THE BLOG
03/08/2011 10:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

No Far Right to Privacy

The Republican Party wants to get government out of your lives and into women's uteruses where it belongs.

Despite the Far Right's insistence that government is too intrusive, when it comes to issues they don't like, government can't get intrusive enough.

In Texas, a Republican proposal awaits final passage that will force women to get a mandatory ultrasound within 72 hours of having a legal abortion, and then -- by law -- require them to look at the sonogram, have it explained and listen to the heartbeat. In fact, this bill is so crucial to the heartbeat of Republicans that it has been declared an "emergency priority" by Republican governor Rick Perry.

"We want to make sure that they're fully informed, that they understand the medical consequences, the psychological consequences and everything involved in the procedure," said male Republican state Rep. Sid Miller, who wrote the bill. Left unclear, however, is whether Republicans think that womenfolk are too stupid and flighty to understand legal abortions, or just womenfolk in Texas.

Or maybe Republicans think Texas doctors are so incompetent they won't discuss any of this beforehand, preferring instead to face malpractice lawsuits.

A similar abortion bill in Wyoming passed the state House, though it was barely defeated in the Senate, 15-14. Whimsically, the Senate had sent this abortion bill to the Agriculture Committee, giving an insight into what Wyoming Republicans think of women and abortion.

Seemingly, Wyoming Republicans also think their women are that stupid, too. Or are livestock.

To show how invasively the GOP wants government to involve itself in a woman's private, sexual, medical life, U.S. House Republicans proposed changing the definition of "rape." They wanted to prohibit federally-funded, legal abortions when women are raped, unless the rape was only "forced raped." As opposed, apparently, to the nicer, gentler kind of rape.

House Republicans even voted to cut funding from Planned Parenthood to block women's right to legal abortions. Mind you, Planned Parenthood not only spends no money on abortion services, but is not legally allowed to use money it receives under Title X to perform abortions. If the House action becomes law, though, funds would be lost for such nit-picky things as cancer screenings and HIV tests.

All this from the party that insists it doesn't want government intruding on our lives. Not intruding? Republicans want to get into women's bodies more than most teenage males.

But only women's bodies. Republicans aren't requiring that men have vasectomies explained to them.

Giving a voice and face to the Republican march into your bedroom and up the Fallopian tube is Mike Huckabee, former Republican presidential candidate, and current repeated bumbler of historical facts. On Michael Medved's radio show last Monday, Mr. Huckabee pontificated:

"One of the things that's troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.' But there aren't really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie."

Apparently, then, if there were a lot of single moms making millions of dollars, Mike Huckabee would be okay with out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Otherwise, that means he's being shamelessly disingenuous, because his slam would have nothing to do with movies or income. Worse, though, isn't what Mike Huckabee said a mean thing to say about a pregnant mom? The way I was raised, when someone sees a pregnant woman you're supposed say, "Ooooh, aaahhh," "When is it due?" "or - "Congratulations!"

But it raises a far bigger issue, because Mike Huckabee continued: "Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care." So, Mr. Huckabee appears to be saying that social assistance programs are a wonderful thing, saving lives. But if not, if he doesn't want to pay for their health care -- and no doubt he doesn't want babies to starve -- Mike Huckabee would then be saying that these unwed women should have had abortions. Because there's no alternative to those two choices. Saying "they shouldn't have gotten pregnant" isn't an option because they are already pregnant. And certainly no one is arguing that the government take away that right.

(Also worth noting is when host Michael Medved chided Natalie Portman for calling her upcoming baby "a wonderful gift," suggesting that a more wonderful gift would have been "a wedding ring." Only to a Far Right Republican like Mr. Medved would a chunk of gold be a more wonderful gift than a human child.)

But still, for all Mike Huckabee's railing against Natalie Portman, it actually is a big step forward for Republicans in criticizing unwed pregnancies of public figures. At least Mr. Huckabee took on a real, live human being. When then-Vice President Dan Quayle blasted 'Murphy Brown' for her unmarried pregnancy, she was a fictional TV character.

Of course, Mike Huckabee's smug slam at Natalie Portman was more political pandering than moral indignation. Because he hasn't peeped one critical word about the unwed pregnancy of the underage daughter of the Republican vice-presidential candidate -- not even when the young girl appeared on the cover of People magazine in a high school graduation cap-and-gown holding her out-of-wedlock baby. Not then, and not even now that "Dancing with the Stars" Bristol Palin is a Hollywood starlet herself.

But all this is just part of the hypocrisy by Republicans who cry to keep government out of our lives, but intrude in the most viscerally private and emotional ways when it suits their own personal, moral, religious and political interests.

That's why Mike Huckabee was wrong to pick on Natalie Portman for that issue. What he should have asked was: "Why did you thank your dresser for winning the Oscar, but left out mentioning the screenwriter who wrote the thing?"

But that's just me.

Oh, and congratulations.