Democrats have made it clear that they have no intention to campaign on the issues this year. Instead, they’ve gone all-in on a strategy to divide America along various tectonic political lines. Thus far we’ve already seen attempts to scare up class resentment, paint Republicans as racist, and, most recently, create a false narrative that the GOP is pursuing a “war on women.”
It’s understandable that they don’t want to talk about actual policy. After all, their record on jobs, the economy, the national debt, health care, and nearly every other issue of importance is pretty damning. But for a president who promised to move us beyond petty political fights there has to be a better path than setting up incredibly divisive straw men just so that you can burn them down. As Ruth Marcus said it so eloquently in the Washington Post, “[T]he level of hyperbole – actually, of demagoguery – that Democrats have engaged in here is revolting.”
The false “war on women” argument is especially egregious. Have they seen the slate of candidates the GOP is running in the Senate? Have they not taken the time to look at read up on contenders like Michigan’s Terri Lynn Land, who can do nothing but laugh off the suggestion that she is waging a ‘war on women.’
“Think about that for a moment,” Land says in a new ad, titled, “Really?” “[A]s a woman, I might know a little bit more about women than [Democratic U.S. Rep.] Gary Peters.”
Land’s outspokenness and reputation as a fantastic campaigner led George Will to say that she “represents Republicans’ most effective response to Democrats’ hyperventilating about the ‘war on women.’”
But she’s hardly the only response.
There’s Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia, who is vying to be the state’s first female senator, just as she was the state’s first woman in Congress. Her respect in Congress runs so deep that even Democrats’ can do nothing but praise her.
“She is a smart member who has perfected the art of being tough without being nasty,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said recently.” He called her an “oasis” in a desert of hostility that can ask penetrating questions “without offending anyone, and quite frankly, that is how she attracted my attention.”
And Joni Ernst in Iowa, who has is in the running for the “most interesting woman in the world” title. She rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle, served in Iraq, is known for carrying a black purse with a Smith and Wesson in it, and, as she says in one ad “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm. So when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork.”
And Monica Wehby in Oregon, a pediatric neurosurgeon and former American Medical Association board member, who can speak firsthand on the devastating impacts Obamacare is having on health care.
When describing why she’s running for the Senate she recalled one of her patients, a teenager with a brain tumor who gave her a card that said “If we’re not here to make life better for one another then what’s the point.” She’s already doing that as a brain surgeon, but is ready to take her incredible knowledge base to work on a broader scale in Washington.
These, and other Republican women, on the ballot in 2014 are a testament to just how silly, and needlessly divisive, the Democrats’ “war on women” strategy is. And as Republican National Committee press secretary Kirsten Kukowski says, unlike the last election the GOP won’t be caught flat footed.
“Republicans have a good alternative to the Democrats’ deceptive war-on-women ploy, and we’re mobilizing to ensure Republican elected officials and candidates are armed,” said Republican National Committee national press secretary Kirsten Kukowski. “Democrats were successful in their war-on-women messaging last election because we didn’t fight back. We need to turn the table, tell voters the Democrats are being deceptive and bring our viewpoints to the table, which is exactly what we’re doing.”
Sadly, deceptive is about the only strategy Democrats have right now. But with GOP women on the frontlines battling the bogus “war against women” theme, Democrats may need to find another ploy.