Charlotte Hays

There are many women who are pro-life and many others who are pro-choice. But Democrats smear candidates such as Cuccinelli, who has taken a principled stand against abortion, as anti-woman. Instead of recognizing that these candidates have a position on abortion based on their view of life issues, the Democrats ascribe their stand to woman hating and vilify them.

What the Democrats do is use the social issues to prevent voters from confronting other issues, issues on which they may be at a disadvantage. Think McAuliffe’s position on expanding Medicaid could be disastrous for Virginia? Well, let me tell you how much he hates women! In short, Democrats have found in the social issues—presented in a lurid and dishonest manner—a way to create a permanent constituency of women, to be trotted out when necessary. Their goal—like that of the Fair Shot gang—is perpetuating and enlarging the gender gap to hold onto power.

Voters who regard being pro-abortion as a the sine qua non for being governor of Virginia aren’t going to vote for Cuccinelli. Fair enough. What is not even remotely fair, however, was the McAuliffe campaign letter dubbing Cuccinelli as “Virginia’s Todd Akin.”

Akin—also known as the gift that keeps on giving—is the failed Republican senatorial candidate from Missouri who claimed that pregnancy never results from “legitimate rape.” Cuccinelli has never said anything like that, but never mind. The McAuliffe campaign letter charged that, if Akin was a "foot soldier" in the “war on women’s health,” Cuccinelli was one of its leaders. “Todd Akin outed his extreme beliefs when he said ‘legitimate rape,’" the letter added, “but Cuccinelli probably won't in such a public fashion.” There’s a reason Cuccinelli probably won’t say anything like what Akin said in a public fashion: there is simply no rational reason to believe Cuccinelli shares Akin’s strange viewpoint.

Likewise, in Wednesday night’s debate, McAuliffe charged that Cuccinelli supported a “personhood” law that could ban contraception—simply not true, though the bill would likely have banned abortifacients—and savaged him for not signing a letter backing the Violence Against Women Act, which may be ineffective at preventing violence against woman but is a humdinger when it comes to funding possibilities for Democratic constituencies.

In a way, the leaders of the Democratic Party have become a lot like the corrupt elements of the modern civil rights movement, which preaches dependence rather than advocating policies that would really make a positive difference in people’s lives. The GOP, which isn’t very good at talking to women, had better figure out how to do this. Otherwise, women will become a permanent constituency of the Democratic Party.

The presentation of Cuccinelli as a bogeyman obscures the issues that will matter to Virginians in their daily lives. If there is a “war on women” in the U.S., it is about jobs and prosperity. But the Democrats don’t want to talk about this. They are too busy waging their war for women, whom they need if they are to keep the subsidies flowing.

Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.