We used to think that it was only guys on street corners with a brown paper bag and a megaphone who really believed that God talked directly to them. Now, we find that these poor fellows have moved into leadership roles in the Republican Party.
Republicans seem to think that they don’t need to know facts and science because they are championing the issues of the Lord: keeping gays from getting jobs, letting cancer victims die with pain and indignity, and forcing women to bear children conceived by rape or incest.
Contrast this with the priorities of voters, who say the economy is the most important issue facing the nation–with social issues trailing way, way behind. What’s more, recent polls show more people consider themselves pro-choice than pro-life. Most reasonable people can agree that it should be women, not the government, who makes these decisions-whatever your views on abortion. Yet the zealots refuse to give up.
Recently, they are obsessed with passing sweeping abortion and birth control bans. So-called “personhood measures,” absolute bans on abortion and birth control, are designed to directly challenge the Roe v. Wade ruling. Thus far, the ridiculous personhood movement is 0 for 3, losing referendums in Colorado in 2008 and 2010 and in Mississippi last November.
The movement has consistently failed to garner enough signatures to get on the ballot here in Montana. For one thing, the initiative’s movement was plagued by problems, such as when their leader was caught in a Medicaid fraud probe. The signature gathering was found out to be pushed largely by out-of state interests, and that the proposal was so extreme that even Montana’s in-state nut-jobs urged their followers not to sign or refused to get involved. Mostly, reason the initiative didn’t qualify for the ballot is because Montanans simply don’t want this garbage in our Constitution.
The nutjobs in the TEA Party Republican legislature disregarded all of this and placed an unconstitutional parental notification measure on the ballot for a vote this fall. The referendum would require young women seeking an abortion under the age of 16 to notify a parent or appear before a judge in order to have the procedure. Parental Notification laws were already declared unconstitutional by the Montana Court system.