Republican women: Betrayed by their party?
I’ve had enough, said Amanda Carpenter in The Washington Post. As a lifelong Republican and former communications aide to Sen. Ted Cruz, I spent years fending off accusations that my party held “anti-woman beliefs.” My reward? Not only have Republican voters nominated Donald Trump, a “brazen and unapologetic misogynist,” but the men who lead the party have refused to disavow him. Republican women are being told that Trump’s boasting of grabbing women’s genitals is “how men speak behind closed doors,” and that we should just “get over it”—even after a dozen women came forward to say Trump did in fact sexually assault them, just as he described. House Speaker Paul Ryan and his fellow Trump enablers have clearly calculated it is “too politically risky” to offend the nominee’s core supporters. After the GOP’s shameful embrace of a sexist pig who’s taken the party back “to the Dark Ages,” said S.E. Cupp in The New York Times, women would “have to be lobotomized to believe anything the Republican Party tells them.”
I think I may “die of schadenfreude,” said Gary Legum in Salon.com. Conservatives have long dismissed the accusation that their opposition to contraception and abortion amount to a “war on women,” denouncing it as a “cheap shot intended to smear all Republicans as sexists and misogynists.” Now the conservative women who helped push that line are realizing they belong to a party dominated by over-50 males who think that insulting and assaulting women is a forgivable flaw. “Needless to say, Trump’s share of the women’s vote, especially the college-educated women’s vote, is plummeting,” said Jennifer Rubin in WashingtonPost.com. In the battleground states, the Republican nominee is trailing Hillary Clinton among women by as much as 15 points. After this election, conservative women will have to decide whether they want to belong to a party dominated by “white, angry, abusive men.”
The rebellion of Republican women has been “one of the more interesting subplots in this election,” said Michelle Goldberg in Slate.com. Will it lead to a broader “feminist awakening among women on the Right”? Until now, conservative women were so opposed to “identity politics” that they insisted that women should not be viewed as “a distinct class,” with interests different from those of men. Yet they finally seem to be acknowledging something feminists have said for decades: “Women can’t trust men to look out for them.”
■In a poll taken after the FBI announced that it was reviewing more emails related to Hillary Clinton’s handling of sensitive information, 51% said her use of a private server was a “very serious” problem. 89% percent of Republicans called Clinton’s emails a very serious problem, but just 16% of Democrats did. 49% of all voters said Clinton’s emails are relevant to the election rather than a distraction.