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Why Things Suck, Volume 192,415

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Memo to Jeb Bush: THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS.

Jon Stewart cited burnout with the political process as part of the reason he's leaving The Daily Show in August, and it's hard to blame him. For example, one of the things you'll hear this year, as you do every election, is that this time, finally, the election's going to be about "issues". Like that matters.

Elections feature people talking about "the issues" all the time. They just talk about them horribly, because they're horrible people and because certain patterns of horrible thinking are so deeply ingrained in the process that even in the impossible instance that two people actually wanted to have a serious debate on the issues and were capable of doing so, nobody would listen and nothing would be resolved.

Case in point - last week, Hillary Clinton was talking about the challenges in protecting women's rights around the world, including in the United States. Here's what she said regarding women's access to health care, safety from domestic abuse, and protection from sexual assault:

“Yes, we have cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth. All the laws we passed don’t count for much if they are not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will, and deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed."

You can argue about whether or not she actually believes this, and whether or not she could or would do anything about it if she were elected president. But she is clearly talking about issues. Want to make any guesses about what part of this Jeb Bush singled out and twisted? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"This week Hillary Clinton said that people's deep-seated religious beliefs need to be changed in order to advance her own personal political agenda. Wow. America was founded on religious freedom, and that freedom is woven into the Bill of Rights as the first guarantee. And strengthening families is an important element to helping people rise up. This shouldn't be a partisan political issue, but unfortunately for Hillary Clinton it sounds like it is."

Of course, if what Clinton was talking about - reducing domestic violence, reducing sexual assault, continuing to reduce maternal mortality, and improving access to reproductive health are "partisan political issues", then Jeb Bush stands for rape, beating women, dead mothers, and keeping birth control away from women, and I think Jeb would normally be comfortable copping to only one of those.

But beyond that, how difficult is it to maintain the Persecuted Christian illusion? Clinton was talking about all religions, plus other stuff, all over the world. Yes, American Christians are included, because American Christians, as a political group, tend to fuck with women's rights. But so do foreign Muslims, as conservatives are happy to remind us at every opportunity.

But here's the part that really makes politics suck. Sure, Jeb Bush technically, in an attempt to score a cheap political point, came out in favor of rape and letting Muslims keep their sincere religious belief that women can't drive. But that will never come back to haunt him. He won't be pressed on his clearly deliberate base-riling bullshit or its implications.

He will, in other words, get away with being a stupid fuckhole. Which is the omnipresent state of American politics, which is why it doesn't matter whether or not we're talking about "the issues" this time.

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