At least in theory, the Republican Party is strongly against the government "mandating" that people do something. In recent years, we've heard this particularly strongly when it comes to health care, in the heated, over-the-top ("DEATH PANELS!!!) hysteria over what they call "Obamacare." Of course, the not-the-brightest-bulb Tea Party types apparently don't remember, or can't comprehend, that it was conservatives (aka, look in the mirror, guys!) who came up with the "individual mandate" for health care, then pushed for it for decades before turning 180-degrees against it the second Democrats agreed to incorporate it into their health care reform plan.
Why did conservatives like the individual mandate? Simple, it was all about personal responsibility, making freeloaders who were ripping off people like you and me pay their freakin' way in the health care system. Plus, the individual mandate was better, in the corporations-uber-alles Teapublican Party's worldview, than burdening poor, fragile businesses like ExxonMobil (earning some of the greatest profits in the history of mankind, quarter after quarter) with the requirement to provide their
serfs with health care coverage.
But more than anything, you hear Teapublicans screaming (literally) hysterically about government supposedly telling them what to do about their health care decisions, which in their view should be between themselves, their families and their doctors (and their private, for-profit, care-rationing health insurance companies, of course, but god forbid Republicans point the finger at their corporate overlords).
Given all this, you'd think that Teapublicans like Ken Cuccinelli would be screaming bloody murder today. Not at the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act, we've already heard their rantings on that issue. No, today they should be out in the streets in their crazy costumes, carrying their even crazier signs, about a law that kicks into gear starting today, one conceived (no pun intended) by Republicans, passed by Republicans, and signed into law by a Republican governor. What is this horrible law that Republicans should be outraged about, but strangely are almost completely quiet about? Here you go.
Arguably the most controversial legislation passed this year, House Bill 462 requires all women to undergo an ultrasound before receiving an abortion. The original version of the legislation would have required an invasive vaginal ultrasound, but was amended following massive protests to be a noninvasive imaging procedure. The ultrasound is not mandatory if the woman having the abortion has reported being the victim of rape or incest.
That's right, starting today, a law with almost pure Virginia Republican pedigree kicks into gear, in which the supposedly evil government mandates (aka, forces) women to undergo a medical procedure most of them don't want, certainly don't want to pay for, and isn't medically necessary in the vast majority of cases. It also forces medical professional to perform said procedure. Oh, and it would have been even more invasive ("transvaginal") if the supposedly "get government off our backs" Republicans had their way, but fortunately they were stopped by the other party, the one that supposedly is the "big government" party. Of course, Republicans have zero appreciation for irony, but if they did, they might get a good, irony-savoring laugh out of this one. Of, perhaps they might just be consistent for once, and get OUTRAGED!!! (one of the main - only? - things they seem to be good at) about Virginia's mandatory ultrasound law, which takes affect (once again ironically?) just 3 days before the holiday which celebrates our Declaration of Independence from tyranny.
Fortunately for Republicans, they're not bothered by irony, nor are they a particularly reflective lot, so they will proceed along their merry ways, utterly oblivious to their glaring hypocrisies and internally inconsistent arguments. In short, if ignorance is bliss, then Virginia Republicans are undoubtedly among the most blissful folks on earth today. Virginia's women, on the other hand, should be anything but blissful...