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Post Partisan
Posted at 03:18 PM ET, 05/16/2012

PostScript: Rubin and a ‘war on women’

Jennifer Rubin blogged this morning about 10 things to take away from Deb Fischer’s win in Nebraska’s GOP Senate primary, but commenters and the blogosphere at large wanted to dispute and/or cheer one in particular: “7. With more and more female candidates, the Democrats’ ‘war on women’ meme becomes sillier and sillier.”

Well, does it? A woman beat two men in a red-state GOP primary for the U.S. Senate. Can the war on women, or the war on women meme, be as effective if it’s waged by women on women? Mljr doubts that a candidate's double-x chromosome is enough to trump her support for mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds. And found another example of intra-gender treachery:

Why did a majority of women in 2008 vote for the [presidential] ticket that didn't have a woman on it? Could it be that the VP candidate was a nitwit and the platform was anti-women?”

Vodkapundit has an answer: Women 180’ed since that election.

Conservative women — many of whom didn’t even know they were conservative before the Stimulus — have been out in force since 2009, and the birth of the Tea Party movement.

Recent polling stats have thrown cold water on the ladies-love-Obama wisdom. IowaHawkeye points out that women haven’t been a monolith and that Obama has been squandering his advantages among them:

…if [there were a war on women], Obama would have a 90-10 advantage amongst women. Only he's losing them faster than any Dem candidate in the last century. Not that female votes were a big concern to candidates in 1916, say.

Balloon-juice argued that the gender of the candidates and the voters has no impact on the validity of the war-on-women argument.

Rubin either thinks that gender trumps policy, or that policy doesn’t matter at all.

And melbach found a way to win female support for the Democrats forever and ever:

Female Republicans may not even qualify to be regarded as women much the same as gay republicans don't support gay rights [so don’t count as gays].

Melbach makes an important distinction, though. We’re talking two wars here: A war for empowerment of women in government and a war for what are called women’s rights, whether advanced by man, woman or beast. Conflating the two means we can’t even tell if the president is a gay woman or not. Or if that even matters.

Jennifer Rubin replies:

“One reader, erazzmus, writes:

“The ‘war on women’ refers to the Republicans' obsession with women's reproductive rights and contraception as well as the belief that some women aren't smart enough to know when they're pregnant. Such a war can be waged by both men and women.”

“Well, now the cat is out of the bag. You see, the ‘war on women’ is a catchier, more inflammatory way of saying ‘opposition to abortion on demand’ or ‘against forcing religious institutions to provide contraception in violation of their religious principles.’ It is a clever turn of phrase, casting Republicans as misogynists. Whereas opinion on abortion is split rather evenly, no one is in favor of a literal war on women.

“The proclivity of the left to abscond with and distort everyday language in lieu of making reasoned arguments is remarkable. But if nothing else, however, Fischer and other female, pro-life GOP candidates have teased out an important fact: The ‘war on women’ is simply the left’s latest effort to dress up the same old abortion politics, and demonize Republicans.”

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:18 PM ET, 05/16/2012

 
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