Burch: Let the bigotry and chauvinism games commence!

Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

If there was an Olympics for bigotry and chauvinism, Tennesseans might sweep gold, silver and bronze.

Among the favorites would be the man with the most recognizable name in country music, Hank Williams Jr., who recently told a crowd of cheering fans, “We have a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S., and we hate him!” In his most famous song, Bocephus bragged, “I got girls that can cook, I got girls that can clean, I got girls that can do anything in between.”

Not far behind is David Fowler, the president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, who recently said that the solution to people becoming dependent on food stamps is to put up a sign: “Do not feed the animals.”

Retiring Southern Baptist chief ethicist Richard Land, always a strong contender, is certainly in the medal hunt after calling black religious leaders “race hustlers” and other provocative names on his Richard Land Live! radio show. Unfortunately, charges of plagiarism continue to weigh him down a bit.

A dark horse candidate might be Murfreesboro Baptists who erected 13 white crosses in a field across from the new Islamic Center, in what seems to be an attempt to intimidate Muslims.

But Tennesseans will face fierce competition in the battles of bigots and chauvinists for worldwide supremacy. Here are some of the other main contenders:

Rick Santorum, a perennial contender, remains a strong frontrunner with his suggestions that rape victims should consider their rapists’ fetuses as “gifts” from God and that American women who use contraceptives are followers of Satan.

Michelle Bachmann and her husband cannot be ignored, with their “pray away the gay” exorcism business and her comments about homosexuals being “part of Satan.”

Missouri Rep. Todd Akin left women’s brains aching when, in arguing against abortion under any circumstances, he said that it is “really rare” for rape to result in pregnancies because in “legitimate rape” the “female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin’s choice of words suggests that there are “illegitimate” forms of rape, for which the victims are either fully or partially responsible. This would seem to put the onus on rape victims to somehow prove their rapes were “legitimate” before seeking abortions. Like so many Republican male chauvinists these days, Akin seems to have little or no concern for the rape victim’s rights or their physical health and mental well being.

Like Akin, GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan co-sponsored the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which in its original form included an exemption for “forcible rape.” The idea seems to be that rapes are not “legitimate” unless the victims are beaten to pulps and can provide the evidence. In any case, Akin and Ryan seem to be leading the dash to force girls and women to bear their rapists’ babies, and thus must be considered strong candidates for gold and silver.

Like his running mate, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood. When asked if the repeal of Roe v. Wade would be a good day for America, Romney responded, “Absolutely.” When asked, “Would you have supported a constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?” he again replied, “Absolutely.” While Romney is not as flamboyant a chauvinist as Akin and Ryan, what he lacks in fervor he makes up for in political muscle.

What does all this mean for women?

“Rep. Paul Ryan’s extreme anti-choice record shows just how serious a threat Mitt Romney’s presidency would be for women,” said Nancy Keenan, a women’s rights activist. “He has cast 59 votes on reproductive rights while in Congress and not one has been pro-choice. Rep. Ryan has also repeatedly voted to defund family-planning programs and supported the ‘Let Women Die Bill,’ which would allow hospitals to refuse to provide a woman emergency, lifesaving abortion care, even if she could die without it. The Romney-Ryan ticket is dangerous to women’s health.”

And so, while Tennesseans with sterling credentials remain strong contenders for podium positions, they face stiff competition from better-known bigots and chauvinists like Santorum, Bachmann, Romney and Ryan, and emerging stars like Akin.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

183 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 8/23/12 at 11:27

It's interesting to read your thoughts about the Republican male chauvinists, Mike. Can we now look forward to reading your thoughts about the Democratic male chauvinists next week?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/24/12 at 12:39

Another well written column. The extreme right with their passions in full blown fury speaks what is in their hate filled hearts. However when the spotlights focus on what that passion says and makes the news and the impact is analyze,. That passion becomes a dance of what was meant to have been said or this has been taken out of content.

If these passionate thoughts had been fully thought out in the first place, then there would not be any of these comedies of Spin Doctors trying to clean up the blunders. The very through that a raped woman would reject the unwanted fetus, is junk science.

By: bfra on 8/24/12 at 3:39

Considering the comprehension skills (nonexistant), of the 1st commenter of the day, that comment is just plain comical!

By: dargent7 on 8/24/12 at 4:41

When confronted in a single column of all these examples it's no wonder America is $16 trillion in debt, engaged in two wars, split right down the middle on virtually everything, and cannot find and elect true leadership.
Mike left out Palin who is so disassociated from reality it's scarey she came close to the W.H. If McCain won, at his advanced age, would of had a heart attack or stroke and she'd become President.
Romney/ Ryan may very well win.
I'm so tired of people calling Obama names, questioning his birth, religion, faith, patriotism, I almost want R & R to win to just see what they'll do.
Then we can all beat up on them for 4 + 4 years.

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 5:27

I almost want R & R to win to just see what they'll do.
Then we can all beat up on them for 4 + 4 years.

Bad idea. You think the middle class had a bad decade? With those bozos in charge we'll likely never recover.

I suppose if the goal is to expedite our fall, it would make sense but I'm not ready to hand over the keys to a couple of pompous asses whose only interest is to prop up the monied class.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you cannot run a Republic like a business, nor should you try. The founders have rolled in their graves so many times they think they're on a ride at a carnival.

By: dargent7 on 8/24/12 at 5:55

Well, Obama is fracturing the country.
I know he won, but let's revisit all his imperfections: Acorn, the church of Rev. Wright, his birth cert., stepped up war in Afghanistan (dumbest F*** thing anyone can possibly do), not to mention I don't think the country is ready for black people in the W.H. Plain and simple. It's too much of a strain on people's minds and souls.
Personally, I love the guy and his wife.
He's set for life even if he loses in Nov. so I won't feel sorry for him.
Let's give the two white guys a shot with their big mouths and pretty hair and wives and see what happens.
Another 4 years of Obama with all the back-biting and insults and accusations will not move and take this country forward. We'd be stagnant, going backward.
No way can he move this country forward with all the unrest and personal hatred. But, it's on us, not him.

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 6:03

Obama isn't fracturing the country, he's a convenient target for the ones who have systematically divided us ala 50's era McCartheyism...the Right.

Partisanship has existed since the 1790's but usually politicians found a way to work together. Even in the 80's, Reagan was great friends with Tip O'Neil. However, the advent of Conservative talk radio, which spreads lies, hate and these idiotic conspiracy theories, has completely raised the bar on not being able to find commonalities and exploiting the differences.

It's pretty much been a one-way street until recently, when the Dems seem to be growing something that may or may not be a spine, but at least they're fighting back.

I've personally never seen this so bad, neither have my parents and they were alive during the 50's witch hunts. Some would argue that the Hamiltonian/Jefferson era was the worst, but they at least found a way to work together.

This ain't happening with the current batch of twits in Washington.

By: jonescry on 8/24/12 at 6:06

The truth is that this list of crazy men and women are only Republicans because there simply is no Democrat who compares. None. It is one thing to be against choice - it is quite another to criminalize a woman who is raped or who simply wants to use birth control (the pill does not prevent conception). This reflects a hatred that only professional therapists can handle. As a former Republican I am very sad at how this party has been ruined by these people who clearly need help - even more sad for my nation and for the truly disturbed people within it that make it possible for damaged people to have power. This all is a crime against the genius of our Founding Fathers (a gift from God) and a crime against the sacrifice of the millions that have died fighting for this Republic.

By: jonescry on 8/24/12 at 6:09

I'm sorry to make one correction - the pill does not prevent fertilization (not contraception).

By: yogiman on 8/24/12 at 6:44

I don't know if it was a Republican of Democrat but I heard a pill has been developed for men to pop to prevent impregnating a woman.

Does that mean a man can rape a woman knowing they won't impregnate her? Can she still accuse him of rape?

By: dargent7 on 8/24/12 at 6:45

Curious to the statement, "the pill does not prevent conception".
What? Wanna bet?

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 6:51

Do you not understand the definition of rape, yogi?

By: dargent7 on 8/24/12 at 6:54

Yogi: Rape is defined as a man willfully inserting his penis into a woman against her will. By forceable strength, drugged, threat, knifepoint, gunpoint.
Whether he reaches orgasm, ejaculates, goes limp, is not the issue.
Rape is forceable, against a woman's will.
Now, in full disclosure, my Human Sexuality Professor, male, claimed he was once raped.
Half the class laughed out loud and then dropped it. True story.

By: yogiman on 8/24/12 at 7:01

I'm glad you had a good laugh, bfra. Now you can get serious and learn who your man sitting in the Oval Office is. I don't think you will laugh so much.

By: yogiman on 8/24/12 at 7:07

Considering our ages, I imagine I know more about rape than you men, gdiafante. You and dargent7 seem to have the same lack of sense of humor as your running mate brfa.

It might be because you know too much.

By: bfra on 8/24/12 at 7:08

yogi - Every comment you post is comical because, you have no concept of truth or facts. Nobody has to take my word for it, they just have to read your comments & consider the source.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 7:11

yogi says, "Does that mean a man can rape a woman knowing they won't impregnate her? Can she still accuse him of rape?"

It sounds like you assume the man is innocent and that there are lots of women out there just dying to accuse a man of rape. It happens but that is not the majority by far. You're not only a racist, your'e a misogynist (I know that's a big word but you might want to look it up.)

But then again you made the statement about women who "tease" and you would become disgruntled and huff away, supposedly "laughing."

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 7:12

There is no humor regarding rape, nor should there be.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 7:15

misogynist: a man who hates every bone in a woman's body, except his.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 7:24


Texas Democrats: Judge who said Obama could trigger civil war should quit

By: govskeptic on 8/24/12 at 7:26

Well written article and aimed at the majority of an audience that thinks
everything is just fine with the direction of the country and that their own
station in life is a fixed and staple one. Only a guess, but I would not
be surprised if there are not others that are very very worried about the
above items, and find your points mainly to be an extension of the
re-election efforts to deflect from as serious or more so other negatives
from this President and administration.

By: govskeptic on 8/24/12 at 7:27

Well written article and aimed at the majority of an audience that thinks
everything is just fine with the direction of the country and that their own
station in life is a fixed and staple one. Only a guess, but I would not
be surprised if there are not others that are very very worried about the
above items, and find your points mainly to be an extension of the
re-election efforts to deflect from as serious or more so other negatives
from this President and administration.

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 7:29

Each time I think yogi can't make himself look more a fool, he posts something like this: I imagine I know more about rape than you men, gdiafante.

I knew yogi wasn't a man but I did think him a male...maybe he's Paula Wade...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 7:30

I'm not happy with the gridlocked, deeply divided state that we are currently in, but I don't think R & R are the answer. What ever happened to the moderate, sane Republicans? I'm a centrist who has voted both sides of the aisle in the past, but these days the GOP is just downright frightening!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 7:30

Sounds like yogi knows A LOT about rape.....

By: dargent7 on 8/24/12 at 7:31

All this fertilization, conception, contraception talk....
The Pill prevents the ovum from being adhered to the uterine wall.
I don't think it prevents "conception", or fertilization, so, it may be viewed as an "abortion pill".
So, menstral cycles are God's way of aborting fetus's?
Men masturbating, having wet dreams, are serial murder and homicide?
To me, a sperm penetrating an ovum is celestial mechanics. There's nothing religious, sacred about it. Romance, roses, wine, champagne, is irrelevant to the physics of procreation.

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 7:40

The only people that are happy about the gridlock are the ones that believe no action is better than any action. The problem with that is the little fact that even no action has repercussion.

Think Newton...every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I know that may offend some religious nuts, but Netwonian law (not all of it, thanks Einstein) has been confirmed by experiment.

By: bfra on 8/24/12 at 7:40

News - Several people have been shot, outside the Empire State Bldg., around 9:00AM. No further details at this time.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/24/12 at 7:45


By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 7:50

MusicCity, that article spews the same old inaccuracies that the right keeps on reiterating. Go to Fact Check and you'll find what's true and what's not.

By: BenDover on 8/24/12 at 8:05

Here's the quote if anyone's interested.

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

Somewhat ignorant or, more likely, a rationalization of his pro-life stance that birth begins at conception and every life is sacred... but you'd have to have a whole lot of outrage in reserve to turn it into this Friday's Burch Rant.

'Legitimate rape' being a poorly chosen phrase would seem in this context to be a woman taken against her will and not someone who later regretted a willing encounter. Such a distinction is very important to make if you consider the act of abortion to be murder of an innocent child which many pro-lifers do.

All in all, it was a stupid remark that became a week's worth of fodder for the War on Women campaign by the democrats to distract from Obama's stupendously horrible economic and jobs record.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/24/12 at 8:09


1. America is $16 TRILLION in debt, and barrack Obama wants to spend MORE money

2. America has had unemployment above 8 percent for over 42 straight months.

3. Barrack Obama has spent BILLIONS of TAXPAYER money on companies that were on the brink of bankruptcy and eventually went bankrupt- MANY OF THE COMPANIES WERE DEMOCRATIC DONORS!!!

4. Barrack Obama has spent hundreds of thousands of TAXPAYER stimulus money on commercials promoted his energy initiatives on MSBC

5. Barrack Obama has ZERO private sector experience- yet he has the "audacity" to claim that the private sector is doing fine, and that every business owner "didn't build that". - How do you trust barrack obama to improve unemployment when he has no private sector experience?

6. The same cayman island ira accounts Mitt Romnye might have are the same accounts that America's unions invest in

7. Obama has played more rounds of golf than any president in history the past 4 years. This is the worst economic recovery in history. You would think the president would be more concerned!

8. Obama has spent more in the past 3 1/2 years than Bush did in 8 years (and I thought Bush was a terrible president)

I don't care how many ncaa brackets Obama fills out, nor how many talk shows Obama goes to, he has not completed the job he set out to do. He has not united this country, and it's not impossible to unite this country. I want bipartisanship, not someone who claims he will achieve bipartisanship yet blame everyone but himself when goals are not close to achievement.

if we are in the exact same situation 4 years from now if Obama is reelected, who is he going to blame then??

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 8:11

Well, not keeping promises is a legitimate reason to vote for someone else, blanket. And, Obama's certainly vulnerable in that aspect.

I take articles that that with a grain of salt. The first paragraph sums it up: he was a loser in 2008 and worked for McCain. Of course he's going to be biased against the person who beat him. Goes without saying.

As far as the substance, Obama did project rosier times and admitted the numbers were high. In defense, very few people realized the recession/depression was as bad as it was/is at the time. But Obama was in charge. Had the conditions improved, he would get the praise, so he should get some of the blame when it doesn't.

Even now, circumstances are conspiring to put us back into a recession, much of which is beyond the power of the Presidency. That's the grain of salt.

I'm not one who thinks that had McCain won, we'd be much better off. Bubbles burst, that's the downside of a market economy. What Obama had to deal with since the bubble burst, though, is ridiculous. Filibuster after filibuster, obstructionists, brinksmanship.

So yeah, he hasn't kept many promises, but it isn't like he's had any help, either. When the oppositions main goal is to thwart every one of your policies, you're likely to not get much done.

By: BenDover on 8/24/12 at 8:14

Burch's attempt at an albatross here ignores the fact that this is not the view of the Republican party and the Republican party called for Akin to bow out of the election because of it. It also ignores that Romney and Ryan disavowed this guys position from the beginning.


But you'd have to come to the City Paper comment section to find any of this out because it's been buried by a media pile-on of which this Burch Rant is just another echo.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 8:15


Considering the "Party of No" people in congress, it's hard for Obama to get anything done.

Your #7 - Got proof for that? How much time did Bush spend at his ranch? That's weak.

As for #8 - There is a difference between investment spending and consumption spending. However, did you read this?

Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It's Barack Obama?


You do realize that you have to account for inflation as well as the interest being racked up on the debt that he inherited. It's not like he was working with a clean slate and that everything was in balance when he arrived.

By: rawhide on 8/24/12 at 8:15

Thanks for weighing in Burch! The 10% of Tennesseans who share your worldview need to have a voice! Kudos!!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 8:17

Ben, Akin and Ryan both were working on the bill to change wording to "forced rape." When asked if Ryan supported Romney's more moderate approach he simply called it "a step in the right direction."

By: BenDover on 8/24/12 at 8:19

He also blew another almost a half trillion in TARP repayments MusicCity.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/24/12 at 8:19


A lot of Obama's budget and other proposal couldn't even pass the Democratic Senate during his frist two years.

I really think America was won over by a smooth talking, young, hip, cool, candidate, and we overlooked that Obama has zero real private sector experience. The economy is the single most important issue, and Obama does not have the credentials to strengthen it.

Has anyone else noticed that Obama never explains HOW he will achieve his goals? He always claims he "wants to build the middle class, make america energy dependent, create jobs".

Ok... HOW?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/24/12 at 8:20

MusicCity, I don't want someone running the government like it's private sector! And yes, how can you achieve all of your goals with an obstructionist congress?

By: BenDover on 8/24/12 at 8:23

Do you disagree that there should be a distinction between women who are taken forcibly and women who regret an earlier decision and choose to bare false witness about it? Or is the distinction in the case of a willing minor on statutory rape grounds?

Neither of these distinctions, that are very important to people who believe that life begins at conception, should be offensive in any way to anyone.

Why is that offensive?

By: BenDover on 8/24/12 at 8:25

I think my point about pent-up outrage is the only explanation to the reaction in this case. That and opportunistic distraction politics.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/24/12 at 8:29


Good thing Mitt Romney has public sector experience too as governor!

By: MusicCity615 on 8/24/12 at 8:31

As governor, Mitt Romney made a budget deficit into a budget surplus and brought the unemployment rate to 4.8%. Actions speak louder than words, Barrack Obama.

By: BenDover on 8/24/12 at 8:37

Obama had a blank check for his first two years Blanket. That's when all the damage was done. Blaming his failures on the last 18 months of Republican House when his own budget was shot down in the Senate 97-0 and when Reid won't bring a single House bill to a vote in the Senate and when the Senate has not passed a budget in 3 years is just willful delusion.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/24/12 at 8:39

Mike Burch-

Where is your criticism of Al Franken when he wrote many rape jokes as a writer for Saturday Night Live?

Is ok to joke about rape? I don't think so. Al Franken is another idiot in Washington with NO, Zero, ZILCH real world experience.

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 8:50

Last time I checked, experience isn't required. Otherwise the Tea baggers would not have won a damn thing.

Washington had no "real world" experience, unless you think commanding an army qualifies you to run an economy.

Neither did Lincoln. Unless you think lawyers are also qualified to run an economy.

When was the last time an economist was elected President? And, if your belief is that government shouldn't have a hand in the market, why would you need experience?

Just because someone has experience doesn't mean they'll apply that experience in the best way. As much as you believe Obama is pandering to the welfare society, Romney is pandering to the elite. They're the same.

You lose all credibility when you don't acknowledge the problem is bipartisan.

By: bfra on 8/24/12 at 8:55

By: BenDover on 8/24/12 at 9:19

He also blew another almost a half trillion in TARP repayments MusicCity.
You are like yogi's broken record TARP TARP TARP! So OK Big Ben, tell us how & where he blew it, in detail.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/24/12 at 9:02

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 9:50

When was the last time an economist was elected President? And, if your belief is that government shouldn't have a hand in the market, why would you need experience?

People who have real world experience know that the governments should stay out of the way, not interfere. What is Obama doing?

By: gdiafante on 8/24/12 at 9:06

Well, musicCity, are not the Bush Tax Cuts interference? A hands-off approach would include no intervention, even for the wealthy.

But, even Friedman understood that government has a function and should intervene in certain circumstances, as in regulation. This is especially noteworthy considering the housing bubble...