Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cheap shot of the day - Dignity

Does Mitt Romney Think His Wife Lacks Dignity?

Does anyone need to read the New York magazine commentary under this headline to find out if there's a shred of truth or insight there. I read it, and you're missing nothing. Slightly interesting is the link to a short post that's dripping with even more disdain for Romney.           This        may       be    a        long        stupid      and         dull        campaign.


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Couves said...

MP, maybe you can help me. I'm trying to decide whose "War on Women" is more egregious, Romney's or Obama's. I mean, they both hate women SO MUCH, it's just hard to decide.

ModeratePoli said...

Yes, I can help. You have fallen into the insidious trap of worrying about this non-existent war. You should be thinking about more important issues, like ... anything. Unfortunately, this phantom war will probably still be bouncing around in the media like a volleyball since there's not much news.

Luckily, I have other things to keep me busy, so I don't have a devise a ridiculous new angle on this. Yeah for spring!

Couves said...

Exactly.... at this point, it's all about ginning up the base, whatever it takes. So this will be the first of many non-existent wars in the coming months.

ModeratePoli said...

Does this method actually work with the base? They get fed up too, I would think.

My guess (and I may write a post on this) is that campaigns abhor a news vacuum, so they fill it with this low-importance blather. It's actually safer than real issues because the undecided won't turn in to this no-calorie crud, and the campaign doesn't risk losing anyone.

Couves said...

MP -- As long as more of the base is turned-out than turned-off, I don't think it matters. I completely agree with your assessment that this kind of campaigning is "safe," but more than that, I think it's seen as key to victory. And when you’re talking about “the most important election in our lifetime,” who wouldn’t risk a little prevarication for the sake of victory?

But you’re right, it’s time to get out and enjoy spring (definitely my new favorite season!).

Anonymous said...

Obama's war on women? Exactly what would that entail.

It may be unfair to make Romney answer for his GOP cronies and supporters passing legislation all around the country that impact woman far more greatly than men in a restrictive way, but "war on women" is just a politically effective way to portray it. That's what gets the GOP goat; they usually win those kinds of messaging battles.

So they try to turn the tables with Ms. Rosen's poorly worded comment about the essentially true issue of Ann Romney never having had to work for a paycheck. So they put words in Ms. Rosen's mouth, and then tried -- somewhat successfully -- to make them apply to all Democrats, including Obama. But that's just political messaging tactics, too.

Are the two equivalent? No. Is there an Obama war on women? No. Is there a Romney war on women? No. Is there a GOP war on women? Not really. Is there a Hilary Rosen war on Ann Romney? No. But this is not a set of binary questions. The GOPs real effort to restrict abortion rights, women's healthcare options, women's contraception rights, and other things is quit different from an off-handed comment about one person's lifestyle options and choices. Mitt Romney should be forced to answer repeatedly and unequivocally where he stands on those various state GOP laws and federal legislative initiatives. After all, he did say he would get rid of Planned Parenthood. That comment alone probably lost him more votes than any other.

Imagine if Obama had off-handedly said something like "Oh, those guns, we're going to get rid of them." The context would not matter. The GOP would always claim that this meant Obama was going to get rid of all guns. That's politics. Every word from every players is scrutinized for political advantage. Ms. Rosen's comment was used for Romney's advantage, at least in the short term. The phrase "war on women" continues to be used to Obama's advantage and it likely has legs. Any notion of an Obama "war on women" goes nowhere with anyone who doesn't already despise Obama, and just demonstrates how effective the original slogan was.

I, for one, would like to see more argument on this. It's not silly or insipid, actually. It highlights a real divide between the parties on what policies initiatives are really important to those holding the office. It looks to me like the GOP likes to use economic insecurities to get elected, then use those position to pass laws about what they REALLY care about: reproductive issues (oh, and tax cuts for their benefactors).

The Dems clearly try to use their elective majorities to serve their constituencies, too, like public school teachers, the working poor, and consumers in general. They are not averse to a little social engineering or redistributive tax and benefit policies. They just aren't as good at disguising it as the GOP, so I'm glad that "war on women" is shining a light on it at last.

I should state that Obama has joined most Dems in his reluctance to actually pursue serving the Dem-favored constituencies because the GOP has been so much more effective at the politics of it.

ModeratePoli said...


The real issue (closing Planned Parenthood, tougher restrictions on abortion) that you rightly bring up should be at the forefront of a real discussion.

Instead, we have "war on women," a crack about Ann Romney and then a ping-pong match over that. A smart proponent would halt the ping-pong and go back to the main points--fair treatment for contraception, no further restrictions on abortion, no laws that can make miscarriage a crime, funding for clinics, and Supreme Court nominees that won't reverse Roe v. Wade.

When you stick to those issues, maybe "war on women" has some traction.

What do you think @Couves? I hope you'll respond too.

Couves said...

There's a real sense on the right that liberals do not support a woman's choice to stay at home. That's the context of the reaction to Rosen's comments (which I agree were manipulated far beyond her intended meaning). Anon agrees that there is no war on women, yet still thinks the claim against Republicans has merit. I disagree. The idea that reproductive issues are the big thing that Republican officeholders "REALLY care about" is frankly, part of the whole culture war narrative that's aimed more at manipulating voters’ emotions than describing reality as it actually exists.

Single women lean Democratic and married women tend to vote Republican. The women's rights causes championed by each side reflect the priorities of the demographics that are already aligned to them. That’s why I think this is really just about rallying the base. That’s not to say that there aren’t substantive issues raised by both sides -- I just don’t think either side is very interested in an honest discussion of those issues right now.

ModeratePoli said...

There's a real difference in the effect of what the conservatives do and what liberals do. Conservatives are supporting measures that have major negative impact on the lives of poorer women. So they'll hurt a disfavored Democratic constituency to make points with their side.

I don't see the Democratics doing the same thing. I agree that Democrats aren't as respectful of stay-at-home moms. But conservatives are complaining about not getting respect from Dems? Why do they care and would they promise mutual respoectfulness? I doubt it. The conservative line sounds like whining to me.

ModeratePoli said...

One last point--what would a real discussion of issues for women look like? I think insurance coverage for contraceptives would be part of it. So would funding for clinics for poorer women. What issues would you add or subtract?

Couves said...

MP: I turned off Hanity before I learned the details of “Obama’s War on Women”… so I’m not honestly sure what the conservative women’s agenda is. Conservatives don’t generally package their beliefs that way, but I’ll take a shot at a few…

School Choice - Conservatives want women to have more control over how and where their children are educated.

Gun Control - Conservatives want to make it easier for women to defend themselves and their families.

Taxes - This is sometimes given as a reason women have been forced into the workforce. (It’s probably more complicated than that, and of course Republicans are just as guilty for excessive spending as Democrats.)

Monetary Policy - Single parents and the elderly are disproportionately women and they are disproportionately hit by rising costs. (more of a Ron Paul issue)

Abortion - Not necessarily a one-sided issue from a conservative woman’s perspective, since half of aborted children are presumably female. In some parts of the world, females are disproportionately aborted.

That’s just off the top of my head… I’m sure there are others on both sides.

ModeratePoli said...

@Couves, thanks for the roundup of women's issues. But next time you really have to watch all of Hannity.

Couves said...

MP: If my duties as your conservative correspondent include watching Hannity then we're really going to have to revisit my compensation package.

ModeratePoli said...

@Couves, I was afraid you might say something like that. Please continue your (unpaid) efforts as you see fit.