Does The GOP Have A Caterpillar Problem?
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus landed in hot water this week when he dismissed the alleged conservative “War on Women” as fictional, saying it was like the President and media creating a controversy around a “War on Caterpillars.” And while the punditsphere has been full of misguided outrage saying Priebus thinks women are no more important than insects, the real issue is that this Republican leader is in denial about the massive amounts of conservative-backed legislation that subvert the health and rights of women.
Priebus appeared on Political Capital with Al Hunt, and was asked about the gender gap in current polling (video here):
HUNT: Let me ask you this. The Democrats of course say you are waging, the GOP is waging a war on women. I know you don’t agree with that, but looking at the polls, you have a gender gap problem. Recent polls show a huge, huge margin for Democrats among women voters. How big a problem is it? How do you close it?
PRIEBUS: Well, for one thing, if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we have problems with caterpillars. The fact of the matter is it’s a fiction…
An Obama campaign spokesperson fired back that Priebus’ comment “shows how little regard leading Republicans, including Mitt Romney, have for women’s health.”
But MSNBC host Rachel Maddow might have hit closer to the real issue, blasting Priebus for ignoring the very real legislative battles that have caused the sentiment that conservatives have a “woman problem.” Referring to anti-abortion laws, trans-vaginal ultrasound mandates, and defunding of affordable healthcare, Maddow said on her show Thursday night:
“In this analogy what Reince Priebus is missing is the part where the Republican party introduces hundreds of pieces of legislation all over the country attacking the rights of caterpillars, which in his analogy is in fact what the Republican party has been doing. The Republican party in this analogy has to be seen as a radically, what, anti-cocoon party? Anti-caterpillar, pro-cocoon? Sacrifice the caterpillar? Save the cocoon? Metamorphosis?”
“You don’t have a problem with caterpillars because caterpillars have been misled by your intentions,” she added. “You’re the Orkin man, dude.”
Getting much less attention is what Priebus said in the very next breath:
“This started a war against the Vatican that this president pursued. He still hasn’t answered Archbishop Dolan’s issues with Obama world and Obamacare, so I think that’s the first issue.”
So the War on Women is fictional, but the War on Religion is real? I’ll believe that when Democrats try to use the Interstate Commerce Clause to regulate the sale of communion wafers.