I’m baffled. When a political party loses a large, important demographic in an election, I would think that they would change tactics so the same thing doesn’t happen again. I’m not saying they necessarily need to give up a favored policy position but certainly they could maybe talk about something different. They could follow the example of Pope Francis. The Pope is certainly not going to change the Catholic Church position on abortion or ordination of women, but he doesn’t want those kind of issues to be the focus of Church teaching. I refer, of course, to the Republican Party.
I think that all of them need to go back and take Biology 101 again because starting with Todd Akin, they really don’t know how the reproductive system works. The latest is from Mike Huckabee. The Nation has provided the full quote via Yahoo! News.
Here are Huckabee’s comments in full, provided by Yahoo! News’s Chris Moody:
I think it’s time for Republicans to no longer accept listening to Democrats talk about a war on women. Because the fact is, the Republicans don’t have a war on women. They have a war for women. For them to be empowered; to be something other than victims of their gender. Women I know are outraged that Democrats think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have a government provide for them birth control medication. Women I know are smart, educated, intelligent, capable of doing anything anyone else can do. Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women. That’s not a war on them, it’s a war for them. And if the 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 the government, then so be it, let’s take that discussion all across America because women are far more than Democrats have made them to be. And women across America have to stand up and say, Enough of that nonsense.
While his remarks are somewhat muddy and unclear I think the gist is that the Democrats are paternalistic. Sorry, Mike, but I think that it is the Republicans who are paternalistic. They assume that women don’t understand about birth control, abortion, and their own bodies. Otherwise, why would they need to have a doctor do a vaginal ultrasound and explain to them about fetal development. But I think that Gail Collins had the best response.
Say what? Basically, Huckabee seems to be telling us that the Republican Party will not insult women by suggesting the federal government should require health insurance policies to include birth control pills in the prescription drug coverage.
He appears confident that women will find that an attractive proposition.
Huckabee was at a meeting of the Republican National Committee that was supposed to be pondering ways to close the gender gap. Instead, he laid bare a fact that the party has always tried desperately to hide — that its anti-abortion agenda is also frequently anti-contraception.
Back in 2011, Mississippi voted down a referendum that would define life as beginning at conception. One reason it failed was because women came to understand that passage might outlaw certain kinds of contraception. Women, as Collins points out, believe that the right to control their own reproductive schedules was long since established. Most women find the idea that this might not be so beyond imagination.
Once upon a time, Republicans took the lead when it came to helping women get access to birth control. Now, the whole party is hostage to an anti-abortion movement that harbors a wide-ranging contempt for sex outside of marriage, combined with a strong streak of opposition to any form of artificial birth control, even for married couples.
“What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right?” Rush Limbaugh said of Sandra Fluke, the law student who was lobbying for inclusion of contraceptives in health care plans. However garbled his language, Huckabee’s control-their-libido harks back to the same mind-set.
This is a super political strategy. Let’s target all the voters who waited until they were married and then practiced the rhythm method.
The Republican party continues to be tone deaf when it comes to women’s health.
And there was no backtracking after the “Uncle Sugar” speech. In fact, Huckabee sent an email to his supporters replaying his remarks. Then he asked for a donation.
Photograph from Wikipedia.