How many ways can you use “Republican war on women” in a sentence?
posted at 4:50 pm on March 14, 2012 by Tina Korbe
The Washington Examiner’s David Freddoso makes sport of earnest, sincere, pleading, heartfelt Democratic fundraising e-mails:
I noted yesterday that I’ve received 23 fundraising emails on the topic [of Sandra Fluke] from just the two Democratic congressional committees (the DCCC and the DSCC). You know that silly game Republicans play with flag-burning amendments? The Democrats’ version is the “war on women.”
Today I’ve received the 24th, and it is a hysterical wonder to behold. Supposedly penned by Rep. Diana Degette — more likely by some nameless staffer at the DCCC, and that’s giving Degette the benefit of the doubt — this email manages to use the phrase “Republican war on women” or a close variant four times in just 254 words, as IBD’s Sean Higgins pointed out on Twitter this afternoon. …
If you read through it and listen carefully, you can hear the gullible entering their credit card numbers.
Ah, yes. War is Republican House leaders lining up congressional witnesses that don’t include Sandra Fluke, relegating her to an exclusive hearing before sympathetic Democrats. War is a radio host using a few tasteless phrases, conservative pundits calling out the media double standard and employers denying employees insurance that covers contraception.
Charles Lane — whom I rarely read, so don’t hold me responsible for any of his other views — writes for me when he writes:
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of war.
The Democratic National Committee accuses the GOP of a “Republican War on Women,” to go along with its “war on working families” (according to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee) and “Paul Ryan’s war on seniors” (Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky).
Various Republicans accuse President Obama of waging “war on religious freedom” or even, in the words of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, “a war on religion.” According to the Republican National Committee, the president is also waging “war on energy,” the sequel, apparently, to what the House Republican Leadership has called “Democrats’ war on American jobs.”
And on and on and on — until you could almost lose sight of the fact that not one of these institutions or individuals is describing a physical conflict in which people fight, bleed and die.
Do I believe that conservatives and progressives are in a battle of ideas, a conflict of visions, etc.? Yes, yes and yes. Am I sick of the “war on whatever” shorthand? YES. Surely we can come up with a more creative way to say that the political stakes — of the contraception mandate debate, of the broader Obamacare debate, of the entire 2012 election — are high. To borrow another popular metaphor, we’re at a crossroads. One path appears to destroy the American Dream; the other path seems to restore it. By objecting to “war on whatever” phraseology, I’m not denying any of that. I’m just saying that, if you use a phrase enough times, it loses its resonance, its power, its verve. We can do better — and we don’t even have to abandon military vocabulary to do it. How about we call Election 2012 “Freedom’s Last Stand” or “The Charge for Liberty”? Anything but “war.”