Social & Domestic Issues

Whose ‘war on women’?

Whether it’s the “war on science” or the “war on labor unions,” the left never tires of painting conservatives as domestic policy war mongers. Now liberals are revisiting another fictitious conservative war, against women. 

At the Women in the World Summit in New York last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted tyrants across the globe. “They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies,” Clinton said.

Then she compared Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to Sandra Fluke. “Women and girls…throughout the world,” she said, “are assuming the risks that come with sticking your neck out, whether you are a democracy activist in Burma or a Georgetown law student in the United States.”

It was absurd for America’s top diplomat to compare a chief target of one of the world’s most authoritarian regimes to the law student/abortion activist.

Suu Kyi has endured decades of imprisonment and house arrest for peacefully promoting democracy and human rights; Fluke has endured the rhetorical wrath of (and then an apology from) Rush Limbaugh after complaining before a fake congressional hearing that her friends’ contraceptives were too expensive and that her Catholic school should be forced to violate their beliefs by paying for them.

Next we should expect Fluke to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, which Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded two decades ago. It’s not implausible. After all, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama have not only been nominated but won. 

President Obama called Fluke to “offer his support to her” in a show of solidarity after Rush’s comments, explaining that he would not want his daughters called demeaning names. 

There seems to be a double standard. Obama had no problem taking $1 million from talk show host Bill Maher, who has made equally offensive remarks about Sarah Palin and other conservative women. 

Obama cited Fluke’s “bravery” when he spoke about her. But a more apt word is “shamelessness.”

Speaking of shameless, while Clinton has made advancing women’s rights a major rhetorical theme of her time at State, the Obama administration has ignored and even supported egregious violations against women. 

Last year Vice President Joe Biden announced that he would not be “second-guessing” China’s one-child policy, a search and destroy mission of abortion and infanticide against baby girls. 

Now the Obama administration is abandoning women in Afghanistan. Obama is determined to flee Afghanistan as soon as possible, leaving the Taliban in charge. With American troops on their way out, the Afghanistan government is scaling back its support of basic rights for women to placate the Taliban. 

According to reports, the Taliban is reinstituting a number of anti-woman policies. Women will once again be required to wear the veil and be forbidden from mixing with men. This is the same Taliban that treats its women like chattel and whose members throw acid on girls who attend school. 

But legitimate human rights abuses against women aren’t a top Democratic priority. According to Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, it’s the Republican Party that wants to return to the “Dark Ages…when women were property that you could easily control, trade even, if you wanted to.”

Whining about the “war on women” in a Politico op-ed last week, former Democratic Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm wrote, “Republican obsession with Planned Parenthood alone has become a form of legislative sexual McCarthyism.”

In case there was any doubt about the centrality of the “war on women” theme to the Democratic campaign, Senate Democrats are pushing to extend the Violence Against Women Act, with a vote by the end of March. 

Most Republicans support the law, but it’s a trap. The legislation includes not only laudable programs like grants to battered women’s shelters but also provisions allowing abused illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas and programs for same-sex couples. 

Democrats are daring Senate Republicans to vote against it, so they can portray Republicans as opposed to helping battered women, or at least indifferent to their plight. 

There’s little evidence that the Democrats’ new campaign theme is working. Obama’s approval rating has dipped since the mandate debate began. A New York Times poll last week showed Obama’s approval rating among women dropped 12 percentage points over the last month, from 53 percent to 41 percent. 

Polls show that most women believe religious institutions should be able to opt out of covering birth control. And Rick Santorum has risen since the media started obsessing about his views on contraceptives and women in combat. Polls show him doing better than his Republican counterparts among female voters in many primary states. 

Allusions to the Republican “war on women” will continue as a major Democratic campaign theme. But they’re just Democrats’ way of diverting voters’ attention from their own failures and injustices toward women.

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