Saturday, March 10, 2012

Olympia Snowe Isn't the Only Republican Woman to Bail

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

When Maine Republican senator, Olympia Snowe, decided this week to not seek re-election, many saw it as a manifestation of her frustration with the rightward, anti-woman tilt of her political party.  While some might argue that she could be more effective staying in the Senate and working on issues that are important to women, Senator Snowe determined it was time to leave all of the bickering and backbiting that has come to pass for governance in the halls of Congress.

Olympia Snowe did not necessarily bolt her party, she left the system.  Perhaps she felt that she could do more from the outside - speaking out on the issues as someone who no longer has to kiss Mitch McConnell's butt for committee assignments or nod in quiet agreement with legislative outrages.  Now, as Citizen Snowe, she will be able to say what she damned well pleases and not have to worry about offending some tobacco-funded  blowhard.

In fact, I don't think that Olympia Snowe was as much about leaving the Senate as she was about stepping away from the vilest elements of the Republican party.

There was a story in today's Washington Post by reporter Karen Tumulty putting statistics to a trend that has been obvious for sometime:  women in general are moving away from the Republican party.  A Wall Street Journal - NBC Poll last summer asked respondents which party should control Congress, and women selected Democrats by a four-point margin:  46% to 42%.  The same question in a new poll shows that gap has widened to 15 points:  51% to 36%.

The polling also shows that women's support of Obama has risen sharply since December, even though it remains flat among men.

Clearly the GOP is making some major miscalculations when it comes to the fairer sex - such as trying to eliminate insurance funding of contraception, waging its never-ending war on abortion, and almost totally ignoring Rush Limbaugh's slobbering "slut" tirade.   What self-respecting person could support a party that would deny her affordable contraception, refuse her an abortion when she becomes pregnant because she could not afford contraception, take away all government assistance that would help her to raise her child while holding down one or two minimum wage jobs, and then have to endure name-calling by some rich misogynist who has never had to raise a child?

It is almost as though the GOP is intentionally trying to drive women away.

And then there is the Republican problem with Hispanics, blacks, gays, intellectuals, artists, Girl Scouts, and everyone else except angry old white men.

It will be interesting to see how the Grand Old Party redefines itself after the Obama landslide of 2012.

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