Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, has a message for all you women out there: the GOP’s war on women is not against you, but for you. That’s right ladies, the GOP’s efforts to ban your legal right to an abortion, fight against equal pay legislation, limit your abilities to access contraception and the countless derogatory statements from major Republicans, such as conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, have in fact all been an attempt to fight for “the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women” according to Huckabee.
The former Arkansas governor declared the war’s end last week at the Republican National Convention winter meeting where he accused Democrats of taking advantage of women for political gain: “If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”


Patrick Maillet

Huckabee totally blew the Democrats’ cover last week when he went on to say, “Women I know are outraged that Democrats think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication.”

Fellow Democrats, how could we have been so diabolical? So cold-hearted and downright malicious to have taken advantage of women like that? All the columns I’ve written about protecting a woman’s right to choose, or that a woman deserves equal pay for equal work or that a woman’s insurance should cover her birth control, have all been one giant sham. My fellow liberals and I meet quite often and have decided that the only way to get our candidates elected is by pretending to actually care about women.

Of course, Huckabee may be glancing over a few details about this alleged grand plan that we Democrats have. Aside from the sheer fact that 66 percent of women support a federal mandate for employers to offer insurance that covers birth control, according to a CBS News Poll, the Center for Disease Control states that four out of five sexually active women from ages 15 to 44 have used birth control before, and that 58 percent of birth control users do so for non-contraceptive purposes, women are just playing right into the Democratic scheme.

But then again, maybe — just maybe — Huckabee may have somehow kept our cover alive. Women, just like men, don’t exactly like being told that they are stupid and being taken advantage of for political gain. While Huckabee thought he was advocating for the equality of women, he actually was taking a giant step back in the fight for women’s rights. Huckabee stated, “Women I know are smart, educated, intelligent, capable of doing anything that anybody else can do.” Women have known this. Democrats have known this. In fact, most level-headed Republicans have known this. Unfortunately, the only people who have to state this as if it is a bold, new revelation in the fight for civil rights are the out-of-touch heads of the GOP. It’s a lot like calling a Black person “articulate” because they might be well-spoken. Why use descriptive adjectives that infer an exception or that for some reason it can’t be assumed without clarification that women are entirely “capable” of doing anything that a man can do?

It’s not that the only issue that matters to women voters are reproductive rights and that any pro-choice candidate simply wins every female vote automatically. Like their male counterparts, women voters are just as likely to use platforms such as foreign policy, energy or taxes as a basis for voting. Instead, women are voting Democratic because they are constantly being reminded that the GOP considers them an inferior voting bloc whose basic liberties are not a priority. Nothing exemplifies this trend more than the 18-point gender gap in the 2012 presidential election in favor of President Barack Obama.

I’m not trying to speak on behalf of women, but rather make a statement based off public polls and conversations with female family members and friends. Unlike Huckabee, I don’t try to sum up the political ideologies of an entire gender in one sound bite.

Unfortunately, the very fact that Huckabee was invited to give an RNC speech reflects that many within the GOP leadership share his comically out-of-touch ideologies. While some may claim that peace has finally come, it appears that the war on women continues to rage.

Patrick Maillet can be reached at maillet@umich.edu

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