The Democrats took a she-lacking in the midterms by depending on their dishonest “war on women” rhetoric to pull wobbly candidates over the finish line.
But if you thought the Democrats had given up on the “war on women” meme, Alex Roarty of National Journal has some news for you. In an article headlined “The ‘War on Women’ Isn’t Over Yet,” Roarty reports that the Dems are planning to dust it off for 2016:
Critics said Democrats' focus on topics such as abortion rights and access to contraception proved to be a losing strategy in 2014. But leading Senate Democratic strategists aren't backing away from the message just yet. They don't necessarily defend the way the strategy was executed, but they do think a focus on female voters and the subjects they care about will resonate in next year's races—especially as Republicans on Capitol Hill debate new abortion legislation.
"When you look at what the Republican House and Senate have done and seem to be doing right now legislatively, they work against the interests of many women," Tom Lopach, the new executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told National Journal. "Repeatedly, they have opposed equal-pay legislation, they have tried to block access to women's health care through ballot initiatives or in legislatures or in the U.S. House, time and again. They've supported personhood bills, they opposed working-family issues like raising the minimum wage.
Of course, Republicans don’t work against the interests of women—unless you believe that it is in the interest of women to stymie the economy by passing laws that sound good but in reality benefit very few people. What the Democrats are talking about is selling pet proposals—such minimum wage hike, which would slow the economy and help a minuscule segment of the population, equal pay, which might lead to many people actually ending up with no pay as employers responded to new rule—as good for women.
This is nothing new, but the GOP had better not be blindsided when the “war on women” rhetoric breaks out again next year. It worked in 2012 and just because it was an abysmal failure in 2014 doesn’t mean it won’t be useful in 2016, when in all likelihood the Democrat at the top of the ticket will have as one of her prime qualifications the fact that she is a woman.