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Old March 9th, 2012, 11:55 AM   #1
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Most women don't like the GOP, and the misogyny of Limbaugh, Santorum, Paul, Romney and other Republicans is certainly to blame:



Quote:

http://www.washingto...fM1R_story.html



The fragile gains Republicans had been making among female voters have been erased, a shift that has coincided with what has become a national shouting match over reproductive issues, potentially handing President Obama and the Democrats an enormous advantage this fall.



In the 2010 congressional midterm elections, Republican candidates ran evenly with Democrats among women, a break with long-established trends. That was a major reason the GOP regained control of the House.



Now, female voters appear to be swinging back to Democrats.



A number of polls show Obama’s approval among women has risen significantly since December, even as it has remained flat among men.



The same trend, which began even before the controversy in recent weeks, is also showing up farther down the ballot.



When the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey asked last summer which party should control Congress, a slim 46-42 percent plurality of women said it should be the Democrats.



But in a survey released Monday, compiling polling since the beginning of the year, that figure had widened considerably to a 15-point advantage for the Democrats, according to polling by the team of Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff. Fifty-one percent favored Democratic control; only 36 percent wanted to see the Republicans in charge.




Both sides have tried to shape the narrative in this battle for and about women. But many Republicans are beginning to wish they had never waded into what has become a heated conversation over contraception, who should have it and what it says about people who use it.



GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s campaign, said Republicans need to return to pocketbook and fiscal issues: “We know what works, and we need to get back to it.”



In focus groups, said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, what women are expressing is not anger at the positions Republicans are taking, but frustration with the amount of attention reproductive issues are getting.



“Particularly among blue-collar women,” she said, “what we hear is, ‘How can you be arguing over this, when Rome is still burning for me and my family?’”



Even the wife of presidential contender Rick Santorum has told him to quit trumpeting his opposition to birth control.



“My advice to him was stop answering the question,” Karen Santorum told Politico. “Tell them, ‘I’m not going to answer this question. Let me tell you what I know about national security. I know a lot about national security.’ ”



A prominent GOP strategist, who requested anonymity to discuss the party’s situation frankly, said: “It’s devastating. I don’t think it’s going to go away. I think it’s going to be a significant challenge the Republican nominee is going to inherit.”



Obama has moved aggressively to take advantage of the opening Republicans have provided. He personally called Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student who had been attacked by conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh over her advocacy for contraceptive coverage, and expressed his support.



And the White House announced in recent days that the president will give the commencement address this year at Barnard College, an all-women school. (Ironically, the previously scheduled speaker bumped off the stage by Obama was Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor in the history of the New York Times.)



The attention to women’s issues has reassured Obama’s feminist allies who had been concerned with what they had seen as a lack of attention to female voters, who had been drifting away from the Democratic fold.



“No question that if you are Obama, you have to do better with women in order to win,” said Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg, who estimates that the president will need at least 53 percent of female voters to get reelected.



Feminist groups and Democratic candidates across the country are taking the opportunity to raise money with the “war on women” theme. The mother of embattled Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) sent out of a fundraising letter blasting “Rush Limbaugh and his out-of-control nasty mouth.” Tennis legend Billie Jean King has signed on to the House Democrats’ fundraising efforts, asking donors to “help us send Republicans a clear, unmistakable, and powerful message.”



Virginia state Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) said the focus on abortion and contraception will turn many women — and men — away from the GOP.



“I think most women assumed that these were settled issues probably three decades ago and are aghast that it’s been reopened,” Howell said. “Almost half my e-mails ...are from men. And they’re speaking for their wives, their girlfriends, their daughters, and are very upset by what’s happening. Many of them say they have been Republicans but they’re not going to vote Republican in the future.”



Some Democrats say the contraception issue gives them an opportunity to connect with women who were born after the early years of the feminist movement, and who don’t believe abortion rights are under a serious threat.



“We always have had challenges with younger women,” said Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. “All of a sudden, when the national conversation is about contraception, they wake up.”



A perfect storm of social-issue controversies had been building, and the clouds burst in February.



The first thunderclap was the announcement by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation that it was ending its grants to Planned Parenthood. It reversed itself in the ensuing furor.



That was quickly followed by a standoff between the Obama White House and the Catholic church over a requirement that employers provide contraceptive coverage under the new health care law.



Senate Republicans got into the fight as well, making an unsuccessful attempt to pass an amendment that would have allowed any employer to opt out of providing birth control. They cast it as a vote for religious freedom.



“This is tyranny,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said of the new health-care law’s requirement. “This is discrimination masquerading as compassion, and I’m going to fight it.”



For at least one female senator, however, remorse soon followed. “I have never had a vote I’ve taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told the Anchorage Daily News on Sunday, adding: “The wind had shifted, and Republicans didn’t have enough sense to get off of it.”



Meanwhile, the Virginia legislature found itself the target of national outrage — and ridicule — over its effort to require women to undergo invasive ultrasounds before they get abortions. Gov. Bob McDonnell ® signed a weakened version of the bill into law on Thursday.



Republicans and their allies have fueled the fire, most damagingly with accusations that women use birth control so they can be more promiscuous.



Santorum’s biggest financial backer, Foster Friess, told a mossy joke on MSNBC about aspirin being a form of birth control if a woman puts it between her knees. Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.”



Making it all the more awkward for Republicans was the fact that all this was happening just at the moment that a vocal social conservative was moving to the front of the GOP presidential pack.



“Part of it had to do with Santorum as the front-runner at the time this broke,” Conway said.



Conway warned that there are political dangers for the Democrats as well, if they appear so caught up in the contraception controversy that they take their focus off the economy.



“Voters tend to reject overreach and distraction — women in particular,” she said.






Seriously......even Santorum's wife is telling him to shut up.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by skrekk View Post
Conway warned that there are political dangers for the Democrats as well, if they appear so caught up in the contraception controversy that they take their focus off the economy.




There ya go
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Old March 9th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #3
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A prominent GOP strategist, who requested anonymity to discuss the party’s situation frankly, said:


How convenient, another solid shriek source..........
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Old March 9th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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This article is in the Washington Post. Let's not pretend otherwise. The republican that wished to remain anonymous is anonymous, not the entire article. This is a perfectly acceptable source and is speaking to exactly the issue today. Women do not want to be going over this fight again, especially since we still are trying to stay afloat in a crappy economy. We have really pressing issues at at hand and they want to do these things? That is a blatant example of a party with no solutions to our most troubling problems and that is trying desperately to take attention away from the fact that the situation is definitely improving, albeit slowly. And it isn't because of their actions.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #5
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Here's a related report showing just how screwed the GOP is (and that they really did it to themselves):



Quote:
http://www.npr.org/2012/03/07/148116...en-in-november



For the first presidential cycle in years, Republicans seemed to have a shot at overcoming Democrats' long-standing edge with women voters.



They fared better than Democrats among women overall in the 2010 midterm election — the Republicans' best overall national result among women in 18 years.



And 2012 seemed to have the potential to turn that good showing into a trend, a key advantage in an electorate where women make up the majority of all voters.



Polls taken as recently as the end of last year suggested that women's support for President Obama was weakening. In 2008, Obama corralled 56 percent of women's votes — 13 percentage points more than his GOP opponent John McCain. And, since women cast nearly 8 million more votes than men that year, Obama rode the gender gap all the way to the White House.



Republican front-runner Mitt Romney appeared poised to challenge Obama for the women's vote. Exit polls from Super Tuesday's GOP presidential contests suggest that Romney does better among women voters than among men. Earlier this year, he also polled better than Obama among women in hypothetical head-to-head national matchups.



But the events of recent days are raising questions about whether Republicans, who so recently saw an opportunity to close the gender gap, may now be watching it widen given the recent maelstrom surrounding women, contraception, Congress, Catholics and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.



And surveys taken even before the commotion suggested that women were already starting to come back to Obama, giving him more credit than men were for economic gains.



The Limbaugh Effect



Many Republicans are still shaking their heads at how quickly the debate turned on an issue where they had traction with a wide swath of the electorate.



Limbaugh's on-air characterization of a young female advocate of employer coverage of contraception as a "slut" and "prostitute" galvanized Democrats who had been attempting to establish a narrative that Republicans were attempting to meddle with women's rights and health choices.



Before Limbaugh's crude injection of himself into the discussion, the public was divided over a proposed federal rule that would require employers, including most religious organizations, to cover contraception as part of their health care benefit plans, according to a February Pew Research Center poll.



Independent voters surveyed were the most evenly split, with 48 percent saying that religious institutions should be required to provide contraception coverage, and 46 percent saying they should be "given an exemption."



The survey, says Pew's Carroll Doherty, was taken during the time the Obama administration modified its proposal to include most, but not all, institutions affiliated with religious organizations in the coverage mandate.



But once Limbaugh weighed in, the debate center shifted from the question of religion and contraception coverage to women's private lives and their ability to speak in a public forum without being denigrated.



Obama telephoned the young activist, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, to encourage her to stay involved and suggest that her parents would be proud of her. On Tuesday he told reporters that he was motivated, in part, by thoughts of his own two daughters and how he would want them to be treated when they grow up and engage in issues publicly.



"I don't want them attacked or called horrible names because they're being good citizens," Obama said.



The head of Carbonite, one of the many businesses that have pulled advertising from Limbaugh's show, said on Facebook that he, too, thought of his daughters when he made his decision.



Ground To Make Up



The GOP candidates' tepid responses to Limbaugh's comments did not help the party's effort to woo women. They ranged from Santorum suggesting that as "an entertainer," Limbaugh "can be absurd," to Romney's "it's not the language I would have used." The superPAC supporting Newt Gingrich is running ads on Limbaugh's show.



"Republicans are not hostile toward contraception," says conservative pollster Kristen Soltis. "The real issue is what employers should be required to do, and what should government pay for."



"There are real arguments about the role and size of government, and the employer/employee relationship that can be very favorable to Republicans," Soltis says. "Unfortunately, the conversation has gone to birth control and value judgments about people who use birth control."



Conservatives have also argued that liberal and progressive commentators, including MSNBC's Ed Schultz and Chris Matthews, have made disparaging comments about women that prompted none of the outrage heaped on Limbaugh.



Liberals have, indeed, been more effective in making Limbaugh a symbol in a conversation that was already beginning to favor Obama.



Polls Show Obama Gains



An Associated Press-GfK poll conducted in February showed Obama's approval rating improving, and gaining with women who give him more credit than men for the strengthening economy. His support between December and February climbed 10 percentage points among women.



A Washington Post/Pew poll released this week showed that Obama was even gaining among white women, a group he lost in 2008. In January, white women preferred Romney 50-44 percent, according to Doherty of the Pew Research Center. By February, Obama had taken the lead, with 52 percent of white women saying they preferred the president to Romney, who had fallen to 46 percent.



Pew experts were also struck, Doherty said, that Obama's lead against Romney among all women "was quite substantial, 59-38 percent." Men polled preferred Romney, 50-45 percent.



The gap between men and women, however, has not been out of line with previous elections, though the survey was taken in the early stage of the contraception controversy, Doherty said.



At the end of the day, however, Democrats like consultant Kiki McLean say that it will be economic issues that drive the choices of women voters.



Access to contraception and health care are part of that economic equation for women, says McLean, a veteran Democratic campaign adviser, but "they don't stand alone."



"Women voters are very sophisticated, and they won't be taken for granted," she said. "The concept that women vote on a single issue is a falsehood — they care about the economy as much anyone else, from how it affects health care, job creating and taking care of their children, to building a business, and providing economic and educational opportunities."



On that, she and Soltis, the Republican pollster, agree.



"Economic issues will be what decide the election at the end of the day," Soltis says.



Obama himself suggested as much at a White House press conference Tuesday, when asked about the Limbaugh controversy.



"There are millions of strong women around the country who are going to make their own determination about a whole range of issues," Obama said. "It's not going to be narrowly focused just on contraception. It's not going to be driven by one statement by one radio announcer."



"I'm not somebody who believes that women are going to be single-issue voters; they never have been," he said. "But I do think that we've got a strong story to tell when it comes to women."



While the events of the past several days haven't been helpful to Republicans, Soltis says she doesn't see them as decisive.



"There is plenty of time and plenty of opportunity," Soltis says. "If this GOP primary has shown anything, it's that a week is an eternity."



And it's certainly given women voters plenty to contemplate.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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More reason for women to steer clear of the misogynistic GOP, this from the insane state of Kansas:



Quote:
http://www.huffingto..._n_1327301.html



Among other provisions in the proposed legislation are measures allowing doctors to withhold from patients medical information that might encourage them to seek an abortion and prohibiting malpractice suits if the woman or the child suffers a health complication as a result of information being withheld. A wrongful death lawsuit could be filed if the mother dies. The bill also would require doctors to tell women that abortion causes breast cancer and would prohibit state employees from performing abortions on the job.



The sweeping anti-abortion bill working its way through the Kansas Legislature would levy a sales tax on women seeking abortions, including rape victims.



Buried in the 69-page bill being considered by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee are several provisions, in fact, that opponents say would increase taxes on those who seek abortions. The tax sections do not include exemptions for women who want an abortion after a sexual assault or to end a life-threatening pregnancy.






Republican priorities, in chart form.

(Guttmacher Institute)
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Old March 11th, 2012, 07:42 AM   #7
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This article is very telling - Republican women are now upset by the GOP's 13th century mindset on women's health and contraception:



Quote:
http://www.nytimes.c...?pagewanted=all



As baby showers go, the party Mary Russell attended to celebrate her niece’s first child was sweet, with about a dozen women offering congratulations over ice cream and cake.



But somewhere between the baby name game and the gifts, what had been light conversation took a sharp turn toward the personal and political — specifically, the battle over access to birth control and other women’s health issues that have sprung to life on the Republican campaign trail in recent weeks.



“We all agreed that this seemed like a throwback to 40 years ago,” said Ms. Russell, 57, a retired teacher from Iowa City who describes herself as an evangelical Christian and “old school” Republican of the moderate mold.



Until the baby shower, just two weeks ago, she had favored Mitt Romney for president.



Not anymore. She said she might vote for President Obama now. “I didn’t realize I had a strong viewpoint on this until these conversations,” Ms. Russell said. As for the Republican presidential candidates, she added: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.”



In Iowa, one of the crucial battlegrounds in the coming presidential election, and in other states, dozens of interviews in recent weeks have found that moderate Republican and independent women — one of the most important electoral swing groups — are disenchanted by the Republican focus on social issues like contraception and abortion in an election that, until recently, had been mostly dominated by the economy.



And in what appears to be an abrupt shift, some Republican-leaning women like Ms. Russell said they might switch sides and vote for Mr. Obama — if they turn out to vote at all.



The sudden return of the “culture wars” over the rights of women and their place in society has resulted, the women said, in a distinct change in mood in the past several weeks. That shift adds yet another element of uncertainty to a race that has been defined by unpredictability, at least for Republicans.



To what extent women feel alienated remains unclear: most interviews for this article were conducted from a randomly generated list of voters who had been surveyed in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, and their responses are anecdotal, not conclusive. But the latest comments from the Republican candidates and in the right-wing media, aimed at energizing the party’s conservative base, have been enraging to some women.



After the talk show host Rush Limbaugh denounced a Georgetown University law student as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for her advocacy of insurance coverage of contraception, some women were critical of Mr. Romney’s tepid response.



Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania who is one of Mr. Romney’s rivals for the nomination, created a tempest late last month by speaking out against prenatal testing. Earlier comments about women in combat and the role of “radical feminism” in encouraging work outside the home also left some women ill at ease.



“Everybody is so busy telling us how we should act in the bedroom, they’re letting the country fall through the cracks,” said Fran Kelley, a retired public school worker in Seattle who voted for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama in the 2008 election. Of the Republican candidates this year, she added, “They’re nothing but hatemongers trying to control everyone, saying, ‘Live as I live.’ ”



She continued, “If Republicans would stop all this ridiculous talk about contraception, I’d consider voting in November.”



From 1992 to 2008, Democrats won the overall women’s vote in every presidential election.



But in the 2010 midterm election, women swung to the Republicans. Now there are signs of another shift: in a New York Times/CBS News poll last month, the president finished ahead of Mr. Romney among all women by 57 percent to 37 percent. He held much the same advantage over Mr. Santorum.



But how moderate Republican women gauge social issues as a factor in voting is unclear. Nor have there been many women at the Republican primaries who consider themselves moderate.



Last week Joyce Kimball, a retired secretary in Greenville, Ill., who voted for Mr. McCain in 2008, said she had recently become “fed up,” adding that it was not out of the question for her to vote for a Democrat in November. “I’m looking to hear how the candidates propose to put people back to work, not what they think about contraception,” she said. “I hope to God they stop talking about this.”



Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said the party intended to focus on women’s issues as they relate to the economy to win in November. “It’s the kitchen table issues, the cost of milk and gas,” she said. “That’s what we are going to be talking about.”



Even more than Mr. Romney, Mr. Santorum has made himself a champion of the traditional family with two parents, arguing in speeches that single motherhood increases a child’s chances of poverty and related problems.



The stance particularly vexes Meredith Warren, a Republican strategist in Andover, Mass. “Well, guess what?” she said. “There are a lot of single moms out there. That’s reality. I don’t think he does himself any favors denigrating that situation.”



Ms. Warren said her job had not been made any easier lately. “A lot of my younger friends are Democrats, and it’s hard for them to understand how, as a woman, you can be a member of the Republican Party,” she said.



Deborah R. Stevens, a self-described “dyed in the wool” Republican, said she felt hopeless.



“I’m looking for a candidate that will be honest, that will come out and say, ‘Yes, I support women, I want you advanced and not trampled upon,’ ” said Ms. Stevens, 63, who lives near Myrtle Beach, S.C. “I want answers desperately. I want candidates to tell me, ‘I’m not overturning Roe v. Wade.’ It’s there. Leave it there.”



Ms. Russell, who changed her political views at the baby shower, said she was impressed with how Mr. Obama handled his administration’s compromise over the much-debated birth control policy, saying, “I think he’s more of a women’s candidate.”



Mr. Romney’s reaction to Mr. Limbaugh’s statements about the Georgetown student cemented a negative view of him. “I expected him to have the guts to stand up and say what Rush did was wrong,” she said. “Wrong, wrong, wrong in every sense of the word wrong.”



A rally for women’s rights in San Diego on Thursday drew Jessica Lopez, 27, a registered independent who said she voted for President George W. Bush in 2004. Ms. Lopez said her choice this year became clear amid the Republican debate on contraception and abortion. “This has really energized me, that I need to get more involved with the Obama campaign,” she said.



Ms. Lopez added: “The G.O.P. has never been so clear about their agenda for women. I’m afraid if we get a Republican president, my health will be up to their personal discretion.”


Based on the discussions with conservatives I've seen on DTT, it's clear that conservative men in general are incapable of understanding how important this issue is. They'll cling to their regressive anti-sex, anti-women views, and not even dimly recognize what it's doing to the viability of their party.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by skrekk View Post
Based on the discussions with conservatives I've seen on DTT, it's clear that conservative men in general are incapable of understanding how important this issue is. They'll cling to their regressive anti-sex, anti-women views, and not even dimly recognize what it's doing to the viability of their party.


Of course the four people who posted about the subject on DTT can be extrapolated to give an accurate indication of national opinions
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Old March 11th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by skrekk View Post
More reason for women to steer clear of the misogynistic GOP, this from the insane state of Kansas:



Quote:
http://www.huffingto..._n_1327301.html



Among other provisions in the proposed legislation are measures allowing doctors to withhold from patients medical information that might encourage them to seek an abortion and prohibiting malpractice suits if the woman or the child suffers a health complication as a result of information being withheld. A wrongful death lawsuit could be filed if the mother dies. The bill also would require doctors to tell women that abortion causes breast cancer and would prohibit state employees from performing abortions on the job.



The sweeping anti-abortion bill working its way through the Kansas Legislature would levy a sales tax on women seeking abortions, including rape victims.



Buried in the 69-page bill being considered by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee are several provisions, in fact, that opponents say would increase taxes on those who seek abortions. The tax sections do not include exemptions for women who want an abortion after a sexual assault or to end a life-threatening pregnancy.






Republican priorities, in chart form.

(Guttmacher Institute)




How does this graph define "Abortion Restrictions"?
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Old March 14th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #10
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfjAMRgpoug
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