Thursday, February 03, 2011

The GOP backs off of the fight to redefine rape.

From Politico:

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.


  1. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Go Jon!

  2. SME1311:38 PM

    Agreed G. I think Stewart addressed it in such a way that it was impossible for the teapublicans to move ahead.

    OT.... check your email. The Palin's are trademarking their names.

  3. Anonymous1:39 PM

    I think his "rapish" comments gave a great deal of impetus to the removal of the word "forcible." What a bunch of bung holes in the GOP.

  4. Anonymous1:39 PM

    "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."

    BINGO>>>>BINGO>>>>BINGO :-)

  5. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Jon Stewart gets it right despite being a "comedian".

    It is sad commentary that, for the past 2 to 3 years, top comedians such as Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher have provided clearer moral guidance on a number of important issues than the Government of the U.S.

    Dorian M.

  6. Anonymous1:41 PM

    Sorry, Gryph, can't agree less with you on this one. I stand by my comment that to make it "funny" was not a good idea. I also understood that they were ripping the congresspeople. However.

    Stewart arguably won $ for the 9/11 responders, but there was no real humor in his presentation. In fact, he was all but ballistic in his anger.

    In my opinion, this whole "forcible rape" saga should have been handled with the same intensity and gravitas. To do otherwise, IMO, lessens the urgency of saving my rights and those of my female grandchildren. There is my rethink, Gryph ...

  7. Let's face it: our comedians have saved us from a lot of grief. Tina Fey literally made a laughing stock of Palin and Jon Stewart (and Stephen Colbert) have pointed out the hypocrisy of the right wing. Right now, the National Enquirer and comedians have more credibility than the MSM.

  8. Anonymous1:47 PM

    "Listening to Sarah Palin, it is often difficult to determine whether her remarks demonstrate ignorance or dishonesty."

    Almost a year old, yet still pertinent.


  9. Gasman1:49 PM

    As much as the GOP likes to pretend that they are some new and exciting political wind blowing in from the heartland of America, they are just shoveling the same old social conservatism bullshit that they've been trying to foist on us for about the last 5 decades.

    Seriously, there were those in the GOP that thought holding court on when a woman is REALLY raped was a good idea. And THIS is the party that is going to SAVE AMERICA?

    The GOP are bumping up against the success of their own hype and marketing. For decades they've had the fear mongering panic machine working overtime to make sure that the batshit crazy asshats on the right are continually wetting themselves and are in a constant state of frothy panic over gays/Mexicans/blacks/liberals/Muslims/etc., ad infinitum. Now that the idiots have shown up to the castle gates with pitchforks and torches, the GOP seems genuinely surprised that the imbeciles are no longer content merely to be GOP canon fodder, but now want to rule as well.

    Now, all of those great ideas from the dustbin of social conservatism are being trotted out again:

    Women, best get rid of your shoes, get back in the kitchen and prepare to be impregnated. Blacks, go on back to Kenya. Mexicans, get the fuck out of our country, 'cause da' white man's back in da' House baby!

    This is teabagger buffoon-orama brought to you by the GOP. Now that the teabaggers have crashed the party, I guarantee that it will get even better and better. Gee, can I be in the GOP, too!?

    R.I.P. GOP.

  10. Anonymous1:59 PM

    House Democrats keep up the fight against H.R.3

    Republicans may have cowered in fear of Jon Stewart again, abandoning their quest to tell women that they weren't really raped unless they have bruises to show for it, but H.R. 3 is still the boldest move since the Hyde amendment to push back women's rights. To borrow from last night's Daily Show, this isn't "warish" on women, it's war on women.

  11. Anonymous2:01 PM

    Daily Show SKEWERS GOP for trying to redefine rape

    STEWART: What if the woman is unconscious? What, would they cover that?

    SCHAAL: Well, they'd like to, Jon, but it might not be rape. The woman might be having a rape-mare. The important thing is, Congress is redefining rape to protect us from the worst kind of rape.

    STEWART: And what is that?

    SCHAAL: Money rape.

    STEWART: What is money rape?

    SCHAAL: That's forcible taking of taxpayers' money to pay for abortions. They have no say in the matter. They just have to lay back and take it while their bank accounts are violated over and over and over again!

  12. Anonymous2:01 PM

    1:38 -

    What is involved with trademarking a name? How is it done and why? i.e. each name? Does it control others using their names - media - headlines - ads, etc.? Does anyone know? Suspect she hates people making money off her name. How does it relate to an author..i.e. books about her?

  13. Anonymous2:05 PM

    berndoubt said...

    The whole bill is an assault on women's rights. Sure, it's great that they removed the ridiculous wording about forcible rape, but the whole bill is about putting women in "their place". It is chilling to think what republicans want this country to be.

  14. Anonymous2:08 PM

    I couldn't agree more, Gryphen. Stewart does more in one half hour show to promote democracy than anyone in the MSM. The other thing he is doing is training the twenty somethings to think clearly about politics and facts. He has much more influence than people realize.

    He is brilliant, fearless, and his heart is in the right place!

  15. Anonymous2:10 PM

    It is a sad commentary when the best investigative journalists in the country are with Comedy Central, Rolling Stone Magazine and sometimes, the National Enquirer!

  16. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Thank-you Gryphen. Five amazing posts in one day. How do you do it?!!

  17. Anonymous2:34 PM

    @2:01 - she can trademark her name but that won't stop people from writing about her. She's a celeb/ public figure and was a VP nominee for the GOP. Fair game in terms of public domain.

  18. PhilaPhan2:36 PM

    It would be nice to treat the topic seriously as Anonymous at 1:41 PM suggests, but I don't think it would have had the same effect.
    One could seriously talk about the fact that all rate is forcible, but to create the word and thus the concept of "rape-ish" highlights the stunning stupidity of inserting "forcible" before rape. Most people would intellectually agree that all rape is forcible, but by forcing the audience to wrap their brains around ludicrous concepts like rape-ish and rape with benefits, it makes the GOP proposal all the more ridiculous. And it further exposes their contempt for women in a way a serious discussion might not.

  19. Anonymous2:37 PM

    Yea for Stewart! But, amazing his style of media/humor is what is actually making the Repubs stand down. What is wrong with our 'supposed' main media sources? They really make me sick! Thank you, Mr. Stewart!

    These Repubs in Congress need to be voted out - all that supported this move - especially Boner!

  20. Anonymous2:42 PM

    2:01 - I guess we'll have to come up with code names we can use legally. So many to choose from!

  21. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Sarah Groundhog Day Cartoon:

  22. Anonymous2:50 PM

    You go, Jon Stewart!

    Thanks again for presenting an important topic in a manner that actually gets the attention of deaf, dumb, and blind.

  23. Enjay in E MT3:06 PM

    O/T Sarah Jones @ Politicususa reporting the Alaska Death Panel under Sarah Palins governorship.

    snip] Palin’s “Death Panels” lie took place just weeks after she had been notified of the federally mandated shut-down in her own state, along with the lawsuits filed against her administration. She quit the office she swore to serve within weeks of this notice.

    more @

  24. Anonymous3:13 PM

    I guess my biggest concern is that Stewart has been making fun of the conservative maniacs for years now, and they not only aren't shamed enough into stop being evil, they're actually gaining momentum. They didn't just sweep the House in 2010, they took over damn near every state legislature and a lot of governorships, as well - in supposedly blue states.

    I am glad that Stewart is calling them out on their hypocrisy, but it's not enough, people. There needs to be visceral, vocal, relentless outrage expressed at these sociopaths. We also need to figure out how the hell they've infiltrated their filth into the mainstream media, because that protection is giving them a huge pass on their evil. There's millions more watching MSM outlets than Comedy Central, I can tell you that.

  25. Anonymous3:44 PM

    John McCain Announces That He Won’t Be Endorsing Sarah Palin In 2012

    In what has to be a crushing blow to her 2012 GOP primary hopes. Sarah Palin’s 2008 running mate Sen. John McCain has announced that he won’t be endorsing anyone in the 2012 Republican primary. McCain told Politico, “I think I’m staying out of this for the first time in many years.” If there is one contender who was counting on McCain’s endorsement, it is Sarah Palin.

  26. Anonymous3:46 PM

    The Death Panels Sarah Palin Doesn’t Want You To Know About

    This is the real story of Sarah Palin’s death panels; the death panels she doesn’t want anyone to know about because these death panels are real, they did kill people, and she was in charge of them as the executive of her state – in fact, these death panels did exactly what she accused Obama’s healthcare reform of doing. They killed disabled and elderly people who were waiting to be determined worthy of care.

    Conservatives’ healthcare repeal efforts were predictably shut down by the Senate yesterday, so James Taranto wasted his column in the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal yesterday defending Palin’s Death Panel lie. He claims she was speaking figuratively but of course, this makes her lie no less of a lie. But his anxious defense of Palin’s lie reminded me of a story that no one told in 2009, just weeks before Palin announced she “wouldn’t be running again” (aka, “quitting two years early”).

    Oh, irony, thy name is Sarah Palin.

    Let’s go back in time to 2009, when Palin unveiled her Death Panels lie. She said, “To me, while reading that section of the bill, it became so evident that there would be a panel of bureaucrats who would decide on levels of health care, decide on those who are worthy or not worthy of receiving some government-controlled coverage. Since health care would have to be rationed if it were promised to everyone, it would therefore lead to harm for many individuals not able to receive the government care. That leads, of course, to death.”

    It sure did in Alaska.

    On June 26 , 2009, – just weeks before the breathy quitty speech along side the squawking fowl, federal auditors notified Alaska officials that they were suspending new enrollment into the Alaskan Medicaid health program for the poor and the disabled due to gross mismanagement by the state.

    Leading up to this unprecedented shut down of a state managed program (which was funded 61% by the “feds”) over 250 people died waiting for assessment. Hundreds more did not receive treatment. Over eight lawsuits were filed against the state division before the shut-down. The Supreme court ruled that the state had improperly cut off or reduced services to more than 1,000 needy people. An additional 2,000 people were still waiting to be assessed at the time of the shut-down.

    Sarah Palin’s Death Panels aren’t figurative. They are literal and they did kill people. People died waiting to be assessed regarding whether or not they were “worthy” of care. They were entitled to this care under the law but it was denied to them.

    more @

  27. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Alaska WTF IS BACK for real.

    Same old Dirk.

    There’s one little problem with her comment. The National Enquirer DID ask the Palins about Todd’s hookers, and the lying bitch is well aware of that. Details soon.

    CAN'T WAIT for this shoe to drop.

  28. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Thanks for the explanation, Gryph. I went back and watched the clip and it is a good one. Wasn't going to watch it because the topic of GOP white males dictating to women just makes my blood boil and this topic even more so, but you are right (as usual), it's good and worth the viewing.

    R in NC

  29. ottokatz4:16 PM

    4:11 PM, nope, still not back. very weird. or maybe because I use firefox?

  30. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Jon Stewart is simply the best commentator we have on TV these days, and he's a comedian. Good for him, sad for the rest of journalism

  31. I agree with you that the attention Jon Stewart brought to this subject had a major impact on the Repugs dropping the issue. I don't think I expressed my opinion very well - one of the reasons I don't have my own blog!

    Stewart, Colbert and SNL have more impact on political discourse in this country than main or lame stream media. It would seem that the only way intelligent liberals can get their point across these days is through comedy.

  32. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Next thing you know, they'll be trying to redefine pregnancy and death.

  33. Rationalist5:26 PM

    911 Responders bill, this stupid abortion law...Jon Stewart is batting a thousand and doing it with heart and passion.

    Look. To those who feel the piece was in poor taste, let me say this: I was date raped and I found it frickin' hilarious. Not only hilarious, it made me feel empowered. The most appropriate response to the notion that there is "rape" and then there is "RAPE rape" is ridicule. Besides, satire seems to be the only truly effective tool against the, well, tools who are running the Republican party.

    Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert - every day - are proving themselves to be two of the most important political forces in the country today. I'm so grateful for them.

  34. Anonymous5:50 PM

    4:16 I just got there with firefox.

    Is this AKWTF? for real?

    I'm suspicious.

    I can't wait for Gryphen to post about the Sarah and Bristol trademarks. What are they selling? Hate? Or fail? Maybe abstinence rubbers for when the abstinence just won't work?

  35. Anonymous5:53 PM

    I was one of those who pointed out that the Stewart piece showed that rape was not joke. Frankly I didn't find the piece to be one of the show's best comedic or satirical efforts.

    Hopefully the impression was not given that I was disapproved of the effort or thought it useless, to the contrary I felt that for a show that can make us laugh at just about anything, the fact that it could not create a truly funny rape satire helped show just how unfunny all aspects of rape are.

    I do give Stewart full marks for being brave enough to address the issue, as it's high "squirm quotient" was very telling. The very concept of rape should make descent people uncomfortable.

  36. Chenagrrl5:10 AM

    I agree with your estimate of Jon, but be sure to add in the hundreds of thousands of women with their hair on fire who wrote to members of Congress, Twitted Boehner nonstop and rallied on Facebook.

    Most members I wrote to, responded with semi-reasoned letters. Some had forms that talked only about taxes.

    Whatta bunch.

    Of course there was no response from Alaska's man in the can, Don Young. (In 1070s, he told an aide he missed a vote because he was in the can.)

  37. This is why I watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Not only do I want a little truth with my truthiness, but the humor doesn't hurt either. Plus I really don't need a daily dose of car accidents and sports. I don't consider either news.

    Bravo Jon. He may not want the responsibility, but unfortunately he is becoming a major new journalist. The Cronkite of our generation. Deal with it, Jon.

  38. aj weishar4:56 PM

    Not everything Jon Stewart does is funny. Some of it like last night's skit brings out the absurdity of bad legislation. When two people discuss the potential Republican Redefine Rape bill as a pro and con, the supporting arguments border on insanity.


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