The Right Candidates for the 15th Century

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A couple weeks ago, I marveled that four candidates I dubbed Wishy, Washy, Hum, and Wacky were likely to make it all the way to the California Republican Primary in June. I then invited you to write the Independent and offer explanations for this remarkable turn of events. Back to this later.

In the Middle Ages, some viewed contraception as a practice of witchcraft (see Pope Innocent VIII’s Witch Bull of 1484 for details). It remained a sensitive subject well into the 20th century. Contraception keeps creeping into debates about sex education or foreign aid to family planning programs, but most of us probably haven’t thought much about it as a public policy issue since the 1960s. Well, in case you’ve been living under a rock the past two weeks, it’s BAAAAAACK.

You might be tempted to blame it all on Viagra. When men began lobbying to have health insurance pay for treatments for “ED,” women rightfully questioned why insurance shouldn’t pay for womens’ contraceptives. Other than offer my support, I’m the wrong gender to speak for the ladies on womens’ health issues. But my advice to men is listen to your wives and daughters on this one and do not, under any circumstances, bring up Bayer aspirin.

But I do think it’s fair to ask how Wishy, Washy, Hum, and Wacky let themselves get suckered into this controversy, and into cultural issues in general. I think the answer is that they haven’t a clue how to manage the economy any better than the Obama Administration has.

Reducing government spending won’t reduce unemployment or get the economy growing any faster. Nor will it fix the broken infrastructure, speed up drilling for oil, deal with the threat of cyberwar, solve the Middle East crisis, fix schools, or solve immigration problems.

So Republican candidates are left to haggle over the sexual revolution, the role of women, religion, flag burning, and other cultural issues.

Can witchcraft be far behind?

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