Possessing the privilege in this country that comes with owning a penis, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)  tells women of America that ensuring pay equity is just a legal headache. (Think Progress):

“I think that anyone who’s working out there and making a living, if you’re the most qualified person for the job, you should be able to get paid,” Rubio said. “You should get paid as much as your male counterpart, everyone agrees with that principle”:

RUBIO: But just because they call a piece of legislation an equal pay bill doesn’t make it so. In fact, much of this legislation is in many respects nothing but an effort to help trial lawyers collect their fees and file lawsuits, which may have nothing to do whatsoever to increasing pay equity in the workplace.

As I’ve said before, how basic is it to advocate and enforce equal pay for equal work? Sorry for the all caps, but HOW WOMEN CAN VOTE REPUBLICAN IS BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION. If it’s all about jobs and the economy, as Mittens and Ann Romney bleat constantly to woo women back into the fold, then sending out Marco Rubio and other shills to boil pay equity enforcement down to an economic downer, and not a moral issue to rectify, then why are they telling women not to worry their pretty heads about coming home with a smaller paycheck than a man doing the same job.

But that’s been the story of the racist, sexist and homophobic elements currently ruling the GOP. It’s just interesting to see the mask drop so easily on so many of these fronts. They don’t even try to paper over their contempt and fear of the uteri.

***

Take Michelle Chen’s article in Salon, “It’s not just forced ultrasound: Abortion rights under assault.” It reminds us just how much this is about controlling a woman’s autonomy and her relationship with her physician, in some cases attempting to make her womb a vessel of the state.

In recent years, lawmakers across the country have enacted a dizzying array of arcane rules dictating everything from the dimensions of their buildings to the advice they must offer to patients about “abortion alternatives.” Thirty-five states, including Texas, have enacted pre-abortion counseling laws, which in many cases force women to make extra clinic visits. Legislatures in 10 states have introduced new measures for pre-abortion counseling and waiting periods in 2012. In addition, 18 states have introduced bills for ultrasound requirements this year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research institute.

Most states with counseling regulations also provide inaccurate health information to patients. In Alaska, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas, written materials inaccurately assert a link between breast cancer and abortion. In Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia, written materials incorrectly describe negative emotional responses resulting from abortion. Doctors and patients alike say the cumulative effect is to make abortion more unpleasant and more onerous. And for antiabortion lawmakers, that’s precisely the point.

Last year state lawmakers feverishly churned out a raft of bills related to reproductive rights: More than 1,100 proposed legislative measures targeted reproductive health, up from 950 in 2010. According to a policy analysis by Guttmacher, 135 of those measures were enacted by 36 states. Many of these regulations mirrored model legislation crafted by antiabortion activists, most prominently, the Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Life. While earlier efforts to push back against Roe v. Wade through state legislatures focused on mandatory waiting periods for patients and forced pre-abortion counseling, the push for ultrasound policies emerged in the 1990s, intensifying political interference with physicians’ interactions with their female patients.

After seeing the constant barrage of misogynistic, ignorant, science-free comments erupting from the mouths of politicians, can anyone make a logical argument to put men like Todd Akin in office, or worse, Romney/Ryan in the White House, ready to nominate people to SCOTUS ready and willing to rule basic civil rights away?

***

Frank Rich, in this week’s column, chides those on the left who think this is the death knell of the fringe conservatives and Teabaggers.

As one conservative commentator, Doug Mataconis of Outside the Beltway, wrote during the GOP convention, it means nothing that Republican leaders don’t mention the tea party anymore. “In reality, of course the Republican party of 2012 is pretty much the tea party at this point,” he wrote. “One need only look at the party platform and listen to what the speakers are actually saying to recognize that fact.” He saw the tea party as “likely to see its influence increase after the November elections regardless of what happens to the Romney/Ryan ticket”—and rightly so. Though the label itself had to be scrapped—it has been permanently soiled by images of mad-dog protesters waving don’t tread on me flags—its ideology is the ideology of the right in 2012. Its adherents will not back down or fade away, even if Obama regroups and wins the lopsided Electoral College victory that seemed in his grasp before the first debate. If anything, the right will be emboldened to purge the GOP of the small and ideologically deviant Romney claque that blew what it saw as a “historic” opportunity to deny a “socialist” president a second term.”

…Such is the power of denial that we simply refuse to concede that, by the metric of intractability, at least, conservatives are the cockroaches of the American body politic, poised to outlast us all. And so, after Obama’s victory in 2008, the Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg spoke for sentimental liberal triumphalists everywhere when he concluded that America is now “in a progressive period” and that “the conservative movement brought about by the Gingrich revolution has been crushed.” That progressive period lasted all of a year, giving way to the 2009 gubernatorial victories of the conservatives Bob McDonnell (in the purple state of Virginia) and Chris Christie (in blue New Jersey), as well as that summer’s raucous Obamacare protests. Few Democrats had imagined that the new African-American president would be besieged so quickly by a conservative populist movement whose adherents dressed in 1776 drag and worshipped the frothing-at-the-blackboard Glenn Beck. Or that such a movement would administer a “shellacking” in the midterms.
Our political system needs to set out better cockroach traps.