It is as close to a 100% certain prediction that a year from November the person elected President will be either a Democrat or a Republican and that the same will be true for control of the Senate and House. That choice, no matter what anyone thinks of it, is the choice we get in the political reality of the United States. Despite the often repeated mantra that it’s no choice at all that’s clearly not true. It’s true that our foreign policy establishment, and in few areas of life is the word “establishment” more fitting, will homogenize the administration that takes office. Though the last seven years have shown us again that the Republican Party is quite able to turn the government into a fleet of pirate ships, shamefully plundering for the country and the world for the profits of private corporations. If history is ever written truthfully, that will be noted as having been Rumsfeld’s and Cheney’s intention from the beginning of their various “reforms”. The foreign policy and military specialists being what they are, mostly hacks and shills, the chances are that those "reforms" won't be overturned soon by either party, though it's an even safer bet the Republicans won't ever reform the "reforms".
But it’s in personal life that the differences between the two parties are most clear. This year it’s pretty apparent. Mitt Romney, who will say anything and tell any lie to win an election, is appealing to those who would like to bring contraception back to the time when it was illegal.
But for those trained to hear the subtleties, Mr. Romney was acknowledging something more. He implied an opposition to the birth control pill and a willingness to join in their efforts to scale back access to contraception. There are code phrases to listen for - and for those keeping score, Mr. Romney nailed each one.
One code phrase is: "I fought to define life as beginning at conception rather than at the time of implantation." The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines pregnancy as starting at implantation, the first moment a pregnancy can be known. Anti-abortion advocates want pregnancy to start at the unknown moment sperm and egg meet: fertilization. They'd also like you to believe, despite evidence to the contrary, that the birth control pill prevents that fertilized egg from implanting in the womb.
A man who has gone from lying about his mother’s position on abortion in an attempt to win a senate seat in Massachusetts as pro-choice, to pandering to the anti-contraception wing of the Republican Party will not be appointing any Souters to the Supreme Court. There is literally no lie too shameful that Mitt Romney won't tell it.
And it’s not just Romney, Fred Thompson, the none-of-the-above candidate is also back peddling on his past on the issue.
It would be difficult to remember a Democratic candidate for president who was a clear danger to the right to avoid pregnancy. The Republicans, who have played politics with the most regressive and reactionary bigots and body snatchers in the country now find they need them to have a hope of winning the nomination. They have shown that they will pay those supporters off at the cost of our personal freedoms, the Roberts and Alito appointments were all about that.
And if you think this is a minor danger, look at this story from Colorado where the right to prevent pregnancy is under direct attack with the collusion of the national press.
So, as we are frustrated that the Democrats in the Congress can’t get a veto proof majority to end the war, as Trent Lott crows about their tactic of obstruction in both houses while their kept media slams Democrats for not being able to break the Republican lockstep, overlooking that there is Republican obstruction, remind yourself what the real choice is next year.