Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The GOP dating game

I know I keep asking this, but how clueless can Republicans get? In an attempt to woo female voters, three Republican men hold a debate about "Women and Colorado's Future," where the moderator invites the "ladies" on stage because they're "ornamental," as they play the theme music from The Dating Game.

From ThinkProgress:
At the start of the “Women and Colorado’s Future” debate, the moderator explained that it would be like a dating game, where a panel of four women could interview the three “bachelors” — former Congressman Bob Beauprez, former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, and Secretary of State Scott Gessler. The fourth candidate, ex-congressman Tom Tancredo, did not attend.

The moderator invited the women to join the stage, saying, “It’s so much more ornamental if the four of you would be on the stage with the four of us.” Theme music from The Dating Game TV show played as the panelists took their seats.

Still, you have to give them credit for acknowledging women's issues even in this clumsy and clueless way, right? Hardly. Here's The Colorado Independent:
But the three candidates ... had no specific policy proposals regarding women’s issues and barely mentioned women, a voting bloc that has come to decide statewide elections over the years and one that increasingly has turned away from the Republican Party. ...

The event was titled “Women and Colorado’s Future.” But in the hour and a half the event ran — commercial breaks featured “swinging 1960s” theme music for the “Dating Game” television show — the candidates treated the debate as if there were no particular theme they were expected to address.

Moderator John Andrews, a former state senate president and the director of the university’s conservative Centennial Institute, and four conservative women panelists asked few of the kinds of questions that will dominate debate in the general election.

There was nothing of note said about the heated subject of women’s health — about efforts in Washington and state capitols around the country including in Denver to shutter reproductive health and abortion clinics, to defund Planned Parenthood, to restrict access to contraception at state clinics, about the hardline anti-abortion “personhood” proposal likely to land on Colorado voter ballots this year — nothing on domestic violence policies and protections, university campus sexual harassment and assault, equal opportunities at school and in the workplace, discriminatory insurance policies, affordable day care, or even in any depth gender disparities in pay — the subject this week of national headlines after the firing of New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson. ...

Asked who they would name as a women in history they most respected (“other than your wife or your mother”) the candidates’ answers fell flat.

Beauprez talked about one of his bank employees. Kopp talked about a woman who supports his campaign. And Gessler said he admired Helen Keller and Susan B. Anthony, which had the ring of a school-room response but from a student who may not have done all the homework. He said Helen Keller overcame hardship but never played the victim. He didn’t mention that the progressive-era American icon worked to win expanded voter rights, that she was an ardent socialist, a staunch supporter of worker rights, a fervent pacifist and a champion of birth control.

The answer suggested the ideological bind at work in the effort to court the women’s vote. The voting record in Colorado demonstrates that most women don’t take the position championed by Kafer at the debate. They embrace the role policymakers can play in bettering their lives in gender specific, even biologically inflected, ways. ...

In Hellen Keller’s day, women couldn’t vote. No amount of tax breaks or reduced fees on businesses would have granted them equal representation.

Republican candidates are trying to appeal to women for the same reason they're trying to appeal to racial minorities: to get elected. But in both cases, they're not willing to make their policies more appealing, so everything they do is just window-dressing.

And they seem to be so clueless about both groups that it's just laughable, isn't it? Is this really what Republicans think women would like?


Gregg Garthright said...

That sounds more like a skit fro Saturday Night Live - or an article fro The Onion - than an actual campaign event. It's hard to believe even republicans can be so completely clueless, isn't it?

So, is Tom Tancredo actually smart enough to stay away from this thing, or does he just not care enough about women to even pretend?

WCG said...

From what I hear, Tom Tancredo is ahead in the polls, so he's refusing to take part in any debates. Apparently, he's afraid of accidentally saying what he thinks and blowing his lead.

Of course, Tancredo has a long history of crazy, so he probably has the GOP nomination all wrapped up. Note that he ran for governor in 2010 on the American Constitution Party ticket, and he stomped the Republican candidate. (Luckily, the Democrat won.)