Why the GOP's "war on women" riposte makes sense

Two things about this. First, Democrats underestimate how much stuff like this really gets under the skin of people on the other side. The entire “war on women” campaign is offensive to GOP women and to men who have wives and daughters.

But making a political point by crafting an obnoxious bit of hyperbole is something Democrats excel at lately. Whether it’s comparing the GOP to hijackers or terrorists over budget negotiations, the party has fully embraced argument by demonization. I’m not talking about a loose comment here or there, which always happens on both sides, I mean a coordinated campaign from the top down which includes the President.

Franke-Ruta argues that instead of acting on our entirely justifiable irritation with the left’s obnoxious memes we should design a more reasoned campaign built around women and security issues. I think it’s well intended and probably even a good idea. But–and this is point two–it fails to appreciate the extent to which policy arguments are merely backdrops for more energetic attacks in our elections these days.