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October 06, 2014

Republican Outreach to Female Voters

This author wants to know "why it's so awful"?

The flurry of Republican ads targeting women confirm they know the gender gap is for real. But as the numbers indicate, the ads haven’t narrowed it; they often try too hard, miss the point and make the problem worse.

The article explores various explanations without ever touching on the one we find most likely: women aren't a monolithic group whose voting behavior is determined (or even primarily influenced by) the having of ladyparts. As we observed last week, married voters of both sexes lean Republican while singles lean Democrat:

The storied election gender gap that for years has shown a broad political division between men and women is morphing into a marriage gap where married men and women are the Republican side of the new divide and unmarried men and women are Democrats. The latest proof was revealed in a new Economist/YouGov poll that overall showed women back Democrats over Republicans, 48 percent to 30 percent. But when the population is divided, the poll finds that married women favor Republicans over Democrats 41 percent to 34 percent, unmarrieds prefer Democrats 52 percent to 22 percent.

“Democrats don’t get the support of all kinds of women,” said the poll analysis.

“There is also a marriage gap among men. Married men favor the GOP by more than two to one. Unmarried men support Democrats,” said Economist/YouGov.

It's hard to get someone's vote if the appeal you make clearly shows you haven't gone to the trouble of understanding (or in this case, even identifying) the target demographic. GOP appeals to women voters typically take one of two forms:

1. Married, older white men lecture women about what they ought to think about various public policy issues. This one turns off even the Editorial Staff.

2. A married, affluent, older white woman is dispatched to appeal to other married, affluent, older white women.... who already tend to vote Rethug anyway.

These tactics are fine if the target audience is the margin of female, older, married, white voters who vote Democrat, but they're woefully inadequate if the goal is to persuade single women/mothers that the GOP has better policies to address the issues they care about most (which are not always the issues they are presumed to care about most).

If the GOP is looking for a wedge issue to pry single women away from the DNC, they could do worse than to take [thoughtful] issue with this sort of idiocy:

Katha Pollitt’s Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights is a deeply felt and well-researched book which argues that abortion, despite what any of its opponents might claim, is a palpable social good. Progressives, Pollitt says, can and must treat abortion as an unequivocal positive rather than a “necessary evil”; there is no ethical, humane way to limit abortion rights. The fact that Pollitt needs to make this argument in 2014, however, seems to indicate that pro-choicers have long been a little too nice for our own good.

Which is something Pollitt herself points out, many times. There are the obvious truisms about abortion ideally being “safe, legal, and rare,” sure. Pollitt also cites Roger Rosenblatt's formulation of “permit but discourage,” which makes it sound like reproductive autonomy is a form of social faux pas, like taking the last slice of pizza at the pizza party. Not criminal, sure, but are you sure you need it?

But the language of apology for abortion has seeped ever deeper into our language:

Anywhere you look or listen, you find pro-choicers falling over themselves to use words like “thorny,” “vexed,” “complex” and “difficult.” How often have you heard abortion described as '”he hardest decision,” or “the most painful choice” a woman ever makes, as if every single woman who gets pregnant by accident seriously considers having a baby, only a few weeks earlier the furthest thing from her mind, and for very good reason?

The end of the line, Pollitt says, is the sort of ridiculous decision made by Planned Parenthood in 2013 to move away from the term “pro-choice,” which “was itself a bit of a euphemism: Choose what?” We can hardly be expected to defend abortion effectively if we can't even call the procedure by name.

The problem with calling abortion by name is that for decades, studies have shown that doing so forces people to confront what it is they're really talking about in a way that undermines moral certainty.

We've long thought the GOP could go a long way simply by pointing out the obvious: that at the national level, outlawing abortion would require a reversal of Roe and that's not something Congress or the President have the power to do unilaterally. Sadly, we're not sure a candidate who stated that simple yet obvious reality would not be primaried out of the race.

The other thought we've had frequently has been that both sides seem unable to make an argument without falling into simplistic, binary arguments that irritate people like us who don't see most choices in those terms.

There's got to be a way to make an argument that doesn't amount to (one the one hand) telling people, "This is what you ought to think, because there's only one right answer" or (on the other hand) resorting to using so much touchy-feely "any choice you make is OK and there's no downside" nonsense that no one takes it seriously. The real world is full of hard choices, and we suspect the kind of appeal that might work better on women of all kinds would be a far more nuanced one that the type that appeals to most men. Perhaps one that begins by conceding that reasonable/intelligent people can disagree.

It's considered to be something of a stereotype that women see more nuance in most issues than men, but we think it's a stereotype with a fair amount of real world evidence to back it up. Both of the following types of ad turn us off:

1. "On Issue X, all the goodness and morality is encompassed in my position and anyone who disagrees with me is the antichrist/hates America/WARONWOMEN!!!!ELEVENTY!!/WARONMEN!!!!ELEVENTY!!/."

2. "Oh, hey, every choice is equally valid because I'm enlightened and tolerant like that. Unlike my opponent, who wants to lock women up in pregnancy farms and force them to procreate for the patriarchy. I don't really believe this nonsense, mind you, but you I'm so scared of offending 'you people' that I'm simply going to insist that your choices cannot reasonably be questioned or limited. Ever. By anyone. Even if they affect other people or negatively impact their freedom."

Are political ads even the right way to conduct effective outreach? We have our doubts.

What say you, knuckle dragging America haters?

Posted by Cassandra at October 6, 2014 07:54 AM

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Comments

I don't have a dog in the fight of Republican outreach to anyone, but I don't think there's money to be made in accepting that reasonable people disagree. That's going to undercut support among evangelicals in a huge way, and in terms of elections currently it seems to be more important to win on base-turnout than on appealing to swing voters.

That said, the National Pro-Life Alliance sent out its roster scoring candidates for Georgia's elections yesterday, and I was a little surprised by it. Maybe I've never looked at their stuff before, but they asked about abortion restrictions in a lot of nuanced ways -- and several candidates responded to say, in effect, 'yes I'd support this restriction; no, I wouldn't support that one.'

The final option was a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion, but there's a lot of other options that would allow you to signal limited or nuanced support for their camp without committing to abolition.

Posted by: Grim at October 6, 2014 01:41 PM

Sigh. The first explanation I can see for why it’s so awful is this line from the first paragraph of the RCP piece:

Two years ago, the GOP party chair called [the GOP war on women] a fiction, suggesting Republicans have no more problem with women than they do with “caterpillars.”

So what is the party chair saying here? That Republicans are no more concerned about women than Republicans are about caterpillars? Or that women feel as kindly toward Republicans as women feel toward caterpillars? Or perhaps - given the whole unclear pronoun reference thing - that Republicans have no more problem with women than women do with caterpillars. None of those meanings would convince me that Republicans and women are BFFs.

And, truly, that’s the problem. The statement makes it clear there are two different groups under discussion (three, really, but let’s ignore the caterpillars for now): Republicans and women. Different. Not the same. Us and them. Subject and (apparently rather odd) object. This same sense runs through the whole article with the implication that at least two of the Republican ad campaigns are being run by men. (I have to admit the “Dating Profile” ad made me smile but I’m already anti-Obama/anti-Democrats.)

And that is why I like the (sigh, male) author’s suggestion to just ask actual (presumably cis) women if they’re voting Republican and, if so, why. If the GOP can figure out why some women vote Republican, maybe it can figure out how to get other women to vote Republican. At a minimum, I'd consider it advisable to (a) not make it clear that the Republican Party considers itself a non-overlapping group with women and (b) not talk about caterpillars.

Posted by: Elise at October 6, 2014 02:12 PM

I too despair at the oversimplification of what "they" think on a given issue. "Republicans want to control womens' bodies" or "Democrats want to murder the unborn." Neither of those characterizations are true. That's NOT why Republicans oppose abortion nor why Democrats favor it. But, I also don't believe "everyone can go their own way, kumbaya." I believe that abortion does take the life of an unborn child. But I also believe that killing (in and of itself) is morally ambiguous. If I kill an armed intruder in my house, that is good. If I kill an innocent man for my own pleasure, that's evil. So too with abortion. If you are aborting a fetus to save the mother's life, then that is perhaps not good... but shall we say the lesser evil? But if it's done as a matter of convenience, or retroactive birth control, then I consider it evil.

But I try not to fall in the trap of setting up an easy straw man to beat on a position I don't agree with. That does not serve to enhance your understanding of the topic, nor to be able to reach any kind of middle ground on it.

I do not for an instant believe that my mother supports more gun control laws because she wants to disarm the American people as the first step towards tyranny. Because that's nonsensical. Yes, I am sure you can find someone somewhere on the Left who would advocate FEMA camps or whatever, but that's hardly surprising given the number of nuts in the world. So too do I reject the notion that my father opposes more gun control laws because he wants people to die in mass shootings. That is also asinine. Two rational people can disagree on these hot button topics without needing to be crazed lunatics attacking a position that neither is taking.

And yet, that is precisely what the advocate media is doing. They pick a side and present the idea that those on the other side couldn't possibly hold that opposing position without being some kind of fringe maniac (or racist, homophobe, feminazi, baby killer). And frankly, it's EASIER to just assume the other side is dishonest, or stupid, or evil, because that means that I'm not just right, I'm on the side of angels. And that's heady stuff.

Posted by: MikeD at October 6, 2014 03:02 PM

Oh, and for Cosmo to complain about making "awful ads condescending to women", then I think they should remove the beam from their own eye:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/cosmopolitan-and-a-tale-of-two-parodies/article/2554289

Posted by: MikeD at October 6, 2014 03:08 PM

I don't think there's money to be made in accepting that reasonable people disagree. That's going to undercut support among evangelicals in a huge way, and in terms of elections currently it seems to be more important to win on base-turnout than on appealing to swing voters.

True, but incredibly depressing. FWIW, did Reagan win on base turnout, or by appealing to Reagan Democrats? Did Bush II win on base turnout or by making inroads on the Hispanic vote?

I think it's important to WIN. I hate the idea that a win is only good if you manage to appeal to a minority of the party/of voters.

Posted by: Further, Affiant sayeth not at October 6, 2014 03:45 PM

I do not for an instant believe that my mother supports more gun control laws because she wants to disarm the American people as the first step towards tyranny. Because that's nonsensical.

...So too do I reject the notion that my father opposes more gun control laws because he wants people to die in mass shootings. That is also asinine.

That was particularly well stated.

Posted by: Cass at October 6, 2014 03:47 PM

... that is why I like the (sigh, male) author’s suggestion to just ask actual (presumably cis) women if they’re voting Republican and, if so, why. If the GOP can figure out why some women vote Republican, maybe it can figure out how to get other women to vote Republican. At a minimum, I'd consider it advisable to (a) not make it clear that the Republican Party considers itself a non-overlapping group with women and (b) not talk about caterpillars.

Elise, that made me laugh out loud :p

Posted by: Cass at October 6, 2014 03:55 PM

It's like that business I run across in historical writing to this day: The Such-and-Such people had unusual ways of dealing with their women and their cattle.

There's obviously an overall difference in how the two major parties are perceived between men and women, or statistics wouldn't show us that the percentage break is different between men and women. But it's not as though men broke 99% Republican and 1% Democrat, while women broke the opposite way. Both breaks are within shouting distance of 50/50. So it should be obvious that any complaint to the Republican party about its war on women should point to the 45% of women (or whatever the number currently is) who vote Republican. Beyond that, maybe they could say something sensible, and non-insulting, about why the percentage break varies by gender, and what we might want to try to do about that, assuming that we care about maximizing votes for the Republican party.

Posted by: Texan99 at October 6, 2014 04:17 PM

There's obviously an overall difference in how the two major parties are perceived between men and women, or statistics wouldn't show us that the percentage break is different between men and women.

It probably has at least something to do with the fact that the GOP can't quite seem to talk about/to female voters without projecting that whole, "WOMEN! Sheesh, who can understand them?" vibe (women - even those who vote Rethug - apparently being some strange sort of alien being whose thoughts - OK, that was silly, emotions - are beyond the ken of rational folk) :p

As much as I made fun of the Cosmo criticism of that ad in my last post (and they deserved mockery), can you seriously imagine the GOP making an similar ad to appeal to men? "Voting is like football, and we all know men like football..."

But it's not as though men broke 99% Republican and 1% Democrat, while women broke the opposite way. Both breaks are within shouting distance of 50/50.

BINGO.

So it should be obvious that any complaint to the Republican party about its war on women should point to the 45% of women (or whatever the number currently is) who vote Republican. Beyond that, maybe they could say something sensible, and non-insulting, about why the percentage break varies by gender, and what we might want to try to do about that, assuming that we care about maximizing votes for the Republican party.

Personally, I'd love to see an ad that went something like this:

"[woman speaking] Women don't all think - or vote - alike, and there are good reasons for that. Some of us are married, some are single. Some of us are parents, some don't want kids (or simply don't want them yet). Some of us live in the city, some in rural areas. We are white, black, rich, poor, middle class. In other words, we're like every other demographic."

"We individuals who have differing values, aspirations, and priorities."

"Too often, Democrats try to appeal to women by scaring us"

[background: Those scary Republicans want to steal your cornflakes and chain you to an Easy Bake Oven and force you to bake cupcakes for the Patriarchy!!!! Oh NO!!!!!!]

But many women do vote Republican. Of their own free will. They don't all fit into a neat, one size fits all description.

...and then have a bunch of brief statements from REAL women talking about why they vote Rethug. They don't have to (and shouldn't!) all be registered Republicans. I'm a registered Independent and have been most all my adult life, and yet I usually do vote for the GOP.

Include some marrieds, some singles, some who are pro-choice and some who oppose abortion. Here's a bold idea - include some black female conservatives and have them openly address the "wandering off the plantation" meme.

I think it would be a great series of ads that highlights an important political truth: most of the voters in both parties AREN'T THE BASE. And damnitall, neither party can win elections without people like me, my husband, my kids, my parents, my friends.

We don't all march in lockstep. Reagan's big tent was a big part of what attracted me in the first place. The current idiocy is repelling me. I'm fine with the base fighting for their preferred policy positions, but guess what?

People like me help win elections too. My vote matters, and until we stop pretending it doesn't, we are royally screwed.

Posted by: Cass at October 6, 2014 05:45 PM

...can you seriously imagine the GOP making an similar ad to appeal to men? "Voting is like football, and we all know men like football..."

That was my point about the Kentucky ad, though: 'Voting is like skeet shooting, and we all know that rural men like skeet shooting. Why, if someone can shoot skeet well, we can trust whatever she says about coal... even if it's just that she disagrees, in some unspecified way, with Barack Obama.'

It was a Democratic ad for a woman instead of a Republican ad for man, but it suffers from all the same problems: starting with its own internalized perception that the Democratic party is now the party of effete urbanites (which isn't completely true, no more than it's completely true that Republicans are all men), and an attempt to vastly overcompensate by symbolic adoption and display of stereotypical symbols of rural manhood.

(Also the slight misuse of those symbols precisely because she isn't really part of the demographic she's playing toward: rural men shoot sporting clays not as an end in itself, but to prepare to kill fowl for the table. Show me a couple of stills of you holding up a turkey you shot, interspersed with the scenes of practice, and then I'll have reason to believe we share some part of an ethic. Otherwise, it's just symbol over substance.)

Posted by: Grim at October 6, 2014 06:13 PM

...Reagan's big tent was...

I was wondering if your earlier questions were rhetorical or actual. I was trying to figure out whether Bush II's outreach really helped him win in 2004, and it's a hard question -- the increase in the Hispanic percentage of the vote was quite small, and his improvement is disputed (34% in 2000, but the 2004 number may be 40% or 44%)... so it's a small increase in a sector that underperformed that year.

Reagan's second victory was substantial, but I don't know that it's replicable. What happened with the Reagan Democrats is this, as I understand it:

1) The basic division in America was that Republicans were the party of those for whom the American way works well, and the Democrats were the party of those who were objectors. Thus, Republicans got the middle-class through the Rockefeller rich; Democrats got blacks, Southerners, disaffected minorities in general, organized labor, and other groups who had a grievance against 1950s Superman's American Way.

2) However, by the 1980s, organized labor had gotten rich enough on an individual level that they had begun to identify with middle-American values instead of the radical-labor values of the 1900s-1970s. Labor was a socialist movement originally, but its rank and file members had turned more into regular Americans as they'd gotten richer and more comfortable.

3) Meanwhile, Southerners had been moving away from the Democratic party for a generation, though they didn't finally reach the tipping point and swap parties until 1994. Still, by Reagan's era, they were very much ready to vote Republican at the national level if the Democratic candidate wasn't in accord with Southern values.

4) So, when Reagan ran against Dukakis, he swept a lot of the rank-and-file labor and all of the South into his camp. The South never left; the organized labor largely retired and their children didn't join unions.

Is something like that possible again today? I really doubt it, because I don't see that the coalitions are in the right place for it. But if it's possible, it's only possible for Republicans: the Democratic party has always been a coalition party, and certainly is one now. There are serious internal divisions in it. The only thing that unifies the coalition is its opposition to the mode that the Republican party exemplifies.

But that's still a strong sort of unity, since we have a two party system.

Posted by: Grim at October 6, 2014 06:27 PM

Also, it's not clear that you can break the coalition by moderating on things like abortion. The most obvious breakout demographics are those who are in the Democratic coalition, but uncomfortable with its secularism and embrace of traditional evils like abortion. Driving a wedge between black America and the Democratic party would be a huge blow, but you won't do it by becoming more like the Democrats; you'll do it by showing that the Democrats have failed their promises to help the black community and also are out of order with the basic Christian values that are important to that community. The more you move away from those values, the less likely you can pursue the breakout of that demographic. You end up having to make a choice as a party as to which demographic is worth chasing, because the wedge has to fall between members of the Democratic coalition.

If you have to choose, the logical thing to do is to choose the plausible option. Can Republicans be more secluar-freelove-prochoice than the Democrats? Probably not. Can they be more Christian? Very plausibly. So should you chase the demographic that's pro-choice, or the one that's pro-life? The one that's pro-free-love, or the one that's pro-family (and desperately suffering from the damage done to the family by 'progressive' policies)?

Posted by: Grim at October 6, 2014 06:32 PM

Sorry, I guess the candidate's name in 1984 wasn't Dukakis. All those weenie losers run together.

Posted by: Grim at October 6, 2014 06:34 PM

Also, it's not clear that you can break the coalition by moderating on things like abortion.

The point you continue to miss is that neither the President nor Congress are going to overturn Roe vs. Wade. So there's no "moderating" to do, unless that moderating involves ceasing to hijack elections over something that's not really a pertinent issue.

Both parties are engaged in this lunacy.

The Dems keep trying to pretend that if the wrong Rethug gets elected, somehow that SCOTUS ruling is going to be overturned and abortion will be outlawed in all 50 states (something I was rather amused to see that some folks in Georgia want - apparently big, intrusive federal control of what used to be local issues is only bad in certain cases :p).

And Rethugs keep trying to pretend that if they could just elect the *right" Rethug, Roe will be overturned and abortion will be outlawed in all 50 states. You know, the way it never was before Roe. Or something. Again, both parties seem to be singing from the same afactual sheet of music on this one.

On days when I feel like losing hope, I take some small comfort in that fact that the Dem base and Rethug base are in violent agreement on this one point :p

Posted by: Cass at October 6, 2014 06:44 PM

Can Republicans be more secluar-freelove-prochoice than the Democrats? Probably not. Can they be more Christian? Very plausibly. So should you chase the demographic that's pro-choice, or the one that's pro-life?

Why "choose" either?

The one that's pro-free-love, or the one that's pro-family (and desperately suffering from the damage done to the family by 'progressive' policies)?

Well, I consider myself to be "pro-family". So's my husband, so are my two sons, so are my parents. This is *exactly* the kind of talk that is so problematic.

You're offering a lot of binary choices as though there were no other way. But that's not accurate. Candidates have won real elections that other way.

Posted by: Cass at October 6, 2014 06:48 PM

Oh, and by the way Democrats aren't all "secular/freelove/prochoice" either. That's a grossly inaccurate oversimplification of reality.

It doesn't describe a single Democrat I know, and I know a fair number of them.

Posted by: Cass at October 6, 2014 06:49 PM

So, when Reagan ran against Dukakis, he swept a lot of the rank-and-file labor and all of the South into his camp. The South never left; the organized labor largely retired and their children didn't join unions.

The Reagan Democrats were mostly white, working class voters from the Northeast.

Posted by: Cass at October 6, 2014 06:58 PM

Elise, that made me laugh out loud

We exist only to serve. +:)

Somewhat tangential but tied into the idea of who is in which "group" and who is identified as "not us" is this piece from a site and a writer I never remember running into before (got there from Neoneocon):

I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup

Particularly interesting is the author's discussion of studies that show political party affiliation is more powerful than race in positive/negative associations. Based on the way Democrats (especially Democratic women) talk about Republican women, I suspect political party affiliation is also more powerful than gender.

It would be interesting to see if having women who vote Republican talk to women who don't would help convince the women who don't or if the party affiliation would override their ability to have any kind of positive reaction to the Republican voters. I imagine that would depend to a large extent on how many women are unaligned but vote Democratic versus how many women identify as Democrats.

Posted by: Elise at October 6, 2014 07:40 PM

Those are the ones I was talking about in terms of organized labor.

Congress can certainly write an amendment banning abortion except in cases to save the life of the mother, though the states would have to ratify it. Congress and a President could pass a statute defining in Federal law that life begins at conception. Those are two of the items on the National Pro-Life survey, and both are doable. And, of course, the Senate and President appoint Supreme Court justices, who could eliminate Roe v. Wade, or continue to defend it and overturn state laws attempting to restrict abortion.

You can't walk away from the issue for those reasons. It remains well within the power of the elected officials to bless or damn if they happen to find themselves in enough control.

The binary nature of the choices comes not from me, but from the fact that you can't split every faction off from your opponents. The reason the choices are binary is that you're driving a wedge between the factions, so that you have created a division between one side and another. You can pursue black voters, by showing them the ways in which Democratic policies are harming them and promising to do better. But that's going to mean pursuing policies that will alienate other factions.

So, do you want to drive the wedge in such a way that you break off black voters, or in such a way that you break off Hispanics? The way to do it is to figure out where their interests clash, and favor one side or the other.

That's all I'm saying. I don't think you can successfully break off the pro-choice aspects of the Democratic party. I do think you might break off the pro-life aspects. If you want to "WIN," as you said, that's the time to think tactically.

Posted by: Grim at October 6, 2014 07:45 PM

The women I know who vote Republican do so for roughly the same reason men do. There probably are some issues they have to wrestle with before they can commit to the Rs, though, which not all men necessarily call priorities--like the occasional Akin monstrosity, or a couple too many thoughtlessly offensive remarks from a male R, along the lines of "women's lib ruined everything" or "women think they make good professionals, but they're really just paper-pushers" (and I've read that kind of thing right here).

Am I going to start voting for Ds whose policies I execrate just because R men go out of their way to offend me? Of course not, but if I were more on the fence it might matter.

Posted by: Texan99 at October 6, 2014 08:34 PM

There probably are some issues they have to wrestle with before they can commit to the Rs ...like the occasional Akin monstrosity, or a couple too many thoughtlessly offensive remarks from a male R, along the lines of "women's lib ruined everything" or "women think they make good professionals, but they're really just paper-pushers" (and I've read that kind of thing right here).

So have I.

Posted by: Cass at October 6, 2014 10:33 PM

Perhaps you can get a formal apology like I did.

Posted by: Michael Bisping at October 6, 2014 11:06 PM

I read the Pollitt article a couple of times. The central theme is that women are trapped and the only way out is abortion, which is therefore liberating and good and all that.(for some reason not explained) contraception isn't the answer. Of course not once did she mention the obvious--don't have sex if you don't want to be pregnant. Being part of (I'm sure to some) the Patriarchy, that makes me condescending, evil, and of course I just don't "get it" (accompanied by rolling eyes, knowing looks and suppressed sighs of pity for my wife).

I really DON'T get it, on those terms, but will try to shuffle along in my ignorant and unenlightened way for a while longer. Until the though police come for me, of course.

Posted by: CAPT Mongo at October 7, 2014 10:14 AM

The Dems keep trying to pretend that if the wrong Rethug gets elected, somehow that SCOTUS ruling is going to be overturned and abortion will be outlawed in all 50 states (something I was rather amused to see that some folks in Georgia want - apparently big, intrusive federal control of what used to be local issues is only bad in certain cases :p).

And frankly, I think this is where SCOTUS originally borked it up. By removing the ability to legislate State by State on the issue, they forced all 50 to live by rules not of the choosing of the people. And that's CLEARLY not the intent of the Constitution. And more to the point, it's pushed both political camps into more heavily drawn lines. Because you don't get to decide what laws are right for California and what laws are right for South Carolina anymore. No, now people in South Carolina must live with the same laws as those in California and vice versa. And that is the very antithesis of a Federal system.

Posted by: MikeD at October 7, 2014 10:57 AM

It's an approach with real practical appeal. I've always thought that men who didn't want to be saddled with family obligations should adopt the obvious strategy: don't have sex.

A lot of inter-gender arguments boil down to how much of the consequences of sex can be foisted entirely onto one's partner. So, once we came up with contraception and abortion, they were bound to be flashpoints. "Hey! You're changing the rules!"

Posted by: Texan99 at October 7, 2014 11:01 AM

Texan.

Yes. Precisely. It really DOES take "Two to Tango".

Posted by: CAPT Mongo at October 7, 2014 12:17 PM