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How Democrats Can Take the 'War on Women' to the Next Level
You've got to hand it to Democratic strategists. Who would have thought six months ago that in the lead up to perhaps the most important presidential election of our time, the hottest political topic in the country would not be the weak economy, high unemployment, the huge national debt, record gas prices, or turmoil in the Middle East. Instead it's Women's Rights, or at least that's what the Democratic party is calling it while miraculously managing to keep a straight face.
A term that was once used in conjunction with women's suffrage and the right to vote is suddenly synonymous in the modern day with free contraceptives at the expense of others. Gone are the likes of true icons like Susan B. Anthony. Now we have Sandra Fluke and her heroic crusade to mandate that her sexual lifestyle choices be subsidized. How proud the Democratic party must feel right now to have successfully revitalized the civil rights movement in the 21st century by equating it with luxury entitlement. The media must feel pretty good too. They've actually been able to substantiate this ridiculous narrative to the American public... or at least a targeted voting block within the American public.
The Republicans' War on Women - that's the poll-tested talking point coming out of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC these days. Despite the absurdity and insulting nature of the claim, the mantra sure is getting a lot of attention. It's also proving to be an effective weapon - one of several weapons from a year-long arsenal of distractions designed to keep the Republican party off step, off topic, and constantly on the defensive at a time when President Obama is wrapping up what is surely the most dismal presidential term of my lifetime.
Of course, the Republicans haven't really helped themselves either. They've fallen into practically every liberal trap set for them, whether it be Rush Limbaugh crossing the line in his rhetoric toward Sandra Fluke or Rick Santorum's repeated engagement in sensitive social stances. Combined with an overly-personal and gaff-prone primary, one has to wonder if any GOP candidate is going to seem electable come November. At times, the frustration makes a even a conservative like me wish the candidates would just put each other out of their misery. Then, if there's anything left to save of our country come 2016, we can start over with a fresh stable of more attractive hopefuls.
I don't really mean that of course. I think we've only seen the beginnings of Obama's catastrophic social justice crusade. The country can't take another four years of this. But in a temporary moment of cynical weakness, I've decided to offer the Democratic party a helpful idea for how they can not only escalate their silly War on Women narrative, but use it to achieve certain victory for Obama in November.
We'll start with the premise behind the War on Women. The Democratic party has long understood that this is going to be a tough and tight election year. They've concluded that their best chance of winning Obama a second term in office is to secure the female vote. That's the sole reason anybody is talking about access to contraceptives right now. The topic came out of thin air back in January and the Dems have been trying to embed it in our water cooler conversations ever since. To a large degree they've achieved that... not because it's grounded in any genuine concern (no one's trying to ban contraceptives), but because it's a sensitive, personal topic to women. Any sort of perceived encroachment in to that part of women's lives is going to be met with fierce resistance, even if that perception is completely manufactured. Thus, the strategy has been seen as a political winner by the Democrats.
This is where I think I can lend my expertise to the DNC, as far as fabricating another women's rights controversy. You see, in addition to being married for nearly ten years now, my weekly schedule includes me taking my daughter to music and dance classes where I'm typically the only father waiting in a room filled with numerous mothers. I often listen to their conversations and I think I've developed a pretty good feel for a highly sensitive issue when it comes to women.
Obama Re-election team, take note... I'm about to give you a gift. My plan may seem a little convoluted at first, but try and stay with me. I'm confident it has legs...
Phase 1: Have ABC News commentator (and former Clinton adviser) George Stephanopoulos interview Mitt Romney and ask the Republican candidate if he believes that states have the right to ban women from watching the Twilight movies. The point of this is just to begin a narrative and plant some seeds in voters' minds. Now, Romney might not take the bait. He might squint and emulate how a normal person with actual emotions would act when confronted with such a bizarre topic. He may outright reject the question. If that happens, have Stephanopoulous remain persistent and keep asking it until the segment runs out of time. Then, take about a month off before bringing Twilight up again. This is a slow brew strategy after all.
Phase 2: Have President Obama issue an executive order to mandate that Catholic churches show at least one Twilight movie to their congregations each month. This will of course trigger the Republican party to decry the administration's move as an assault on religious freedom. This will initially seem like a winning issue for the GOP, but don't worry... It won't be. When Republican congressman Darrel Issa conducts a House hearing on the mandate, have Democratic congresswomen Carolyn Mahoney and Eleanor Holmes object to the proceedings for not allowing representatives of both Team Edward and Team Jacob to testify. Issa, of course will refuse to allow them to speak based on irrelevance to the issue. He'll walk right into the trap! Have Mahoney and Holmes claim that Issa is running a good old boys club of Clark Gable fans who want to suppress voices most impacted by inaccessibility to chick flicks. Next, have the congresswomen walk out in protest. This should generate a lot of media coverage.
Phase 3: Have a reporter ask Rick Santorum his thoughts on the Twilight movies. Santorum will most likely mention that he doesn't let his children watch those movies due to the PG-13 rating. From there, let the media run a barrage of stories questioning whether or not Santorum will, based on his socially conservative beliefs, ban the Twilight movies from public consumption if elected. Ask similar questions of the other GOP candidates, and hope they weigh in as well. Just make sure and keep questions about the economy and foreign policy to a minimum.
Phase 4: Have Nancy Pelosi invite a 30 year-old female college student to testify before congress on why she believes other people should pay an estimated $1,000 a year for her to watch the Twilight movies anytime she wants. Have her explain that as a college student, her budget is tight and with the rising cost of movie tickets, theater popcorn, and milk-duds, she can't afford to both complete her degree and experience the enjoyment of fictitious love triangles between teenage vampires and werewolves. Have her play it as a women's health issue. She can explain the emotional attachment she and millions of other women have to the Twilight movies, and how she'll become depressed without her Edward fix. This will surely drive Conservative radio-hosts ballistic. They'll point out that she can rent the movies anytime she wants with her own money at Redbox for a dollar! This is good, because the Democrats can later use the argument as evidence that the GOP is in the pocket of Big DVD Rental. Hopefully, one of the radio-hosts will cross the line with some over-the-top rhetoric. When that happens, turn the media loose and they'll publicize the hell out of the sound bite and make the GOP candidates accountable for that rhetoric. Then, make the college student available to the media where she can appear on every national news program (except for those on FOX News) and be touted as a martyr for standing up for women in the face of cruel conservatives who want to take the country back to the golden age of film. Last but not least, have President Obama actually call the student on the phone and offer her his support. When asked by the media why he felt compelled to make the call, have him explain that he can't bare the thought of his daughters growing up in a world without the right to fawn over teenage heart-throbs. This will surely melt the hearts of Twilight fans across the nation and win over that important demographic.
Now, I'd like to take credit for coming up with that idea... but I can't. Because if you haven't already figured it out, it's merely a satirical summary of exactly how the contraception controversy was introduced and groomed into our national discussion. In review, it really is amazing how such a ridiculous series of events built such an amazingly effective distraction for the Democratic party. Sure, it didn't play out as smoothly as they would have hoped. Along the way, they made some unforced errors, but the strokes of good luck they enjoyed at the expense of Republicans more than made up for it.
The War on Women angle truly is a testament to the power the mainstream media still has over public perception. When people don't know what the heck's really going on, it's always good for the Democrats at the voting booth.