Off-Topic: Taking off my Enrollment Guru hat for a moment...

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Anyone who knows me, or who reads the FAQ (which is to say, hardly anyone), knows that I've never tried to hide my personal political views. I'm a proud progressive, active in the local Democratic Party, and have taken plenty of shots at Republicans here at ACASignups.net. However, I've tried very hard not to let that skew the data I report, and I've also taken plenty of shots at both HHS and/or the various ACA exchanges when they screw up.

Case in point: Just this morning I noted that the Vermont exchange is sending people to their website to pay bills when the site has been offline for weeks, and Oregon's disastrous exchange continues to provide embarrassment with news that they enrolled U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley--himself a proponent of the law--in Medicaid and somehow assigned him 97,000 children.

In any event, when I do go off-topic from time to time, it's generally for something innocuous.

Today I'm making an exception...because today I learned that one Clayton Williams, a Texas oil millionaire, has donated a whopping $120,000 to Texas Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (currently the state attorney general).

Now, a rich Texas Republican giving gobs of money to another rich Texas Republican running for office isn't exactly newsworthy (although the dollar amount is--holy crap, does Texas have any donation limit for state races???). However, Williams isn't just any Texas Republican.

For one thing, he once ran for Governor of Texas himself back in 1990.

For another, he lost that race to the legendary Ann Richards, the last Democrat to hold that position.

Most significantly, however, is why he lost that race. There may have been more than one reason, but this is almost certainly the biggest one:

ALPINE -- Sitting by an early morning campfire Saturday waiting for a heavy fog to clear, Republican gubernatorial nominee Clayton Williams jokingly likened foul weather to rape, saying "if it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it."

Yep. That's right. He actually said that.

That brings me to this entry. You see, while I'm best known for running this website, I also had a much smaller amount of internet fame 2 years ago. Inspired by the one-two punch of Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin and Richard "Rape Babies are a Gift from God" Mourdock's epic fails as well as the since-discontinued, always absurd "terror level color chart" used by the Bush administration a decade ago, I put together something called the Republican Party Rape Advisory Chart.

It only took a few seconds to find a half-dozen similarly offensive, repulsive and flat-out medically inaccurate statements by various Republican elected officials, candidates and/or party activists. There were even a few female candidates like Linda McMahon who uttered insanely awful things about the topic.

The first "volume" went viral on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook et al, and I found it disturbingly easy to compile a second volume. And then a third. And a fourth...

It's actually up to 8 full volumes now, with no sign of stopping anytime soon, but I started feeling kind of sick just wading in the filth, so I stopped updating them awhile back (besides, this project kind of took over any free time that I had).

Of course, there actually is a connection with the Affordable Care Act here as well, if indirectly. As I noted a few months ago, the Michigan Republican-held legislature passed a bill which--whether by design or not--will result in up to 200 women per year being fined and/or punished...for being raped.

Why? Because the part of the ACA which outlaws any government subsidy of abortion clashes directly with the state law which requires a separate rider for abortion coverage...even in cases of rape or incest. This effectively means that Michigan women who are impregnated via rape will be forced to either shell out $500 from their own pocket to pay for the procedure or endure 9 months of unimaginable emotional torture.

It's no accident that a huge portion of the quotes below focus on abortion as it relates to rape.

With all of that as prologue, and with the midterm election coming up in just 3 weeks, I've decided to repost the entire Republican Party Rape Advisory Chart "library" here to remind people (not just women, but caring men as well) that hideously misogynistic attitudes towards women by Republicans are no longer just a few individual cases, but have become an ingrained part of the party psyche.

This does not mean that every registered Republican feels this way. It does mean that every vote or dollar which goes to help Republican candidates is helping to promote this attitude.