May 21 2012
Carrie L. Lukas
Karin highlighted the refreshing piece in the New York Times by Campbell Brown on the President Obama’s distasteful pandering to women. Social issues aren’t top of mind when the economy is continuing to limp along, leaving millions out of work or underemployed. And even when people focus on social issues, most understand that questioning government’s role or different policy prescriptions is different than waging a “war on women.”
The New York Times editorial board must have missed Campbell Brown’s piece and instead is doubling down on trying to create a cartoonish image of the GOP as waging a campaign to strip women of essential rights. The New York Times intones:
Despite the persistent gender gap in opinion polls and mounting criticism of their hostility to women’s rights, Republicans are not backing off their assault on women’s equality and well-being.
Actually, many polls show the gender gap closing (and the NYT, of course, could also ask Democrat why they continue to push policies abhorred by men in spite of their own gender gap).
Yet the more important point is that support for such policies isn’t an attack on women. Take the Violence Against Women’s Act. As I wrote in the Wall Street Journal, there are legitimate reasons to oppose the reauthorization of VAWA and to want the law reformed. Those like the NYT who assail anyone who dares to criticize VAWA as somehow supporting abusing women are worst kinds of demagogues and are doing a disservice to Americans by stifling needed debate.
It’s no surprise that the NYT would act as a central player in the DNC’s latest campaign tactic. They abandoned the pretense of objectivity long ago.
The good news, however, is that as Campbell Brown notes, American women aren’t buying this line about a “War on Women” or the embarrassingly paternalistic image of women being sold by the Administration in their “Julia” profile. And even better, American women seem to recognize that they are being treated like political chips and are tired of being talked down to by politicians and their allies. That should mark the beginning of the end of this ridiculous “War on Women” talk, and hopeful will mean more honest discussion of the trade-offs of different policy approaches.