Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Come On Tennessee...Really?

On an election day when it seemed like people running for office were being held accountable for the stupid things they've said or done and the country seemed like it was getting its collective head out of its ass on the subject of marriage equality and bigotry, Tennessee stands alone as the state that made the dumbest move in the country.

Whether it was Missouri, a very conservative state rejecting Todd Akin or Richard Murdoch in Indiana, voters seemed to be holding politicians accountable for their statements.

Akin, of course, famously said that women who get "legitimately" raped can't get pregnant because their body "shuts that stuff down." "That stuff" presumably is the icky and mysterious inside parts of a woman that makes him squeamish. The inference being that either all women who claim to get pregnant via a rape are lying about being raped, or even worse that they were somehow asking for it. No matter how you slice it that opinion is reprehensible and Akin's political career went up in flames almost immediately.

Murdoch, on the other hand, said that a woman getting pregnant from a rape was "god's will." You should know better than to say things like that! The voters sent this ignorant jerk home last night. I understand the religious cop-out that when something bad happens it's "god's will" but come on, use your head here man! Don't say that it's god's will for women to be raped! Everyone knows that sounds bad!

It might seem that it's cruel to end these guys' careers over one comment made off the cuff. But think about it....shouldn't they know better than to talk about rape so casually? Rape is an EXTREMELY sensitive topic and they should have their policies and their feelings on the subject well thought-out and they should have the ability to be very clear about their positions on difficult concepts. If they were unprepared to speak clearly on such a sensitive issue, are they prepared to be leaders of the people? Seems like they're not.

The thing we need most from our leaders is good judgment. And these guys demonstrated that they don't have it. Period. So being rejected by states that would otherwise seem to embrace them is a good thing.

And speaking of good things there's Maryland and Maine voting to legalize marriage equality for homosexuals, and even Colorado legalizing marijuana for recreational use. A lot of the country really seems to be making progress*. 

But then we come to Tennessee. Still representing the south, still backwards as hell. Middle Tennessee folks elected a man to congress named Dr. Scott DesJarlais.  DesJarlais, a medical doctor, is a pro-life, anti-choice Republican, as most Tennessee politicians are. But when this guy got his mistress, who happens to be one of his patients, pregnant he pressured her to get an abortion. Seriously! A MEDICAL DOCTOR got his MISTRESS, one of his PATIENTS, PREGNANT. I'm not a doctor, but don't we know what causes this? Then THE PRO-LIFE REPUBLICAN talked her into getting an ABORTION, and RECORDED THE CONVERSATION. Another mistress, who was another one of his patients (!), claims that he gave her prescriptions for pain medications for recreational use, which is why she was involved with him. Are any of those things red flags? Does this sound like the kind of responsible individual we need representing our state in congress?

Come on Tennessee! You're better than this! What the fuck?

*(If you think that's not progress, you're stupid. Gay marriage and smoking pot never hurt anyone. If you think they should be illegal you're just plain wrong and please go back to the 50's. It wasn't wrong then either, but you'll have more company. I'm not gay and I don't smoke pot. I don't stand to gain anything by the legalization of these things. It's just the right thing you do, and every reasonable person knows it.)

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