Mitch McConnell is a man on the run from a disastrous week for the Republican Party. McConnell is running from voters, from his confession that the Koch Brothers own him and the Republican Party and they are running away from policies that alienate women unless they are married and have less than a college education.
First, Gallup data shows the nexus between higher voter turnout and low approval ratings for congress. True, Republicans tried to run away from voters with more gerrymandering and more draconian Vote Suppression laws. The problem is the courts are waking up to the true agenda behind these tactics, especially vote suppression. At this rate, no matter how fast Republicans try to run away from voters, the momentum is building for us to catch up with them.
After McConnell admitted the Republican Party will drop the soap as often as the Koch Brothers want in exchange for all that campaign money, Mitch tweaked the Greg Abbot no show for press conferences solution by running away from the press.
No doubt, McConnell’s admission was the 2014 equivalent of Romney’s 47% video. There was nothing suprising about McConnell’s admission caught on audio. Like Romney’s video, it amounts to a smoking gun admission of what we already know. That precludes McConnell and other Republicans from running away from their allegiance to the Koch Brothers. By running away from the press, Mitch is using the tactic of last resort. He hopes that with time, people will forget his admission that the Koch brothers own him and the Republican Party. He hopes the memory banks in our brains will be filled with trivia about the ice bucket challenge and there won’t be room left to remember the Koch brothers own the GOPT and its members. However, audio and video are a permanent record that precludes Republicans from running away from their own words.
That brings me to the third event. Republicans are still trying to figure out their “female problem.” They hired consulted and bought studies to prove what we already knew. After previous studies that pointed to the fact that Americans reject Republican ideology and policies the GOPT concluded the only thing that matters is finding the right giftwrap. It doesn’t matter if you put it in prettier gift wrap, or you put more lipstick on the pig who is trying to sell these policies. They remain and always will be policies from the stone-age.
As we already know, Republican policies alienate women. Sarah Jones wrote an excellent piece on the latest attempt by Republicans to identify “solutions” of their “woman problem.”
The Republican Party remains convinced they just need the right message and the right puppets to mouth the talking points. Most of the “right people” are rich white men, but for the sake of showing women how much they love us, occasionally the Koch brothers will throw a woman in the mix – assuming there will be bonus points if the woman can castrate a pig.
Moreover, for all their disdainful talk about a “culture of dependence”, the reality is Republican policies reek of creating a culture of dependence. While damning the notion of dependence, on government, Republicans envision a culture of dependence on corporations and the rich white men who run them. Think about it.
They argue that men “earn their money” while claiming that a women earning fair pay at her job is “dependence on government.” In reality, Republicans want us to believe that gender based pay discrimination is doing us a favor. Here’s how that works.
Nothing turns off a “good man” (meaning men with good paying jobs) than a woman who can fend for herself. So gender based discrimination makes us good marriage material and our financial problems will disappear.
Other Republican policies seek to make a culture of financial independence unattainable for women. Most notably is the Republican Party’s opposition to the ACA’s birth control mandate. The birth control mandate received a lot of attention because of the court battles culminating in the Hobby Lobby ruling that empowers women’s employers to decide if they will allow employees to have access to birth control. Also, the ACA eliminated the practice of identifying women as pre-existing conditions. In other words, Health insurance companies could charge women a higher price for the same healthcare plan they offer men at a lower premium.
Let’s not forget that while Republicans have waged war on women’s reproductive rights; they are defending men’s access to that little blue pill.
If you combine the facts that women earn less for doing the same work, and just the gender based discrimination in Republican healthcare policy, the economic reality is Republican policies create obstacles to independence for women.
This is where Republican views on reproduction are, in reality, additional means to promote a culture of women’s dependency on men. It’s about taking women’s reproduction health and family planning decisions out of their hands and designating authority over women to their spouses, employers and if all else fails, the state. Combine that with allowing employers to fire women for getting pregnant. You come to the undeniable fact that the Republican Party is opposed to a culture of independence for women.
It’s little wonder that the best advice Republican consultants have is to move on because it removes the risk of Republicans having more moments like the one Mitch McConnell is trying to run away from.
Whether its disapproving voters, public confessions or failed policies the Republican solution is to run away. They can only get away with that if we let them.
Image: National Report