Sunday, March 11, 2012

Women Leaning Toward Obama

        Ann Romney

Women were the main reason for the GOP takeover of the House of Representatives in 2010.
by Charlie Leck

For the first time in some years, the House of Representatives fell under the control of the Republicans as a result of the 2010 elections. That devastated the President’s game plan and set up two years of turmoil and disagreement between the administration and the House.

Democrats were shocked by the results of 2010 – not so much that they were defeated, but that it had been women who brought them down and sent a very clear message that they shouldn’t be taken for granted. Women wanted better treatment within business and they wanted equal pay for equal positions and equal work. It seems they saw better opportunities with Republicans than Democrats.

President Obama got the message. The 2012 election campaign for both the President and the Congress will be designed to bring women back – at least by a three percentage point margin, which is what it will take (all it will take) to win. The President’s campaign strategy team has been at work on the project (bringing women back to the Democratic Party). And, they haven’t been kidding around about it. They see their goal as a formidable one.

Now, the Republicans seem to be doing the job for President Obama and Democratic members of the House. Thanks to guys like Rick Santorum (Mr. Opposition-to Birth-Control Santorum) and the defacto leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh (Mr. wanting-contraceptive-pills-paid-for-by-your-health-insurance-company-makes-you-a slut-and/or-a-hooker Limbaugh).

Kathleen Parker, writing in the Washington Post, calls this “…a perfect storm of stupefying proportions.”

Listen, Democrats are absolutely thrilled to have Republicans take such radically crazy positions on matters of women’s reproductive rights because those positions make it seem that, as Parker writes, the “Republicans are waging war on women.”

Meanwhile, Democrats will continue to say that these are matters regarding a woman’s body and they will be very content to let women decide about those issues.

One has to be aware, that there are also plenty of men out here who also think there is wisdom in wise contraceptive planning. Too many children are born into families that are under economic stress. Plenty of married couples would like to build up a nest egg before they start a family. They don’t want politicians telling them when they can or can’t or should or shouldn’t! And, too many unintended children are born to unmarried young girls who don’t want those children.

The fact is, as Parker points out, “the GOP long ago made its bed with social conservatives, a large percentage of them Southern evangelicals, and now must sleep with them. After marriage, of course.”

When all the dust settles after Election Day in November it will be interesting to see just how much this single issue had to do with the results of the voting. Those of us who enjoy observing politics in action will find it fascinating to watch how the Republicans are going to reverse gears now that they see how they are offending women with their moralistic positions. Just yesterday (Saturday), Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, introduced him at a major campaign stop and it was clear that she was trying to direct the conversation back to economics and how the Republican Party can benefit women workers.

David Maraniss, an associate editor of the Washington Post wrote this week about the President’s extraordinary luck

“Yet now, how lucky for him that the Republican candidates maul one another in their frenzy to replace him. How fortuitous that they keep veering further right, giving the president the opportunity to seize the middle and possibly win back the persuadable voters who will decide this election.”

The ultra-conservative positions of the Republican candidates didn’t hurt them too much until they started to be about women’s sexual and reproductive rights, something about which a panel of four gentlemen shouldn’t assume to be significant authorities. One must quickly add that Ron Paul has wisely stayed away from the issue.

As for Rick Santorum, I just can’t wait for him to open his big mouth again!

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