Republicans Flip "War On Women" To "War For Women," But It's Still Bogus
During the 2012 elections, Democrats successfully painted the GOP as a bunch of warmongers, but not in the typical sense. The Dems charged their colleagues across the aisle with a "war on women," citing the Republicans' persistent push to legislate women's lives. The strategy worked in their favor, with the 2012 presidential election producing the largest gender gap in Gallup's history. But as midterms approach, Republicans are vying for those votes with a women-centric bill package released Wednesday — a "war for women."
It seems that Republicans are finally abandoning their gender-neutral voter courtship. As TIME notes, the GOP, aside from George W. Bush's appeal to soccer moms, has sidestepped appealing to women or men directly. Mostly, I surmise, because it doesn't have much of a leg to stand on. For single women, who traditionally vote Democrat, a party that consistently votes down equal pay legislation and pushes for increasingly restrictive reproductive health policies doesn't likely align with their M.O.
This is important heading into the midterm elections. The Democrats stand to lose their majority hold in the Senate this November, so it is crucial that they turn out their large voting groups — like single women — to the polls. Republicans, using this crucial time, have zeroed in on that very demographic with this bill package.
Publicly championed by 4th-ranking House Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the package is loaded with potential benefits, some of which have already passed the House, for women in the workforce and with families, including more flexibility with time off, job training, and protections for women who inquire about equal pay.
OK, they say not to look a gift horse in a mouth, but if you're looking for teeth to all of this legislation, there are none. McMorris Rodgers, who has become the feminine face of the Republican party as of late, all but admitted that the package would make the GOP look good without any actual change.
While noting that laws need to reflect a world where women make up half of the workforce and control purchasing decisions (adding, "women like to shop," because she couldn't resist dealing in platitudes for just a few minutes), she threw in this gem at a news conference Wednesday:
I thought this timing was great because we can highlight what we have done. I think it’s important that there is a recognition that we’ve been working on these bills, on these solutions for a long time and we’ve seen some successes but there’s still more work to be done.
Yes, some of these have already passed, but it is a convenient time to say, "OH LOOK WE TRIED" when there are precious few legislative days left before the midterm elections, almost guaranteeing that much of the package doesn't even have a chance of seeing the president's desk.
It could be a change of heart for the GOP. There could be a legitimate push to wage a "war FOR women," as friend to the ladies and House Rep. Mike Coffman noted in Wednesday's press conference. But this change would have seemed less suspect if it hadn't miraculously happened just before an important midterm vote.
But empty promises or legitimate sea change, it's safe to say that no one has fussed over single ladies this much since Beyoncé.