By Buck Shott
August 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—As the presidential candidates court voters in America’s heartland in Iowa this week, it almost seems as if the current crop of presidential wannabes are competing to see who can be the most outrageous, extreme, or scandal-prone.
Here’s a rundown on the latest tidbits that have left readers tittering on Twitter and agog on the blogosphere.
Hypocritic oath: Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon running on the Republican side of the aisle, blasted Planned Parenthood for making aborted fetal tissue available for medical research---but later ‘fessed up that he’s done such research himself including tissue from a fetus aborted in the ninth month of pregnancy.
Wipewater: Hillary Clinton has turned over her personal e-mail server to the Justice Department for its investigation—but first, someone wiped the server clean. Clinton, the heir apparent for the Democratic nomination, claims she didn’t know. The investigation focuses on up to 300 documents that may contain classified info, though Clinton has maintained that she never sent anything that was classified at the time. So why did a clean-up crew scrub the files?
Violating victims: Fundamentalist Republican Mike Huckabee told CNN he supports Paraguay’s decision to force a 10-year-old raped by her stepfather to give birth (even though the girl had to be sliced open via Caesarean section, since she was too tiny for a normal delivery.) Apparently the Huckster doesn’t know or care that girls age 15 or younger have a death rate from pregnancy and childbirth FIVE TIMES HIGHER than for adult women. There is nothing “pro-life” about risking the lives of little girls already victimized by rapists. But Huckabee has even broader plans. He wants a constitutional amendment to ban all abortions and birth control, making women into brood mares to produce a stable full of young ‘uns.
Making mothers wage-slaves: Ex-CEO Carly Fiorina, another GOP contender, wants to position herself as an alternative to Hillary Clinton for women voters. Ladies, you may want to know that Fiorina opposes any mandatory paid maternity leave. That makes the U .S. worse than all but one of 185 countries studied by the United Nations. Only Papua, New Guina, has no paid leave for moms, even paid time off for childbirth, let along taking care of a newborn baby. Oh, baby--even Afghanistan has 13 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Trump: Dump the Constitution: After calling for deportation of all undocumented immigrants and building a wall to keep everybody else out, billionaire business mogul Donald Trump, a Republican, now says he wants to end “birthright citizenship”, meaning citizenship granted to children born in the U.S. to parents who are undocumented. That would require changing the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside." So Trump’s plan would require a vote by Congress and ratification by two-thirds of all the states—states that couldn’t even agree on an Equal Rights Amendment for women. Not a chance.
What about Trump’s own family history? His plan would have deported and barred his own grandfather from citizenship—making Trump ineligible to run for the presidency, too.
The opinions in this column reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.