I apologize if I've spoiled your morning coffee or your afternoon latte with that headline. But like it or not, we are officially on the road to 2012 -- no, not the movie with my fave John Cusack. I mean the 2012 election. (Sorry I don't have a fancy banner or theme music to announce it like the cable shows.)
I know it feels as if we've barely come off the 2008 and 2010 elections, but you know how those campaigners like to get a jump on things! Sadly, I don't think many politicians are going to take that road with Jon Stewart's message of sanity.
At the beginning of this election season, the media and the GOP latched on to the story that 2010 was going to be the Year of the Republican Woman.
With Sarah "mama grizzly" Palin flying from coast to coast giving her blessing to the myriad Republican women who were inspired to run for office because of her place on the John McCain ticket in 2008, surely this was their time to charge into office and be the conservative change they wanted to see.
That's not just speculation or punditry. A recent study from the Center for Women and American Politics at Rutgers University found that while GOP women filed for elective office, including Congress, in record numbers in 2010, only 28% of non-incumbent GOP women won their primary races for Congress.
When a 20-year-old incident prompts you to pick up the phone to rehash a piece of history that wasn't even your own, there's something serious going on. At least that was my reaction when I heard that Ginni Thomas,the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas,called Anita Hill to demand an apology from her for what Hill had "done" to her husband!
We all have things we stay angry about. I was plenty peeved when my law school boyfriend thought it was a good idea a couple of decades ago to give me kitchen knives for my birthday (onlyromantic in a Fatal Attraction sort of way), but it's not something I think about anymore other than as occasional comic fodder. I've moved on.
GOP California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is offended that someone on her opponent Jerry Brown's campaign called her a "whore" in a taped phone conversation.
Krystal Ball, the Democratic candidate in Virginia's 1st Congressional District, was, in essence, labelled a whore, with the anonymous release of racy, college-era photos only weeks before the election and just after her campaign made a big media buy.
Offensive speech about Snyder was also posted on the church's website (which has the url not of the church's name, but of "god hates fags") proclaiming that it was the fault of Snyder's parents that he died in Iraq because they'd divorced and their son was a target for God's punishment because of that.
So the question for the Supreme Court is whether those protests and web content are protected free speech or whether it's action aimed toward private citizens that doesn't deserve Constitutional protection.