“If you aren't completely appalled then you haven't been paying attention”
This war is not new. GOP strategists are escalating the Republican War Against Women that has been going on since the '80s. However, this new wave of attacks also has a front of women voicing their opposition to the feminist agenda.
Palin and her mama grizzlies are a twenty-first century upgrading of the backlash against women and minorities strategy that put Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bush II in the White House. These angry women are the bait, stirring a pot of discontent against the Obama Presidency. Their candidacies are the first act in a plan by the Republican right—now joined by its Tea Party allies and supply-side libertarians—to run the Republican party .
Their goal is the White House and a radical redirection of American government that will rollback much of the New Deal and Great Society policies. They seek repeal of many of the laws of the last thirty years that opened opportunities for those left out of America's mainstream— women, minorities, gays and immigrants.
It is engineered by a new generation of Republican tacticians who have built their strategy on the foundation laid in the original Republican War Against Women. That earlier crew—composed of Reagan's campaign team, new right and religious right leaders—orchestrated the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, opposed affirmative action, federal money for child care and numerous policies aimed at making life better for women and their families.
The centerpiece of this war has always been women's reproductive health. Through the 1970s and 1980s, abortion was its principal issue. Now they have expanded their opposition to stem cell research and contraception.
For these 2010 angry women candidates, opposition to abortion remains the keystone of their political philosophy. But they downplayed abortion in their campaigns, instead attacking big government spending and high taxes.
Don't be fooled, the 'Good Ole Boys' are still in control
The strategic aim of this newest version of the backlash strategy is to weaken the Democrat's attraction to its strongest constituency, women voters. This year it had three parts:1- To energize large numbers of Republican women voters through the campaigns of the radical Republican women candidates.
2- To use this Republican female energy to attract independent women who occasionally voted Republican and want lower taxes and less government.
3- To make Democratic women feel a sense of hopelessness, to encourage a lack of enthusiasm for voting, to alienate them from Obama.What is surprising is how long it took this male-dominated, backlash political machine to recognize that the path to control of state houses, Congress and the White House was with feisty right-wing women candidates.
The Republican War against Woman has not ended. But it's got Palin, Michele Bachmann, re-elected to her Minnesota congressional seat, and now Nikki Haley and Susana Martinez leading it.
Read the complete list of the "Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women."
1) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker.
2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."
3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)
4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.
5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.
6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.
7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.
8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.
9) Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.
10) And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up).
Nope, you can't make this stuff up. It is real, it is powerful and it cannot be dismissed.
1. "'Forcible Rape' Language Remains In Bill To Restrict Abortion Funding," The Huffington Post, February 9, 2011
"Extreme Abortion Coverage Ban Introduced," Center for American Progress, January 20, 2011
2. "Georgia State Lawmaker Seeks To Redefine Rape Victims As 'Accusers,'" The Huffington Post, February 4, 2011
3. "South Dakota bill would legalize killing abortion doctors," Salon, February 15, 2011
4. "House GOP Proposes Cuts to Scores of Sacred Cows," National Journal, February 9, 2011
5. "New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion," Talking Points Memo, February 4, 2011
6. "Republican Officials Cut Head Start Funding, Saying Women Should be Married and Home with Kids," Think Progress, February 16, 2011
7. "Bye Bye, Big Bird. Hello, E. Coli," The New Republic, Feburary 12, 2011
8. "House GOP spending cuts will devastate women, families and economy," The Hill, February 16, 2011
9. "House passes measure stripping Planned Parenthood funding," MSNBC, February 18,2011
"GOP Spending Plan: X-ing Out Title X Family Planning Funds," Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2011
"Birth Control for Horses, Not for Women," Blog for Choice, February 17, 2011