• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Republican Stupidity Widens Gender Gap


Weeks of bizarre talk about contraception and vaginal ultrasounds has surprisingly alienated women from the Republican Party.

USA Today (“Swing States Poll: A shift by women puts Obama in lead“):

President Obama has opened the first significant lead of the 2012 campaign in the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, boosted by a huge shift of women to his side.

In the fifth Swing States survey taken since last fall, Obama leads Republican front-runner Mitt Romney 51%-42% among registered voters just a month after the president had trailed him by two percentage points.

The biggest change came among women under 50. In mid-February, just under half of those voters supported Obama. Now more than six in 10 do while Romney’s support among them has dropped by 14 points, to 30%. The president leads him 2-1 in this group.

Romney’s main advantage is among men 50 and older, swamping Obama 56%-38%.

Republicans’ traditional strength among men “won’t be good enough if we’re losing women by nine points or 10 points,” says Sara Taylor Fagen, a Republican strategist and former political adviser to President George W. Bush. “The focus on contraception has not been a good one for us … and Republicans have unfairly taken on water on this issue.”

In the poll, Romney leads among all men by a single point, but the president leads among women by 18. That reflects a greater disparity between the views of men and women than the 12-point gender gap in the 2008 election.

[...]

Romney pollster Neil Newhouse predicts the gender gap will narrow as Romney moves from the pitched battle of the GOP primaries — Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia vote Tuesday — to a fall election focused on economic issues.

“If there’s a gender gap, it goes beyond Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum to a partisan gender gap,” Newhouse said in an interview. “It’s not Romney-specific. I would argue that it’s broader than that.”

Full disclosure: Neil’s a close family friend. And he’s been Romney’s pollster for many years, so he’s obviously biased in his analysis. That said, he’s right here. Indeed, I’d argue that this is both a longstanding Republican problem and a specific outgrowth of the current campaign and has almost nothing to do with Romney per se.

The so-called Gender Gap has been with us since at least the 1964 election and became part of our political conversation during the Reagan years. Through some combination of what Cokie Roberts calls “mommy issues,” the rise of abortion as a major cleavage issue three decades ago, and other factors, more women than men have been identifying themselves as Democrats for decades. And they’ve been voting that way, too.

The current campaign has exacerbated the gap, however.

First, the Obama administration’s hamhanded rollout of an otherwise uncontroversial regulation requiring insurance plans to offer birth control pills at no-cost turned into a political football because there wasn’t a workaround for Catholic institutions. While that initially redounded to the benefit of Republicans, because it became a fight over religious liberty and the limits of government power, it turned into a debate over whether taking contraception is moral because of Rick Santorum’s prominence on the national stage and the disgusting gasbaggery of Rush Limbaugh.

That turned a winning issue into an absolute loser. While Romney himself avoided that trap, it fed right into the Democrats’ narrative of a Republican “war against women.” Indeed, the overwhelming number of Republicans, certainly Republican women, either use or support the use of contraception. And that’s even before we throw in the fact that there are all manner of non-contraceptive uses for the pill.

Second, the longstanding effort by states where evangelical Christians control the levers of political power to get around the Supreme Court’s 1973 declaration that early term abortions are a Constitutional right turned utterly bizarre. The state where I live, Virginia, was seriously debating a law that would have required women seeking to have an abortion to undergo a vaginal ultrasound to determine fetal age. While the conservative Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, finally stepped in and convinced the legislature to go with a less outrageous approach, the damage was done.

Again, none of this is Mitt Romney’s doing. But he’s going to be the Republican standard bearer and that banner has been tarnished by this discussion. And, because he’s been in a fight with Santorum and Gingrich to secure the nomination, he hasn’t distanced himself enough from these issues out of fear of alienating the most rabid parts of the base.

If, as expected, Romney wins Wisconsin tomorrow, he’ll likely reclaim the mantle of inevitability that he’s surrendered several times. Probably permanently. But it may be too late to undo the damage done. Unless there really is an Etch-a-Sketch.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Hey Norm says:

    “…Again, none of this is Mitt Romney’s doing…”

    Romney is not as innocent in this as you, as an ardent supporter, would like to believe.
    He has vowed to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood…an organization that has over 800 offices and services the health needs of over 5 million women.
    And of course, consistent wiht his M.O., he has changed positions and backtracked on statements as well.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 56 Thumb down 0

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    Weeks of bizarre talk about contraception and vaginal ultrasounds has surprisingly alienated women from the Republican Party.

    Well it’s a surprise to Doug who confidently predicted these trivial and unimportant issues would have no impact on the election. Newhouse is right about a long term gender gap but this poll and others have indicated a dramatic worsening driven by Republicans forcing anti women measures onto the statute book at the state level and the controversy over contraception. There was nothing ham handed about the original regulation btw, the Republicans just leapt on an issue they thought they could make hay with and it blew up in their faces. Indeed the more Machiavellian inclined have suggested this was the Administration’s intention all along. I don’t see how Romney turns this around since these issues are all very much alive and well at the state level and he’s universally endorsed them. In fact there are senatorial polls out there which show they are having a dramatic impact on the races in VA, OH and elsewhere. McDonnell btw endorsed the vaginal cameras until he realised it was a loser and then panicked and supported a watered down but still widely perceived anti women version. I’m sure the gap will as Mr Newhouse predicts narrow but not by much because the Dems at the presidential, senatorial and house level are going to keep the focus on these issues (as they should because they are egregious intrusions into entirely personal matters of women’s health). The fact is these intrusions are fundamental elements of Republican ideology although JJ seems to think them some sort of abberation.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 0

  3. Janis Gore says:

    And when they aren’t playing into “the war on women” they’re playing at war on someone else, preferably Iran.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  4. KariQ says:

    While that initially redounded to the benefit of Republicans, because it became a fight over religious liberty and the limits of government power

    I saw no evidence to support this. Lots of claims from Republicans that it was working in their favor, but I never saw anything that told me they were right. I do not think “Religious liberty means women can’t get contraceptive coverage” was ever going to be a winning argument for the Republicans, though I will agree that it turned disastrous in a big hurry when Limbaugh and Santorum spoke up. But it was hurting the GOP among women before that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  5. @Brummagem Joe:

    No, I said that the issues themselves were trivial and unimportant and the GOP was wasting time concentrating on them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 19

  6. PJ says:

    If Romney turns around about this, then the base (which now looks to be nothing but white Christian men, preferable old) will stay home.

    Sure, his SuperPAC can do a massive all negative attack on Obama, but that will then most likely alienate independents and more moderate Republicans. And I doubt Romney and SuperPAC can outspend Obama 55-1 like he is outspending Santorum in Wisconsin. Which seems to be the only way for him to win.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  7. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    Contraceptions and abortion is neither trivial or unimportant to a large group of voters.
    Which the growing gender gap clearly shows.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 0

  8. Rob in CT says:

    See, it’s one thing if one kooky candidate bangs on about this stuff. If it was just Ricky Santorum, I doubt the “war on women” narrative would resonate.

    It resonates because of all the stuff going on at the state level, coupled with the general freakout over no-copay birth control pills.

    Elect Republicans and you can expect this sort of stuff to follow. That’s being demonstrated around the country. If you like this sort of thing, by all means vote GOP. For the rest of us, it’s just not an option, even if we’re dissastisfied with the Dems.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  9. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Ah, yes, the “gender gap.” That time-honored tradition in pre-election polling, from Reagan’s 49-state victory in 1984, to Bush Sr.’s 40-state victory in 1988, to Clinton’s stirring 43% of the popular vote and then not being able even to garner a bare majority upon reelection, during a stellar economy, to Bush 43’s two election victories, to Obama’s overwhelming 53% against a walking corpse of an opponent.

    That’s not to say, mind you, that this completely is yet another meme by airheaded journalists. It’s not completely out to lunch. Women are in fact a majority of the voting electorate and they do vote majority Democrat. Been that way for decades.

    Amazingly enough, however, the reverse of that phenomenon never seems to get discussed. Why is it that men overwhelmingly vote Republican? Along similar lines, why is that people who work for a living in the private sector overwhelmingly vote Republican, despite the media and despite the unions? Why does the military vote overwhelmingly Republican, despite the disproportionate percentage of blacks? So on, so forth.

    Incidentally, USA Today/Gallup has been my personal favorite polling service ever since 2004. The day prior to the election that year they had Kerry winning Florida and Ohio both by comfortable margins and thereby taking the Electoral College. I got a kick out that one. It was the best example of polling dissonance from a season chock full of polling dissonances.

    Lastly, notwithstanding the foregoing, there’s little doubt Romney has and will continue to be hurt by this primary season. That’s endemic to having a contested GOP primary. It happens every time there’s a contested GOP primary, whether at the presidential level or concerning lower-ticket contests. It’s not so much a “gender gap” thing, however. Again, that’s largely albeit not completely a media-driven meme. It’s a function of being on record too far to the right for various moderates and Independents on a whole host of issues, both from the male and the female standpoints.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 31

  10. al-Ameda says:

    “it turned into a debate over whether taking contraception is moral because of Rick Santorum’s prominence on the national stage and the disgusting gasbaggery of Rush Limbaugh”

    Let’s not forget that people also become more aware of just how hypocritical the Church was in picking this fight with the President. We know that many states have accepted insurance mandates similar to the ones the Administration proposed, and yet Church hierarchy did not strenuously object, nor did the Church elect to opt out where they had that option available.

    So yes, Limbaugh, Santorum and statements by other prominent Republicans widened the gender gap, but the Church contributed to the growing public perception this was not a debate about religious liberty or moral beliefs, rather it was about the Church looking ahead to the November elections.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  11. @Tsar Nicholas II:

    One of the reasons the Gender Gap is a real issue is because female voters tend to vote in greater numbers than male voters.

    Let’s take 2008 as an example. According to the exit polls, Female voters constituted 53% of the electorate and Obama won this demographic 56% to 48%. Male voters constituted 47% of the electorate and Obama won this demographic by 49% to 48%, a much narrower margin.

    The 2010 elections were different. In that election, exit polls show that female voters constituted just 51% of the electorate and they went for Republicans over Democrats 49% to 48%. For men it was 55% to 41%

    It’s also worth noting that the Gender Gap is a relatively recent phenomenon that didn’t start showing up in polling until the 90s. In the 1980 Presidential Election, it was far less pronounced.

    You can dismiss the phenomenon if you want but in the swing states that will decide this election it will be suburban female voters that will make the difference and right now the GOP is performing very badly.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  12. KariQ says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    It’s also worth noting that in this poll, there is no male gender gap. According to the article “Romney leads among all men by a single point, but the president leads among women by 18.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  13. EMRVentures says:

    Was the roll-out of the contraception coverage regulation ham-handed or subtly brilliant three-dimensional chess? It’s certainly worked out well. I kind of go for neither. They just did it, it was reasonable to do, and then stuff happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  14. Hey Norm says:

    Romney is killing it in the slaying the old wealthy white suburban male demographic. Oh…wait…that’s the GOP base. Never mind.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  15. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    No, I said that the issues themselves were trivial and unimportant and the GOP was wasting time concentrating on them.

    Doug….you said they were issues that were trivial and unimportant and would have little impact on the presidential race.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  16. @Brummagem Joe:

    From the perspective of the grab bag of issues that a candidate running against an incumbent President needs to draw from, they are trivial and unimportant issues. Which is why the GOP should not have taken the Administration’s bait in February and made a big deal out of them.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 20

  17. Herb says:

    @EMRVentures:

    “They just did it, it was reasonable to do, and then stuff happened. “

    That’s my view too. To call it ham-fisted is basically conceding that the Church-GOP alliance had a point about the birth control rules.

    They didn’t. It was yet another attempt by the religious right to get us all living under their rules. And to do so under the guise of “religious liberty?” Doubly ridiculous.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  18. J-Dub says:

    I’d like to think the Democrats suckered the Republicans into the contraception debate but I think they got lucky that the Republicans were not willing to just take their small victory and move on. Instead they decided to belabor the point and snatch defeat from the hands of victory, with Rush’s help. Romney didn’t help himself with his “those aren’t the words I would have used” response to Limbaugh’s thuggish statements.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  19. @Tsar Nicholas II:

    The simplest reason why there is a gender, income age, racial, religious, and sexual orientation gap between the two parties is simple. The Republican Party as a whole stands for the defense of current and entrenched privilege. It is the conservative party, so its basic philosophy is “I’ve got mine….” And the groups that have privilege in the US tend to be older, richer, whiter, more likely male, more likely Christian identifying, and far more likely to be straight than the general population. People who don’t hit all of those check-boxes are likely to be on the outside looking in for at least a few sections of their lives.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  20. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    From the perspective of the grab bag of issues that a candidate running against an incumbent President needs to draw from, they are trivial and unimportant issues. Which is why the GOP should not have taken the Administration’s bait in February and made a big deal out of them.

    As I pointed out at the time we were having this debate they may be trivial and unimportant to you but they resonate with women because they represent egregious intrusions into what they regard as matters of personal health. Amazing though it may be to you Doug most women are more likely energised about issues like this than the deficit (not that Republicans are particularly interested in that either).

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  21. @Brummagem Joe:

    Again, you are missing my point. There was no real long term value for any of the Republican candidates to engage on these issues, certainly not in the General Election as polls like this indicate. Which is why they should not have wasted time addressing them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  22. Brummagem Joe says:

    @J-Dub:

    I’d like to think the Democrats suckered the Republicans into the contraception debate but I think they got lucky that the Republicans were not willing to just take their small victory and move on.

    There was nothing lucky about it. Even if you don’t subscribe to the view that the whole thing was a strategic set up the moment the Republicans jumped on the issue totus porcus and magnified it with the Blunt amendment the Democrats saw a tactical opportunity and took it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  23. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Again, you are missing my point.

    I’m not missing any points. At the time these issues blew you said:

    a) they were trivial and unimportant
    b) they would have no impact on the presidential race.

    You were wrong on both counts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  24. Actually we don’t know what it going to motivate voter behavior in seven months. And if the GOP had stayed quiet instead of diving head first into this mess, they wouldn’t be influencing polls now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  25. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Actually we don’t know what it going to motivate voter behavior in seven months. And if the GOP had stayed quiet instead of diving head first into this mess, they wouldn’t be influencing polls now.

    Actually we have some idea as you yourself point out in another diary on the likely voting behavior of hispanics. And the problem for Republicans which you and JJ are refusing to acknowledge is that Republicans couldn’t have stayed quiet on these issues because they are fundamental to who they are. Why otherwise was the Blunt amendment brought and why did it receive widespread GOP support? These are central planks of the Republican belief system.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  26. Hey Norm says:

    Can’t wait to see who’s responsible for the bombing of a Wisc. Planned Parenthood office.
    Probably inspired by Jon Kyl…it wasn’t meant to be an actual bomb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  27. Herb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Which alternate universe is it exactly where the GOP would have stayed silent on these issues? The GOP has been committed to a pro-life faith-in-government agenda for decades. Stay quiet? Not gonna happen.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  28. Rob in CT says:

    Seriously, it’s long past time to give up the naive “oh, if only the GOP would just focus on the stuff that matters!” thing. It took me a while too, so I’m sympathetic, but at this point an informed observer must conclude that this stuff IS WHAT’S IMPORTANT to the GOP.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 0

  29. Nikki says:

    Why otherwise was the Blunt amendment brought and why did it receive widespread GOP support?

    Indeed. That bubble in Washington must be airtight to make Republicans believe that fighting birth control would be a winning argument. Weren’t they paying attention to what happened to Komen? That both Murkowski and Hutchison had to defend their Blunt votes to their constituents should have given every Republican the head’s up that women are pissed. But when a politician has to pander to its base of insane religious racists, what can you expect?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  30. An Interested Party says:

    What a shame for the GOP that most women in this country don’t think like Phyllis Schlafly…

    Unless there really is an Etch-a-Sketch.

    That, of course, only increases the damage to Romney…

    No, I said that the issues themselves were trivial and unimportant…

    Written by someone who doesn’t have a uterus…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  31. grumpy realist says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Spoken as a white male who has never had to worry about being pregnant….

    Doug, may I point out that your attitude is exactly why the Republicans are losing the female vote? It’s not a Big Thing to you because you’ve never had a pregnancy scare. To the half of the species upon whom the child-bearing load falls, it indeed IS as Damn Big Topic.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  32. Rick DeMent says:

    No I’m going to defend Doug here … I think he was saying that the issues of contraception and what not were/are trivial to the other more impotent issues of jobs, the economy, and war. That the GOP should never have waded into them. And on that score he is right, if they hadn’t brought it up those issues would not have been on the table right now.

    Now the Korman thing might have still happened but it would not have resonated as much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. An Interested Party says:

    That the GOP should never have waded into them.

    You might as well ask Republicans not to talk about tax cuts…as others have pointed out, these issues are extremely important to the Republican base, so how could GOP politicians not talk about them…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  34. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Rick DeMent:

    No I’m going to defend Doug here … I think he was saying that the issues of contraception and what not were/are trivial to the other more impotent issues of jobs, the economy, and war.

    You may think that but it’s not actually the case. You might want to check some of his diaries and comments on these topics from a few weeks back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. Delphine Dryden says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Have you had a transvaginal ultrasound? I thought not. Because if you had, you’d know that there is nothing trivial or unimportant about that issue to the women it affects. I understand that considerations of foreign policy and macroeconomics are more likely to affect the public as a whole in the long term (as it happens I don’t agree with the republicans on those issues either, for the most part)…but people aren’t statistics, and don’t typically make decisions based on average outcomes for all mankind. Voters don’t vote the way they do because they’ve looked at the facts and think one candidate or another presents the Pareto-superior solution. They decide based on outcomes or perceived outcomes that are tangible to them in some way. Having had a transvaginal ultrasound I can say that it is one hell of a tangible event to the patient. There is no ignoring the situation happening in one’s vagina during such an exam, even when the procedure is undergone willingly because it’s medically necessary.

    Many republicans are increasingly pushing for laws that affect specific people – women – in extremely personal ways that might have immediate impact on an individual level in people’s day to day lives. Things don’t have to be global to be important.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  36. Septimius says:

    You do realize that the National Abortion Federation recommends ultrasounds before abortions. Yes, even the dreaded transvaginal ultrasound, because it is the best way to ensure the health and safety of women seeking abortions. It sickens me that liberals would demonize ultrasounds as akin to rape in order to score political points.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 27

  37. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    This seems to be sort of a marshalling cry. The only political messages my largely non-political (gaming only) facebook account normally sees are “support our troops” and (for a short time) “reduce gas prices” posts.

    Recently several of my gaming moms have started posting sarcastic political posts (mainly aimed at Santorum). If the issue has penetrated that deep into “I don’t care”-land that is a troubling development for the GOP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  38. Janis Gore says:

    @Septimius: Then leave it to the patients and their doctors, and you quit trying to score political points.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  39. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    You do realize that the National Abortion Federation recommends ultrasounds before abortions. Yes, even the dreaded transvaginal ultrasound, because it is the best way to ensure the health and safety of women seeking abortions. It sickens me that liberals would demonize ultrasounds as akin to rape in order to score political points.

    Well, colonoscopies are also very beneficial to health. I still don’t see many votes for a law that requires one before you can get prescription drugs.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  40. swbarnes2 says:

    Why is it stupid for Republicans to pass the legislation they were voted in to power to pass?

    It’s honest. This is the Republican agenda, as demonstrated empirically by observing the bills they pass and attempt to pass. Implementing it is their job, and they are doing that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  41. David M says:

    @Rob in CT is absolutely correct, this is the Republican agenda. There’s no reason to think these things are distractions from real issues, as those “real issues” are actually the distractions as far as the GOP is concerned.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  42. anjin-san says:

    they are trivial and unimportant issues.

    The right of over half the population to control what happens to their own bodies without government control is trivial and unimportant?

    Perhaps you could go into a little more detail about your libertarian philosophy. From here, there seems to be a disconnect.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  43. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Ebenezer Arvigenius:

    Well, colonoscopies are also very beneficial to health. I still don’t see many votes for a law that requires one before you can get prescription drugs.

    Comrade Septimius is a poster boy for the mindset that is going to keep Republicans in the tank with women. Go knock yourself out Comrade.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  44. Nikki says:

    It sickens me that liberals would demonize ultrasounds as akin to rape in order to score political points.

    BFD. If you can’t tell the difference between a procedure that your doctor prescribes as necessary and one the government has declared mandatory for NO APPARENT REASON other than to appease its base, then we liberals would prefer that you be sickened.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  45. Nikki says:

    Why is it stupid for Republicans to pass the legislation they were voted in to power to pass?

    From what I recall, in 2010, Republicans were elected because they promised they would produce jobs for the American people. Now, if mandating that my doctor must shove a pole up my vagina is somehow a jobs-producing endeavor, then good on ya, GOP!

    Otherwise, yeah, it’s pretty stupid legislation.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  46. An Interested Party says:

    It sickens me that liberals would demonize ultrasounds as akin to rape in order to score political points.

    Someone else who doesn’t have a uterus…meanwhile, I wonder how sickened he is when illegal immigrants, black people, poor people, and gay people are used by conservatives to score political points…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  47. Rob in CT says:

    The ultrasound thing was just plain ‘ole slut-shaming. See, slut! SEE! LOOK! You’re killing a BABY!! SEE!!

    It was intended to make getting an abortion more difficult, period.

    Of course certain folks can’t see the difference between a procedure recommended by a doctor and *consented to by the patient* and a procedure mandated by the legislature (while meanwhile screaming about the evil gubment pushing for no-copy birth control pills or universal healthcare insurance in general). For some, this is just backing up Team R. For others, it’s ok because abortion is murder to them.

    As for Doug – he’s a libertarian. Right wing on economics, but pretty liberal on most social issues. So the SoCon stuff frustrates him. The problem is that the SoCon stuff is at the core of the GOP, and I don’t see how that changes. I too used to think “oh, if they would just get rid of the Religious Right” and hope to see it. Now I’m more informed and I see how laughable such an idea is. The Religious Right is the base of the GOP. You can’t remove them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  48. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Rob in CT:

    As for Doug – he’s a libertarian. Right wing on economics, but pretty liberal on most social issues.

    This is something of a fiction. Admittedly his philosophy is a bit more difficult to pin down than JJ who is basically a straight up Republican but in most respects the differences are relatively small.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  49. An Interested Party says:

    The Religious Right is the base of the GOP. You can’t remove them.

    Somebody made a deal with a devil…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  50. Racehorse says:

    NC a swing state? No way – went Democrat last time around, but not again for 100 years unless there is a realignment of parties such as that happened in the 1970’s. Floriday, maybe a little closer, but if gas prices remain high there, it will be Republican.
    $3.00 gas – Obama has a chance. $4.00+ : he can forget it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  51. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Racehorse:

    $3.00 gas – Obama has a chance. $4.00+ : he can forget it.

    Gas prices….LOL…Republicans last desperate hope for salvation.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  52. DRS says:

    So let’s see that list now: they’ve cheesed off the Hispanics (check!), the gays (check!), the blacks (double-o-rooney check!), and now the hetrosexual women (check!). What demographics are left?

    And expecting Romney to man up and take a stand that contradicts any of this is just dreaming. At most he’ll deplore the excessive language or some such thing to indicate disapproval of the vulgarity of talk show host wannabe’s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  53. anjin-san says:

    The ultrasound thing was just plain ‘ole slut-shaming. See, slut! SEE! LOOK! You’re killing a BABY!! SEE!!

    That is certainly a big component of this. “You spread them once babe, now get up on the table and do it again. A girl like you should not mind.”

    The rather transparent attempt to assert power over women on a level that is so deeply personal and private is where the rape compareasons are coming from. It may be hyperbolic, but only very slightly so. This is ugly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  54. Brummagem Joe says:

    @DRS:

    What demographics are left?

    The young?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  55. FedSec says:

    The rather transparent attempt to assert power over women on a level that is so deeply personal and private is where the rape compareasons are coming from. It may be hyperbolic, but only very slightly so.

    Penetration without consent is practically the very definition of rape. But I get where you are coming from.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  56. Septimius says:

    The National Abortion Federation must be part of that Republican “war on women.”

    Diagnostic ultrasound is a versatile and safe imaging modality with many applications in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Ultrasound technology permits the early diagnosis of pregnancy and has significantly advanced both abortion and prenatal care. In the context of medical abortion, ultrasonography can help determine gestational age, assess the outcome of the procedure, and diagnose ectopic pregnancy and other types of abnormal pregnancy.

    Transabdominal ultrasound (TAU) and transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) are valuable diagnostic tools in obstetrics and gynecology. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods.

    The image generated by transvaginal ultrasound provides a better view of the uterus and adnexa during early pregnancy. The transabdominal study requires a full bladder for optimal visualization of pelvic structures. This can be accomplished by asking the patient to drink 6 glasses of water about 30 minutes before the ultrasound examination. Some patients find TVU more comfortable than TAU because TVU does not require a distended bladder.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 19

  57. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Speaking of the young, I think we should have a debate about the “age gap.”

    Why is it that mature people with families vote majority Republican, whereas young kids not yet mature enough to walk into a Hertz to rent a car vote overwhelmingly by super-majorities for Democrats?

    There also are grounds to discuss the “income gap.”

    Why does the middle class vote majority Republican, despite the media and the unions? On the flip side of that coin, why do trust fund babies in places such as Beverly Hills, Pacific Heights, Chevy Chase, Dedham and New Caanan, vote overwhelmingly for Democrats? How is it that the richest state per capita in the entire nation, Connecticut, votes overwhelmingly for Democrats in federal elections?

    Why do the poor vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, despite the fact they’ve remained as poor or gotten even poorer since the 1960’s? Is it a case of misery loving company? Is it a case of misery begets further misery?

    Lastly, there needs to be an analysis somewhere of the “occupational gap.”

    Why is it that the perpetually unemployed and full-time students both vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, to the extent they even vote in the first instance?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 15

  58. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Septimius:

    You’re missing a magic word genius ….compulsion….. by the state….I thought this was something Republicans were against?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  59. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    On the flip side of that coin, why do trust fund babies in places such as Beverly Hills, Pacific Heights, Chevy Chase, Dedham and New Caanan, vote overwhelmingly for Democrats? How is it that the richest state per capita in the entire nation, Connecticut, votes overwhelmingly for Democrats in federal elections?

    Bit of the old class warfare coming in here Nicko? Btw your info is largely bs (not that there is anything new about that) . The burbs went almost overwhelmingly for Obama in 08 as they will in 12. They largely accounted for his wins in NC and VA. Keep the laughs coming Nicko.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  60. Septimius says:

    Planned Parenthood is part of that war on women, too, since they won’t perform abortions without first doing an ultrasound.

    It’s common for women to be nervous about having an abortion — or any other medical procedure. But most of us feel better if we know what to expect. Your health care provider will talk with you and answer your questions. But here’s a general idea of how it works and what to expect.

    Before the abortion procedure, you will need to

    discuss your options
    talk about your medical history
    have laboratory tests
    have a physical exam — which may include an ultrasound
    read and sign papers

    And,

    “That’s just the medical standard,” said Adrienne Schreiber, an official at Planned Parenthood’s Washington, D.C., regional office. “To confirm the gestational age of the pregnancy, before any procedure is done, you do an ultrasound.”

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  61. Janis Gore says:

    Therefore, there is no need for legislative intervention, is there?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  62. anjin-san says:

    Therefore, there is no need for legislative intervention, is there?

    Don’t forget to scrape the bug splat formerly known as Septimus off the bottom of your shoe…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  63. An Interested Party says:

    @Septimius: Oh, do keep trying, as none of that talks about women having to get an ultrasound against their will…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  64. steve says:

    Most of what Tsar said is wrong. There is real data on these issues. He is repeating talking points, widely believed but false.

    http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/presentations/redbluetalkubc.pdf

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  65. Septimius says:

    Nope. No need for any legislative intervention at all. The abortion industry is doing a great job self-regulating. It’s not like there have been any abortion providers like this guy.

    While this week’s indictment involving a grisly abortion mill in Philadelphia has shocked many, the grand jury’s nearly 300-page report also contains a surprising and little-noted revelation: In the mid-1990s, the administration of Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, a pro-choice Republican, ended regular inspections of abortion clinics–a policy that continued until just last year.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.

    For over 15 years, this guy butchered and killed women with impunity. Even after all of this, the pro-choice lobby in Pennsylvania opposed legislation that would have required state inspections and regulations on abortion clinics. But, it’s ok because they care about women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  66. Janis Gore says:

    We were discussing ultrasounds?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  67. Dazedandconfused says:

    This gives me a headache. Anybody have an aspirin?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  68. Janis Gore says:

    You can h@Dazedandconfused: Have one of mine. I keep a bottle of 500 for when I run across Republican men.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  69. Janis Gore says:

    @Dazedandconfused: Have one of mine. I keep a bottle of 500 for when I run across Republican men.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  70. Septimius says:

    No, I explained in detail and with links why ultrasound is an important and medically necessary component of the abortion procedure. I did that in response to the vile and dangerous comments on this thread likening ultrasounds to rape.

    You thought you were being clever by claiming that legislative intervention wasn’t necessary because the abortion industry already self-regulates. I just gave you an example of what can happen when there is no government oversight over the abortion industry.

    I am completely up front about my views. I am opposed to abortion. I also recognize that abortion is legal and I want it to be as safe for women as it can be. That’s why I support efforts like mandatory ultrasounds because it is recognized by the abortion industry as being the safest way of performing abortions.

    Tell me again why you oppose ultrasounds.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  71. anjin-san says:

    I thought it was chicken salad women were supposed to hold between their knees – or is that just waitresses?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  72. An Interested Party says:

    Tell me again why you oppose ultrasounds.

    Yet again…the point isn’t about ultrasounds….the point is about the state forcing women to have ultrasounds against their will…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  73. Janis Gore says:

    Pro-lifers might be concerned about the health of women, but they have explicitly stated that they are working to have these laws passed, with all the viewing and description of the pictures, so that women will reconsider their decision to have an abortion.

    Which is not particularly helpful if you’re a single college grad making $16,000/yr. and your birth control failed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  74. Herb says:

    @Septimius: You need to look up the difference between an ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound. The transvaginal version is a bit more rapey and uncomfortable than the old spread-the-goo-on-the-belly version, but then again….isn’t that the point? Yes, I think it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  75. Janis Gore says:

    So let’s cut the crap Septimius and celebrate. Today is my third month of menopause and this discussion has been going on since I was a little girl.

    “Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, [I'm] free at last!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  76. superdestroyer says:

    Does anyone believe that the more conservative party is every going to be able to appeal to single mothers, unmarried single women, or minority women. Those are the groups that want the government to be a provider and thus will always vote for the more liberal party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  77. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Septimius:

    For over 15 years, this guy butchered and killed women with impunity. Even after all of this, the pro-choice lobby in Pennsylvania opposed legislation that would have required state inspections and regulations on abortion clinics. But, it’s ok because they care about women.

    Yep after all we know women are completely unconcerned about female health issues. And this red herring is particularly rich given that you want to return to the era of backroom abortionists. But go knock yourself Septimius, it’s guys like you who are digging the grave of the GOP with women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  78. An Interested Party says:

    Does anyone believe that the more conservative party is every going to be able to appeal to single mothers, unmarried single women, or minority women. Those are the groups that want the government to be a provider and thus will always vote for the more liberal party.

    My goodness, spreading stereotypes on multiple threads, eh? Once again, you are a shining example of how the GOP is managing to alienate just about every group in this country other than old white men…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  79. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    OK, then how does the more conservative party appeal to single mothers, never married women who work in government or care giving jobs, or non-white women while actually staying conservative.

    The U.S. does not really need two liberal parties and a conservative party is demographically unsupportable. thus, all of those women will probably be happy living in the coming one party state where politics will be about government goodies, who gets them and who pays.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  80. KariQ says:

    @Rick DeMent:

    I think he was saying that the issues of contraception and what not were/are trivial to the other more impotent issues of jobs, the economy, and war.

    Okay, I’ll admit I’m childish enough that this typo made me laugh. Though, if the economy continues to improve and unemployment keeps falling, those issues may indeed turn out to be impotent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  81. An Interested Party says:

    …the coming one party state where politics will be about government goodies, who gets them and who pays.

    You have written this constantly, but it is utter bull$hit, as the conservative party has also always had a hand in government goodies and who gets them…that is the nature of politics, no matter which side of the ideological spectrum we’re talking about…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  82. Solo500 says:

    >none of this is Mitt Romney’s doing

    “Planned Parenthood–we’re getting rid of that.” Mitt Romney.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/mitt-romney-planned-parenthood_n_1343450.html

    Not taking this out of context, the arrogance in the way he says this is as damaging as the content of his words.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  83. G.A says:

    “Planned Parenthood–we’re getting rid of that.” Mitt Romney.

    Awsome….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  84. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    But as the Republicans are now learning, the U.S. does not actually need two political parties is all of the political disagreements is over who gets the goodies and who pays. Chicago, the District of Columbia, Mass, Maryland clearly demonstrate that one party is sufficient is there is not going to be any limits of spending, the size of government, or the scope of government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  85. DRS says:

    Which raises the question again, Superdestroyer, why you bother staying in this country you obviously dislike so much. Since every other American aside from you is either an actual or a potential mooch, a person with a darker skin or a hispanic accent, why do you continue to inflict your presence amongst us?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  86. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Solo500:

    “Planned Parenthood–we’re getting rid of that.” Mitt Romney.

    Ahh the wonders of digital recording. One wonders if JJ in his constant efforts to support Romney has ever heard of these modern marvels. I’m sure David Plouffe has.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  87. superdestroyer says:

    @DRS:

    The real question to ask all of the recent immigrants is how long will they stay in the U.S. as the U.S becomes more like Mexico. As the U.S. becomes more like a third world country, will most of the immigrants from third world countries just go home instead of staying here.

    Remember, the key to understanding the changes in the U.S. is to anticipate how people will adapt to the changes.

    One of the most apparent adaptions is the decrease in fertility for white women and especially white women living in large cities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  88. Anderson says:

    @Brummagem Joe: Well it’s a surprise to Doug

    So many things are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  89. Eric Florack says:

    What we have here is buyer’s remorse.

    Of course this has been happening ever since Reagan…. where every candidate the GOP has been coming up with has been a weak-kneed centrist, like Romney. Reagan’s winning, because of, not in spite of his very vocal social conservatism, you see, to today’s GOP is just an aberration. Forget that the same cries from the social liberals of that day were drowned out by the vast majority of voters.

    The establishment GOP keeps ignoring these facts, and they keep coming up with the same result. And it’s happening again. Congrats, centrists. You’ve done it yet again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  90. anjin-san says:

    Of course this has been happening ever since Reagan…. where every candidate the GOP has been coming up with has been a weak-kneed centrist,

    Of course when you ask bithead who the conservative leader is who should be running for President, he can’t answer. Guess he just enjoys hearing himself whine. Apparently he has forgotten that Reagan had no use for whiners.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  91. Eric Florack says:

    Of course when you ask bithead who the conservative leader is who should be running for President, he can’t answer.

    The establishment has managed to chase away all the better folks for the job.

    And apparently, Anjin, you’ve forgotten that the GOP establishment wasn’t happy about Reagan winning. Thought he was far too much the social conservative.

    We see where that wisdom brings us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  92. anjin-san says:

    The establishment has managed to chase away all the better folks for the job.

    Really? Who? Gov. half-term? If they are such strong leaders, why were they so easily chased away? Palin’s cut & run was not the mark of a real leader. Someone who you think should be the most powerful person in the world was “chased away”? Good God, that is pathetic.

    What you don’t get is guys like Reagan don’t come along very often. When someone tried to shut him down, he shut them down instead. If you rolled every prominent conservative in America today into one you would still not have a pimple on Reagan’s ass.

    You also don’t seem to understand that the genial, optimistic Reagan would almost certainly despise the vitriolic, whiny politics of bithead. My sense is he would like Obama a hell of a lot more than he would like you.

    I grew up in CA when Reagan was Gov. Always admired him and voted for him for President twice. You think you have some unique claim on his legacy, or that you are his standard bearer. You are quite wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  93. anjin-san says:

    I also note that you still refuse to name the conservative think should be President, and got into all sorts of contortions when pressed on the subject. What are you afraid of? Name your guy (or gal) if you dare…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  94. littlelassie says:

    Control over if/when to reproduce is the very epitome of personal responsibility for economic, social, moral and health reasons. Women tend to bridle when paternal politicians presume to try to legislate women’s choices in these very personal and private matters. When politicians fixate on dictating (largely female) reproductive decisions based on a punitive wedge-issue theocratic basis, the populace responds negatively.

    If the right-wing fringe of the GOP/Tea Party would refrain from trying to interfere with legal abortion and birth control, the War on Women charge would be the War that Wasn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  95. littlelassie says:

    Wait, let me get this straight…you’re saying because I am a 30-something, college-educated, well-employed but single, unmarried woman that I expect the government to take care of me? I didn’t realize that I wasn’t capable of taking care of myself. And that presumptuous, ill-disguised contempt of women is why there is a gender gap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  96. Valkyrie says:

    “The focus on contraception has not been a good one for us … and Republicans have unfairly taken on water on this issue.”

    “UNFAIRLY”?! What, pray tell, is so “unfair” about it? It’s called “the court of public opinion”, toots. Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin … As far as women are concerned, the measure of the Government-Ordered Procreation party has been taken, and found sorely wanting. Or you can think of it as karma. But “unfair”? Hardly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0