularly referred to as ‘third rail‘ issues. In the American system, ideas such as withdrawal of social security or medicare benefits and strict gun control are considered third rail issues. Even politicians who are supposedly opposed to these ideas will not dare say or do anything beyond the bare minimum for fear of career-ending repercussions in future elections.
However the increasing coarsening of political environment and dependence on extremist constituencies for winning party nominations have made many republican/right-wingers test ‘third rail’ issues. One of the overlooked third rail issues concerns access to contraception, abortion and other feminine health related issues.
For a long time, most republicans nor democrats did not push their views any further than the uneasy consensus they arrived after ‘Roe vs Wade‘. The conditions at the beginning of the G.W.Bush presidency emboldened some conservatives to push for severe restrictions to abortion in some states. Their initial, and often partial success, made them even more vocal to the point that banning contraception is now an acceptable issue in the republican presidential circus.. I mean primary.
However doing so has likely caused them to touch one of the third rail of american politics- Access to contraception for women. You might wonder why access to contraception is so different from restricting abortions- something the CONservatives had some success with in the retarded states. Let me explain..
What percentage of women ever had an medically induced abortion? The likely answer is 5-20 % depending on the population you poll. Now ask yourself- what percentage of women have used any form of contraception? The likely answer is- close to 100 %.
The extremely widespread use of contraception by women crosses lines of race, income and social class. The mere mention of this issue at republican presidential comedy shows.. I mean debates, by idiots like Santorum, has unleashed something that will doom them in 2012 and haunt them for years afterwards.
How many women will vote for a guy who wants to criminalize contraception- yes criminalize, because that is exactly how democrats will paint it in 2012. How many will vote against him or someone like him?
Some of you might say- “but Romney or Gingrich is not that CONservative, nor is Ron Paul”. While that is technically correct, you are ignoring two issues.
1. Romney feels a bit too deceptive to most, Gingrich has issues in his past and Ron Paul is unlikely to be nominated. Therefore every additional serious negative hit against any of these three will have a far larger impact as far as their general electoral prospects are concerned.
2. Nominating any of these three along with a more CONservative VP candidate will bring out women voters out of the woodwork. Even women who never vote consistently or vote republican will likely vote democrat or not vote republican. Furthermore discriminating against white women at the electoral booth might prove much more problematic than doing the same to black men.
To make a long story short- republicans have gifted democrats a rather potent issue to savage them with at election time. In a normal world, a candidate in Obama’s position would have no chance of winning reelection. However republicans seem to be determined to make sure that he gets a second term.
What do you think? Comments?