What is it with Republicans and the word laundry lately? Right after Mitt Romney explained that he left Afghanistan and the troops out of his convention speech because you don’t include the “laundry list”, Republican Governor John Kasich is praising women for doing laundry. We are, indeed, “heroes” to John. Not that you would know it from the way Republicans vote.
Republican Governor John Kasich of Ohio called us laundry-doing women heroes even as the man he was introducing, Paul Ryan, has voted against equal pay for women for years running and is busy obstructing our civil liberties even now. Somehow this rather salient policy matter got lost in the very important debate over some failing to mention that Kasich called us women heroes when he said we stayed home with laundry. Can you feel the love?
Kasich’s laundry speech from Wednesday was all the rage today, on the anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, which is still waiting to be reauthorized by the House that Ryan led.
Watch women get a big old pat on the head from John Kasich:
Kasich’s full statement from the Dispatch:
“You know Jane Portman, Karen Kasich, and Janna Ryan, they operate an awful lot of the time in the shadows. It’s not easy to be a spouse of an elected official. You know they’re at home doing the laundry and doing so many things, while we’re up here on the stage getting a little bit of the applause, right? They don’t often share in it. And it is hard for the spouse to hear the criticism and to put up with the travel schedule and to have to be at home taking care of the kids. And where’s the politician? Out on the road. They’re heroes. These spouses are heroes.”
In the midst of this real storm, a journalist from the Columbus Dispatch wanted to focus on accurate rhetoric (rather than policy). He seemed a bit put out over the Huffington Post’s article titled “John Kasich: Our Spouses Are ‘Doing The Laundry’ While We’re On Stage.” He points out that HuffPo left off Kasich’s last statement (which HuffPo duly updated their article with), wherein he called these laundry doing spouses “heroes.”
Noting the obvious issue of the day (which so clearly is not women’s actual lives, but how we Hallmark ignoring their rights), the Dispatch charged, “The Huffington Post’s account of Kasich’s remarks — which the Ohio Democratic Party is circulating to media members — makes no reference to Kasich’s “heroes” line, just the part about the wives staying home to do the laundry and watch the kids.”
Heroes, I tell you! Don’t you feel better now? Who needs their civil rights when they are HEROES? After all, don’t all of us have to do laundry and isn’t it nice to be appreciated for it? It is, right? Who needs to look behind the curtain at the policy Oz when shiny object praise is pouring down upon us.
In light of Republicans’ kinda dirty attempts to divide us women, I feel duty bound to point out that even the most happily devoted housewife will still require her civil liberties on the odd occasion, and furthermore she might just want them because they belong to her.
The pat on the head for doing laundry while they vote against fair pay (in 2010 and again in June of 2012) for women is much like the Republican praise for our troops as Romney rah rahs the troops even has his budget cuts funding to the VA:
Romney, in fact, has committed himself to keeping the Pentagon budget (Function 050) at 4 percent of G.D.P. By 2050, that would leave zilch under the Ryan plan for such separately funded programs as Veterans Benefits (Function 700); the administration of justice, including the F.B.I. (Function 750); Education, Train and Social Services (Function 500), and pretty much anything else.
Republicans voted against a raise in pay for combat troops, even as they Hallmarked the troops. Republicans’ condescending elevation of the work in words is supposed to more than make up for their failure to value the work in via actual votes.
It’s in the policy, people.
Being called a hero doesn’t make the actual, factual, undeniable War Against Women okay. It’s hard not to find this insulting as we head into yet another week of the Republican led House obstructing the passage of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because they had to come up with their own version that wouldn’t protect all women (they don’t think that LGBT folks deserve protection, for example).
Paul Ryan voted yes on this, as his House blocked the Senate from a reconciliation vote:
The House Republicans came up with their own version of a Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4970) that is so bad the National Organization for Women (NOW) has declared a vote for the House version of VAWA to be a vote against Violence Against Women. In other words, the House version is a pro violence against women act.
Today, Vice President (and drafter of the original VAWA) Joe Biden noted that as Republicans drag their feet on the reauthorization of the VAWA, “three women still die each day from domestic violence, one in five women have been raped and one in six have been stalked.”
Biden also says that since the act was originally passed, violence against women has dropped by 60%. By leaving it unathorized, Republicans put all of those fine American women at risk. But heck, y’all are heroes.
Paul Ryan and John Kasich see women’s work as so heroic that Paul Ryan has voted against equal pay for us consistently. Just a few loads of Paul Ryan’s dirty laundry:
Jan. 27, 2009 S 181 Employment Discrimination Law Amendments Bill Passed – House
(250 – 177) Nay
Jan. 9, 2009 HR 11 Employment Discrimination Law Amendments Bill Passed – House
(247 – 171) Nay
Jan. 9, 2009 HR 12 Employment Discrimination Law Amendments Bill Passed – House
(256 – 163) Nay
July 31, 2008 HR 1338 Employment Discrimination Law Amendments Bill Passed – House
(247 – 178) Nay
Dec. 17, 2007 HR 2764 Inclusion of Consolidated Appropriations Concurrence Vote Passed – House
(253 – 154) Nay
July 31, 2007 HR 2831 Equal Pay Bill Bill Passed – House
(225 – 199) Nay
May 3, 2007 HR 1592 Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 Bill Passed – House
(237 – 180) Nay
So, do not forget that John Kasich didn’t just say the wives were at home doing laundry, he also called them heroes for it. Republicans think that if they win the rhetoric war, they can keep you from noticing their dirty policy laundry. Laundry doing heroes, ladies!
Don’t y’all feel so much better now, knowing how Republicans treat their heroes?
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.