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This past week has seen such an outburst of psychologically disturbing sexual and gender references by old white men---and for that matter, old white women---well connected to the socially conservative Republican Party that I have been puzzled as to what chemicals might have been put into their water supply---but I doubt that it is estrogen, because estrogen would presumably make men effeminate and cause prostate cancer whereas the outburst has seemed more like an overdose of testosterone.
Last night I watched the movie, "Code 46", starring Tim Robbins who plays a fraud investigator in a Totalitarian state. One of his disarming techniques is to invite anyone, say a receptionist, to tell him something about themselves, anything at all, and see if he can guess their innermost secrets---which he does. Turns out Robbins has at his disposal an empathy virus which puts his insightful instincts on overdrive. Republicans have apparently found a drug which transforms normal and healthy sexual instincts into self-deprecating, and somewhat angry, sexual fantasies which---in an anatomical flip flop---are expressed through the vocal cords. Not knowing the actual chemical makeup of the drug I refer to it as Viagry for the Larynx, or, VFL.
Forster Friess was most likely one of the early adopters of VFL. Typically the users are old men, or old men in their own minds---like Rick Santorum. In normal conversation about the economy or sports, VFL is dormant. But when an older man, like Friess, is confronted with an attractive woman like Andrea Mitchell, especially when a camera is involved, the larnyx is stimulated and out comes a 1950's high school men's locker room joke, the flip side of which is an old white guy who is now past his prime---and the reality of which is that he can still talk a good game.
But in his case, Foster Friess did not necessarily ingest VFL prior to his interview with Andrea. My instinct is that his comments were well planned to keep the media's attention on Santorum focused upon cultural issues. The Republican consultant, Steve Schmidt, has the view that social conservatives have little appetite for an attack by Romney on Santorum's culture issues, so Romney must try to attack in areas like earmarks and votes to raise the debt ceiling. It follows that any culture issues which suck up the pundits' air time takes attention away from Romney's intended messaging and is therefore a good thing for Santorum. Not to mention that Santorum's base voters are vehemently anti-main stream media.
In my opinion, a guy like Friess does not use national television without a specific game plan. Perhaps he considered the possibility that Andrea herself would over-react, which would have accomplished the same purpose. In any event, the standard playbook of walking the comment back, apologizing, etc., is all prescribed. Santorum keeps his focus with the base he needs and can even segue to the media victim ploy, allowing him to throw into the mix Reverend Wright and possibly a reference or two to the election of 1860. The fact that Santorum is by and large writing off the female vote in the general election is secondary and can be dealt with later. The immediate goal is to tank Romney in Michigan and Ohio where more than likely Viagry has already been leaked into the water supply.
It was clear that social conservatives of both genders who were in front of microphones last week had all been ingesting Viagry for the Larynx. The ladies in the New Hampshire HR were prime examples and gave us such gems as "use of the pill has created estrogen in the water supply and is a cause of prostrate cancer in men."
Or the lovely admonition, "If you people want contraception you need to try condoms or abstinence". I wonder when this woman last had an empathetic thought in her head.
The testimony of the patrician and stove-up religious leaders paraded before Issa's committee exhibited the effects of ingesting VFL---except that these men are already so predisposed to misogynistic views, and they have certain parts of their anatomies so far in-grown, that they themselves need only quarter-doses of the drug. And in their cases, an aspirin between the knees might do little else than perhaps help them pee straight.
Any American who does care about religious freedom ought to be terrified at the easy complicity of those five men in a trumped up charade about religious persecution. Imagine them with even more power under a Santorum Presidency.
I am insulted by the comments of Foster Friess in whatever context one wants to put them. And the kind of angry, misguided rhetoric being spewed forth by social conservatives is in my opinion dirt for the mind much more so than anything which can be ascribed to Hollywood or the degrading social T.V. programming of Murdoch's News Corp. But the stupidity being thrown against the wall by social conservatives this past week is just the tip of the iceberg if, God help us, someone like Rick Santorum gets the nomination or were ever to reach the Presidency.
Foster Friess, in my opinion, does not give a hoot one way or another about outlawing contraception. As long as women in his family can buy contraception somewhere in the world, it's not an issue. What is an issue with Friess is somehow getting Santorum nominated by the Republican Party, and by a fluke, elected and used as a puppet for whatever regressive economic and social policies he actually does desire. If Foster Friess reads the media game as well as he did last week, he might well succeed in getting Santorum into the White House. Then VFL, and aspirin between the knees---like most other prescriptions in the Republican playbook---will be reserved as drugs for the little people.