The Rant 

"Let everybody say yeah." All right, break it down, fellows, I got something I want to say. That's right, now, bring it way down so I can talk to the ladies for a minute. LADIES!

Let me ask you a question. Did your old man come home drunk last night because he was laid off at the job, and he crawled in bed feeling all romantic? And while usually you might push him away, this time you didn't since times have been so rough on everybody, only now you need the "morning after" pill, Plan B, or whatever they call it. So you go down to the corner drug store only to find that the pharmacist refuses to sell it to you because he has a religious objection to birth control? Well, did you know that's just what Missouri senator Roy Blunt's new bill will allow? Anyone along the birth control distribution chain whose religious views are opposed to contraception can claim a "conscience objection" and refuse to sell it to you. That includes clerks, shelf-stockers, and cashiers. Now, can I give the drummer some?

"Everybody, scream!" Let's say you're a single lady and you went to a party and met a nice guy who seemed attentive and funny, so you ended up having nightcaps at your place and Marvin Gaye was playing on the stereo and one thing led to another. Only, later you discover that the SOB is married and something is off with your cycle. It's been less than a month, and since you would never consider carrying the child of someone else's husband, nor do you consider a non-breathing zygote with a prehensile tail fully human, you wish to terminate the pregnancy. Only President Santorum has gotten his wish that abortion be criminalized and outlawed in all cases, and even rape victims should consider a resulting pregnancy as "a gift." So, you turn to Planned Parenthood, but they've been defunded and/or bombed and all the physicians who performed the procedure have gone underground to avoid assassination from the anti-abortion zealots. And now, the only place left to go is underground. Can I get a witness? Ladies, having Rick Santorum as president would be like having Franklin Graham as your prom date.

Break it down, band, and let me talk to the fellows. Guys? You didn't think this wasn't your issue, did you? Imagine your 16-year-old daughter getting early admission to that prestigious college she's been dreaming about. All the arrangements have been made, only at the last minute, she gets pregnant by her ex-boyfriend, who is joining the Marines. After your family has cried about it and prayed about it, you all decide the best course is abortion. Only, you live in Virginia, and the state legislature passed a law that requires any woman seeking an abortion to first have a state-mandated ultrasound in order to humiliate them into reconsidering. Since most abortions occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, this would require a "transvaginal procedure," in which a probe is inserted into the vagina and manipulated to produce an image. Fellows, I don't know about you, but forcibly penetrating a woman for no medical reason sounds awfully close to rape to me. The Virginia legislature might have known this had they consulted any women, but the bill was on the governor's desk when even he pulled out, so to speak. Governor Bob McDonnell, looking like a graduate of preacher college, covets the vice presidency, so he decided to soften the bill by eliminating the invasive kind of ultrasound but not the procedure itself. Now, 'scuse me while I do the Boogaloo.

People are always talkin' 'bout less intrusive government, but that's just about as intrusive as you can get. All these candidates for president are trying to prove who's the most conservative. One guy says he's "severely conservative," while his opponents line up to say, "I'm the most," "No, I'm the most," when what they're really saying is my penis is larger than yours.

And what about that congressional hearing on women's reproductive issues held by Representative Darrell Issa? Women are 52 percent of the population, yet a House committee couldn't find any to join their stag party.

"Issa in da House!" These GOP candidates aren't running against Barack Obama so much as they're running against the 1960s. Republicans want to run your sex lives when they can't even run their own primaries.

"Now, I got one more thing I want to say right here." I believe in the power of love, yet here comes this guy Ricky Santorum, who thinks he has the final definition of what love ought to be for you and me. He believes that sweet love should only be for married people and, even then, just for procreation. I know someone else who believes that way: Pope Benedict XVI. A long time ago, a Catholic man named John F. Kennedy ran for president and assured the electorate his allegiance was not to the Church in Rome but to the U.S. Constitution.

Now, this Santorum person runs for office claiming that JFK's address was "a horrible speech" and that he prefers a papal edict. Not the kind of Christianity practiced by Obama, because according to Rick, "He has some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible." The Sanctum Santorum believes contraception is against God's will and has seven children to prove it. And in Rick's world, prenatal screenings only cause more abortions to "cull the ranks of the disabled" in society.

So, good people, what I'm trying to say is that you should get down on your knees and say, "Thank you, President Obama, for being a moral family man who keeps his business to himself. Thank you, Barack, for concentrating on the whole house instead of just the bedroom. And thank you for being the only thing standing between us and the sexual Inquisition." Any woman who votes for a Republican now has got it coming.

"Can I get an amen?" The name of the group is the Coat Hangers. Now, let's hear it one time for the band. Goodnight, everybody!

Randy Haspel writes the blog Born-Again Hippies, where a version of this column first appeared.

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