The Real War On Women

August 8, 2013

Desperate to turn the tables in a battle over women voters, the GOP and its Fox News allies are trying to spin the personal scandals surrounding Democratic politicians Anthony Weiner and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner into a “democratic war on women” to distract from the real Republican one.

STRATEGY

This debate is not about subtle argument; it’s about piles of examples. Have the two lists memorized so they trip off your tongue as easily as the words to your favorite song: (1) the long list of Republican politicians whose private behavior is just as bad as that of the Democrats in the headlines today, and (2) the even longer list of legislative horrors Republicans want to impose on American women. Rattling these off — at a good clip, not letting yourself be interrupted until they concede the point — will beat back this ridiculous and desperate smear.  You can do this with an argumentative, exasperated tone, or a smiling, amazed tone.

Below is a version of each list, along with some useful connecting and transition language.


TOPLINES 

It’s true: powerful men disrespecting their wives has been a problem in both parties for a long time.
Before Anthony Weiner, there was Republican Chris Lee, the married Congressman who sent shirtless pictures of himself to women he met online.
Before Democratic sexual harasser Mayor Filner, there were Republican sexual harassers Herman Cain, Bob Packwood, and Clarence Thomas.
These are not pleasant memories, but the Republican list is long: David VitterNewt GingrichRudy Giuliani, Mark Sanford, John EnsignArnold SchwarzeneggerMark Souder…  Republicans Henry HydeSteven LaTourette and Robert Livingston all voted to impeach President Clinton after cheating on their own wives.
But it’s one thing for a powerful man to have personal failings. It’s another thing for him to push an abusive policy agenda on all American women.
Here’s the real war on women:

  • Trapping women in abusive relationships by defunding care and shelter for victims of domestic violence, and voting to kill the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Forcing raped women to carry their rapists’ babies.
  • Letting corporate CEOs get away with paying women less for the same work.
  • Making insurance companies pay for Viagra but not for the Pill.
  • Making doctors violate women vaginally with ultrasounds for no medical reason.
  • Defunding lifesaving cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.
  • Cutting funding for children, including our schoolsHead Start, and childcare.
  • Redefining rape to allow rapists to walk free.
Hard-working American women are trying to make ends meet and care for their families — and Republicans are doing everything they can to make their lives harder.
That’s what a “war on women” looks like — and women know it. In the last presidential election, nearly 8 million more American women voted for President Obama than Mitt Romney.

KEY:  Connect with your audience |  Make your case | Show how your opponents differ

Category: Women