The Panic Room: Republicans just can’t figure out what Women WantPosted: August 17, 2013
The GOP has a woman problem. It also believes it has a 2016 Hillary Clinton Problem. There’s been this talk of rebranding, reinventing, reinvigorating, and remessaging Republicans. The deal is that Republicans are vested in deliberately misunderstanding women. They met last week to once more show a large degree of mass confusion over why their pograme of sending women back to the world of no birth control, no work, and no opportunity just isn’t selling. The only women they seem to impress are the ones with Stockholm Syndrome.
“In the last election, Governor Romney won among married women by 11 percentage points, but he lost among single women by a whopping 36 points. With single women making up 40 percent of the voters, well, you can do the math. And the president won women by 11 points,” said RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day in her remarks at the panel. “The bottom line is we’ve got to make the case for more women leaders in this party.”
She’s taking the issue — and her role as party co-chair, which has sometimes been more of a figurehead position — seriously, heading off to New Jersey after the meeting to help train and encourage the 35 women running for state-level offices there, the largest number of women Republicans making such bids in any state in the country. The party has to start somewhere, and one things it’s emphasizing is the deficit of Republican women at the start of the pipeline of political leadership.
The question is, is the rest of the party taking the issue as seriously as her? Women at the gathering were not sure. Not sure at all.
“The messaging to women is really bad,” said Ann Stone, a pro-choice Republican and one of the founders of the push for the National Women’s History Museum. “There’ve been closed-door sessions where we’ve talked about how do we get the men to stop saying some of the things they are saying. It’s usually out of ignorance. They don’t understand what they’re saying is highly insulting, which is really sad.”
Day opened her remarks with a similar air of disappointment. “I’m really sad, to be honest with you, that there’s not more people in this room. Because again as women, we are the majority. And as women, there should be more women in this room. Every one of us should be in this room,” she said. “So that’s the first thing I want to say, just to make me feel better. This room should be packed. And it’s not. ”
Florida State Sen. Anitere Flores had a similar complaint. “This is a self-selected group of people who have come here, probably saying, ‘Yeah, you know, We know we have a problem. We need to fix it.’ But there are a bunch of other people that are in other meetings right now that maybe are thinking we don’t have a problem — we don’t really have to go listen to that,” she said, before apologizing. “I hope I don’t get into trouble for saying all of that.”
“There is a problem. There is a gap,” she said. “And we can’t just keep going around and saying we won married women, woohoo, that’s great….
So what does the party of birth control restrictions, abortion access restrictions, nonsupport of equal work for equal pay laws have to say for itself? Basically, Republican women tried to change the subject,
During a panel introducing the party’s “rising stars” moderated by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Karin Agness, founder and president of the Network of enlightened Women (NeW), spoke on the GOP’s need to reach out to young women on college campuses who might not feel comfortable expressing their views in organizations with a more “radical, feminist perspective.”
Agness shared her experience in promoting conservative values on progressive college campuses, and encouraged the audience and fellow conservative leaders to provide an alternative for young women who did not agree with the Democratic Party’s platform.
She also emphasized that Republicans should be talking about a variety of issues that women truly care about, and use new technology and local news outlets to “meet them where they are.”
“Women aren’t a unified voting bloc that’s going to vote liberal every time,” Agness said.
At a panel later Thursday afternoon about the importance of women in the Republican Party, Washington Times opinion editor Emily Miller suggested Republicans needed to flip the rhetoric around about the existence of a “war” on women. “Do any of us in here feel like we’re in a ‘war’?” Miller asked.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this is the best way to stop a Hillary Clinton candidacy.
This is a very open thread.