Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sing a Song of Sick Pence

“Sing a Song of Sick Pence…”

Apologies to those of you who are Mother Goose Purists.  But the original poem is one of many political rhymes that hearken back to a time long ago when monarchs and “would-be” sovereigns ruled the lives of the great multitudes. 

I’ll include the poem at the conclusion of the blog; however, part of the poem’s original description was an account of the baked delicacy’s moment of opening in a room of dim candlelight and the subsequent storm of winged creatures who had survived the baking to extinguish the lights and cause considerable hurly-burly among the company.  Fun in the 1600’s. 

Is there a better metaphor for the Trump/Pence ticket in the 2000’s?

On Tuesday, October 4th, Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Mike Pence will face Democratic nominee for Vice President Senator Tim Kaine in their debate for the 2016 contest for the White House.  Pence is current governor of Indiana, and Kaine is a Senator from Virginia.

Only a dozen years ago, many women paraded in Washington at the March for Women’s Lives to demonstrate their demand for reproductive rights and general women’s rights.  How many?  Estimates range from 1.15 million to 800,000 – larger than the year-later  “million man march. “ One of many thousand signs indicate their refusal to surrender the right of choice:  “It’s Your Choice; Not Theirs.”

Senator Tim Kaine will be defending that position on Tuesday.  And others.

Mike Pence will be opposed.  Strongly opposed.

In fact, Pence’s record shows he is Trump’s olive branch to the religious right, who had at first wondered at his willingness to surrender to Christian virtues after flaunting them his entire life. But now they too have endorsed Trump, one of their flock saying the other day on NPR that “those who do God’s work often show up disguised or the least unexpected” and therefore we have now decided to support Trump as our Christian delegate in the religious war to save America. 

Argue with that logic, if you will.

And, Mr. Pence will have their undying support for the most part.  In his political history, Pence co-sponsored an amendment against same-sex marriage when a member of the 6th District in Indiana’s Congress.  Later, he voted against any “hate-crime” status for violence committed against people based on sexual orientation. 

Pence voted against raising the minimum wage (2006-2009) and vouchers to assist low-income families with rent assistance.

Pence refused to follow Federal opportunities to reduce the numbers of prison rapes, and instead regarded Indiana as a state with the ability to do its own scrutiny.

“He has supported deporting undocumented children and sick people and favors building a fence on the border (sound familiar?): In 2009, Rep. Pence co-sponsored a bill that would have eliminated automatic citizenship for children born on US soil to undocumented parents. A few years earlier, he voted in favor of bills that would have allowed for the detention of undocumented immigrants seeking hospital treatment. He also voted yes on a bill—foreshadowing Trump's current platform—to build a fence on the Mexico border.
“He has decimated access to abortion: In March 2016, Gov. Pence signed a measure prohibiting women from obtaining an abortion because of the race, gender, or disability of the fetus, making Indiana only the second state in the nation to do this. (Editor's note: To link the pain of making the horrendous decision to end a life of a child in the womb with the flippancy of sex or gender is deplorable. )The law also held doctors legally liable for wrongful death if it was found they had performed an abortion motivated by one or more of the prohibited reasons. These sorts of bans are opposed by much of the medical community, out of fear that women will censor themselves when it comes to making difficult decisions with the help of their doctors. Following the Supreme Court's decision in a landmark abortion case in June, a federal judge blocked this Indiana law from going into effect.
“He slashed Planned Parenthood funding, spurring clinic closures and an HIV outbreak: In 2011, Pence pushed an amendment through the House to defund Planned Parenthood. This amendment helped kick-start a wave of state actions aimed at removing government support from the women's health provider. Indiana was successful in its efforts, but a federal judge blocked the law from going into effect. When Pence became governor in 2013, Indiana continued to slash resources for the women's health provider. By 2014, state funding for Planned Parenthood had been cut nearly in half from 2005 levels. The organization was forced to close five of its smaller clinics, none of which had ever provided abortions, but they did provide STD testing. Soon, Scott County, Indiana, home to one of the closed clinics, became the hub of an enormous HIV outbreak.
“He gave protection to businesses in Indiana that discriminate against gay people: In March 2015, Pence signed a bill into law permitting business owners to refuse service to gay and lesbian customers due to their religious beliefs. The bill also allowed religious beliefs to be used as a rationale for other forms of discrimination. As my colleague Molly Redden described it: "An employer who refused to hire Jewish employees could cite his religious beliefs as a defense against discrimination lawsuits. So could a landlord who refused to rent to Muslims, or a business that refused to serve atheists." In response to this bill's passage, athletes, celebrities, corporate leaders, and others criticized the state publicly, and some even pulled out of planned business projects there. The band Wilco canceled an Indianapolis show, referring to "thinly disguised legal discrimination," and Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post slamming the law.”
Finally: Periods for Pence has now become Tampons for Trump.
What started as an Indiana-grown protest movement of over 70,000 women against an abortion restriction law has become a broader movement that now targets presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The protest started in March of this year, as Gov. Mike Pence signed a new anti-abortion bill into law. The law would have required burial or cremation for the remains of all miscarriages and abortions. It also would have banned abortion if the sole reason was due to the fetus' sex, race or a fetal abnormality, like Down syndrome (or umbilical cord prolapse or a hundred other reasons to abort or tragically miscarry?). Again, please note that a would-be mother/parent of a child suffering from anencephaly, which would doom its difficult death in a few days or a week, has been paired with some callous being who would negate a life for gender or race.  

Thank goodness, a judge's injunction stopped the law from going into effect on July first.

Between March and July, Midwestern women began sending their used napkins and tampons to the Governor to ask him – as the self-appointed specialist – to tell them if they had broken the law.    Now that the poll-dropping governor has signed on with Trump’s ticket, this same movement has changed their moniker from Periods for Pence to Tampons for Trump.  You can find them on Facebook.

But do not doubt that Pence, with that polished and fixed politician’s face will be as easily unnerved and unhinged as his boss, 3:20 a.m. Tweeter on Portly Pageant Girls Trump.  Pence is the “real deal.”  He is a smooth, oily and unflappable twister of facts, truths, and intelligent observations.  His motivation is as deeply rooted in basic Biblical principle as a Taliban’s in the Koran. 

A young and eager Senator from Virginia will be up against a charmer who has taken his entire state down the path to a neighbor-against-neighbor fundamentalist ideology. 

Wish him luck.

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing—
Wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the king?

The king was in the counting-house
Counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlor
Eating bread and honey,

The maid was in the garden
Hanging out the clothes.
Along came a blackbird
And snipped off her nose.

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