One of the main reasons Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates fared so poorly in the last general election is due to the fact that an overwhelming number of women voted against them. After a long campaign season in which it seemed as if the rights of women were under attack almost daily, the Republican Party was duly punished at the polls. Whether it was attacks on reproductive rights and contraception, or a broad refusal by the GOP to support equal pay for women OR the Violence Against Women Act, the vast majority of women voters cast ballots for Democrats in the last election.
Over the past few weeks a movement has been underway among moderate Repubs to find a way to bridge the gender gap before the next election cycle rolls around. Not only that, but the GOP is making noises about immigration reform, too, after bashing immigrants like a pinata during every debate or campaign speech. In other words, the Pander Express is pulling into the station, "All Aboard!"
But here in Tennessee we've got a special situation that bucks the national trend. You see, during the last election cycle one of our Congressional delegation, a pro-life, anti-abortion crusading medical doctor, was accused of having had multiple affairs with female patients during his private practice. It also came to light that Rep. Scott DeJarlais (Dr. DeJarlais) not only violated medical ethics laws by having affairs with his patients, but he also encouraged one of them to have an abortion after becoming pregnant with his child. Muddying the water even more was a revelation by the good doctor's ex-wife that DeJarlais had also encouraged her to have an abortion during their separation. Conservatives in Tennessee were appalled, and steps have been taken to bring ethics charges against Dr. DeJarlais, even though he no longer practices medicine while serving in the House of Reprehensibles in Washington.
"Put your feet in the stirrups and let's have a look, ma'am..."
But this abortion thing made DeJarlais vulnerable, though no quite vulnerable enough to lose to a Democrat in a state wide election in Tennessee. Shit like that doesn't happen these days, no matter what a Republican does behind closed motel doors.
No, it might not cost a Republican an election to a Democrat in Tennessee, but it certainly does make him vulnerable to a Republican in the next primary season. That explains why one of our local state Senators has already thrown his hat in the ring for the next Congressional election in two years. And state Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) has just upped the ante by sponsoring a bill to require women seeking abortions in Tennessee to undergo a mandatory ultrasound prior to having the procedure.
(Oh please, not that shit again...)
State Sen. Jim Tracy (Pander Express conductor)
Because, you know, nothing makes a woman more fond of Republicans than hearing that another one has stepped over the line in an attempt to make their religious views part of the emotional ordeal women go through when deciding to terminate a pregnancy.
The fact that most trans abdominal ultrasounds don't reveal "appendages" during the first trimester of pregnancy (when most abortions are performed) is beside the point. The point is: Dr. DeJarlais encouraged two women to get abortions while claiming to be pro-life, and this bill is designed to pump up the anti-abortion bona fides of state Senator Jim Tracy.
So the Republican House and the Republican Senate and the Republican Governor of the Great State of Tennessee will (without question) pass and sign into law an unnecessary medical procedure designed to embarrass and discourage women who might seek a legally protected abortion in our state.
Because, after all, politics trumps decency.