Extremist Republicans Don’t Want to Be Attacked for Extremism
The National Review’s Andrew Stiles is still upset with Democratic messaging on reproductive rights:
Welcome to the scorched-earth phase of the Democrats’ “war on women” campaign, and the beginning of a ruthless offensive to hold their Senate majority, and possibly to retake the House, in 2014.
Democrats have nearly perfected the following exercise in cynical electioneering: 1) introduce legislation; 2) title it something that appeals to the vast majority of Americans who have no interest in learning what is actually in the bill, e.g., the “Violence Against Women Act”; 3) make sure it is sufficiently noxious to the GOP that few Republicans will support it; 4) vote, and await headlines such as “[GOP Lawmaker] Votes No On Violence Against Women Act”; 5) clip and use headline in 30-second campaign ad; and 6) repeat.
I’m not sure if Stiles knows this, but the Violence Against Women Act predates the Democratic “war on women.” It was first passed in 1994 by a vote of 61-38 in the Senate and 235-195 in the House. It was reauthorized in 2000, and again in 2005—with little opposition from Republicans. And indeed, Senate Republicans joined Democrats last year to reauthorize the new VAWA, with the included protections for Native American women and other groups.
The problem, as it has been for the last two years, is a conservative minority of the House Republican conference. Indeed, it’s the same minority that has rejected equal pay laws, and pushed anti-abortion bills that sharply reduce the reproductive autonomy of women. If the “war on women” has had any traction as a rhetoric framework, it’s because those things are unpopular with voters.
Stiles is free to complain that a political party is being unfair by playing politics, but if he wants to solve the problem, he should push his allies to abandon their current drive to make life more difficult for women.
The more interesting tidbit in Stiles’ piece is this:
Interesting piece in the American Prospect. Exposes the wingnut rhetoric behind the whining about the phrase ‘war on women’, and the utter cynicism of Republicans complaining about being labelled extremists and obstructionists.