Yesterday, I wrote, “From breast pumps to Big Bird, and from food stamps to family planning, the GOP is waging a war on America’s women and children. I wasn’t kidding when, in 1548 words I explained the GOP’s war on women and children — including breast pumps.
Sarah Palin joined the GOP war against breast pumps yesterday. Speaking to a Long Island, NY business group, Palin echoed Michele Bachmann’s erroneous comments, and said, “No wonder Michelle Obama’s telling everybody, ‘you’d better breastfeed your baby.’ Yeah, you’d better, because the price of milk is so high right now!” (Evidently, the price of milk is now Obama’s fault, too.) Bachmann had said earlier this week, “To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies. I mean, you want to talk about the nanny state?”
But Sarah Pavlus at Media Matters reports that Governor Sarah Palin had a different view just a few short years ago. As Alaska’s governor, Sarah Palin “declared October 2007 ‘Breastfeeding Awareness Month’ and issued a proclamation that said, ‘government and community organizations have a vested interest in protecting and promoting breastfeeding as a means of preventing infant malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality.’”
The New York Times notes, “Ms. Bachmann was wrong that Mrs. Obama wants the government to pay for breast pumps; the I.R.S. would simply allow people to deduct breast-feeding expenses if they itemize, or use the pre-tax dollars in their medical savings accounts to pay for pumps.
“And the federal government is now one of the biggest buyers of baby formula, through its nutritional programs for women and infant children. So giving a tax break for breast-feeding might actually help reduce government spending, as Ms. Bachmann advocates.”
This is yet another example of Sarah Palin the politician putting politics before the health of children. Michelle Obama is merely trying to help educate America about our embarrassing obesity problem. In an earlier reaction to the First Lady, Sarah Palin stuffed her children with S’mores, saying, “This is in honor of Michelle Obama who said the other day we should not have dessert.” But even her fellow Republicans balked.
“Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Fox News celebrity like Palin and a potential Republican presidential candidate who lost 100 pounds of excess body fat,” according to a report in the Alaska Dispatch,” joined Republicans saying Palin should have controlled her urge to lash out at all things Obama.”
But like most things in politics, this isn’t about breast pumps, or s’mores, or even the role of government, or taxes. This is about civil rights, and the subjugation of women.
Bob Burnett at The Huffington Post, one week ago — before breast pump madness week began — wrote, “In the final analysis, contemporary Republican ideology has three interlocked components: promoting a permanent state of war; favoring the interests of the rich over those of the poor; and relegating women to be second-class citizens whose rights are subordinate to those of men.”
What’s especially offensive is that it’s women who are doing it to other women. What’s even more offensive is that they’re doing it merely to appear to be in opposition to something and someone. Sarah Palin clearly knows that “government and community organizations have a vested interest in protecting and promoting breastfeeding as a means of preventing infant malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality.” The fact that Palin is willing to pit the health of children and the freedom of women against minor political gain is appalling.
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