There was also the famous French and Indian War, which was called the 7 Years War around the rest of the world. In fact, the British have always had better names for their wars. The War of the Roses always sounds to me like some sort of dispute between neighbors...where there is some question where the property line lies in connection with some plants. However, by far and away the best has to be The War of Jenkin's Ear. Is that a cool name or what? In researching this entry, I also discovered that there is a War of Jennifer's Ear, which was also British but didn't include actual combat.
In any case, let's get back to this new war that's been declared within the US.
Wars seem to need cool names to really inspire the people to come to battle. Remember the Alamo was a great rallying cry, along with Remember the Maine. I've personally been partial to 54-40 or Fight, but so few people know that one it makes it somewhat insignificant. Remember Pearl Harbor did pretty well. Along those lines, I have a name in mind, but let me describe the situation first.
Oh...one last name thingy. The American Civil War was always a problem. It was anything but civil. The War between the States seems reasonable, but in some places it's still known as the War of Northern Aggression. Point of view is everything when naming a war, and I've kept that in mind.
So, what's happened?
In the last couple of weeks, various members of the Republican Party have (apparently) decided that the 2012 election won't be about the economy. I'm not really clear why they decided that, but perhaps the slightly more positive news on unemployment, coupled with some other polling data, suggests it's not going to fly for them. In any case, jobs don't seem to be the big thing right now.
So, in short order, we've seen several brawls over abortion, contraception, and women's health in general.
President Obama probably started it (although that's unclear) when he said that company-provided health insurance must include birth control medications. Immediately some religious institutions complained, saying they shouldn't be required to provide such coverage when it was against their beliefs. They claimed Freedom of Religion.
Now, a couple of things immediately pop to mind. First, they can make a case that such a mandate might be considered the State stepping into the doings of religions, something the Constitution says isn't legal. However, by saying they shouldn't have to comply, they are doing the same thing, namely mandating that their employees, who may be of some other religion, must conform to their rules...thus mandating religious beliefs upon their employees. Whoops! There's a real problem here.
However, the President found a solution. He said that employers didn't have to "pay extra" to provide that coverage, but that Health Insurance providers must include the coverage in their products. Sounds simple. The churches are off the hook, and everyone can believe as they wish. That should have been acceptable, and even some of the complainers said, begrudgingly..."Okay."
However, that, of course, wasn't the end of it. Some in Congress started holding hearings, claiming that the entire thing had nothing to do with women's health but was purely Freedom of Religion. To make their point, they invited witnesses to testify...notably all of them male. Somehow the idea that women might have an opinion on the matter just...slipped past them. When a Democrat, the minority party in the House, asked to add a woman to the witness list, he was summarily slapped down, told this has nothing to do with women!
So, let's move on now. In Virginia, the House of Delegates voted to require that a woman must have a trans-vaginal ultrasound prior to having the abortion. Why? Well, first it's because a regular ultra-sound won't provide much of a picture during the first tri-mester, when abortions are legal. However, in either case, there is no medically-based reason for the ultrasound. It is done purely as an attempt to convince the woman to change her mind.
Since the trans-vaginal ultrasound involves inserting a probe into a woman's vagina, and since there is no medical reason for the procedure, two things happen. One, the cost of the abortion procedure...which is completely LEGAL medical procedure goes up...for no reason. Two, because there is no medically-valid reason, the State is turning the doctor into a rapist. Yup, that action meets all the legal definitions of the crime.
If the woman says "No" the doctor cannot proceed. If he/she does, there is a crime being committed. However, obviously it's not the doctor perpetrating this act...it's...yup...the Republicans.
Now, during the discussion of this bill, C. Todd Gilbert, Republican from Woodstock, said he saw "most abortions as a 'lifestyle convenience' for women." I somehow doubt a rape victim sees it that way. In fact, although I'm not female, I'll bet most women don't see it that way.
Moving right along now, there's one more example in the opening salvo of this war.
In Congress, the Republican House is trying to kill continuing funding for the Violence Against Women Act. It's always been re-authorized before, but this year it's different. Why?
Well, there are some new provisions, that make the act include the LGBTQ community. There are also some provisions dealing with handling such cases in Native American courts, and considering that the highest percentage of crimes occur in that segment of the population, it seems reasonable. Another reason, which is really just a spin move, is that rate of domestic violence have risen, so "the act clearly isn't doing the job."
In fact, those rates prove the exact opposite. It is the act itself that have encouraged women to come forward and report the crime...one of the most under-reported crimes in the country.
So, we have this New War. Since it's not a military action (more on this in a minute) we should look at other non-military wars for a name. We've had the War on Poverty. It may still officially be going on, but I'm not sure. In any case, last time I checked the Census Date, poverty was still winning.
We've had the War on Drugs. Drugs are winning, although we're doing a great job of filling up new jails. We even had a Drug Czar...or Tsar if you prefer the traditional spelling. In history, the Tsars didn't do real well winning wars, and this seems to be no different.
So, with all this in mind, I think the GOP should simply, and formally, declare WAR! With that, I bring you....
The War of the Uterus
Now, two parting thoughts. If the GOP doesn't want women to serve in combat roles, they probably shouldn't have picked this fight. Last time I checked, women have complete control over every available Uterus.
Second, with the election looming, they have just declared war on about 1/2 of the voters in this country, and don't think those women haven't noticed. Given the weaknesses of the GOP candidates, this wasn't a good time to be making enemies in the electorate.