House Republicans plan to sidestep a potentially contentious fight over the definition of rape by altering the language of a bill banning taxpayer subsidies for abortion, GOP aides tell Huddle. As written, the bill provides an exemption from the abortion ban "if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape," as well as in the case of incest involving a minor or the endangerment of the mother. The inclusion of the modifier "forcible" set off a firestorm among women's rights groups. "The phrase forcible rape was abandoned some time ago, and there is some indication that what they would be trying to do is make women jump over an additional hurdle if they want to get an abortion," Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) told POLITICO this week. Some worry that the term would exclude some forms of rape, including statutory rape that isn't accompanied by violence. "The word forcible will be replaced with the original language from the Hyde Amendment," Jeff Sagnip, spokesman for bill sponsor Chris Smith (R-N.J.), said. One senior GOP aide told Huddle it's a no-brainer to get rid of the modifier. "Such a removal would be a good idea, since last I checked, rape by definition is non-consensual," the aide said. Also, it's easy to see why Republican leaders might want to avoid a floor debate over the definition of rape. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart spent several minutes of air time mocking the distinction between "rape" and "forcible rape" Wednesday night.
For those who suggested that the Daily Show piece I posted earlier was not funny, or would have no effect, I suggest you rethink the power of Jon Stewart.
It is not about making something not funny into a joke. It is about revealing the hypocrisy, and demonstrating the absurdity of a thing, in a humorous and easy to digest manner.
And while I cannot give ALL of the credit to Jon and his crew, you have to admit that what he did last night made it virtually impossible for the GOP to move this bill forward.
In other words, mission accomplished.