Last week, conservative Missouri Congressman Todd Akin's misogynistic "legitimate" rape comment set the spotlight back on the GOP's war on women. As Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan try to move past this subject, the truth that has become abundantly clear is that they can't continue to conceal what they really stand for -- a regression from the progress our nation has made over the last century -- progress that has benefited all Americans.
In just a few short decades women's health advocates brought reproductive health from the dangerous dark alleys of hidden taboo into the light of medical offices where doctors and their female patients can make decisions together. Despite all the hard work and progress that has been made for women's health, the assault from the right still threatens to return women to the dark -- reversing generations of progress. Just last year, GOP running mate Paul Ryan, along with his Republican colleague Rep. Todd Akin, sought to restrict the number of raped women who would have access to Medicaid coverage for abortions by co-sponsoring a bill that would redefine what constituted rape. And just this week the Republican Party platform committee endorsed a platform plan that would outlaw abortions, but with some unclear exceptions. No matter how hard Republican candidates try to avoid this subject, they can't avoid what their actions have shown -- that they will try to take women's health back into the dark ages.
And this isn't the only thing that the GOP wants to keep concealed. From releasing only a year of tax returns (and truth be told, not all of the documents filed with that year's returns have actually been released), to stashing money in offshore bank accounts and shell companies in the Caribbean, Mitt Romney's financial mystery conceals one truth: that he is hiding something. But Romney can't conceal what is at stake in this election: the choice between an economic future that gives everyone a fair shot at the American Dream, or one even further tilted in favor of the ultra rich -- the top 1%.
What's as scary as the dark ages of women's health? How about an economic future in which teachers and firefighters are laid off to finance even more tax breaks for Romney and his 1% friends? How about a future in which American jobs leave the U.S. just like Mitt Romney's millions did? How about an America that works only for the very few at the cost of all the rest?
Now add Paul Ryan to that dark mix. The Ryan budget, endorsed by Mitt Romney, would not only end Medicare and slash public education spending and economic investment, it would do so while asking the middle class to pay more each year yet offering more tax cuts to the rich. The nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute projected this approach would kill more than 1 million jobs in 2013 and more than 4.1 million jobs by the end of 2014. That's something American workers can't afford.
Our nation's plummet backward under Romney and Ryan wouldn't stop there though, there's more. In addition to misleading and confusing voters about the reverse path that it would take this country on, the GOP has actively engaged in a massive effort to narrow the electorate. By purging voter rolls, shortening voting hours in Democratic precincts, kicking Democrats off local election boards, and requiring registered voters to show photo ID, Republicans are trying to keep eligible voters from the polls this November. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have remained silent on these efforts but their silence hasn't concealed what Republicans are after. Former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer has sworn that Republican political consultants and staff talked how to keep blacks from voting during a fundraising meeting. In Pennsylvania, the Republican majority leader of the state's House of Representatives said that a new photo ID law would "allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania."
Americans can't afford to regress from generations of economic and social progress. That's why MoveOn's seven million members are putting their grassroots strength into working to fight back the riptide of 1% SuperPAC cash seeking to buy this election. The GOP's smoke and mirrors rhetoric can't hide the legitimate truth: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are wrong for women, wrong for the middle class, wrong for seniors, wrong for students, wrong for Americans of color. The legitimate truth: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are wrong for America.