A war is coming.In those long-ago days of early 2011, the "War on Women" was not a commonly used phrase. Outside of feminist circles, it was largely dismissed as hyperbole. It's not a war on women, critics argued. At most, it's a war on the "right to choose."
Congressional Republicans have already made clear that their top priority, once they take control of Congress in the next session, is to make sure President Obama is a one-term president.
But there is a second priority that many Republicans in Congress, and in state legislatures around the country, have promised to pursue: the further restriction of women's reproductive rights.
Things sure have changed since then, haven't they?
We've seen just how far the Republican Party is willing to go to wage its war. It's not just about restricting abortion rights. It's about defunding women's basic health care; opposing birth control; redefining rape; opposing protection for victims of domestic violence; opposing equal pay for women; slashing food stamps and welfare and Medicaid and other basic services on which women rely to care for themselves and their children.
The War on Women is no longer merely a feminist catch-phrase; it is front and center in our national discourse, especially in this election. The Republican Party has mobilized to deny the existence of its war; to insist that it a fake issue contrived by the media and/or Democrats and/or President Obama; to even claim that it is Democrats who are waging a war on women. Not that anyone is buying their bogus claims.
As I wrote in April:
The War on Women isn't about zingers. It's about a constant legislative assault by the Republican Party, at the state and federal level, on women's equality and basic rights, from health care to equal pay to funding programs to combat violence against women. Women aren't stupid, even if Republicans, like Herman Cain, insist that "men are much more familiar with the failed policies than a lot of other people."We cannot afford to let Republicans continue to wage their war. Even with Democrats in control of the Senate and White House, the Republicans have wreaked havoc on women's lives, and the consequences of the atrocious legislative assaults and obstruction are real and severe and make it that much harder for women to move closer to that ultimate dream of true equality.
Women know what they care about and whose policies they think are better for them. Republicans can't deny that away, and they know it. And they're scared. And they should be.
This is a long war with many battles. Some won, some lost. There will be others ahead. But in order to fight and win, to stop the Republicans' war and to start making things better, we need to keep the White House and the Senate, retake the House, and make sure we send women to Washington who will fight to end the war.
Daily Kos has endorsed, and will continue to endorse, some incredible women who are running for office. These are women who will fight for progressive values, who will fight against the Republican obstructionism and cynicism that harms every American who isn't part of their beloved one percent, and who will make sure that when it comes to making decisions for women, women actually have a say.
If we can elect more, better women to the halls of power throughout this country—if we can ensure that when our elected leaders are making decisions about women's lives, women actually have a voice and vote in those decisions—we can stop their war. Hell, if we send enough women, if women's voices are too many and too loud to ignore, we just might win.