Home / General / Looks Like Claire McCaskill Has an Opponent for Her Re-Election Campaign!

Looks Like Claire McCaskill Has an Opponent for Her Re-Election Campaign!

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The Missouri Republican Party, home of such luminaries as Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, continues to lead the nation in anti-women politics.

A month after threatening to imprison a Planned Parenthood official for not handing over a list of women who’ve gotten abortions, Missouri Republicans are at it again. The majority of the Missouri state house voted for a bill that would define fertilized eggs as “persons” that “have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.”

The bill and the debate around it is a veritable smorgasbord of right-wing nuttiness, starting with the apparent belief that zygotes are industrious workers who can feel happiness and own things. As a reminder, this is what a zygote looks like. It doesn’t have brains or skin or eyes or much in the way of neurons, but in anti-choice eyes, it’s a kindergartener playing catch and scribbling away in coloring books.

With the opening premise being so ridiculous, it’s little wonder that things spiraled quickly out of control with this bill. Despite the fact that talking about rape never works out well for anti-choicers, state representative Tila Hubrecht was eager to argue that rape victims who get pregnant should be grateful that such a wonderful blessing has come their way.

“Sometimes bad things happen, and they’re horrible things,” Hubrecht began, talking about rape like it’s an unfortunate weather event instead of a violent crime someone chooses to commit. “But sometimes God can give us a silver lining through the birth of a child.”

At this rate, Republicans might soon be passing laws requiring pregnant rape victims to write “thank you” letters to their rapists.

But this is the rhetorical corner that anti-choicers have painted themselves into. Unable to admit that they want to ban abortion to punish and control women, they instead have to argue that pregnancy is a rare gift, like winning the lottery, that any woman should want at any point in time, and that women are being denied this precious gift by abortionists who want to steal their babies because they are sadistic murderers. When that’s your line, you kind of have to start acting like rapists are doing their victims a favor by getting them pregnant.

In case discussion about how forced childbirth is supposedly the “silver lining” awaiting rape victims wasn’t bad enough, this bill comes bundled with a whole bunch of racist trolling of activists fighting against police violence.

When the first version of this bill was introduced, by Rep. Mike Moon, it was called the “All Lives Matter” bill, an obvious swipe at Black Lives Matters protesters, who have been working heavily in Missouri after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The bill’s name was changed when anti-racism activists accused Moon of co-opting a very serious movement, but the basic concept of the bill hasn’t changed.

That Republican Senate primary in 2018 between Mike Moon and Tila Hubrecht should be fun!

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  • Karen24

    If zygotes are persons, then they have the right to sue their mothers for wrongful death from negligence for doing one of the approximately 90,000,000 ordinary activities that can damage a pregnancy, including breastfeeding, exercise, lack of sleep, drinking coffee, or worrying. I have every confidence that someone in the anti movement will designate himself — the “him” there is completely intentional — the defender of the poor little things whose lives were untimely ended by their mothers carelessness and start suing gyms or ski resorts or bars or pretty much anything that allowed women between 13 and 50 to engage in any activity at all. Insurance companies will jack rates, and suddenly, through the magic of the Invisible Hand of the Market, women over here get to live in Saudi Arabia – style seclusion, but worse.

    • DAS

      Isn’t lack of exercise also problematic during a (healthy) pregnancy? I can just see it now: the anti movement will sue (on behalf of the poor, helpless embryos) any woman who doesn’t exercise during pregnancy as well as any woman who does exercise during pregnancy. It’s all for the health of the “baby”, of course

      • Karen24

        Direct and irreconcilable conflicts in the medical advice given to pregnant women is a feature here, not a bug. Anything the woman does is certain to be wrong.

        • Bill Murray

          Whom do they default to if their pastor and their husband and their father give them conflicting advice?

          • John Revolta

            Well then, you get you some blood tests, see, and the one who’s the actual baby daddy makes the call.

    • Warren Terra

      Also: if zygotes are persons, then:
      1) IVF providers are in for a world of legal hurt
      2) Given that something like half of all fertilized eggs fail to implant under ideal circumstances, we can go after a whole lot of women for improper disposal of human remains at the least (manslaughter isn’t improbable, and murder not impossible)
      3) Lots of birth control is illegal, and the people making it, selling it, or even failing to report it are liable to spend time in pokey.
      4) What about teratomas? Why aren’t they our little cancer babies?

  • Peterr

    You don’t have to wait for 2018 for fun in Missouri electoral politics. Roy Blunt is up for reelection this year.

    Ol’ Roy has the unfortunate luck to be the classic Washington insider GOP leader, when the party presidential primary system has cast such folks as the ultimate problem with the GOP. Between Trump and Cruz, the amount of anti-DC ads that ran during the MO primary was astounding — and every one of them had to make Ol’ Roy very unhappy.

    Roy has already said he’s going to pass on the GOP convention in Cleveland, with remarks like (paraphrasing here) “I’m not a big convention guy. I usually only go for a day or two. I even skipped the whole San Diego convention.”

    IIRC, Roy is part of the meeting today with Trump and Paul Ryan and other GOP leaders on The Hill. At best, Blunt is hoping that Trump will lay off some of the anti-GOP leadership stuff.

    Blunt’s likely democratic opponent is MO secretary of state Jason Kander. Kander is a GOP nightmare all by himself — former military intelligence officer in Afghanistan, lawyer, and former state representative. When the previous SoS declined to run for reelection in 2012, Kander jumped into the race. He was up against the GOP Speaker pro tem of the Missouri House and considered a longshot — but he won. He has a very well organized campaign, and is licking his chops as November approaches. Blunt entered the election cycle with a lot of money on hand, but in the last three months, Kander has outraised him to cut the lead.

    An incumbent US senator ought to be able to count on help from his party’s presidential candidate in the fall, but that’s not going to happen here. The best Blunt can hope for is that Trump stays away from Missouri and tones down the anti-GOP leadership stuff. But “Don’t hurt me, Donald” is hardly a winning Republican strategy.

    Meanwhile, you can count on Kander — with help from McCaskill and other MO Dems — to make the most of the Cruz-Trump primary fight to paint Blunt as out of step with both the Democrats and the Republicans.

    Put it another way: it’s hard to see how Blunt can fire up the base to get himself reelected, when 81% of the base was fired up against him by Trump and Cruz in the GOP primary.

    • DAS

      I note (per Wikipedia) that Jason Kander is from Overland Park, where I (used to until they moved) have relatives. I wonder if he’s a distant relative of mine.

  • They really don’t get the concept of choice. They really don’t.

    • Oh, they get it. They just hate it.

      • Peterr

        Yes.

        In the eyes of the Missouri GOP, especially the theocratic Ashcroft/Akin wing of the party, Choice is something that The Husband has. Men choose and lead; women follow.

      • Thirtyish

        Oh, they get it. They just hate it.

        Ding ding ding ding ding!

  • No Longer Middle Aged Man

    I wonder what these folks have to say when these zygotes are the progeny of undocumented immigrants, given that the zygotes become US citizens once they are spawned. Insist that they must not be aborted so that the USA can deport them to a place they’ve never been along with their parents?

    There’s an opportunity waiting for someone to figure out how to pitch that freedom! and small government! dictate mandatory abortions for illegals so that they can’t have anchor babies while prohibiting abortions for female citizens. Disgusting and vile so we can be sure that some winger out there is trying to figure out how to sell it.

    • Honoré De Ballsack

      I wonder what these folks have to say when these zygotes are the progeny of undocumented immigrants, given that the zygotes become US citizens once they are spawned.

      The GOP hardliners are also opposed to the concept of birthright citizenship–so, no cognitive dissonance.

      • They’re also against giving birth certificates to children of single mothers.

        • DAS

          And yet they want you to have who knows how many forms of ID if you want to vote, and feel that presidents need to prove their citizenship by making their birth certificates available. It’s almost as if the GOP doesn’t want poor or minority folks to vote or be elected to high public office. But it can’t be … one of the two political parties in the US can’t be captured by racists, can it? ( /snark)

          • so-in-so

            Or use ;public restrooms.

        • Warren Terra

          The Birth Certificate is clearly changing its meaning, becoming some sort of iconic document that is both available to and indicative of Real Americans, who aren’t from Kenya and who deserve to President and to vote.

          I’m minded of China’s One-Child Policy and Residence Permits: children born beyond the limit or born where their parents aren’t legally welcome can be denied a birth certificate and thereby the legal existence that can get them access to schools and to health care. Parents seeking to overcome this legal nonexistence for their children must pay huge fines, the vast majority of which go to the coffers of the local authority (instead of to the central government); allegedly, this is now a major source of revenue especially for rural authorities lacking a healthy tax base (as all the income and all the property values to tax are in the cities).

    • Peterr

      I’m sure someone in the MO House is busy writing the “Papers Please Maternity Ward Admissions Act” as we speak. Women who wish to give birth in a Missouri hospital must present themselves at the hospital 48 hours before birth is expected, along with proof of citizenship or legal admission to the US. Don’t have proof? We’ll deport you before you can give birth! Failure to present yourself in a timely fashion with the required documentation shall be penalized by putting the child’s citizenship on hold. Until the mother produces proof of legal status, the child shall not be considered a citizen.

      *sigh*

      I wish I were kidding, but I know too many GOP Missouri state legislators. They’ve probably got Kris Kobach from Kansas helping them craft the right legislative language.

      • Hogan

        And midwives will be burned as witches.

        • Warren Terra

          I think you mean “doulas” will be burned as witches. The term is more evocative and mysterious.

      • Bill Murray

        One assumes a current, valid marriage license would also be required

  • junker

    On a related note, here is Samantha Bee on crisis pregnancy centers that exist solely to convince women not to have an abortion.

    http://jezebel.com/samantha-bee-on-the-crisis-pregnancy-centers-that-convi-1775724668

  • rdennist

    No no. The abortionists steal the babies so they can profit.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    “Sometimes bad things happen, and they’re horrible things,” Hubrecht began, talking about rape like it’s an unfortunate weather event instead of a violent crime someone chooses to commit. “But sometimes God can give us a silver lining…”

    By that standard, Hubrecht should thank a pagan for parting her head with an ax, because then she gets to go to heaven as a martyr, so *bygones!*

  • efgoldman

    But this is the rhetorical corner that anti-choicers have painted themselves into. Unable to admit that they want to ban abortion to punish and control women, they instead have to argue that pregnancy is a rare gift

    These Republiklown state legislators (and not just in MO) are repugnant and ignorant and objectively evil. But how many of them stand a chance of being beaten in local elections? Not very many, and not for forced-birth reasons, either, I’m guessing.

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