A few days ago a Gallup poll found a widening gender gap in swing states.
The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.
Romney’s main advantage is among men 50 and older, swamping Obama 56%-38%.
One poll does not an election make, but this was a Gallup poll, and I understand Gallup tends to overstate Republican support. But instead of trying to reassure women voters that the GOP is not anti-woman, the freaking idiot Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus compared us to insects.
Well, for one thing, if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we have problems with caterpillars. The fact of the matter is it’s a fiction and this started a war against the Vatican that this president pursued. He still hasn’t answered Archbishop Dolan’s issues with Obama world and Obamacare, so I think that’s the first issue.
This is right up there with the claim, repeated many times on the Right, that the reason African Americans vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is that they’ve been snookered into staying on the Democrat “plantation” by food stamps and welfare. That righties don’t realize this as a slap in the face of African American voters exemplifies why African Americans vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.
Now Reince Priebus is saying the war on women is a media fiction that women, apparently, are falling for out of stupidity. And apparently our concerns are of no more importance than an insect’s. This is not reassuring us that you’ve got a clue, Reince.
Of course, there are women who do support Republicans. Women who diss their own gender are a common phenomenon. (I blame their fathers, but that’s another rant.) This columnist at the New York Daily News is an example.
The truly compelling — and frightening — finding from the Pew poll on the gender gap isn’t about abortion or contraception. It’s that women prefer big government solutions. And this is where feminism meets its match.
The percentage of women who favor bigger government providing more services outpaced men by 9 points in 2011, and has since at least 2000, with widest gap in 2004 at 12 points.
Women, it seems, are falling for the left’s “we’ll take care of you” economic paternalism, the insistence that women need the state, or wealthy taxpayers, to rescue them from a life of oppression, squalor and servitude.
The way I’d put it is that women are more realistic about their own vulnerabilities than men. They are much more likely to actively seek emotional support systems and to realize that sometimes they need help from others. Men are more likely to be in denial that they need anything from anyone else, which is a big reason why men commit 75 percent of suicides. When the fickle finger of fate points at men, they are less emotionally prepared to deal with it.
For most of us, beyond our friends there are big, ominous powers out there capable of either helping us or jerking us around. The government is one of those powers. Employers are another one. For some, Church is a third. According to Republicans, the only one of those likely to harm you is government.
But in their real lives, women are far more likely to have been jerked around and otherwise treated shabbily by their employers than by the government. Government can be annoying and unhelpful sometimes, but it usually doesn’t make your day to day life a living hell the way a bad employer can. And these days, even Catholic women are ignoring their Church on “women’s” issues.
So when anyone, including another woman, sneers about the left’s “we’ll take care of you” economic paternalism, it does not resonate with the real-world experience of most women. Sure, some fall for it, such as the Tea Party ladies who want to keep government out of their Medicare. But I think more women would vote for the “paternalism” of government over that of their employers when it comes to, say, why they are on the pill.
I don’t think most women look to Democrats to create a government that will “take care” of us. But when Republicans clearly take the side of corporations and churches over individuals, that ought to scare the stuffing out of us. And I think it is scaring the stuffing out of some of us.
And it ought to scare the stuffing out of men, too, but in my experience white men at least are more likely to be loyal to the powers that be. Yes, there are many exceptions, but on the whole I think I am right. This is another reason they are more likely to commit suicide when their trust is betrayed.
The fact that Republicans can’t seem to imagine why it would be bothersome to a woman to have to get a permission slip from their employers to get their pills paid for tells me these people cannot be trusted.
Government programs that benefit the poor, especially children, don’t impact the day-to-day lives of most women nearly as much as programs that give our employers more power to jerk us around or corporations more power to rip us off with impunity. And messing with our health care is the last straw. Steve Benen:
As we’ve reported on the show many times, the effort on the part of GOP policymakers at the federal and state level to undermine women’s health care is as severe as anything we’ve seen from a major party in many years. Unlike the war on caterpillars, Republican efforts are real.
I’ll spare you the full list of every bill in every state, but the policy offensive is, well, offensive. Restricting contraception; cutting off Planned Parenthood; state-mandated, medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds; forcing physicians to lie to patients about abortion and breast cancer; abortion taxes; abortion waiting periods; forcing women to tell their employers why they want birth control, going after prenatal care, possible abortion permission slips … this is no minor policy initiative.
For the chairman of the Republican National Committee to dismiss concerns as “fiction” only adds insult to injury.
Eric Boehlert documents that righties are in massive denial about how much they are hurting themselves with women. They think we are insects? Let’s show ’em how hard we can sting.