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Feb 23 2012

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When attacked by right-wingers, the correct strategy is…

Kick their asses. Hard and repeatedly. Don’t complain about how “unreasonable” they are being, don’t moan about the “lessening level of discourse,” don’t clutch your pearls about “unfairness,” don’t whine about the lying.

Just stand up and rhetorically punch them in the nose. And don’t let up.

We saw what happened when right-wingers bullied the Susan G. Komen Foundation into defunding Planned Parenthood. Having lots of experience with right-wing attacks, Planned Parenthood immediately took control of the messaging, and within a week, Komen backed down, restored the grant funding, promised to change the process that singled out PP for defunding, and Komen’s chief anti-abortion staffer resigned. By knuckling under to anti-abortion, anti-contraception zealots, Komen suffered a blow to its brand from which they may never recover. Unless they have a political death wish, other organizations will think twice before they consider following in Komen’s footsteps.

After the Republican-controlled Virginia legislature chose to mandate state-sanctioned rape by object for women who wanted abortions, and also tried to get a personhood law on the books that would prohibit contraception, people stood up and made a big deal out of it. And the people responsible got their asses rhetorically kicked. As of today, the Virginia governor and legislature are backing off on the internal ultrasound portion of the bill, and now the personhood bill is dead for the year.

None of this would have happened had mainstream people and progressives not stood up, said, “That’s enough!” and fought back hard against the anti-abortion forces. For some reason, Republicans have been acting under the belief that being anti-contraception is a winning strategy (we saw that again in the GOP candidate debate last night). They’re discovering that people see these things as being anti-women’s health, and it’s the losing side.

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