Republicans keep tripping over themselves, falling into a gender gap. Conservatives struggle against the image of a war on women, and say the characterization is unfair. Republicans consider it a problem to be overcome. Democrats insist the war is real. They think it is, at the same time, and outrage and an opportunity.
Polls show Virginia's very popular Republican Governor Bob McDonnell is now Virginia's very unpopular Republican governor, primarily because of the now partially retired vaginal probe law that didn't quite become a law. Virginia's former Republican Senator George Allen hopes to be Virginia's future Republican Senator. He would be way ahead of his opponent Tim Kaine, except that women voters are so far less likely to be for him the two are pretty much tied, with Tim Kaine a single point ahead.
Same thing in Massachusetts. Democrat Elizabeth Warren would be behind Senator Scott Brown except for the ten point lead she has with women. So they are almost tied. In Florida, in Nevada, in Wisconsin, pretty much everywhere. Democrats are even or ahead or way, way ahead in unexpected regions of the nation. President Obama leads in several states as a result of a lead with women voters.
Republicans think the "War on Women" is either an election year mirage ginned up by Democrats or a matter of hyperbolic exaggeration. But they do regard it as a political problem. Birth control has become the issue from hell for conservatives, with talk of sluts, aspirin contraception, and irresponsible women. Discussion seems like a montage of ancient sound recordings from the 1950s.
So Conservatives think Republicans have a gender gap. Republicans think so too. Democrats think there is a gender gap creating serious problems for the GOP. Liberals are angry but look to the gender gap as a portend of well deserved electoral justice come November. You think Republicans have a problem. I think Republicans have a problem. All God's children think Republicans had better get moving on this.
Except for the Republican base and those who respond to that base.
Here's how Brian Walsh, the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee sees it. "It appears that it's the Democrats who have a growing gender gap problem -- with male voters."
Yup. According to the Brian Walsh wing of the Republican party, those who run the national campaign to take over the Senate, the birth control debate, the vaginal probe debate, the proposed end of funding for cancer screenings, the name calling, the 1950s voice from the distant past, have all combined to attract men to vote for Republicans.
Walsh, as one in the inner national Republican campaign circle points to close races in a dozen states as evidence of a male gender gap problem for Democrats. He is not alone.
Next month, Republicans controlling the state legislature here in Missouri will hold a ceremony in Jefferson City. In the Capitol rotunda, an official state bust of Rush Limbaugh will be unveiled.
Rush will look over future generations of Missouri citizens, reminding us all of how Republicans, at this point in American history, instructed us on the basic relationship of men, women, and politicians.
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