Friday, February 22, 2013

Republicans try their own false equivalence


Have you ever noticed how Republicans get apoplectic at the slightest thing that a Democrat does wrong? There could be ten Republicans who murder their wives. Then a Democrat is caught cheating on his wife. And the Republicans are everywhere screaming that this isn't just an outrage; it is perhaps even worse than the ten wife-murdering Republicans. Well, we have a new example of this.

Joe Salazar is a Colorado House representative. He was talking about House Bill 1226, which would invalidate concealed-carry permits in university buildings. He made a pretty standard (and good) argument that having people carry guns is prone to cause them to shoot others for little or no cause. Here's what he said:

It's why we have call boxes, it's why we have safe zones, it's why we have the whistles. Because you just don't know who you're gonna be shooting at. And you don't know if you feel like you're gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop... pop a round at somebody. 


The Republicans are all over this one! Republican Colorado House representative Lori Saine shot back, "I guess, Rep. Salazar, if a woman doesn't know she's being raped, she doesn't fear it." I don't even know what that means. Is she saying that women should just shoot anyone they think might rape them?

According to the article, Republicans are likening his comments to Todd Akin's notorious comments about women having special spermicide that is released if they don't enjoy the sex. I'm not sure how they see that. Maybe I'm just a guy and there is something I don't understand here. He isn't saying or even implying that while a woman is being raped she wouldn't be sure. All he is saying is that you can feel threatened when there is no threat. I just don't see how he is minimizing rape in any way. With the ridiculously high rape incidence on college campuses, a woman would be forgiven for shooting first and asking questions later. And that seems to be the point.

But Salazar's speech at worst falls under the rubric of inartful comments. So why the Republican freak out? I think we all know. Given not only their language, but their ideology, Republicans have to latch on to any comment they can. Personally, I don't see that it does anything but make themselves perhaps feel better. No one outside the right wing bubble is going to think much of Salazar's comments, and they certainly don't speak to the Democratic Party generally. But comments by Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock do indeed speak of a Republican Party that doesn't much care for women.

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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