You’re going to have to indulge me a bit here and wade through some background before getting to the “meat” of the blog. Editors call it “burying the lead.” But you’ll find it.

Here’s a list of U.S. Senators – all Republican. You’ll note that, before they were Senators, they had other careers. O.K. Here we go:

## John McCain – Arizona – U.S. Navy fighter pilot
## Jon Kyle – Arizona – Lawyer and lobbyist
## Mike Crapo – Idaho – Lawyer
## Jim DeMint – South Carolina – Market researcher
## Orrin Hatch – Utah – Lawyer
## Richard Burr – North Carolina – Seventeen years a “market researcher”
## Chuck Grassley – Iowa – Assembly line worker
## Lamar Alexander – Tennessee – Former governor
## Roy Blunt – Missouri – County Clerk, Springfield, Illinois – 12 years

Interesting backgrounds all. A real cross-section of Americana. And all – plus 40 of their equally qualified compatriots in the U.S. Senate – deemed themselves medically and morally prepared by individual backgrounds and training, vot allow employers to deny certain types of health care coverage to every citizen in this county. To make religious or philosophic health care exclusion decisions backed with the force of federal law.

While the headlines of this tragic scenario dealt mostly with contraception, the bottom line was much worse. If the employer made health insurance a part of the employee benefits offered, he/she could eliminate any medical condition he/she desired. For any reason. And the discrimination – even if based on some crackpot notion like “aspirin will cure cancer – would have been legal.

Somehow, a lot of elected Republicans in this country have suddenly become experts in writing and passing laws dealing primarily with women’s health. Former shoe clerks, fighter pilots, grocery managers and gas pump jockeys are replacing gynaecologists and obstetricians as arbiters of what women facing pregnancies should have to medically endure. Hardware salesmen, house painters, landscapers and elementary teachers are drawing on their “training” to write laws allowing legal discrimination to health care access.

Our national credit rating has gone to Hell. More than six million unemployed are crying out for help. Homeowners are becoming renters or homeless. Billionaires are paying huge sums to reshape our society into their own narrow visions. Most states are badly in need of federal help. But – ignoring all that and more – many GOP members of congress and legislatures border-to-border are debating uterus probes, selective health insurance discrimination and matters supporting their personal religion.

Most who closely follow the political twists and turns in this country are at a loss to understand how otherwise intelligent humans can turn away from their oaths of office to wade into a morass of losing political issues. They shouldn’t be confused. The groundwork for this was laid in the Republican Party at least four decades ago. It’s been festering and predictable for many years.

What hasn’t been so predictable is that it would all surface at the same time in so many legislative bodies. Many more than you’ve heard of. Some of this has been thrown in the hoppers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington and a lot of other state legislatures, though wise leaders have been able to keep much of it buried. So far.

But Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Arizona and several other states are wallowing in this phony morality play. Supported by governors who are right down there in the mud with them, they’re putting laws on the books that will keep the courts of this country busy for years and years. You can find them in the Yellow Pages under the heading “Attorney Employment – Perpetual.”

I’ve come to regard this phenomena as a Republican Party kamikaze mission. Some of these people have been working for years to get to positions of political leadership. And they’ve finally got it. So it’s time to put the whole agenda out there and – suicidally – make a run to the finish line. I really can’t come up with any other plausible reason.

Is it a winning strategy that will maintain these people in office to keep working on their agendas? I don’t think so. My sense is they’ve alienated Independents everywhere – which neither party can win any election without. And that normal Republicans who’ve sort of dismissed many of these people as just “goofy aunts and uncles” have become aware their party is being taken off a cliff and they don’t like it. Were I a woman of any political party – well, don’t get me started.

It’s not Democrats making mischief – although they’re loving it. It’s not the Obama campaign – which will certainly capitalize on the social and political wreckage being wrought. There is no liberal media here to blame. The headlines come from the votes and the subject matter these people want to talk about. Whatever political damages are done will be at the hands of people currently doing the voting. Wounds – surface or fatal – will have been self-inflicted.

I keep looking back at that list of U.S. Senators who voted to legalize health care discrimination. There must’ve been some special wisdom or great human insight that came with their oath of office that escaped me. Think I’ll go read it again.

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