With enemies like Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton doesn't need much help from her friends to reach the White House. Events are breaking her way. Last week, Huckebee did his bit to help out the former secretary of state, and before that Christie, who was the electable GOP candidate, closed the lanes on his road to the White House.
Bless its pointy little head, the Republican Party has done a lot more to undercut the Republican Party than the Democrats. The party of tea, formerly known as the GOP, is doing everything it can to sabotage the 2016 GOP presidential nominee and galvanize the female voters who could be the foundation of Clinton's candidacy in the 2016 Democratic primaries and the general election
Fellow U.S. News blogger Susan Milligan has recently written in these pages about the sorry attitude conservatives have towards women. Recently, right-wing Republicans have launched sexist attacks on Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. The Washington Post reported that Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., had written, "The wife is to voluntarily submit just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice." Holy 1950's Batman!
Last week at a conference organized by Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus to bridge the gender gap, Huckabee widened it with a statement that demeaned women and Democrats. "If Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government," he said.
I don't heart Huckabee and neither do most female voters. Huckabee's remarks were harmful to Republicans in more ways than drugs and alcohol are to Justin Bieber.
Huckabee's comments about Democratic appeals insulted the women of America. Huckebee made the same mistake that most Republicans have made over the last generation, which is to assume that a political party can reach women simply as the sum of their reproductive organs. The former Arkansas governor and wanabee presidential candidate put himself firmly in the camp of radio host Rush Limbaugh, who called birth control advocate Sandra Fluke a "slut." Women don't want birth control so they can have wanton sex. They practice birth control to do their best for their families and to have the same kind of medical choices men like Huckabee and Limbaugh do.
Huckabee also falsely accused Democrats of being opportunistic on reproductive rights issues. Unlike Republicans, Democrats understand that women are caring and sensitive. Democratic candidates have successfully demonstrated that they can reach women by talking about jobs and education and by pointing out the pain and suffering that GOP policies and budget cuts inflict on all Americans.
Another potential Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., added fuel to the fire last week when he made a ham-handed effort to strike Hillary Clinton using her husband's prior bad acts. If Paul thinks he can undermine Hillary Clinton by attacking her husband, Chris Christie has a bridge he would like to sell to the senator.
House Republicans are as bad as or worse than Huckabee and Paul. Conservative Republicans decided to preemptively counter President Obama's call for job creation and income equality by highlighting abortion, of all things. Hours before the State of the Union address, congressional Republicans voted to eliminate federal funding for abortions in another attempt to limit health care choices for women.
The feeble tea party attempts to appeal to women are a godsend to Hillary Clinton. Women outnumber men in general elections and female voters make up a big majority of the Democratic primary electorate. Many young women supported Barack Obama over Clinton in the 2008 primary campaign. Candidate Clinton will have to win them over and galvanize them to get out and vote for her. If she is the Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton needs to mobilize the ascendant majority that carried Barack Obama to the White House, which includes young women. Republicans make her job easier every day.
One Republican, Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., had sound advice for his party when he responded to the House abortion vote with this advice. "There are some memos floating around saying how Republican should speak to women," Dent said. "Here's my suggestion for a communications strategy for some of these guys. Four words: Shut the bleep up." Dent spoke the truth but few Republicans will listen.
- Read Laura Chapin: The GOP's Laser-Like Focus on Libido and Ladyparts
- Read Pat Garofalo: Atlanta's Snowstorm Traffic Is Emblematic of America's Congestion Problem
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