mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Whose Positions Are ‘Extreme”?: Marco Rubio, ‘A Woman Has A Right To Choose’, But Not Really

A few years ago, shortly before Election Day 2014, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) realized he was struggling with women voters and he worried about whether the gender gap would derail his campaign. Walker responded with a TV ad in which, in the context of the abortion debate, the governor defended leaving these decisions “to a woman and her doctor.”

Substantively, the rhetoric was ridiculous – it reflected the exact opposite of Walker’s policy agenda – but the Republican candidate saw value in trying to use his rivals’ phrasing to make his own far-right policies sound more mainstream.

BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski reported the other day on a similar tactic adopted by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

“Again, terrible tragedy what happened in Oregon, but you’re right, every single year unborn in this country are killed legally, through laws that allow that to happen,” Rubio said when radio host Glenn Beck asked him to respond to Hillary Clinton’s comments on the Oregon shooting, which Beck used to pivot to the issue of abortion.

“Look, I recognize this is tough issue and I actually do believe that a woman has a right to choose with her body,” he added. “The problem is that when there’s a pregnancy, there’s another life involved and that life has a right to live. And so, as policymakers we have to choose between two competing rights, and I’ve chosen as a matter of principle to choose life in that debate.”

First, it’s a lingering mystery why we still see competitive candidates for the nation’s highest office associating themselves with Glenn Beck, chatting about who they see as radical, without appreciating the irony.

Second, it’s jarring for Rubio, who’s been a consistent far-right voice on issues such as abortion and contraception access, boast that he “actually” does “believe that a woman has a right to choose with her body” – though he’s comfortable pursuing an agenda to curtail and restrict that right.

The Florida senator added that Hillary Clinton “has extreme positions” when it comes to reproductive rights.

Rubio has argued more than once in recent months that if a woman is impregnated by a rapist, the government has the authority to force her to take the pregnancy to term, regardless of her wishes.

How eager is he, exactly, for a debate about whose positions are “extreme”?

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, October 12, 2015

October 14, 2015 Posted by | Marco Rubio, Women Voters, Women's Health | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Bush Family’s War On English”: It’s Not That “Stuff Happens”, It’s That “Stuff Happens” Here More Than Anywhere Else

And the Bush family’s War on English continues.

You are, by now, familiar with the astonishingly tone-deaf response by Jeb Bush, the nation’s would-be 45th president, to last week’s shooting at a community college in Oregon in which a gunman killed nine people. “Look,” said Bush, “stuff happens.”

Like a stink bomb in the flower bed, the dismissive-sounding words were buried in a longer comment about whether this latest massacre should spur new legislation. Said Bush: “…I don’t think more government is necessarily the answer to this … I had this challenge as governor, because we had … look, stuff happens. There’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

When a reporter asked about the wording afterward — perhaps trying to spare Bush some grief — the former Florida governor turned attitudinal. “No, it wasn’t a mistake,” he said. “I said exactly what I said. Explain to me what I said wrong.”

“You said, ‘stuff happens,’” said the reporter.

Whereupon, Bush hunkered deeper into his snit. “‘Things’ happen all the time,” he said. “‘Things.’ Is that better?”

Um … no.

And the pasting that followed was entirely predictable. Bush was slammed by Hillary Clinton and President Obama. In Mother Jones, the liberal magazine, his words were called “callous.” In Salon, they were dubbed “tactless, graceless and ham-handed.”

But let’s not miss what’s truly offensive here.

At one level, after all, this is just a new round of the gaffe gotcha game where you strip clumsy language of inconvenient context so as to imply the candidate said or meant something he never said or meant. So let’s be fair: Bush was not being callous toward the Oregon tragedy any more than Barack Obama was denying small businesspersons their due when he said, “You didn’t build that.” Rather, Bush simply offered an inarticulate statement of GOP orthodoxy: There are no legislative responses to mass gun violence.

And while that’s a point some of us would dispute, it is not what makes his words appalling. No, what makes them appalling is the surrender they imply.

“Stuff happens”?

That’s what you say about the hurricane or the earthquake, the hail storm or the flood, natural disasters beyond the power of humankind to prevent. It’s what you say about cancer or Alzheimer’s or dog droppings on the lawn, the major and minor challenges that are an inescapable part of being alive.

To say “stuff happens” about a mass shooting is to suggest that mass shootings are somehow inevitable and unavoidable. But that is simply not true. This “stuff” doesn’t happen everywhere — not with the numbing frequency it does here.

It doesn’t happen like this in Great Britain.

It doesn’t happen like this in Brazil.

It doesn’t happen like this in Israel.

It doesn’t happen like this in Japan, where gun ownership is strictly restricted, nor in Canada, where gun ownership laws are more liberal and there are, by one count, about 10 million firearms in private hands.

Ten million. Yet, you know how many gun homicides there were in Canada in 2013? A hundred and thirty-one.

Even as we mourn this latest mass murder, another is taking shape. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. That’s how predictable this “stuff” has become.

So it would behoove us to try and figure out what other countries know that we do not, what it is about our laws and/or our national character that returns us inevitably to this nexus of tragedy and recrimination week after week. You see, Bush is only half right.

It is not that “stuff happens.”

No, stuff happens here.

 

By: Leonard Pitts, Jr., Columnist, The Miami Herald; The National Memo, October 7, 2015

October 10, 2015 Posted by | Gun Ownership, Gun Violence, Jeb Bush | , , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Lesser Of Ben Carson’s Two Gun Policy Evils”: In Many Respects, He’s A Lot Scarier Than Trump Or Cruz

So this morning I expressed not just concern but some actual fear over Dr. Ben Carson’s recently announced conviction that the Second Amendment was necessary to prevent “tyranny,” mostly because Dr. Carson’s definition of “tyranny” seems to include the kind of things readers of this blog support routinely.

As it happens, over at the Plum Line Paul Waldman takes a closer look at a second Carson point-of-view on guns: the idea that he or anyone else on the scene of a gun massacre might well stop or prevent it if armed heavily enough.

Was it unspeakably insulting to the victims of the Oregon shooting and their families to suggest that they were killed or injured because they didn’t have the physical courage and quick thinking that a hero like Carson would have displayed had he been in their shoes? Of course. And is it an absurd fantasy that in the instant he was confronted by a gunman, Carson would in the space of seconds organize a bunch of terrified strangers to mount an assault on someone ready to kill them? You bet it is.

But this fantasy is nothing unusual at all. In fact, it lies at the heart of much of the efforts Republicans have made at the behest of the National Rifle Association in recent years to change state laws on guns. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” says the NRA, and Republicans believe it, too. So they push for laws to allow guns to be brought into as many places as possible — schools, government buildings, churches, anywhere and everywhere. They advocate “stand your ground” laws that encourage people to use guns to settle arguments. They seek both open-carry and concealed-carry laws on a “shall issue” basis (meaning the government presumes that you should get the license unless it can prove you fall into certain categories of offenders) to put guns in as many hands as possible.

All of this is driven by the fantasy of the gun owner as action hero.

Carson’s argument that the way to stop gun violence is by more guns is, as Waldman notes, pretty much the default position of Republicans these days. That’s true whether or not they also, like Carson, go on to embrace the additional argument that guns are needed to remind liberals there’s only so much Big Government that good patriotic Americans should be expected to accept no matter what voters or judges say.

Put the two arguments together and you see the hopelessness of any “compromise” over gun regulation. You also see how many people look at Ben Carson’s stirring biography and observe his mild-mannered habits of speech and really don’t listen to what the man is saying. In many respects he’s a lot scarier than Trump or Cruz or any of the rest of the GOP presidential field.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly October 8, 2015

October 9, 2015 Posted by | Ben Carson, Gun Control, Gun Violence | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

%d bloggers like this: