Throughout the seven years I spent getting both my bachelors degree in political science and my law degree, I had the occasion to enter into countless and sometimes endless debates – with people whose political ideologies fell all across the spectrum – on practically every and any political and/or legal issue you could ever dream up. More than anything, it has taught me that there are 50 shades of liberalism and 50 shades of conservatism. Every single person in this country (and possibly on the planet) falls on a different spot on the so called political spectrum, despite the fact we only have two major parties in America; ones that couldn’t possibly represent the numerous varying positions that each and every one of us hold on the issues individually. For example, one could be pro-marijuana legalization but also extremely pro-2nd Amendment. So, which group does that person fall in? Are they “liberal” because of their views on marijuana, but “conservative” on their views about gun rights? And if so, what party represents them? I’ll leave it to you to answer these questions for yourself.
Getting to my point, one of the debates I have gotten into over the years was with my “average,” moderate Republican friends about the importance of social issues. These friends believe in some of the old school GOP policies from the 1950’s – which it should be noted, I do not think are perfect on every issue – but are generally much more pro-labor, pro-equality, and pro-health, education and welfare than today’s Republican policies.
Throughout this debate (or many debates I should say), many of my “average” Republicans (many of whom consider themselves moderates) have claimed that social issues don’t really matter to the elected members of the GOP and that it’s all just window dressing to win primaries, etc. etc. The problem is, as much as I want to believe them, really I just think that argument is sheer crap. This year alone, 27 abortion bills have been sponsored and introduced by House Republicans. Not only that, but just today they introduced a bill to overturn the Windsor decision by a constitutional amendment which would ban same-sex marriage – that will never pass because it would need to be ratified by 2/3 of the states, which just won’t happen (especially considering 13 states already allow same-sex marriage).
As for determining the actual number of jobs bills introduced by Republicans, that is a bit more tricky. When I went to a GovTrack to try and come up with a real number, pretty much any act that had something to do with jobs, even if it wasn’t a “jobs” bill came up, for a total of 437 – and included bills sponsored by both parties. For the record, when I typed in abortion, all but 11 of the bills were sponsored by Republicans, and the ones sponsored by Democrats were for things like protecting women’s rights, protecting refugee rights, and stopping deceptive advertising for women’s services. But don’t take my word for it, look for yourself. However, upon further inspection of the jobs bills, they include bills that seemingly have nothing to do with jobs – bills that are about ending regulations (since we all know how great that is for workers and the environment), and bills for declaring “appreciation days” for various different things and people. Also for the record, some of these “non-jobs” bills were sponsored by Democrats but many of them, and most of the de-regulation bills were sponsored by Republicans. Moreover, out of the actual jobs bills I could locate that were sponsored by the Republicans, many are not environmentally or worker friendly; rather they are more of the same pro-business, pro-profit, pro-1% garbage that Americans have had enough of. To be fair, I did locate a few Republican jobs bills that seemed decent on their face (though in all fairness I haven’t had a chance to review them thoroughly) such as the Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act and the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act. Again, if you want to look for yourself, you can do so here.
In closing, as far as I can tell (and as far as the record shows), the Republican party doesn’t give a hoot about jobs. Instead, it appears they only care about what goes on in peoples’ bedrooms. And worse, this article hasn’t even begun to touch on (nor will it) the abundance of abortion legislation that has been coming out of the states recently. See Virginia, Ohio, Mississippi, North Dakota, Texas, et al. The next time I hear a moderate Republican spew this crap about how Republicans really do care about jobs and the economy despite all the evidence on the record which proves the contrary, I am going to metaphorically beat them over the head with 27 abortion bills. As Rachel Maddow always says, “jobs, jobs, jobs….abortions!”