October 18 2012
Why Women Are Rejecting the "War on Women" Rhetoric
If the movement towards Gov. Romney revealed in a recent Gallup poll continues, the Obama campaign’s “War on Women” rhetoric will prove to have been a bust.
The Obama campaign has urged us to vote our “lady parts,” but it appears that women are instead opting to employ their mental parts. There are two must-read columns this morning on how the “War on Women” is playing.
Timothy Carney of the Examiner was writing after Tuesday night’s second presidential debate:
When President Obama speaks about women's issues, it's a safe bet he's telling tall tales. When Democrats talk of a "war on women," they are usually waging a war on facts. And women, it seems, aren't fooled.
In 20 seconds on Tuesday night, while discussing women's health during the presidential debate, Obama dissembled twice. First on birth control. Second on Planned Parenthood.
"Gov. Romney feels comfortable having politicians in Washington decide the health care choices that women are making. I think that's a mistake," Obama said. It seemed an odd criticism from a president whose major domestic initiative injects government further into all aspects of health care. But Obama actually was attacking his health law's critics.
"In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured. Gov. Romney not only opposed it, he suggested that in fact employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage."
What is Obama talking about? What is this diabolical Romney plan that would force women to beg their bosses for birth control?
Carney then goes on to lay out the issue: Empowered by Obamacare, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promulgated a mandate that all employer-supplied health insurance plans must cover contraception, sterilization, and the “morning after” pill that acts as an abortifacient.
The GOP doesn’t believe that employers who have moral objections to these should be forced to provide these options. It is, as Carney puts it, “a canard” that the GOP has designs on your contraception. Like the larger "War on Women" itself, this is a lie.
Carney says that the president also “played loose” with the facts about Planned Parenthood. Romney has said that he would try to halt federal funding for Planned Parenthood. President Obama said that many women “rely” on Planned Parenthood for mammograms. But Alliance Defense Fund, a religiously based organization, requested documentation from the Food and Drug Administration on the number of certificates required to do mammograms Planned Parenthood has. Reportedly, no such certificates had been issued. It is quite possible that Planned Parenthood refers women for mammograms.
The notion that Romney and Republicans are waging a "war on women" has always been laughable. Now it appears to be failing: Romney has completely closed the gap among female voters in swing states, according to this week's USA Today poll.
Obama, it seems, didn't believe women could tell when they're being lied to.
Michael Barone, writing before the second debate, also has thoughts on why the Obama campaign’s “War on Women” rhetoric doesn’t seem to be working. He writes:
Obama-campaign strategists are pooh-poohing the notion that Romney could be making gains with women.
“Why, he’s against ‘access to contraception,’” they thunder. That was something we heard a lot about at the Democratic National Convention.
But it’s code language. “Access to contraception” turns out not to mean access to contraception. No one anywhere in the country is proposing to ban contraceptives. The Supreme Court ruled in 1965 — 47 years ago! — that states can’t do that.
The code language refers to the Obamacare requirement that employers’ health insurance pay for contraception. So “access” means you won’t have to pay the $9 a month that contraceptives cost at Walmart.
Big deal. That’s about the price of two pumpkin lattes at Starbucks.
Maybe it’s just possible that women voters are more concerned about an economy where 23 million people are out of work or have quit looking.
Or about a president who the day after the murder of a U.S. ambassador flew off to a Las Vegas fundraiser and for two weeks kept blaming that murder on a spontaneous response to a video, contrary to what his State Department knew on day one.
Most of the people out there peddling the "War on Women" have something to gain. President Obama wants to be re-elected. Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards wants federal subsidies to her organization to continue. And Sandra Fluke--do you ever think she just likes the limelight? She's become a national figure of sorts by demanding the Georgetown Jesuits violate their consciences to provide her something free that costs about the same thing per month as a few trips to Starbucks.