I’m asking out of genuine curiosity about the opinions when it comes to Republican women and the birth control brouhaha. Short of The Distinguished Ladies From Maine wanting to see “final details” of President Obama’s rule changes to provide contraception coverage through insurance companies, I’ve heard basically nothing from prominent conservative women this week on, as Emily said below, the GOP’s trip back in time. It’s mind-blowingly obvious as to what I think about the sheer horror of it all, but I’m seriously trying to figure out if it’s silence that implies support (or silent rage), if it’s none of my damned business, or if I’m just completely missing something.
And as Charles Pierce notes, at least one GOP woman candidate is running on the whole thing being nothing more than a First Amendment issue, like the campaign of Sarah Steelman in Missouri.
People living in these states are going to hear, over and over again, on free and paid media, through an entire primary season, that the real issue here is religious liberty and Obamacare. (What Republican candidate is going to come out and argue that it’s an issue of women’s health care? Anyone? Bueller?) This will continue into the general election cycle. By then, this ludicrous position will be set in concrete as a legitimate part of the electoral dialogue. I’m not optimistic at all that enough people will see through it.
Pierce has a point. I fully expect Republican women to start coming out and saying that this idiotic position really has nothing to do with birth control, or women’s control over their bodies, or institutionalized misogyny on a scale involving tens of millions, but whether or not President Obama is being mean to old white men in frocks. That’s what I expect to happen, but I want to know what the actual response is.
It’s not like Republicans haven’t had recent success running on “tyranny of the majority” over the last ten years, either. Consider the number of states who gladly had mob rule contests to remove rights from LGBT friends and neighbors under the guise of “protecting the religious freedoms of marriage.” The whole thing seems aimed not at swing voters, but conservative women themselves. They’re the ones most likely to defect to the Dems at the polls, and this entire bizarre anachronistic antagonism seems designed to shame them into standing by their men.
How well it will work, only time will tell. So I’m asking you guys what you’re heard and seen from Republican women in your area. Basically, I’ve heard plenty of comments from women on the left and the middle ranging from disbelief to outrage to semi-amazed glee that Republicans could be this dense, but what I’ve not heard is from women on the right, and especially elected Republican women. I’m honestly interested in their opinions on this, because frankly I want to know if there really is all but silence, or if I’m just completely missing their responses in the noise. I can’t understand how anyone could remain silent throughout this, and that’s my opinion, but I want to hear others. Republican Roy Blunt made this about all Americans and all employers having the “right” to deny coverage based on moral objections for any procedure.
So yes, I want to know.