The Democrats Had Already Conceded the War on Women

Curiously, in his chronology of the talking point, “the War on Women,” Dave Weigel doesn’t mention the actual terrorist attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic a few weeks back. Nor does Marc Ambinder in his thoughtful piece on the outrage mobilized by the term. And these men commenting on the Democratic Party’s effort to mobilize its tribes by raising outrage over the GOP’s treatment of women are right, up to a point. In DC, that metaphor, “War on Women,” has been cognitively divorced from what happens when a man conducts a terrorist attack (one not treated as a terrorist attack, mind you) on a clinic designed to help women access the same life choices men get by default.

In their review of the outraged response to Hillary Rosen’s suggestion that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life, neither Weigel nor Ambinder nor just about anyone else noted the unspoken implication of Mitt Romney’s defense of his wife that raising their five children (with help, mind you) was a full time job. Mitt effectively admitted that he wasn’t doing the child-rearing–still a common gender assumption among men of Mitt’s age, but nevertheless stunning in the way no one noticed that Mitt admitted his role as father involves outsourcing all the child-rearing to the mother. The true scandal of the Hillary Rosen poutrage, IMO, is that no one considered the flip side of Ann’s full-time job as mother: Mitt’s abdication of child-rearing as a father. Sure. When his boys were little, he was a busy man and all that–he had people to fire and jobs to outsource. But he was able to focus so closely on those things because Ann did the parenting work for the two of them.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are still going to use GOP attacks on women as a political stunt. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz tweeted or re-tweeted 7 comments about women’s issues yesterday, in addition to the seemingly mandatory condemnation of Rosen.

I was particularly amused by this DWS tweet:

Bottom line: Choice, affordable contraception, and Planned Parenthood are at stake in this election. http://j.mp/I6A8c0

As it happened, a few hours after DWS sent that tweet, I went to a Debbie Stabenow event hosted by a local women’s group. As we were waiting for the Senator to speak, a top county Democrat was sitting several rows behind me trying to convince some of the women not to support Trevor Thomas. “There is absolutely no way he can win,” the guy said (the polling says he’s wrong, and I suspect he knows that). In addition to saying a gay man can’t win, he also said a pro-choice person can’t win in the district (his listeners pointed out that Stabenow herself had won the district; so have at least two other pro-choice candidates). Then he described Steven Pestka, using the line Michigan Democrats used to defend Bart Stupak as he was rolling back access to choice for women across the country.

He’s with us on everything else.

But the really appalling comment, uttered by a man at a women’s event, was this:

I need to win this year.

If the guy were reasonably intelligent, he might have said, “we need to win the gavel back for Nancy Pelosi.” But he couldn’t even muster a “we need to win” this year. Nope. It was “I need to win this year,” and that’s why women have to suck it up and vote for someone who has attacked their autonomy in the past.

Steve Pestka’s with us on everything else, this guy said at a women’s event. But he’s not just anti-choice. When he was in the State House (the experience locals point to to claim he’s a better candidate than Trevor) he scored a whopping 0% on votes to support choice. That included a vote for HB 4655, which singled out Planned Parenthood to be defunded, precisely the outrage–at the national level–that Democrats use as the cornerstone of their metaphorical attack on the GOP for its “War on Women.”

As the DNC Chair was claiming this election was about “choice, affordable contraception, and Planned Parenthood,” at least one local Dem official was telling women they have to vote for a guy who has already voted against all those things because he needs to win this year.

This metaphorical “War on Women” makes nice DC theater. But Dems conceded even the metaphor some time ago.

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17 Responses to The Democrats Had Already Conceded the War on Women

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @isamuel @copiesofcopies @OrinKerr Sure, but to be clear, Orin has an intelligent+reasoned position. May not be mine, but it is not invalid.
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emptywheel @ZaidJilani Have heard that from African friends: beatings learned from Britons. @Luvnbeer
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emptywheel @brettmaxkaufman It's their nice way of saying, "Damnit, we had hoped we could go v Klayman alone in the one favorable judgment" @aclu @eff
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emptywheel @mattapuzzo What about the covert forces on the ground? They're just killing everyone? @robertcaruso
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emptywheel @tbogg Not sure how much of this story would have come out if Goodell weren't lying his ass off so consistently. Scapegoated Rice.
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emptywheel @eljefekenney Or someone trying to protect him, yes. It's possible it's true, even.
53mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @eljefekenney Dunno. Don't believe the parts abt Harbaugh, if that's your question. He CLEARLY knew more during his presser.
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emptywheel "Perhaps most visibly, Rice was the longtime spokesman for M&T Bank, one of the team's main sponsors " http://t.co/ZCOWvYAHl4
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emptywheel Glad @DVNJr's piece didn't drop till after Goodell's presser--more likely he'll go. But sort of wish it disproved the Mueller whitewash
59mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @BrianF1959 Maybe. But trust me .Your depiction of what happened with public perception is utterly wrong.
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emptywheel @BrianF1959 To WHAT? To the public learning that Clapper lied? In what world?
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emptywheel @BrianF1959 About 5 people noted in real time it was a lie. Snowden exposed it as such to the public.
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