The real war on women

By Matthew Gagnon,
Posted April 12, 2012, at 3:56 p.m.

I am told that there is a war being waged against women in this country. I had no idea I was such a reprehensible human being, but as a registered Republican, apparently I am one of the people in political fatigues, prosecuting this war. Who knew?

Now that I think about it, wasn’t it the left that lectured the rest of us that we were to dispense with martial metaphors in politics in the aftermath of Tucson? A rule for thee but not for me, it seems. But I digress.

So how did this war start? It seems to be that Rush Limbaugh — the man who was appointed by the left (not the right) as our spokesman — is a magnificently misogynistic malcontent intent on maligning my mother (and all other women as well). It also seems that one particular Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, doesn’t like birth control very much.

That, it seems, is enough to speak for the entire movement and constitute a “war.”

Pay no mind to the fact that Rush’s influence over the Republican Party is a Democratic talking point, not a reality, and that Santorum was so unappealing to Republican primary voters that he, as the supposedly conservative option, was unable to come close to beating the very moderate Mitt Romney. No, what matters is that a flood of press releases and ivory tower speeches from Democrats say that we are at war.

But when all the rhetoric and nonsense is stripped out, the picture we are left with in reality is very different. The left, you see, seems to have some dirty laundry of its own.

Enter Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, who just insulted basically every stay-at-home mom in America. With classic arrogance, she claimed that Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, shouldn’t talk about women and the economy because she “hasn’t worked a day in her life.”

Staying home and raising five sons is apparently neither respectable work nor something that qualifies one to talk speak issues that impact women. Apparently to Rosen, all women are the same. Anyone who does not fit her preferred archetype — metropolitan, single, working women without families, it seems — is invalid and unqualified. And here I thought we were to be tolerant and understanding of lifestyles different than our own.

But more important than ignorant bloviating — so bad it had to be rebuked by not one but two senior advisors at the White House — is actual policy.

To hear the left tell it, opposing a federal government mandate that insurers provide free contraception is the preeminent women’s issue of our time. What else could be as important?

Here’s a thought: perhaps policies that actually affect how women live their daily lives? Things like being able to afford living expenses, being able to provide for their families and being free to make their own choices about what to do with their lives. Things like taking more and more money from women by constantly trying to raise taxes, making it harder for women to be providers, mothers and entrepreneurs?

The list is long. Democrats in Maryland tried to raise the gas tax. Democrats in North Carolina and Washington tried to raise the sales tax. Democrats in California are trying to raise the state’s income tax to the highest in the nation. Democrats in Connecticut already pushed through the largest tax hike in that state’s history. Democrats in Illinois increased income taxes by 66 percent.

And that is to say nothing about the disproportionately large share of job loss suffered by women in the three years of the Obama administration.

In Maine, the story is no different. Decades of Democratic rule have pushed taxes upward at every level of government, making lives harder for both women and men. Now, when an attempt is made to ease that burden, it is opposed by those same Democrats.

Let’s be honest — the idea that any large scale political movement of any kind in this country truly has a motivation to wage a “war against women” is preposterous. We all — Democrats, Republicans and everyone else — want what is best for our mothers, sisters and daughters. It is usually a good idea to assume good faith.

But good intentions aside, one side of the political spectrum is standing in a house made of glass and throwing a very hard rock. For a party with such an atrocious record on the most basic, tangible kitchen table issues that most affect women’s lives, that takes some guts.

Matthew Gagnon, a Hampden native, is a Republican political strategist. He previously worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. You can reach him at matthew.o.gagnon@gmail.com and read his blog at www.pinetreepolitics.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/12/opinion/the-real-war-on-women/ printed on September 16, 2014