Look, let’s not kid ourselves. As Hillary pointed out in a tweeted graphic, all 16 Republican candidates are the same, whether its Trump’s hair and pizzazz, or, as Larry Wilmore says, his helicopter. Election cycle 2016 is literally the attack of the Republican clones.
Position-wise, all they offer us is varying levels of extremism. There is not one moderate Republican among them, because moderate Republicans are RINOs in today’s conservative lexicon. They’re not allowed, as Jon Huntsman found out in 2012, and he came nowhere near to running in 2016. He’d learned his lesson.
That doesn’t mean Republicans aren’t willing to pretend to be moderates, impersonating reasonable people taking a sober look at all the facts, and then rejecting anything smacking of opposition to their authoritarianism. You know, things like freedom, religious or otherwise. Things like marriage equality and reproductive rights, just to name a couple of examples.
However, there can be no claim to moderate positions as long as you are against this, and all Republicans are against this:
95 years ago today, women got one step closer to winning the right to vote. Here’s to making history. pic.twitter.com/tpgGIWkzPI
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 18, 2015
That’s right. Women. Women as autonomous beings with all the rights and privileges of any Republican living. Conservative women like Sarah Palin will tell you they are the real women. You know, women who are subservient to men in all respects, who are willing to collaborate on their own subjugation.
But real men trust women. Trust women to vote. Trust women to hold down the toughest jobs. Trust women to think for themselves and make their own reproductive choices. Real men don’t expect women to go without conception, give birth, and then refuse to let them breastfeed.
Real men don’t want women to be like Sarah Palin. Or any of her clone-replacements, like Joni Ernst. Real men aren’t afraid of smart, powerful women like Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren, or Michelle Obama.
Because real men don’t feel like they’re being persecuted if women have the same rights they do. Republican men, on the other hand, have their misogyny in common, and they wear it on their sleeves.
And in fact, women seem to realize who the real men are. For all the talk of Donald Trump, and all Trump’s claims that literally everybody likes him, including those he excoriates daily, women aren’t impressed. In other words, Hillary says they are all the same, and she’s not alone.
According to Gallup, “Trump has a lower favorability rating among Republican women than among Republican men (50% vs. 59%, respectively) [and] this gender gap is fairly typical for many of the current GOP candidates.”
Ted Cruz is most reviled, and Gallup says only “Graham, Bush and Pataki are the only candidates who enjoy similar favorability ratings among men and women nationally,” but none of them are prime candidates for a Sadie Hawkins dance.
Women in the U.S. are, in general, more likely to identify as Democrats than to identify as Republicans. Further, according to exit polls, 55% of women supported President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. This persistent gender gap in U.S. politics presents a continuing challenge for Republican candidates. Another challenge for Republican presidential candidates is that even among women who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, women tend to be less likely than men to view GOP candidates favorably.
Larry Wilmore singles out Trump and his helicopter, saying “Trump steals the show with his shiny new helicopter. OK, I give up. How small is this guy’s penis?” But let’s not ignore an insecurity factor spread among Republican candidates more or less equally. They just show it in ways other than helicopters.
You have to wonder at Republicans who think their endless denigration of women is going to make them popular. It is not only Trump who thinks insulting people makes them like him. All Republicans seem to feel this way, because all of them are this way. As Hillary said, they’re all the same. They all operate out of the same context, and we should not expect otherwise.
It is as simple as this: if you like and trust women, you are probably not a Republican.