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Ellen Gill

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Bob Dold's Little Doomed Planned Parenthood Bill

Posted: 05/14/2012 3:58 pm

The Republican party has clearly made the anti-women, anti-health care position a strategic initiative. In an election year, they're somehow unconcerned about alienating over one-half of the electorate. The lack of concern likely comes from two conclusions they have made. First, allegiance to other causes will causes some women to act against their own interest and rights. Some of these women will support their own degradation to be faithful to religious belief. With others, it might even be that their racism is stronger than they sense of their own rights, and some in the Republican Party are unquestionably using racism to defeat Obama. Second, the women who will stand up for themselves won't vote Republican anyway, so why bother with them. The party has already happily chased away Olympia Snowe and Lisa Murkowski because they're betting that those losses won't matter when they can find so many more extremist women to replace them.

Enter Bob Dold. Dold ran from the tea party against the truly more moderate Beth Coulson. Now that he's in, he's trying to take a page from the Mark Kirk playbook and become a fake moderate. Our local Patch reported that on Wednesday, Bob Dold introduced an amendment to Title X preventing Title X programs from discriminating against health care providers giving contraception-related services. Basically, this bill prevents Planned Parenthood from losing Title X funds. The bill is H.R. 5650. The full text is not yet available.

Dold is getting gushing reviews for his bill in the local press and on The Huffington Post. I don't buy it and you shouldn't either. There was no political courage here because this bill will never see the light of day and Republicans know that. In fact, I feel that the cynical press-seeking introduction by Dold of this bill shows the opposite of what he's trying to prove.

Dold is trying to be the Mark Kirk moderate to repeat Kirk's House career, voting with his party well over 85 percent of the time, but just before an election, doing only as much as is needed to get those important-to-the-district endorsements like The League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood. These groups rarely failed to fall for the trick. Sierra and Conservation Voters ignored Kirk's effort to re-win their affection in 2008, but Planned Parenthood always ate out of Kirk's hands even after he abandoned them on the Stupak Amendment during the health care reform debate and on the so-called partial birth abortion ban years before that and on so many procedural votes during his entire House career.

So Dold is trying to repeat Kirk's run, but I don't think his own party allows that anymore. There is no hope that a Republican-
led House will ever crank out a bill that protects Planned Parenthood or women's health or any sort of government funded or supported health care. Electing Bob Dold will not bring little H.R. 5650 to life. In fact, electing Bob Dold ensures that H.R. 5650 will never make it to, much less out of, a committee because Bob Dold will vote for John Boehner for Speaker of the House and John Boehner will kill H.R. 5650 or any similar bill. If Dold, wins, but the Democrats take the House, women and the men who care about them, will not have to rely on Bob Dold's bill. Democrats will have one of their own. Democratic opponent Brad Schneider would support a bill that protects Planned Parenthood. He will also vote for Pelosi as speaker so such a bill would have a chance of passage.

John Boehner has said that it is his job as speaker of the House to fight everything that is supported by Obama. His charges do his bidding and recently a Republican candidate reaffirmed that his view of a Congressional seat is to oppose everything the Democrats want and demand total capitulation.

I don't think that the Mark Kirk fake moderate playbook will work for Bob Dold. Republican party uncompromising extremism has killed the Republican moderate, both genuine and fake. Republican moderates have no purpose anymore because there is no chance that they will stay moderate and side with the Democrats when needed, even on issues they claim to support. If they do, I mean really do, not just introduce a little doomed bill right before an election, they're out and they know it.

 

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