"Mama Grizzlies" vs. Actual Families.
by Abby Margolis Newman
A recent Newsweek cover pictured Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, Michele Bachmann and Nikki Haley - four GOP "Tea Party" members and past or present political candidates - in matching Republican-red jackets. The article, entitled "The Bear Truth: Will the 'Mama Grizzlies' Really Protect America's Kids?" asked a legitimate question: do these women really stand for and fight for policies benefiting women and children?
The answer, sadly but not surprisingly, is no.
Let's remember who these women are: Palin served one-half term as Alaska's governor, quitting in the middle of her term after helping John McCain lose the 2008 presidential election. She now makes millions a year through speaking fees and her salary as a Fox News contributor. Bachmann is the loony and paranoid Minnesota congresswoman who suggested during the 2008 election that Democratic members of Congress be investigated "to find out if they are pro-America or anti-America."
And Christine O'Donnell, whose TV commercials tell us she is "not a witch" and who, when not perpetually running for office over the past several years, has been busy taking to the airwaves to condemn homosexuality, premarital sex and masturbation.
OK, so these women are clearly on the right-wing fringe of politics. But what about the policies they support - are they good for families?
The Newsweek article says that Palin describes a "Mama Grizzly" as "a conservative woman with 'common sense'. . . someone who 'rises up' to protect her children when she sees them endangered by bad policies in Washington." But what "bad policies," exactly, is she talking about? Is she referring to Obama's tax cuts, which affected 98% of American households (those making less than $250, 000 per year)? To the end of predatory lending practices and giant interest-rate hikes on the part of credit-card companies? To the health care reforms which now prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to those with "pre-existing conditions" or which allow parents to keep their children on their plans until they are 26? These kinds of policies that endanger children?
In the meantime, the policies that are being promoted by so-called "pro-life" Tea Party Republican women are getting more and more extreme. Sharron Angle, a Palin-endorsed candidate who is running for Senate in Nevada, says that abortion should never be legal - even in the case of rape and incest. O'Donnell and Palin are also staunchly anti-abortion, and Bachmann goes so far as to advocate equal protection under the 14th Amendment for the "preborn."