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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Republican Party has a problem with women, and it knows it.

President Obama won female voters decisively in 2012, and recent polls suggest that Democrats are maintaining that edge (a CNN/ORC survey from February, for example, found that 59 percent of women say the GOP does not understand them). Meanwhile, various Republican politicians — including at least one genuine presidential contender — seem unwilling or unable to stop saying things that confirm these voters’ worst fears. Worse yet, Republicans in Congress are using their votes to block legislation addressing topics that motivate women, such as closing the gender pay gap and raising the minimum wage.

In an effort to turn the tide, on Monday the Republican National Committee announced its latest effort to reach out to women: a new program that would solicit women to volunteer 30 minutes per week in the 14 weeks before Election Day. The Associated Press reports:

The Republican National Committee plans to [introduce] a new initiative, “14 in ’14,” to recruit and train women under age 40 to help spread the party’s message in the final 14 weeks of the campaign.

Representatives from all the party committees — the RNC and those supporting GOP candidates for Senate, House, governors and state legislators — meet regularly to plan strategy and advise candidates.

They are encouraging candidates to include their wives and daughters in campaign ads, have women at their events and build a Facebook-like internal database of women willing to campaign on their behalf.

To recap: One week ago, House Republicans were accusing Democrats of “politicizing women” and using them as “pawns” by introducing legislation that would address the gender pay gap. Today, the RNC’s official advice to Republican candidates is to put their wives and daughters in campaign ads.

In fairness, that’s not all that Republicans hope to do; the AP further clarifies that they intend to attack the White House’s own gender pay gap (a very questionable political play), and accuse the Obama administration of supporting cuts to Medicare — presumably without mentioning the Ryan budget.

The 14 in ’14 plan is just the latest in a series of dubious RNC attempts to shore up Republicans’ numbers with women. First, there was the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” which has fallen miles short of its goal of “developing a forward-leaning vision for voting Republican that appeals to women.”

Then there was Project GROW, an intiative to recruit Republican women to run for office (which fell completely flat, leaving the GOP with even fewer female candidates than before).

Now there’s 14 in ’14, which seems destined for failure as well. The reason is simple: Women aren’t turning away from the GOP because of insufficient outreach, or poor messaging (although that certainly doesn’t help). They are turning away because the GOP platform would actively harm them.

A recent report from Democracy Corps and Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund identified (through surveys and focus groups) a number of policies that would motivate unmarried women to go to the polls and vote for candidates who adopt them. Among others, they include making sure that women get equal work for equal pay, stopping insurance companies from charging women more than men, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, and protecting Medicare to ensure that there is no reduction in benefits. Democrats actively support these policies, and Republicans actively oppose them. Until that changes, more volunteer hours and family-friendly ads seem unlikely to make a major difference.

Republicans may not need to make major changes to win big gains in the 2014 midterms. But unless the GOP finds a way to bring female voters into the fold, it will continue to have big problems in national elections — and cosmetic reform like 14 in ’14 isn’t going to get the job done.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Dominick Vila

    A last minute conversion on an election year after years of constant attacks against women rights, insults, demands for intrusive tests, opposition to eliminate, or at least narrow the gender pay gap, and opposition to raising the minimum wage, which benefits women disproportionately, the GOP has an uphill battle on this front.
    Contrary to what they believe, neither women nor ethnic minorities are foolish enough to ignore what has happened in years past, and as recently as days ago. They are all very much aware of the GOP stance on women rights, they remember the insults and threats, and the GOP determination to ensure a “conservative” majority controls the Supreme Court to guarantee their medieval concepts prevail. If the thought they could get away with it the next step would be chastity belts!

    • progressiveandproud

      The belts would be only for Democrats; those repubs do love their hookers, whores, and gay lovers!

      • Allan Richardson

        Like the whorehouse in the White House, staffed by enslaved former feminists, in “A Handmaid’s Tale.”

        • progressiveandproud

          Wow! You really do hate our first black President don’t you? You might want to re-read The Handmaid’s Tale. I think you are a little confused.

  • JDavidS

    On the whole, women are quite intuitive. They’ll see through this like it was glass. Then, I predict they’ll reach out for the GOP…to bitch-slap them. The GOP does this sort of thing every time an election looms and they want/need the votes, and they’re always called on it. It’s one thing to be stupid. It’s altogether another to keep proving it over and over.

  • jointerjohn

    These guys are so damn dumb it’s amazing. This is where you end up when you take your advice on the attitudes of today’s American woman from people like Phyllis Shlafly and Michelle Bachmann. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they are also considering renting themselves some “colored folks” to cure their problem with minorities.

    • Allan Richardson

      They are already doing that, but not nearly enough of them. Dang! It would be so much cheaper if they could still BUY them!

  • Buford2k11

    why is it, that when the gop/baggers reach out to women and minorities, it is to slap them down??? even gop/bagger women, don’t get it…

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Hmmm. 14 in 14. How much says they will be unpaid “volunteers” working alongside top-dollar consultants?

  • edddoerr

    If Republicans want women to vote for them, they will have to give up their was on women, their fanatic drive to deny women freedom of conscience and religious liberty with regard to abortion. Sadly, the GOP is in bed with the looniest of the Religious Right. — Edd Doerr (

  • Annemb

    The RNC is so deep in its own B.S. that they can’t climb out. Instead, they keep slipping back into it repeatedly.

    • Lisztman

      It’s obvious to all that “there’s no problem with their message. They’re just packaging it wrong…”

  • charleo1

    Every time Republicans decide to try yet another outreach to women, it inevitably turns into something more akin to a grope, in the back of a dark
    movie theater. She knows what they want her to do. The same thing she
    refused to do the last time she was, “reached out to.” Then, somebody
    calls her a slut, and an Arkansawyer, feels the need to remind her, his
    State’s defintion of against her will, is a whole lot different than a Liberal’s.
    Reaching out, and reminding women how charming the Religious Right
    can be, is the only thing they do for the poor anymore.

  • bigfish344

    A party who has to “address its’ war on women” has already failed because they have tacitly admitted that they’ve been engaged in such a war for what ever odious reasons. The Republicans are extending a broken arm.

  • DBH316

    Why do democratic pundits feel compelled to broadcast every mis-step, blunder or political suicide the Republicans/Tea party are guilty of doing to themselves? Perhaps all would be better served if they concentrated on explaining complicated parts of the ACA to Democratic and undecided voters for the coming election and let the Republicans find out the bad news for themselves. Loose lips sink campaigns.

    • Allan Richardson

      We are doing BOTH at the same time. However, getting the media to actually NOTICE those “dull” policy explanations is more difficult than getting the GOP lying sound bites like “death panels” (which insurance companies have been running for years) and “lost their (useless) existing policy” and “going broke” (despite premiums turning out to be LOWER than predicted) and “Obamacare is Benghazi” (???) repeated on Faux Nooz hundreds of times.

    • 4sanity4all

      Maybe because the Republicans make a big deal out of everything that every Democrat says and does. They especially like to conflate non-issues into big “scandals” and waste time and money on hearings and investigations. They think nothing of damaging our economy just to make it look like the President is inept. So, Democrats need to get the truth out there, to counteract all of the half truths and lies that the millionaire funded baloney machine that is the Conservative ‘news’ .

      • Sand_Cat

        I was going to post, but yours said it so well as to make mine redundant. Well said!

    • terrimerritts

      It is because it is so funny! The millions who just finally were able to get insurance despite pre-existing conditions or not being able to afford it already understand the ACA.

    • Ed Portela

      DBH: Your “Perhaps all would be better served if they concentrated on explaining
      complicated parts of the ACA to Democratic and undecided voters for the
      coming election, …” shows a naivete that is soooo refreshing !
      Explain the “complicated parts of the ACA” ??!! “… to Democratic and undecided voters for the coming election” ??!! How refreshing and naive of you ! You must mean “explain” what Pelosi refused to explain to the voters until AFTER the ACA was passed, mind you, without the vote of a SINGLE Republican !!
      And you know what, DBH? The modern American voters (including the qualified US citizens, the illegals, and the dead people who vote) will OF COURSE, RE-ELECT this stupid bitch Pelosi.
      Oh brother.

      • DBH316

        Dear Ed,
        You’re looking in a mirrow and the stupid bitch you see is you. I can tell from your reply that you have bought into the far right, Limbach view of the world. The more the average voter learns what ACA will do for them, the more they like it. If premiums rise, it’s the insurance companies raising them to maintain their enormous profits, that is all. Allow Uncle Sam to get in on this end and prices will fall drastically. Insurance companies are not your friend, unless you are very healthy, very rich or a Republican running for office.

        • Ed Portela

          “Dear” DBH:
          1) When Pelosi/Killary look in a mirror the stupid bitches THEY see are themselves.
          2) Now that I cleared that for you, let me clarify some other points, even though you might not be able to understand:
          a. ” The more the average voter learns what ACA will do for them, the more they like it.” – NOT TRUE: the young, healthy people needed on the bandwagon will pay through their noses for Obamacare’s socialist rules.
          b. “If premiums rise, it’s the insurance companies raising them to maintain their enormous profits, that is all.” – NOT TRUE: This is just the stupid socialist in you speaking; so insurance companies are supposed to convert to Mother Theresa Centers? According to you and to your President Obama, …. YES!
          c. “Allow Uncle Sam to get in on this end and prices will fall drastically.” – TRUE: and these falling prices will eliminate those pesky corporations that have the gall of wanting to make a profit. What GALL !!!
          d. “Insurance companies are not your friend, …” TRUE, DBH !!!!! You got it !!! Good for you !!!! Congratulations, DBH !!! DUH !!!!! Bravooo !!!
          You NAILED it !!!! You are THE MAN, DBH !!!!
          You see, DBH, not only are insurance companies NOT your friends, but NEITHER are the power company, the telephone company, your Cable company, your local bank (no matter what they say!)
          Get over it, DBH, stop looking at the world through your STUPID liberal easy-slogans-as-solutions-to-complicated-issues LENSES!!!
          PLEASE wake up?
          DUH !!
          Oh brother.

  • Is anyone surprised? Here’s the G.O.P.’s plan for minority outreach:

    #1: Insist that minorities actually support your policies.
    #2: Give a Mitt Romney lookalike a spray tan and have him go around knocking on doors and tell everyone “Hola, yo soy Republicano.”

    Now here’s the blueprint, in a nutshell, for their outreach to women:

    #1: Accuse Democrats of waging a war on women.
    #2: Have a bunch of women appear in campaign ads to say “Hi, we’re Republicans.”

  • Lynda Groom

    If they truly want to reach out to women I suggest they put the trans-vaginal probe back in the box before extended their hand.

  • Pamby50

    Wow! They must have forgotten they did a study on this after the 2012 elections. Then they completely ignored it. Sorry this reminds me of the old adage, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Do they really think women are that stupid? Oops!! Yes they do.

  • Allan Richardson

    Let’s face the facts: the Republican policies, even the ones they have ALREADY managed to enact into law, and especially the ones they HOPE to enact into law, will harm ALL of America’s women, men and children EXCEPT the top one percent OF the top one percent. NO ONE who is not a billionaire should vote for them DESPITE religious or social conservative ideology. It is voting AGAINST YOURSELF. And if you ARE a billionaire and you vote for them, it is because you are thinking ONLY of your SHORT TERM self interest and not of the general welfare or the public good.

  • mikem42

    How can we forget the “trans-vaginal probes? Oh yes, I forgot, Gov. Tom Corbett of Pa. says they can just “close their eyes” and not look if they don’t want to. See, everything is alright. Now, get back in the bedroom and/or kitchen.

    • terrimerritts

      Really, the state government has no business to be trying to encourage or discourage abortion. It just isn’t any of their business. What is hilarious is that they spent so much time trying to force women to get regular and unneeded ultrasounds when finally someone told them that there is nothing to see or hear on a first trimester ultrasound (like you can see a 1/2 inch clot of tissue in there looking like a blood clot) which is why they decided we need to be raped with trans-vaginal probe to all but jam a camera right up against the microscopic bit of tissue. I’d like to stick a trans probe up part of Tom Corbett’s behind and say it is to hunt his miniature brain and he can just his eyes and enjoy it.

  • suseduck

    The most telling phrase in their whole announcement is in the last paragraph: “They are encouraging candidates to include their wives and daughters…”
    Which assumes that all the candidates will be male.
    Which unfortunately, being Republican, they will be. (And mostly white.)
    Sad, sad, sad–welcome back to the days of the “Ladies’ Auxiliaries” etc, keeping women in their place on the outer edges of politics.
    Will women candidates be encouraged “to include their husbands and sons…”? Doesn’t that sound equally stupid?

    • terrimerritts

      It does sound foolish. They presume they can parade their wives and families in front of us and that will make us want to vote for them. I am still laughing (as a liberal Democrat) at the foolishness of McCain who chose Sarah Palin as his running mate with the bizarre notion that we would vote for him if there was a vagina on the ticket even though she is a clueless idiot who stands firmly against what we believe in. Of course, they do want women candidates to pull in their husbands and sons because they think women are too stupid and incapable of doing anything important unless someone with a penis is standing by to tell her what to think, say, and do.

  • terrimerritts

    The problem they have with women is that they have no real respect for women as human beings equal to men and deserving of equal rights and opportunities. They want us barefoot, perpetually pregnant and in the kitchen, living lives as obedient doormats. No thanks, guys. They also have no use for the poor, the working class, or the middle class. They will be in serious hot water when the Bubbas and Bubba-ettes of our country who vote for them against their families’ economic and social well-being wake up and realize this and stop voting for them.

  • Ed Portela

    This guy is not playing with a full “Decker”. The Dems have repeated this lie (the “war” on women) so many times that most (“dim” Dems, of course) have come to believe it….

    • WSClark

      What have the GOP’ers EVER done for women?

      • Ed Portela

        WS: Even if the GOP had not done anything for women (NOT true), the Dems could not even then use the term “war on women”; this is ridiculous, but then again, the Dems will believe ANYTHING their “leaders” (read Obama, Biden the Clown, Pelosi, Reid) tell them they have to believe.
        To answer your inane question regarding what has the GOP “done” for women: The GOP (“Conservatives” is a better term because the GOP has lost its conscience and has become “the other” party for the ever-powerful and ever-bigger State) does not single out portions of the citizenry and then start “working” for their particular “benefit”; we want to GROW the WHOLE ECONOMY and make “the pie” bigger so that EVERYBODY can benefit.
        …. but the Dems are too dim and too dense to understand this concept …
        Oh brother.

        • WSClark

          “the Dems will believe ANYTHING their “leaders” (read Obama, Biden the Clown, Pelosi, Reid) tell them they have to believe.”

          Not even close to factual – end of conversation – come back when you grow up and we can discuss this like adults, but when you make childish comments like that it is obvious that you have no interest or capability to debate intelligently.

          • Ed Portela

            WS: To you libtards “debating intelligently” is agreeing with your “easy-answers-to-complicated-issues” approach.
            Because you seem to be a little bit “slow”, I repeat:

            The GOP (“Conservatives” is a better term because the GOP has lost its
            conscience and has become “the other” party for the ever-powerful and
            ever-bigger State) does not single out portions of the citizenry and
            then start “working” for their particular “benefit”; we want to GROW the
            WHOLE ECONOMY and make “the pie” bigger so that EVERYBODY can benefit.

          • WSClark

            And when have you folks ever “made the pie bigger” for anyone except the 1%? You have had your chances so why did you do it?

          • Ed Portela

            WS: The correct answer to your query is not “when” have “we” made “the pie bigger”, but WHO was able to make “the pie bigger”.
            I want to give you a completely candid answer: BOTH Reagan (R, a REAL Republican Conservative) and Clinton (D, a Democrat who converted from a “liberal” to a “moderate”) managed to do exactly that for a few years.
            The problem is that the “modern” Obama-like US of A has become a nation of the “gimme, gimme, gimme”; a nation that has lost its True North, and a nation in which the general populace (like you, WS !) believes, truly believes, that you can make poor people “rich” by making “rich” people poor.
            That, WS, is what’s KILLING the old American Way and the old American Spirit: it is called “The Barack-Hillay Way” ….
            Poor USA. Oh brother !!

          • WSClark

            What is killing the USA is the racism and sexism and homophobia from the GOP. It’s not your world anymore. Ozzie and Harriet was not a documentary. The gap between the haves and have-nots is the greatest it has been since the Great Depression. Trickle down has done nothing for the working man. The promise of jobs that would be created by giving tax breaks to the already-rich has not happened. Reagan was a fraud of epic proportions.

            This is our country, also, and we will not be marginalized by the Republican Party.

            Your treatment of our president woke up a sleeping giant. We will not allow you to treat us like serfs.

            The battle has been engaged and we will win.

          • Ed Portela

            WS: You are funny, DENSE as hell, but funny !

            “Your treatment of our president woke up a sleeping giant. We will not allow you to treat us like serfs.
            The battle has been engaged and we will win.”!!! WHATTT ??!!!!

            WS: All this is BULLSHIT and you (probably) know it.
            Hee, heee, heeee !!!
            You are funny !!!

          • WSClark


          • Ed Portela

            WS: “Bastille”, hee, hee !!
            You just looked it up on Google; where the crazy French revolutionaries (the equivalent of “Occupy Wall Street” IDIOTIC movement) got their subsequent inspiration.
            You see, WS, you are funny. DENSE but still funny.
            Poor guy.

          • WSClark

            Just wait – if the GOP keeps dumping on American workers and demonizing the less fortunate, the people will take matter into their own hands.

          • Ed Portela

            W (Bush??):
            Let me remind you of who has been in power for the last 5 (loooong) years. Obama and The Clown, THAT’s who !
            So NOW you decided to come out of your closet and reveal yourself as a symphatizer of those PHONIES, the Occupy Wall Street “movement” (actually a BOWEL movement !)

          • WSClark

            In every society in history, when the 1% get all the benefits and the people get the bill for it, the result is an overthrow of the government – peacefully or not.

            Just how long do you think the income inequality is going to last in America?

          • Ed Portela

            Wow, WS! Besides DENSE you are a dangerous element who apparently would have no qualms about “getting rid” of the people you so ignorantly identify as the 1 % (stupid term: why not 2 % or 1.89 % or 3.09 %) You just spew out what the leadership of your stupid party (read Obama) tells you needs to be the weekly sound bite.
            1) And by which mechanisms, pray tell, would you and your fellow Occupy Wall Street cronies eliminate the upper class?
            2) Would your mechanisms include DEATH (by hanging, lethal injection ??)
            3) If not DEATH, what exactly would you, my dense student, be willing to do to eliminate the “upper” class? Confiscation??
            4) Would you, after “getting rid” of this upper class which you HATE so much, establish RULES that would prohibit EVERYBODY from making more money than your fellow “Occupiers”?
            5) Give your fellow retards on this cesspool of liberal thought the benefit of your ideas !!
            Oh brother.

          • WSClark

            I couldn’t help but notice that you did not answer my question. Why is that?

            Just how long do you think the income inequality is going to last in America?

          • Ed Portela

            You did not answer mine either, and there were several !!
            Short answer to yours: Until you scum from Occupy Wall Street hypocrites decide once and for all to ELIMINATE the “rich” by confiscation, tribunals and/or hanging in the town square….
            WS, you have shown such stupidity that to me you are not an orangutan, …. but a MONKEY.

          • WSClark

            Won’t answer will you? Income inequality always results in revolution, peaceful or otherwise. The income gap between the 1% and the rest of us is the largest it has been since before the Depression. Eventually, the people are going to revolt.

          • Ed Portela

            I DID answer. My answer, very straightforward even though you apparently did not get it, was as follows:
            “Until you scum from Occupy Wall Street hypocrites decide once and for
            all to ELIMINATE the “rich” by confiscation, tribunals and/or hanging in
            the town square….”
            You are too dense to understand even a STRAIGHT answer.

          • WSClark

            If you would like to debate, drop the childish insults and act like an adult.

          • Ed Portela

            WS: Come on, you can not debate me; you do not have the wherewithal to do that.
            Anyway, don’t just feel insulted; admit that I DID ANSWER YOUR QUESTION.
            …. and stop the whining ….

          • WSClark

            It’s been a great day today! Springtime in Kansas – lots of hot air blowing through, some of it from Dear Old Ed. But I’m telling you Ed, you’re getting to be quite the bore in addition to be quite the juvenile when it comes to childish insults. Your schtick was funny for a while, but now it’s just boring.

            Now, ordinarily I would just play this out and let you continue to make a fool of yourself, but I am in no mood for a buzzkill, the Tigers won today and Ed lost so I’m in a great frame of mind and you’re getting to be more annoying than anything.

            Se ya, you old buzzkill!

          • Ed Portela

            I knew from the beginning, WS (is it BS?), that you were no match for me.
            It’s ok, old man.

          • WSClark

            I’ll give you this much, Ed, you have a certain bulldog tenaciousness about you – none too bright, but you hang onto it like a bulldog.

          • Ed Portela

            That was funny, WS!!
            It’s OK, you are not overly bright yourself !
            Ha, haa!!

          • WSClark

            By the way, you are a very childish individual. Most people leave the bathroom humor behind after Jr. HS.