Now They’re Saying We’re Insects?

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Republican Party, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts, Women's Issues

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.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 6, 2012 @9:56 am

    Jeez, “caterpillars.”

    Not even butterflies!

    They just can’t treat women as fully developed, can they?

    What’s behind this women as caterpillars line:
    I’m sure in their minds, that coming near manly-man Conservatives like them, you’ll finally be “reborn,” and be attracted to them like moths to a flame – and fall madly, passionately, head-over-heels in live with them.

    And maha, you’re no ordinary butterfly – you’re a Monarch butterfly! (Or, is that sexist?). :-)

  2. Rick Massimo  •  Apr 6, 2012 @10:28 am

    I’d like to know whether Republicans can get through a sentence without declaring war on something or accusing someone of declaring war on something.

    Failing that, I’ll settle for one of them actually uttering the phrase “PRESIDENT Obama.” They really can’t say it.

  3. biggerbox  •  Apr 6, 2012 @10:37 am

    I heard SC Governor Nikki Haley on NPR this morning, when she was given the opportunity to revise the comment she made the other week about women not caring about contraception. She said, basically, that women don’t VOTE on the issue of contraception. Which I thought was rich – how would we know, given that contraception hasn’t been an issue in national politics for 40 years, until the GOP made it one this year?

    Oh, and by the way, the GOP actually DOES have a war on caterpillars, also. :-)

  4. biggerbox  •  Apr 6, 2012 @10:54 am

    OK, now this has officially crossed into self-parody territory. Phyllis Schlafly, who’s been wrong on every issue since before I was born, has chimed in, in a speech to…wait for it… that bastion of women’s rights, The Citadel. (No, really. Yes, it does sound like a joke.)

    The best part of it is when she took the gratuitous swipe at Bella Abzug’s looks. (Yeah, I know! Abzug! Wow. THAT’S a relevant reference for college kids.)

    Ed Kilgore

  5. moonbat  •  Apr 6, 2012 @11:45 am

    I’m all for this kind of obtuse ignorance to keep reigning within the Republican camp.

    As a male, who too often thinks he doesn’t need anything, your analysis about women being more realistic about the threats out there, and their responses is very good, but I would add a point that you’ve missed. I know conservative women who get what you’re saying, but who view the Left and Democrats as the party of evul social permissiveness. They see this as a rot in society – another kind of threat which undermines their safety – and so that’s the counterargument that would otherwise cause them to wholeheartedly embrace the Democratic position. They’re torn between right wing corporatism (they don’t really mind the craziness that much) and left wing permissiveness.

    Enjoyed the (flying) Fickle Finger of Fate reference.

  6. goatherd  •  Apr 6, 2012 @11:54 am

    You nailed it point for point!

  7. Lynne  •  Apr 6, 2012 @12:04 pm

    Oh, Barbara, thank you, thank you for weighing in on this.

  8. joanr16  •  Apr 6, 2012 @12:45 pm

    Biggerbox, I heard Nikki Haley this morning too, and her nonsense was the first thing I thought of on reading this post. It seems coordinated to me. Coordinated shooting-self-in-foot, weird as that sounds.

  9. Stephen Stralka  •  Apr 6, 2012 @1:04 pm

    This is one issue that you really can reduce to a bumper sticker: Feminism is the radical idea that women are human beings. How hard is that? Although, like moonbat said, I’m not in any hurry for them to figure it out.

  10. Tom b  •  Apr 6, 2012 @1:55 pm

    Republicans are like ants; no individual initiative outside the “hive mind” whatsoever.

    It is a GREAT fallacy that private industry is somehow magically “better” than Gov’t., especially given that the latter has SOME accountablity–sometimes you can vote the crooks out of office. Employees in businesses have no such mechanism and shareholders RARELY show any teeth.

  11. goatherd  •  Apr 6, 2012 @2:25 pm

    Yes Stephen, and I like the “Feminazi — Because wanting equal rights is worse than invading Poland.”

    But, I suppose everyone’s heard it too many times to be amusing.

  12. Swami  •  Apr 6, 2012 @10:01 pm

    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.

    Liz Cheney? I’m not sure she disses her own gender, but her father has so screwed up her thinking that she meets the criteria of father blame.

  13. erinyes  •  Apr 7, 2012 @5:54 am

    ‘Love the hookha smoking caterpillar.
    “Reince Priebus”, now there’s a name.
    Mom and dad must have been sippin’ some purple ringer tea when they came up with that. “priebus minimus”, mad hatter, and the March hare. Down the hole we go.

  14. buckyblue  •  Apr 7, 2012 @8:03 am

    I know I’m late on this but just to add; Scooter Walker just signed a bunch of awful bills that I am hoping will be his death sentence in the recall election. Laws restricting abortion rights and the ability to sue your employer for damages in a discrimination law suit. I’m not sure if he realized he had a contentious election coming up and every vote could be the difference. We sit as the most polarized state in the union, most polls have us at 48-48 with 4 undecided (which is amazing in and of itself because most people don’t pay any attention to state politics).

    But then Priebus, who’s a WI guy, will claim that this has all been manufactured by the press. Sorry, if I can’t sue you because I don’t like your sexual harrassment and I have to stay at the job and take it, that’s wrong. The law suits are what really keeps these people in line, because we don’t have any ability at getting them arrested. We, and the Repugs especially, have decided that the courts are the ones who will fix these things. It’s a party that just doesn’t get, can’t help themselves, and when called on it will play the victim.



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