If you thought the Republican Party couldn't get any more tone-deaf when it comes to attracting female voters, think again. A report by two major Republican groups obtained by Politico shows that the GOP is aware of what everyone else has known for a long time: Republicans "fail to speak to women in the different circumstances in which they live." The report also noted that women view the party as "intolerant," "lacking in compassion," and "stuck in the past."
That's an accurate conclusion if there ever was one, and it reaffirms what we saw in the 2012 election when Mitt Romney lost the female vote by 12 points. So now that Republicans know they have a serious women problem, what are they going to do about it?
Exactly what you would expect them to do: Nothing.
Nothing substantive, anyway. Let's examine the three "solutions" offered in the GOP's report one by one, as reported by Politico:
First, they suggest the GOP “neutralize the Democrats” attack that Republicans don’t support fairness for women. They suggest Republican lawmakers criticize Democrats for “growing government programs that encourage dependency rather than opportunities to get ahead.” That message tested better than explaining that the GOP supports a number of policies that could help fairness for women.
Translation: Don't bother explaining our policies that could possibly help support fairness for women because we really don't have any.
Second, the groups suggest Republicans "deal honestly with any disagreement on abortion, then move to other issues."
Translation: Simply recognize that we're anti-abortion and advocate mandatory invasive transvaginal ultrasounds, and then move onto other issues so women forget about that last part. Which part? Exactly.
And third, “pursue policy innovations that inspire women voters to give the GOP a ‘fresh look.’” The report suggests lawmakers and candidates inject “unexpected” GOP policy proposals into the debate as a way to sway female voters. Suggestions include ways to improve job-training programs, “strengthening enforcement against gender bias in the workplace” and “expanding home health care services by allowing more health care professionals to be paid by Medicare for home health services.”
Translation: Feel free to advocate policies that would truly help women. This will help us convince women we're actually on their side, even though it'll be a cold day in hell before we actually pass anything that strengthens enforcement against gender bias in the workplace. Whatever that means!
As an added bonus, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus went on MSNBC's Daily Rundown on Thursday to talk about the report. When asked by Chuck Todd if women think the GOP has "too many crazy white guys" who want to meddle with women's reproductive systems, Priebus proceeded to tell the ladies what they think:
"Women actually aren’t really moved on these issues as much as I think the pundits and everyone believes that they are moved. And In fact if Republicans talk about things like the economy and the debt, and make the case for jobs and schools and education and push back, I think Republicans will win some more."
I believe feminists would call this "mansplaining."
That's right. Women aren't really interested in the fact that the Republican Party wants to regulate their vaginas and uteri. This is merely a secondary, or a tertiary, or maybe even a decenary consideration for women.
Republicans have lost the women's vote in the last six presidential elections, and have lost the general popular vote in five of the last six. If the aforementioned prescriptions are seriously how the Republican Party plans to solve its women problem, you can make that seven in a row and probably six out of the last seven.