Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Woman's Day, ALEC Style

One of the most unsettling aspects of the current political environment is the remarkable attitude towards women the conservatives are openly expressing. Rush Limbaugh recently called a young woman whose politics he disagreed with - someone's daughter, someone's sister - a slut and a prostitute and suggested that she film herself having sex for his, and other's pleasure.

Limbaugh is a bully and a clown and a pervert. But he doesn't create legislation like his conservative brethren in elective office.

Laura Bassett has written an article in which she notes that state conservatives, in 2011, introduced more than 1,100 bills affecting women's reproductive rights, enacted 135 by year's end.

Incredibly, some of these bills involved contraception for women. In the year 2012.

It is not a coincidence that all of these bills hit all of the states at the same time. It turns out the much, if not most, conservative legislation and the state and federal level isn't written by elected officials in office. It is written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an influential conservative group that writes legislation for conservative politicians so they don't have to do any heavy lifting. Or thinking.

We know that most politicians today are wholly owned subsidiaries of special interest groups, not the least of which are the billionaire patrons unleashed by the Supreme Courts Citizens United ruling. What many voters don't know is that the legislation these bought and paid for officials introduce is written for them by an organization funded by, you guessed it, the special interest groups and billionaires that put them in office.

And they aren't just concerned with making women second class citizens. If there is a bill in a statehouse that eviscerates unions, rapes the environment, undermines consumer rights, favors big Pharma, marginalizes public education, or gives a big FU to working people anywhere - it came from ALEC.

This land is your land.

Conservatives have been revealing their attitudes about women in dreadful ways. Do they realize that half of all voters are women? And that today is International Woman's Day?

Read more:     On International Woman's Day, Congress Debates Measure to Limit Reproductive Rights
And more:      Ending Oppression and Empowering Women and Girls Around the World
More:              Whose Really Behind Legislation GOP Introduces?
More:            ALEC Exposed