Women were frightened into voting for President Obama. That in a nutshell is the reported analysis of Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood.

From a report in the Washington Times:

In a postelection analysis hosted by Emily’s List, a Democratic political action committee, Ms. Laguens boasted that Planned Parenthood persuaded women to vote for Mr. Obama based on “hope and fear.”

They wanted women to feel “a sense of assault” from the [Mitt] Romney campaign. The leftist groups focused on women who were less concerned about abortion but were worried about maintaining access to contraceptives.Those ladies (sic) were fed up with the economy and unemployment, but Planned Parenthood was able to “hold them in undecided” by making Mr. Romney “questionable in their mind.”

There’s a word for this: demagoguery. Romney was never going to prevent women from using birth control. But he was never able to convince women of this. The only concern on the Republican side was about forcing people who regard birth control as morally repugnant pay for it.

As Carrie recently wrote:

In future years, historians soberly looking at the issues that plagued our country at this time will surely be amazed that Democrats succeeded in making the idea that Republicans want to limit access to birth control a key issue in this campaign.  The actual substantive question under debate—whether employers, including those with religious-affiliations, should be required under law to pay for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception—is fundamentally a question of religious liberty and the limits of government’s power.

While IWF does not take a position on abortion, I think we can agree that the tactics described  by Ms. Laguens are reprehensible.

Republicans, however, have got to learn to make their points, even in the face of demagoguery. If they don't, they will become a permanent minority.