(Photo by: Beach Peanuts)
After the GOP primary in South Carolina, Florida is up next, and at the moment it's not clear if Mitt Romney will be the presumed winner as indicated in the past. Earlier in the week Newt Gingrich was closing in on Romney, but two polls that just came out for South Carolina have Gingrich actually taking the lead.
A TPM poll shows Gingrich 32%, Romney 31.5%, Paul 14.6%, Santorum 11.5%.
A PPP poll shows Gingrich 34%, Romney 28%, Paul 15%, and Santorum 14%. Perry showed a small 5%, but he dropped out of the race this morning.
One thing that could swing voters away from Gingrich again could be the news that Gingrich wanted to be a swinger himself at one time. An ABC interview with his ex-wife set to air tonight reveals that Gingrich wanted an open marriage with then wife Marianne to include his then mistress and current wife Callista. Gingrich left Marianne after she said no to the arrangement, and after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This of course after he divorced his first wife as she was being treated for cancer.
Ah yes, the family values party.
After those new poll results, Mitt Romney may no longer be a sure bet, and barring the other candidates dropping out, save for Ron Paul who recently said he didn't have the money for it, those remaining candidates will be descending on Florida soon. In fact they've already dropped in a few times.
As the Republican Party has evolved into a far right crazy of Palinesque proportions, their anti-abortion, anti-women platform has morphed as if on steroids.
Enter the Personhood movement which defines that a person exists at the very moment of conception, which would not only ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest, but would even ban contraception and in vitro fertilization. The Personhood movement is alive and well in Florida, and Personhood Florida has pushed for a Personhood amendment here similar to the one voted down recently in Mississippi.
Republican voters should take a long hard look at this issue as the candidates come to our state next week, and they should be asked about their stand on this radical anti-abortion movement. Along with all the others, this would be a devastating policy should Republicans find their way back into the White House.
Last night in South Carolina, the national group Personhood USA held a forum and all the GOP candidates except Mitt Romney participated.
It probably isn't a surprise that Romney didn't show given his vast flip-floppery, and this issue is no exception. He was pro-choice when he was running against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in 1994, as well as when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. That all changed however when he ran for President in 2008.
Fast forward to the 2012 race, where he is still adamantly pro-life. (Well, as of today, as far as I know.) Now Romney finds himself on the horns of yet another abortion dilemma: Does he favor the radical definition of Personhood? Well, last October he told Mike Huckabee that "he would support an amendment to his state’s constitution to define life as beginning at conception, which would outlaw abortion and potentially many forms of contraception as well."
Yet during a later campaign stop a voter asked him if he was in favor of outlawing contraception? Romney didn't have a clear answer, which prompted MSNBC's Rachel Maddow to surmise that perhaps he needed a refresher course on just how birth control works. He didn't seem to understand it any better when he was asked about it at the last debate either, and his answers make you wonder if he has any idea what Personhood is? Perhaps someone clued him in on this radical idea leading him to be a no show at the forum last night?
I for one would love to hear his views on Personhood when he arrives in Florida, and I do hope someone in the media will step up and ask him.
As for the other candidates? According to The Hill, it doesn't look like they were shy about their view that "small government" should indeed assert control over a woman's uterus, although whether or not that includes banning contraception wasn't clear.
“We have to have a society that values life and when we see organizations out there that try to deliberately undermine that value… stop it,” Rick Santorum said. “I will not sign any appropriations bill that includes funding for Planned Parenthood or any group that feels the way they do.”
“We need someone who every day reminds us who we are,” Santorum said.
Gingrich, meanwhile, devoted a substantial part of his time to the issues of human cloning and genetic engineering, warning of a future where foreign dictators would attempt scientific experiments aimed at fundamentally changing the human genetic code.
The former House Speaker went on to say that genetic engineering would be “at the heart of the next 40 years” and that a major challenge for the United States would be combating dictators “somewhere on this planet” with “alien” values regarding the sanctity of life.
Santorum picked up on that theme, warning of experiments that might genetically modify humans to glow in the dark.
“Science is not an ethics-free or moral-free zone,” Santorum said. “Science will go wherever they want to go because they feel no moral constraints.”
Ron Paul argued that it was not America’s place to dictate social policy to foreign nations.
“It’s hard when we’re not pure on the abortion issue to tell China what to do,” Paul said.
So abortions are clearly out of the question if left up to these guys, that's nothing new. So is human cloning by foreign dictators and....aliens apparently. Perhaps Newt Gingrich the "historian" has secret knowledge of extraterrestrial impregnation and Area 51 cloning experiments the rest of us aren't privy to? Whatever.
UFO cloning clinics aside, we know that although Gingrich is good with multiple marriages, divorces, and mistresses all at the same time, he's also anti-abortion.
I wasn't there, so I can only assume by this account that no one was actually pinned down on the Personhood question despite who held the event itself.
While Republicans love to throw social issues out there to scare people during every election when they have no answers on more important issues like the right to good affordable health care, the economy, runaway banks, jobs, income inequality and poverty to name a few, the fact that this group pf radical Republicans would very much like to put a woman's uterus essentially "behind bars" is still a relevant issue. Add to that the fact that a group is pushing them to go so far as to ban contraception and in vitro fertilization, and would literally put a woman and her doctor behind bars if they didn't comply. They would ban abortions even when a woman would face certain death without one. It's not a stretch to think that desperation wouldn't push these candidates ever further right than they are now.
In Florida, the Personhood movement is alive and well, and though they've been defeated in the past, they won't go quietly. They haven't given up.
I think when the candidates come to our state, they should answer questions like this along with all the others. On this issue, woman deserve to know, and they should vote as if their rights, their life and yes, their uterus depend on it.
It very well could.