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Retreat, hell

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It's still "no quarter" in the Republican Party's war on women, and Congressional Republicans from Arkansas, eager for commendation, aren't missing any licks. "Kick 'em while they're down, and they'll stay down longer," seems to be the idea.

Barely a week ago, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives slashed funding for women's health care, including mammograms and screenings for pregnancy and cervical cancer. The three Arkansas Republicans in the House — Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack — joined in voting for the cuts, while the only Democrat in Arkansas's House delegation, Mike Ross, voted to protect women's health. As much as we've criticized Mike Ross, we'll miss him when he's gone, which will be next January. Though erratic, Ross is occasionally gripped by a fit of kindness. He'll be replaced by a Republican as consistently cruel as C, G and W. Some believe that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are having all the congressional Republicans immunized against good will, but people who've known Crawford, Griffin and Womack for years, say they've never needed chemical help to be nasty.

Over in the Senate, meanwhile, 31 male Republican senators, including Arkansas's John Boozman, were voting against renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. ("What's wrong with a little violence, especially when they won't shut up.") All the female Republican senators voted with the Democrats, and the Act was renewed by a vote of 68-31. One is tempted to say that female Republicans are almost reasonable, and then one remembers Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

Back in Arkansas, Republican legislators have announced plans to give the government even more control over women's bodies, sweeping aside any foolish notions about reproductive rights. They may try to legalize polygamy if Mitt Romney is elected. A woman mightn't be the victim of so much violence if her husband could spread it around over more wives. The older and less attractive would still be apt to get more than their share, but that's their fault. Nobody told them not to be young and pretty.

This is why Barack Obama's deletion of Osama bin Laden gets no applause, and some disapproval, from the Republicans. He may have had his faults, but Osama was sound on women's rights. And anyway, the Republicans have bigger fish to fry: Nancy Pelosi. Hillary Clinton. The single mother waiting tables at the Dew Drop Inn. That ilk.

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