Doubling Down

The Chair of the National Republican Party pooh-poohs the notion that his party is waging a war on women–next, he says, the Democrats will accuse the GOP of a war on caterpillars. How silly, how over-the-top! Just another one of those politically-motivated charges that are thrown around during a campaign season.

At virtually the same time Priebus (or whatever his name is) was comparing women to caterpillars (okay–maybe that wasn’t his intent), Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (yes, that Scott Walker) was signing a new law –passed on a straight party-line vote–repealing his state’s 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act.

The Equal Pay Enforcement Act  made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court, by allowing plaintiffs to bring suit in state courts. Without it, federal courts are the only proper venue for such complaints. State courts, as lawyers all know, are less costly and more accessible, and typically resolve cases more quickly.

This little skirmish is typical of the tactics being used to circumscribe women’s rights. There was no outright reversal of a right–just a measure making it much more difficult to assert that right. This is the same approach being used by most of the anti-abortion measures that have sprouted like dandelions since the 2010 elections swept Republicans into office: the Supreme Court may say they can’t impose an outright ban, but they can bury clinics in a blizzard of medically unnecessary regulations that make it impossible to operate. They can “protect” poor women who clearly don’t know what they want by enacting “informed consent” provisions more burdensome than those required for major, life-threatening surgeries.

Contraception? Well, God’s Own Party has tried to permit your employer to decide whether your insurance should cover birth control, and the party has made it very clear that given the power, it would get rid of Planned Parenthood.

No war?

The troops are marching down the Trans-vaginal Highway as we speak…..