I didn’t think it was possible for me to be angrier at the GOP than I’ve been in the past few months, seeing how they have been attacking women’s issues. But Mitt Romney’s statements that “the real war on women is being waged by the president’s failed economic policies,” and that “92.3 percent of all the jobs lost during the Obama years have been lost by women,” have me fuming.
First of all, as Obama campaign spokesperson Lis Smith explains:
“Because of the President’s policies we’ve since seen 25 straight months of job growth and 4 million jobs- including over 1 million for women- created in the private sector,” said Smith. “The President has worked every day to help restore women’s economic security: from signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which makes it easier for women to receive equal pay for equal work, to ensuring women don’t pay more than men for their health care and supporting women-owned small businesses through new access to federal contracting programs.” [abcnews.com]
Second of all, his 92.3% statistic is misleading as noted by Politifact.com, which rated Romney’s statement “Mostly False”:
“By comparing job figures with January 2009 and March 2012 and weighing them against women’s job figures from the same periods, Saul came up with 92.3 percent. The numbers are accurate but quite misleading. First, Obama cannot be held entirely accountable for the employment picture on the day he took office, just as he could not be given credit if times had been booming. Second, by choosing figures from January 2009, months into the recession, the statement ignored the millions of jobs lost before then, when most of the job loss fell on men. In every recession, men are the first to take the hit, followed by women. It’s a historical pattern, Stevenson told us, not an effect of Obama’s policies.”
It’s upsetting enough to see how Romney and hist team are distorting the facts in their attempt to reduce the huge gender gap that exists today (N.Y. Times reports that “A Washington Post/ABC News poll this week showed that women preferred Mr. Obama to Mr. Romney by 19 percentage points…”). But, I’m used to Republican lies and distortions. This is nothing new.
However, I find it insulting that Romney and Co. would think that we women would fall for such blatant manipulation. They must really think that we’re stupid. Even if most of the jobs had been lost by women during the recession, this would not have been the result of a concerted effort against women but the consequence of a weak economy—in its own turn the consequence of Bush’s war mongering and failed policies. For example, the fact that most men lost their jobs at the beginning of the recession was not because Bush was engaged in a “war on men.” Everyone suffers in a weak economy regardless of gender.
By contrast, when a political party pushes an ideological agenda hell-bent on controlling a woman’s personal choices: abortion, contraception (as if we were second-class citizens), when the megaphone of the Republican party—Rush Limbaugh—calls a decent human being a “slut” for giving testimony on birth control, when a party refuses to sign the Violence Against Women Act, when Romney’s own campaign needs two hours to answer whether they support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009—that’s when it’s fair to call the Republican position a war on women.
I realize that Romney, along with the rest of the GOP are used to coming up with cute, empty little catchphrases—Mission Accomplished, Country First, Obamacare, death panels, lamestream media—in order to brainwash the electorate. They must be amazed and a little jealous that the Dems came up with such a clever term. It is no wonder that Romney is trying to appropriate it. But the “war on women” is not an empty catchphrase created by the Democrats. The war on women is the apt description of a very unfortunate reality in our country today. A reality created and nourished by the Republicans in full extremist glory. Now, that’s what’s real…and sad.