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They Have No Idea!

John Hinderaker joins Glenn Reynolds in calling for Charles Koch to buy up some women’s magazines in order to propagandize them to the Republican cause, arguing that they currently function “pretty consciously, as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.” Now, I don’t read women’s magazines but, if they’re anything like GQ and Esquire editorially, there’s something to this. Of course, one suspects the acquisition of Cosmo by the Koch Brothers might have an impact on its influence but, hey, it’s probably a better investment of millions of dollars than, say, Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain.

What stuck out at me, though, was this nugget:

Today, there are many millions of Americans who can tell one Kardashian sister from another, but have no idea that Barack Obama has compiled the worst presidential record since Jimmy Carter. Seriously: they really don’t know.

Astute readers will notice something a bit odd about that comparison. Which Kardashian sister is which is indisputably a question of fact; probably a rather trivial fact, but a fact nonetheless. Whether Obama’s “presidential record” is “worse” than some other president’s, much less every other president’s, is by contrast completely subjective; a matter of opinion.

One might as well say, “Millions of Americans read Power Line but have no idea that chocolate ice cream is far superior to vanilla. Seriously: they have no idea.”

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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. Tony W says:

    Republicans have to say nutty stuff like this. The alternative is to propose policy and have it considered on its merits.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  2. michael reynolds says:

    I await the first Mademoiselle cover on legitimate rape.

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

  3. Jen says:

    I suggest they start their own women’s magazine, with articles along the lines of what Michael has noted above. It’s sure to be a runaway hit.

    These folks have long since passed becoming caricatures of themselves. Electoral college a Democratic advantage? Change the rules! Single women voting in droves for Democrats? Buy up magazines that target them! Minorities not voting for Republicans? Make it hard to register, and hard to vote (long lines are a feature, not a bug)!

    Is there seriously NO introspection going on? No examination of the policies that brought them to this point?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  4. swbarnes2 says:

    Is that really the only thing you can see to critique in those articles? I mean, at least the notion that Republicanism can be saved by buying a website called “The Frisky” merited some kind of snarky comment.

    I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here, but really, what you and Glenn Reynolds and all those guys have in common is that you will never see that policies matter to lots of people. So every time you post something about politics that is silent about policy, it’s just more proof that conservatives and Republicans mean no good to most of the people in the country, because none of you care about policy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  5. legion says:

    As always, these idiots believe their problems lie in the packaging rather than the product.

    Because changing the product would require a tacit admission that they had been wrong about something, anything, ever. And that will never happen. this is why the GOP is no longer politically relevant in the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    There’s more of an underlying issue with that suggestion by those two men than the obvious fact vs. opinion dichotomy, although presidential records indirectly can be measured by various objective criteria, such as deficit-to-GDP ratios and debt-to-GDP ratios and like items.

    The notion that having a Koch brother purchase women’s magazine publishers could have any discernable national political impact on its face utterly is preposterous. It’s the sort of thing which quite frankly only could be suggested in media-academe-Internet circles, precisely because outside of the cocooned demographics of media-academe-Internet circles nobody possibly could think any such measure could move the dial, much less to accomplish its stated objective. Do Hinderaker and Reynolds actually believe that if the likes of “Good Housekeeping,” “People,” and “Marie Claire” starting running pro-gun, anti-tax and anti-spending pieces that their audiences all of a sudden, like Pavlovian robots, will start voting Republican? Really? Really??

    And what takes this from the absurd to the completely absurd is that Hinderaker and Reynolds are ignorant of the raw politics of it all, which is quite ironic given that they’re supposed to be authorities on politics. The issue with the female demographic’s vote is not even about gender, much less about what magazines they read. It’s about race. White women not only voted for Romney they voted for Romney by an overwhelming margin, 56-42. Obama’s winning tally among women entirely was based upon the black and Latino votes. And turning “OK!” into “The National Review” and “Shape” into “The Weekly Standard” is not going to cause black and Latino women to vote Republican. Hinderaker and Reynolds both need to return to Earth’s orbit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  7. swbarnes2 says:

    @Jen:

    Make it hard to register, and hard to vote (long lines are a feature, not a bug)!

    Yes, that’s been openly acknowledged now by Republicans. Driving people away from voting by having long lines is an acknowledged Republican tactic.

    So, you can vote for the people who embrace that mindset, or not. James and Doug chose to vote for them, and that means something.

    http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/12/11/see-it-gop-consultant-says-voter-id-long-lines-help-our-side/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. swbarnes2 says:

    White women not only voted for Romney they voted for Romney by an overwhelming margin, 56-42. Obama’s winning tally among women entirely was based upon the black and Latino votes.

    James, this is how conservatives and Republicans think. That non-white voters are only “technically” voters, and “real” people are white.

    It’s not like you and other conservatives are hiding this attitude. And it’s not like it doesn’t come out Republican policies.

    Are you proud of the facts that your votes support the attitudes of people like Tsar? Are you proud of the polices that come out of that attitude, that your votes enable?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  9. James Joyner says:

    @swbarnes2: He’s actually making a perfectly reasonable analytical distinction. If it’s true that Romney won among white women, then the problem isn’t one with women but with minority voters. Which means that it’s one problem–minority voters–rather than two—minority voters and women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. swbarnes2 says:

    @James Joyner:

    If it’s true that Romney won among white women, then the problem isn’t one with women but with minority voters.

    Good grief, you really don’t see it, do you?

    Romney lost among women. Period. I guess you and Tsar think that the one large sub-group of women he did win with are the only ones that really count, but believe me, non-white people don’t see it that way, and neither do many white people either.

    That’s the problem with Republicans today. Tsar embodies it, you embody it, and the people you two vote for pass policies reflecting it. And you literally can not see it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  11. Geek, Esq. says:

    The rank sexism of that Reynolds piece is rather astonishing.

    “Women who vote for Obama are vapid, stupid creatures who need us Republican men to explain to them how things really work.”

    Yeah, your party’s record on women’s issues has NOTHING to do with it, Glenn. Keep on trotting out Akins and Mourdocks and threats to defund Planned Parenthood vote against pay equity and ban abortion and rail against contraception–after all, those uneducated women don’t vote on issues like that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  12. Geek, Esq. says:

    @James Joyner:

    If one wants to slice and dice that way, it’s with unmarried women that Romney really suffered.

    And that’s really a policy issue, not a celebrity culture issue. Abortion, contraception, access to health care, economic security, etc are all much more pressing concerns for unmarried women than married women.

    The crapola of “you didn’t build that ” and “job creators” and “punishing success” and “I’ll defund Planned Parenthood” doesn’t play too well with that demographic, for obvious reasons.

    And having Rush Limbaugh call them all sluts didn’t help either, since he’s the de facto head of the Republican party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  13. de stijl says:

    Where the white women at?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. MM says:

    @swbarnes2: it’s the logical extension from the Florack argument that conservatism can only be failed. If you start from a position that there is no good reason to not vote conservative, then the only reasons that someone could fail to vote your way is because 1. Your positions were poorly explained, 2. Your positions were in sufficiently conservative or 3. People who don’t vote like me are stupid.

    Reynolds and Hinderaker being who they are, they are trying for #1, but it’s pretty evident that they think #3.

    It’s just a shame that they cannot see any rational reason why someone would ever not vote for the GOP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  15. Andre Kenji says:

    Hinderaker and Glenn Reynolds are only two remaining people in the world that still reads print magazines.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. al-Ameda says:

    Why don’t they purchase “Redbook”? Then they can convert career women from a life of fealty to communism and birth control, to one of obedience yo men and appreciation of the necessity for insurance coverage of viagra and cialis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. An Interested Party says:

    It’s about race. White women not only voted for Romney they voted for Romney by an overwhelming margin, 56-42. Obama’s winning tally among women entirely was based upon the black and Latino votes.

    No, it’s not about race…as Geek alluded to above, while the President lost the votes of white women by 12 points, he won the votes of unmarried women by 36 points…and the percentages of black women (8) and Latino women (6) were quite small compared to white women (38) so it would appear that marital status was a far more important factor than race among women, including white women, obviously…considering the image of the GOP when it comes to abortion and contraception, this is not surprising at all…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0