How Democrats Lost the 'War on Women'
The party's phony strategy failed miserably in this year's election.
Democrats with double-X chromosomes (and some with a Y one) were on a mission to end the supposed Republican “war on women.” Flanked by gender-driven generals nationwide vying for votes, and applauded by the likes of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, these crusaders took to the campaign trail on a quest to bring fallopian freedom to the fairer sex everywhere.
But when their day of glory came, they went down to defeat, and went down hard.
Not once, not twice, but in state after state across the nation where voters recognized the hyperbolic rhetoric as smoke and mirrors distracting from the absence of real policy proposals, and where they tired of seeing sensible discussions discarded in favor of a campaign-trail version of the Vagina Monologues. Democrats may have treated women voters as ignorant dupes, but it didn’t work.
Take Sandra Fluke, for example, the poster child for unbridled sex, whose core political ideology centers on the demand for government-provided contraception to support her sexual escapades. She gained national fame by testifying to Congress of the need for contraception she and other young women couldn’t possibly pay for themselves (even for $9 a month at Walgreens). Fluke failed in her bid for California State Senate – losing by more than 21 points. War on women? Voters didn’t buy it.
Or consider progressive darling Wendy Davis, who famously filibustered in the Texas State House for the right to dismember unborn babies at the latest stages of pregnancy. Davis lost her bid for Texas governor by a whopping 21 points – the worst showing for Democrats in a Texas gubernatorial race since 1998. What’s more, Davis couldn’t even win among women, losing by nine points among all women and 25 points among married women. War on women? Don’t use that lie to mess with Texas.
Then there was Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, who might as well have been a woman given his campaign was so focused on the “war on women” that the press dubbed him “Mark Uterus.” Even the reliably liberal Denver Post grew tired of Udall’s single-issue campaign and instead endorsed his pro-life Republican opponent, Corey Gardner. Udall lost his Senate seat, winning only 52% of women voters among his typically Democrat-leaning constituency. War on women? Coloradans weren’t that high.
And that’s not to delve into the details of the “war on women” candidates endorsed by sex-magazine Cosmopolitan. Of the 12 candidates backed by Cosmo (none of whom, incidentally, were Republican), only two won. Aside from Fluke and Davis, Tuesday’s losers included Staci Appel (Iowa), Mary Burke (Wisconsin), Alison Lundergan Grimes (Kentucky), Michelle Nunn (Georgia), Amanda Renteria (California), and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (New Hampshire).
Might these losses actually suggest the war on women is real? Could these women’s gender have sunk them?
Not so fast. Women actually did win on Election Night – and win big. But many were women whose political aims extended beyond abortion and contraceptives to issues women – and men – actually care about: the economy, national security, federal spending and out-of-control debt. Rather than insulting women by insinuating their vote is based purely on particular feminine needs, the conservative women who ran and won actually believe females are capable of rising above their hormonal cycles to critically evaluate the issues facing our nation.
Take Joni Ernst, for example. Forget an imaginary “war on women.” This combat veteran actually fought in a real war – Iraq. Now, she’s poised to become the first female senator from Iowa and the first female veteran in the Senate. War on women? Ernst was too busy vowing to make Washington’s big spenders squeal to claim imaginary oppression.
Or take conservative Mia Love of Utah, who made history by becoming the first black Republican woman elected to the U.S. House. War on women? Only if you look at how women have suffered under Obama’s failed policies.
Then there’s Elise Stefanik of New York, who at age 30 just became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. War on women? As an unashamed pro-life advocate, Stefanik was automatically disqualified from joining the ranks of the war’s self-declared victims.
Speaking of abortion, the “war on women” mantra also failed on the ballot initiative level. Voters in Tennessee, for example, voted to amend the state’s constitution to clarify that it does not require taxpayer funding for or guarantee any right to abortion. War on women? Only if you count the millions of unborn women who have been slaughtered in the name of “choice.”
As political analyst Charles Krauthammer so accurately noted, “I think this is the end of the ‘War on Women,’ and the Democrats have lost it.”
Here’s the bottom line: Burdened by this administration’s policy disasters and absent any real plans to remedy the mess, Democrats sought to divert attention from their stunning failures by campaigning on a phony “war on women.” But women didn’t buy it. Instead, it backfired, and backfired big.