Dear GOP, Its like you want people to hate us…

9 03 2011

When the Mikes– Huckabee and Medved, that is– got together last week, neither could have predicted the firestorm that followed their discussion about single mothers in America.
Or, more specifically, the example of one soon-to-be unwed mother: Natalie Portman.

It really began on Oscar night, February 27, where Portman won the Best Actress statue for her work on Black Swan.

In her acceptance speech, Portman thanked “my beautiful love, Benjamin Millepied… who has given me my most important role of my life.”

What should have been an elegant nod to the next chapter in her life, was instead used as fuel for the moral discussion on the uber-conservative Michael Medved talk show.

Huckabee appeared on Medved’s radio show on the 28.
Medved set Huckabee up for the bash, saying “A very brilliant and admirable actress named Natalie Portman won Best Actress… in any event, she got up, she was very visibly pregnant, and its really, it’s a problem because she’s about seven months pregnant… she and the baby’s father aren’t married. And before two billion people Natalie Portman says ‘oh I wanna thank my love, he’s given me the most wonderful gift.’ He didn’t give her the most wonderful gift- which would be a wedding ring! It just seems to me that sending that kind of message is problematic.”

Huckabee responded:
“You know Michael, one of the things that’s troubling is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, ‘Hey look, you know, we’re having children, we’re not married, but we’re having these children, and they’re doing just fine.’ But there aren’t really a lot of single moms out there who are making millions of dollars every year for being in a movie. And I think it gives a distorted image that yes, not everybody hires nannies, and caretakers, and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care. And that’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock.”

Huckabee quickly released a statement to explain his comments. 
        “…contrary to what the Hollywood media reported, I did not ‘slam’ or ‘attack’ Natalie Portman, nor did I criticize the hardworking single mothers in our country,” he said. 
       He reiterated:  “My comments were about the statistical reality that most single moms are very poor, under-educated, can’t get a job, and if it weren’t for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death. That’s the story that we’re not seeing, and it’s unfortunate that society often glorifies and glamorizes the idea of having children out of wedlock.”

For the record, Medved’s comment was far more scathing than Huckabee’s- although their motives are shared. Their motives are seeded in a rigid, religious, ridiculously archaic set of values that no one can live up to– the conservatives included. (ie: Ted Haggard, Larry “The Foot Tapper” Craig, and Mark Sanford.)

My problem with this latest GOP adjacent controversy is that there is so little room for women to deviate from a seen-not-heard, dinner-by-6 o’clock, happy-housewife, banal 50s sitcom image.
[Additionally, I resent that so much of being a “Republican” is connected to religion. I am not a practicing anything, so maybe thats why I have a serious problem with the concept of “separation of church and state” so blatantly being ignored here. My religious affiliation, or lack there of, does not, in any way, influence how I think or vote.]

Are the men who break vows and disgrace decency ostracized? Yes.
Are they ever punished? No. The party seems to just shut the door behind them and move on.
But basically declaring an Ivy  League-educated, Oscar-winning actress to be ignorant trailer trash because her man didn’t put a ring on it… is that behavior not unbecoming?  Obviously someone else thought so, because Huck was so quick to “clarify” his remarks.

Times they are a’changin… and if the GOP don’t learn to at least  A C T  like they are tolerant of others, we will never take back America. 
Does Hollywood need a little more restraint and a little less liberalism? I think so. These figures are being paid to sing or to pretend to be someone else, not to give ‘advice’ on who should be in the White House.
But Huckabee and Medved are not going to make their case by attacking the people (celebrities) that young people like and want to emulate.  (The premise of “You told me not to, so now I’m going to” comes to mind…)

Obama had the right idea reaching out via social networking to the young voters. Yeah, I said that. The problem was that the under-25 set had no idea what they were actually doing when they elected him.
The GOP needs to reevaluate their mission and their method- because the crusade of the “right way” is not working. The victory in Congress is one thing, but 2012 is a whole different animal.

In this country we are all entitled to our opinions, but were are also more than entitled to keep them to ourselves!

Natalie Portman attending the Academy Awards in her second trimester is not going to undermine the myriad purity rings and abstinence vows in the Red states– I think our nation’s complete lack of sexual education in schools and the Baby Boomer & Generation X’s inability to have candid conversations with their children about protecting themselves should get the job done just fine.

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