A couple of weeks ago, in my weekly column lead-in, I referred to "Presidential Wars" and their collective records of success or failure. I have since discovered I was remiss in my listing in that I did not include a conflict that, while not precisely a presidentially-sponsored war, deserves inclusion as one waged by a political party.
That which I inadvertently omitted was the insidious "War on Women" waged by the Republican Party. It should be obvious to all that the GOP holds a negative view of females inasmuch as Republicans are all males who have not mothers, wives, sisters, girlfriends, fiances, etc. It is also understood as fact that we mean-spirited and miserly right-wingers long ago threw grandma (and grandpa) under the bus.
I think most will agree that the gist of the above paragraph is ridiculous to the point of abject silliness. Nevertheless, it is no more asinine than is the fictitious sham described as the GOP's battle against the fairer sex.
The Democrats have a long history of creating victims in order to flesh out their campaign rhetoric. A recent example is the totally unsubstantiated claim that the requirement for photo ID to vote is a Republican plot to disenfranchise minorities, the poor, the elderly, the disabled and otherwise disadvantaged persons in their right to vote. That the U.S. Supreme Court has found no evidence of this in upholding several state laws is irrelevant so long as there exists a gullible electorate.
The largest class of "victims" is of course "the 99 percent" — that segment of the population that is disadvantaged because of the ill-gotten wealth of the "greedy" 1 percent. Much of the Democratic Party leadership embraced the "Occupy Movement" in its protest against income and/or wealth inequality.
Initially launched against Wall Street, the movement spread nearly nationwide as "occupiers" willfully ignored property rights, sanitation, city and town ordinances and law enforcement. That they left piles of trash in their wake, blocked traffic, interfered with merchants and, in general, made a nuisance of themselves, was of no consequence — they were exercising freedom of speech and assembly.
The first shot in the faux war on women was initiated by the administration's decision not to exempt religious employers' health care plans from requirements to offer contraception. The resulting opposition from Catholic bishops and other denominations as an assault on religious freedoms was blamed instead on the GOP, alleging falsely that Republicans were plotting against a woman's right to birth control.
That the issue was never the right to birth control was completely ignored by the administration and most of the media. The essential point, where the president and the Health and Human Services secretary found the authority to declare contraception as an entitlement, was never answered. The GOP has no objection to contraception; however, it believes it is a personal responsibility.
There was also a cheap shot, delivered against Mr. Romney's wife by Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, alleging that as a stay-at-home mom, "Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life." Not only is this the epitome of feminist arrogance, the notion that not participating in the workplace renders a woman out of touch is absurd. My mother (yes, I had a mother) stayed home to raise my brothers and me, yet she lacked neither political nor economic acumen.
It is ironic that Teresa Heinz Kerry, a billionaire in her own right and wife of Sen. John Kerry, levied a similar attack on Laura Bush when she doubted Mrs. Bush ever had a "real job." Perhaps nonunion employees don't count.
Also, there is the "gender-wage gap." We have long been subjected to the notion that full-time working women earn but 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. The Labor Department defines full time as working 35 or more hours per week.
Department of Labor records show nearly 55 percent of those equaling or exceeding the 35-hour work week were men. Moreover, in 2007, 25 percent of the male work force toiled 41 or more hours weekly — by comparison, 14 percent of employed women worked a similar schedule. Accordingly, the much publicized "gender-wage" gap is one of gender hours instead.
Finally, to blame so-called gender inequality on the GOP, as Democrats are wont to do, requires chutzpah to the nth degree along with a sizable bloc of easily duped voters. The Democratic Party has controlled the House of Representatives for 46 of the 62 years since 1950 and the Senate for 42 of those same years.
The Republican Party must be an extremely powerful force, if, by controlling Congress for less than a third of the past 62 years, it has exerted a greater influence on gender affairs than Democrats who held the legislative reins for more than two thirds of the time.
Women in the work force and in politics have proven they are more than capable of holding their own. Portrayal of them as "victims" is as patronizing as it is false.
J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via email at JKarlUSMC@aol.com. Questions? Contact Elizabeth Conner.