“As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience, he believes that Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness.”
So a hearing about a policy that provides contraception through employer-payed health insurance is not about contraception. The Administration's actions regarding religious freedom and conscience are specifically pertaining to contraception and reproductive rights. But a hearing about the Administration's actions isn't about contraception and reproductive rights. And because of that air tight logic, we don't need a woman's perspective in our hearing. And we couldn't find a woman to speak on religious freedom and conscience as it pertains to the Administration's actions, which is about the policy of providing contraception.
Got that? Basically, Rep Issa doesn't have a fucking clue. Either that or he doesn't give a shit about women. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he just has no fucking clue. And I say this is a reason I can't see myself voting for the Republican party in any capacity because this is a microcosm of how they view women.
This also relates to a post I wrote a while back on Congressional hearings and their relation to general oversight. I talked about how the data showing fewer and fewer hearings over the past several decades doesn't automatically mean Congress is participating in less oversight. The reason I gave was that I've seen data that says most hearings are a way in which the majority party hears opinions they already agree with.
I think this case is one of those examples. Rep. Issa and the rest of the Republicans on his committee brought in an all male panel so that they could be fed opinions they already agree with. And I think they did so in part, or maybe mostly, to show their constituents and the broader public in general that they are paying attention to this contraception issue and are signaling their position so as to rally support. I would say that is a form of oversight, the part about presenting these opinions to the public and letting people know they are paying attention. I would also say that it's a pretty incomplete and very biased form of oversight. But oversight nonetheless.
And I'll commence to patting myself on the back for starting out a post as an angry diatribe and ending it with a poli sci influenced analysis of the political situation. I wish I could link to the paper I'm referencing when I say "I've seen data". But I don't feel like digging through the mountains of articles from grad school I have filed away. I guess you'll just have to trust your humble blogger.