The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Republican Enemies and Democratic “Friends”

Apr 30, 2012

The Republican Party, going back to the 1990s, has used reactionary ideas as an election strategy, appealing to that part of the population drowning in reactionary attitudes.

Using the war on women as an election strategy seems like it might backfire this time for the Republicans. Normally, if an economy is really bad, like the one we are in right now, the sitting president does not typically win reelection. If Obama wins after four years of a bad economy, and with a level of unemployment greater than when he took office, it will be because of the Republican war on women. Women are saying in poll after poll that if the election were held today, they would vote for Obama.

But no one should believe that women’s rights would be safe if Democrats are put in office.

Despite Democrats posing as strong defenders of the right to choose, the Hyde Amendment passed in 1976, when Democrats had an enormous 291-144 majority in the House, and a 60-40 majority in the Senate. And it was signed by Democratic President Jimmy Carter.

Democrats haven’t even been weak defenders of women’s right to choose.

One of the quirks of the Hyde Amendment is that it is a “rider” to an annual appropriations bill, which means it must be renewed by Congress every year. So each year, enough Democrats have supported it to get it passed.

A 2010 deal between Democratic President Obama and a group of anti-abortion Catholic Democrats produced Executive Order 13535, which is aimed at permanently continuing the Hyde Amendment’s policy of restricting federal funds for abortion.

What’s for sure is that after the elections are over, attacks on women will become fiercer again. Women must organize to defend themselves.