April 24 2014
Michigan’s Republican senatorial candidate Terri Lynn Land’s TV ad rebutting her opponent’s “war on women” charge is getting a lot of favorable attention.
I was originally inclined to applaud Ms. Land’s ad (with some reservations—I did point out that we can’t neglect fact-based arguments in favor of personality).
But now I am not so sure that the Land commercial is the right way to go.
Mona Charen has a hard-hitting blog at "The Corner" criticizing the Land approach. Since setting the record straight on the phony “war on women” rhetoric is so important if we are ever to shrink the size of government and have an economy that provides fuller opportunities for women, I am going to quote Mona’s post in full:
I don’t know much about Terry Lynn Land. She may be a great candidate. But this commercial, which is getting some praise, strikes me as completely wrong! She encourages us to believe that a woman candidate couldn’t possibly be opposed to women. As one commentator put it, “She doesn’t have to answer it because she IS the answer.”
This is the essence of identity politics and most of us on the right adamantly reject it. A black candidate can’t claim to speak for blacks; a Hispanic candidate cannot speak for his group, etc etc because groups don’t have interests, only individuals do. And because groups are not monoliths.
I can easily imagine a woman candidate whose policies and beliefs would do harm to women — an Islamist, for example, or stay with me here, a believer in preferences (which have the effect of harming their intended beneficiaries).
Anyway, Land’s commercial should have listed some of the things she believes women want and need — like good jobs, public safety, less bureaucracy, better schools, a replacement for Obamacare – and then looked into the camera for her tagline “I’m fighting a ‘war on women’? Really?”
Discuss among yourselves.