Fallout From GOP’s Attack On Women Continues (Update 2)

What you get when you mix oxytocin, Viagra, and misogyny 

This marks the fourth entry in my diary concerning the GOP War Against Women. The first post, Gays, Guns, God & Gynecology, was written on Feb 21, before the Great Limpbot Implosion that began Leap Day, Feb 29;  as was my second entry,  Fallout From GOP’s Attack On Women’s Health (linked to by Crooks and Liars, mucho gracias for that, Tengrain).  The third post, written on 3/3 was titled Ayatollah Santorum; The Republic(ans) of Gilead, didn’t mention His Grossitude, the titular head of the GOP—2500 words was long enough—and the damage was only just beginning. We now have some solid metrics to cite .

WRT the GOP, polls show a significant swing in women’s support from the Rethugs to the Dems.  The Vancouver Sun has the tale of the tape:

According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released last Monday, 46 per cent of all female voters prefer the Democrats compared to 39 per cent for the Republicans. But among sub-urban women–the influential soccer mom/hockey mom voters—the difference widens to 19 points, while male voters divide almost equally between the parties.

In individual matchups with GOP primary contenders, Obama enjoys an 18 point, 24 point and 27 point lead against Willard Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and  Newt Gingrich, respectively. Undergirding this shift in electoral sentiment are the numerous pieces of legislation working their way through the state capitals or which have already been signed into law:

By all accounts, 2011 was a watershed year for challenges to women’s reproductive rights. State legislators introduced more than 1,100 anti-abortion provisions and had enacted 135 of them by year’s end. Seven states either fully defunded or made moves toward defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides basic health care, contraception, breast cancer and STD screenings to millions of low-income women each year.

I mean, how could the Rethugs  not conclude this meant war?

WRT Limpbot, ten days after his scurrilous attack against Sandra Fluke, some fifty advertisers have pulled the plug on his show (Women ages 24–55 are radio’s prize advertising demographic.)  This despite his hollow and unprecedented apology.  After a three day assault on Fluke’s character, he said he was only sorry for his choice of words– “slut”  “prostitute”  and  “feminazi”– but not the misogyny that fuels them, which for years he has directed at women who take their sexuality and their role in society seriously. And instead of apologizing for his demand that Fluke post personal sex tapes on the internet because somehow he is paying for her contraception, he had the transcript of those remarks scrubbed from his web site. Now there’s excellence in broadcasting for you.

SNL’s take on Rush Limbaugh’s replacement advertisers 

He even blamed the Left for his patented slurs:

I want to explain why I apologized to Sandra Fluke in the statement that was released on Saturday. I’ve read all the theories from all sides, and, frankly, they are all wrong. I don’t expect — and I know you don’t, either — morality or intellectual honesty from the left. They’ve demonstrated over and over a willingness to say or do anything to advance their agenda. It’s what they do. It’s what we fight against here every day. But this is the mistake I made. In fighting them on this issue last week, I became like them.

When asked to comment on the Limpbot controversy,  Santorum dismissed him as a mere “entertainer”  and his words  “absurd.”  Romney went boldly where no GOPer has gone before, proclaiming:

“I’ll just say this, which is:  it’s not the language I would have used.

A Profile in Courage it was not. While the Rethugs  have long feared invoking the wrath of  Limpbot by proffering  even the most timid of criticisms, Romney has another reason for holding back.  The Rush Limbaugh Show is distributed to nearly 600 AM and FM radio stations by Clear Channel, which is  owned by none other than  Bain Capital, Romney’s old firm,  from which he still derives millions in yearly income.

Mittens has done such a lousy job at connecting with women, who made up 53% of the 2008 vote, many of whom stayed at home during the 2010 wave election that netted the Rethugs the House, that his campaign decided to dispatch his wife Ann Romney to cover his flank. Ann got off to a rocky start last week, telling Fux News that with only a 1/4 bil in shared assets: “I don’t even consider myself wealthy.”  Good to know.

Charlie Pierce invites us to imagine:

…a thought experiment…Rush Limbaugh unloads his weepy pilonoidal cyst of an intellect in this fashion on your daughter. Then, as his advertisers run screaming into the night, and as even his acolytes among Republican politicians can barely summon up the will to offer quarter-assed statements on the whole matter, he finally issues a statement wherein he, essentially, apologizes for:

1) Using the word “slut,” rather than, one supposes, “trollop,” “slattern,” or “lady of the town.”

2) For having far too sophisticated a sense of humor for the rest of us to comprehend.

3) For failing clearly to explain his deeply serious political philosophy regarding what is proper to discuss before Congress in these “very serious political times.” This, as the redoubtable Heather Parton points out, is a fairly recent development in his thinking.

Trying to put Fluke in his rear view mirror, Limpbot moved on to a new target, aiming his gold plated microphone at  investigative journalist Tracie McMillan, author of a new book on the depredations of the food industry:

“What is it with all of these young, single, white women, overeducated — doesn’t mean intelligent.”

Attacking the messengers while ignoring their message, especially if they happen to be female, is Limpbot’s stock in trade. Past targets have included “Sex-retary of StateHilary Clinton, a leader in the “feminazi grand plan.” Over the weekend, Hilary was introduced by actress Meryl Streep as the featured speaker this weekend at the Women of the World Conference, attended by some 2,000 politically active women from around the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if the GOP and El Rushbo’s name came up more than once.

Interestingly, the short clip I saw this morning of the conference on Andrea Mitchell‘s show featured Hilary asking the very same question I posed a few day ago when I began writing this post: From whence comes this kind of hatred and paranoia, this desire to suppress and dominate others, so obvious in men’s attempted control over women’s bodies? Forgive me a layman’s socio-psychological speculation, but if I had to choose a single descriptor, it would be insecurity; or inadequacy; or fear.

I’ll pursue this question and more in more in my next post:  Women, Religion, and Politics.

UPDATE:   (3/12/12, 6:26 PM PST) Today’s Doonesbury strip is too good not to link to.

h/t Rachel Maddow

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