To laugh or cry? Sometimes, that is the question.
This week, for example, Oklahoma Republican State Sen. Ralph Shortey is pushing a bill to ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food. Not that this is an actual problem, mind you; even Sen. Shortey’s “research” did not turn up any “examples” of this being a “problem.” But hey, just in case it ever does become a problem, he’s preemptively putting a stop to it because apparently, Oklahoma has already solved all of its existing problems and now has the time to invent hypothetical problems to address.
You have to laugh, right? Because the notion of Oklahomans inadvertently enjoying deep fried fetus on a stick is so absurd that the only appropriate response is outright mockery and laughter. Exhibit A: Gawker contacted a number of food manufacturers to find out whether aborted fetus is in fact a commonly used ingredient. If you enjoy the occasional Big Mac, you’ll be happy to know that according to Ashlee Yingling, media relations spokesperson for McDonalds, “The answer is no. McDonald’s does not use aborted human fetuses in its food.” Whew!
We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. [...] If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.
Yeah! Let’s string up doctors and hang them in the public square to deter them from practicing medicine. That’ll learn ‘em!
Rep. Pittman later admitted that he “got a bit carried away” and regretted sending the email. Not because hanging doctors is a bad idea, you see, but because he’d intended to send the email to his buddy instead of the whole House, but, being tired, he accidentally hit “Reply all.” Because, on the long List Of Things At Which Republicans Suck, “using technology” ranks near the top.
You might be able to dismiss one ill-advised email from a random state legislator if that’s all it was. But it’s not. “Pro-lifers” have long advocated for the killing of abortion providers because—and brace yourselves, because this might shock you—they don’t actually care about life.
In 2004, for example, “pro-life” Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said, “I favor the death penalty for abortionists.” Very “pro-life” of him, no?
Last year, legislators in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa took this idea to the next logical step: legalizing the
murder “justifiable homicide” of abortion providers. That didn’t go over too well, when the national collective response was something along the lines of, Are you fucking kidding us? So those bills have been shelved—for now.
So do you laugh or cry at the absurdity of people who claim to care oh-so-much about the “sanctity of life,” lecturing us that all life is sacred while advocating killing people? For me, it’s a coin toss.
And then there was this laugh-or-cry moment from Rick “Don’t Google Me” Santorum, whose entire reason for being is to hate women, gays,
black “blah” people, brown people, college-educated people, sex and Dan Savage. In this interview, Santorum was bestowing his fatherly advice to rape victims who are impregnated by their rapists:
As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. [...] I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.
As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.
It’s not like this is a new argument either. The menfolk have been offering their advice to us poor little ladies with our feeble little lady brains on all sorts of matters, including how we should feel about rape. Like notorious college basketball coach Bobby Knight advising that “if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” Or former John McCain fundraiser Clayton Williams, who compared rape to the weather and, stealing a line from Coach Knight, advised women to “lie back and enjoy it.”
Specifically advising women who are impregnated by their rapists to make lemonade out of lemons isn’t new either; the “Conceived in Rape” tour last summer featured the children of rape victims who insisted that because their mothers did not abort them, no rape victim should be allowed to terminate her pregnancy.
Do you laugh or cry at Santorum’s claim that “we” should just “make the best out of a bad situation”? Only a real sourpuss thinks about the downside of being raped instead of turning that frown upside and down and joyfully proclaiming, “But hey, I get a baby out of the whole deal! Hooray! Thanks, God!”
I don’t know how to reason with people whose response to rape is, “But on the plus side … ” Should we even bother? Maybe instead of crying, we should just lie back and relax and enjoy it and laugh it off and have a bowl of cream of fetus while we still have the chance.
More reasons to laugh and/or cry below the fold.