Two Catholic guys and a woman walk into a bar behind a Black Christian guy and a Mormon guy, jostling each other and laughing. The woman turns to the Catholic guys and in a quiet tone, asks the woman question. What do they think of abortion? The men quit clowning around and quietly they answer. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Okay, I admit it, I had my finger on the remote control, thinking that the last fifteen or so minutes of the vice presidential debate weren’t going to be worth staying up for and once again, addressing how issues impact women had been missing in action as a topic of debate. And then Martha Raddatz asked them what, as Catholics, they thought of abortion.
I really wish she hadn’t framed abortion as a personal issue for a couple of Catholic guys. Frankly I don’t give a crap what their personal or religious beliefs are. What matters is their political stance on the subject. Not to mention that we really need to discuss reproductive rights as a whole, not just reduce it to the abortion question.
And I really wish that when they talked about Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria, etc. that Biden had pointed to the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security that Obama recently issued and the importance of CEDAW and 1325. And imagine if equal pay was part of the economic discussion or women’s healthcare needs and how they will be met by each candidate.
It is especially infuriating that Biden has been a very strong supporter of both CEDAW and VAWA which has not had its funding re-authorized this year, courtesy of the GOP. It truly speaks to the extent of our woman problem in this country that it is not deemed pc for him to be proud of his support for these crucial issues or to take Ryan and the GOP over the coals for refusing to support these measures.
It remains to be seen if the framers of the debates will deem the woman question asked and answered and whether the interests of women in any way figure into either of the remaining presidential debates. I’m not holding my breath.
Postscript: All that said, I thought Martha Raddatz did a tremendous job of moderating, compared to Jim Lehrer’s sorry perfomance at the first presidential debate, it was a huge relief to see such competent moderating.