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September 04, 2007

What the Republicans Think Women Want

More of the same.  That's what a WSJ article by Kimberley Strassel, entitled "What Women Want:
How the GOP can woo the ladies"
, says.  The article suggests that the GOP has a huge opportunity with women.  Forget the tired old Democratic canards about "equal pay" and "a woman's right to choose".   Focus more on the benefits of free markets. 

Strassel goes on to advocate talking about the Republican free-market policies that favor women whose income is less than their husband's and health savings accounts.  Huh?

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon rips the thinking behind the article although she hopes that the Republicans take the advice anyway.  Yeah, go ahead and keep making those buggy whips.  Good plan.  She adds:

One thing Strassel gets right is that women are human beings and thus make voting decisions like human beings, which is to say we look at the big picture and don’t have significantly different takes on genderless issues than men do. But since Republicanism is at its heart about class warfare of the rich trying to take the working class for every penny, and since women on average tend to live hand-to-mouth more than men, then there’s no real way for Republicans to get around that problem. Privatizing Social Security, health savings account, tax cuts for the rich—every program to move money from the hands of the workers into the hands of the wealthy will disproportionately affect women’s pocketbook.

With that in mind, I do think the Democrats are in a good position to angle for more of the women’s vote by using the general principle that women are people. Economic policies that ease the burdens of the 90% of us who have to work to eat will help women, especially the coveted single woman voters,* and as such will be a good way to get the “woman vote”. Universal health care in particular will be attractive to women, who not only make less money, but tend to go to the doctor more and have more immediate need for continual insurance. Plus, women tend to be in charge of child care and of elder care, which means they not only have their own health care issues to think about, but those of their dependents.

And it’s not like women are going to stop needing reproductive rights any more than we’ll stop needing the fire department. A solid commitment to that from the Democrats might not seem like an immediate vote-getter, but if the Republican SCOTUS overturns Roe vs. Wade, that could very well change.

Strassel’s problem is “everyone else is just like me” syndrome—her definition of “woman” seems to exclude single women, single mothers, non-white women, and women who didn’t luck out and marry someone above their tax bracket. The vast majority of American women don’t seem to fall into her definition of “women”.

Posted by Lynn Allen on September 4, 2007 at 07:43 AM in Media, National and International Politics, Policy | Permalink


At least if we wind up with the odious Hilary Clinton as our nominee (shudder), I think she will tap the reservoir of heretofore non-voting women in the economic underclass.

Posted by: op99 | Sep 6, 2007 8:22:08 PM

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