Republicans keep finding new ways to humiliate themselves while alienating women, and the national trailblazers in this campaign of shame have been Texas Republicans.
Mitt Romney was widely mocked for his binders full of women comment during a presidential debate, but Texas Republicans took it to a whole other level by having state troopers confiscate tampons, maxi pads and other things that they believed could be used as potential projectiles from women as they entered the building to watch the debate on the Republicans’ incredibly unconstitutional anti-abortion bill.
Texas Republicans have been putting on a textbook study case on how to alienate women. First, they cut off Wendy Davis’ filibuster, and tried to pull the illegal move of changing the date and time of first attempt at passage of their anti-abortion bill in the public record. They followed that up by having state troopers haul a woman out of the committee hearing because she dared to tell the truth about the legislation, but the topper had to be the confiscation of tampons while allowing anyone carry a gun into state capitol.
The Republicans eventually realized that their intimidation tactic had backfired and they were being roundly mocked instead of respected, but beneath the jokes there was a not very subtle point. The Republicans were trying to humiliate the women that were entering the building, but once again, they have only managed to embarrass themselves.
You might be thinking that the terror alert level red tampon confiscation was just a Texas thing, but each time Republicans engage in this sort of anti-woman behavior anywhere in the country they are damaging their national brand. Many in the GOP continue to believe that they can win elections with a base of support that consists of just senior citizens and angry white men. This is the delusion that allows Republicans to believe that there will be no repercussions for showing such overt contempt for women. There is a large segment of the right that really believes that women don’t matter. Their one and only concern is implementing their faith based agenda.
These same people learned nothing from the 2012 election. They still don’t believe in the collective power of their opposition. Republicans foolishly and arrogantly think that they can get away with the demeaning of an entire gender, but they are wrong.
This pattern of systemic behavior has mobilized much of the largest voting bloc in the country against the Republican Party. The GOP can feel good about itself when they ram legislation down the throats of their citizens in states where they control the government, but those victories will be short lived. Women were a key constituency in the reelection of Barack Obama. Twenty members of the US Senate are women, and 16 of them are Democrats. Women and their supporters are an active political force, and each attempt to steal their rights energizes the movement.
Texas Republicans will pass their anti-abortion bill, but the cost will come at ballot boxes around the country in 2014, 2016, and beyond.
Republicans are too arrogant to realize this, but their war on women is a battle that they are destined to lose.