[Vision2020] Sorry, Ted Cruz. We don't want your rubbers

Nicholas Gier ngier006 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 2 11:23:01 PST 2015

Sorry, Ted Cruz: Women Don’t Want Your ‘Rubbers’ Trying to combat the
notion of a GOP “war on women,” Cruz explains the backwards thinking that’s
behind it.
By Joan Walsh <http://www.thenation.com/authors/joan-walsh/> The Nation,
Dec. 2, 2015 Senator Ted Cruz seems a little overexcited about his latest
surge in the surreal Republican primary campaign. He’s now running second
in Iowa, just behind Donald Trump, and he’s tied with Ben Carson for third
in the latest Quinnipiac poll. Just this week, a giddy Cruz smacked his
closest rival, Senator Marco Rubio, as a junior neocon, insulted Donald
Trump by insisting he has no chance at the GOP nomination, and Monday night he
threw a haymaker at Democrats
for talking “nonsense” about a “war on women.”
Democrats should thank the over-confident arch-conservative: With goofy
talk about “rubbers” that came straight out of the 1950s, Cruz perfectly
explained the backwards thinking about women that gets imperfectly
telegraphed in “war on women” sloganeering.

Asked a question about contraception at an Iowa town-hall meeting, Cruz
stepped into the batter’s box and swung at what he considered a nice, fat
pitch. He was ready.

“I have never met anybody, any conservative who wants to ban
contraceptives,” he began, calling the notion a “made-up, nonsense
example.” He’d have been better off just stopping there, but he couldn’t
help himself.

“Last I checked, we don’t have a rubber shortage in America. When I was in
college we had a machine in the bathroom, you put 50 cents in and voila! So
yes, anyone who wants contraceptives can access them, but it’s an utterly
made-up nonsense issue.”

Having worked himself up, Cruz then accused other Republicans of not being
man enough to take on the “nonsense issue.”

“When the war on women came up, Republicans would curl up in a ball, they’d
say, ‘Don’t hurt me.’ Jiminy Cricket!” Not Ted Cruz: When Hillary Clinton
comes at him, he’s ready. The former senator and secretary of state can’t
run on her record, he claims.

“So what do you do? You go, ‘Ah, ha! Condom police. I’m gonna make up a
completely made up threat and try to scare a bunch of folks into thinking
someone’s going to steal their birth control.’ What nonsense.”

Cruz thinks a woman’s reproductive "choice" involves asking a man to buy a
50-cent rubber in the men’s room

But Ted Cruz is going to fight that nonsense.

Where do I begin? Jiminy Cricket?

First of all, Cruz really didn’t listen to the question he was asked, or
else he didn’t care about it. The woman in the audience wanted to know what
the GOP would do about “making contraception available to women who want to
control their own bodies.”

Buying “rubbers” from a machine in the men’s room isn’t the answer; it’s
the opposite of an answer, since it explicitly leaves contraception in the
hands of men. Some historians cite the invention of “the pill” as the
single most influential advance in the liberation of women. A woman,
herself, could control her own fertility; she didn’t have to rely on a man
buying “rubbers” from a machine. But somehow Cruz didn’t talk about oral
contraception, or any other kind, besides “rubbers.”

While Cruz claims Republicans can assure women they don’t want to “steal
their birth control,” they do want to make them pay for it again. The
contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act requires insurance
companies to cover birth control without a co-pay. The GOP wants to repeal
the entire ACA, but the party is particularly opposed to the contraceptive
mandate. Cruz has called it “illegal,” and he supports broadening
provisions that let corporations claim a moral exemption.

That wouldn’t legally count as “stealing their birth control,” but it might
feel like it to a lot of working- and middle-class women. Generic oral
contraceptives are fairly affordable, but some women have health needs that
require them to take newer, more expensive brands that can run more than
$50 a month. Other women have to rely on implants or injections that cost
more than $1,000 a year.

But that’s not the only way Cruz’s policies threaten women’s access to
birth control. He supports “personhood” legislation, which could make
illegal certain forms of contraception. He falsely claims that the oral
contraceptive Plan B is an abortion drug, and opposes its coverage. He
supports a bill that would overturn a Washington D.C. law
<http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2313> prohibiting employers
from using “religious freedom” arguments to fire women for using birth
control, seeking in vitro fertilization or having an abortion.

To sum up: Cruz has worked very hard to make sure that women’s reproductive
choices come down to asking a man to buy a 50-cent rubber in the men’s room
on his way home.

In his zeal to combat the notion of a “war on women,” the junior Texas
senator instead helped Democrats open a new front: Republicans are clearly
trying to recreate the America of the 1950s, where women rely on men to
decide if and when to start families. Cruz has always seemed straight out
of the ’50s himself. It’s not just his eerie physical resemblance to
Senator Joseph McCarthy; he looks like he was born middle-aged, from
another, earlier era. It’s hard to imagine him buying “rubbers” in the
men’s room in college, and I regret that he made me try.

And “Jiminy Cricket?” Who under the age of 80 says that? But I digress.

With all due respect to Senator Sanders, please allow this feminist a
moment to imagine Cruz pulling out his “rubbers” line in a general-election
debate with Clinton. I can hear her laughter now.

Before that, though, all of the Democratic candidates should be mocking the
cocky right-winger for his notion of contraceptive “choice” everywhere they
go. And thanking him for making explicit the terms of the “war on women.”
Jiminy Cricket, this could be fun.


A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
shall never sit in.

-Greek proverb

“Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.

--Immanuel Kant
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