Charlotte Hays

Why do Republicans insist upon giving the Democrats more ammo for their phony “war on women” rhetoric?

The Republican male either cowers and pretends that he hasn't been attacked by binders full of women when he is accused of waging a war on women or says something outrageous. Neither course of action is productive.

Ironically, the most recent Republican, who falls in the second category, to shoot himself (and his party) in the foot did so at a GOP gathering convened especially to talk about how to--well--talk about the “war on women.”

Yes, I refer to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a man of principle and considerable charm, who nevertheless inflicted a wound on his party. That would be the party that did not need an overwrought former Southern governor speaking floridly about women’s libidos.

“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America,” Huckabee said, “by making them believe they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”

The Republican National Committee quickly distanced itself from the governor's remarks, but many of my fellow conservatives have defended Huckabee, who clearly wasn't saying he though women couldn't control their libidos. But I am less tolerant of Huckabee's mishap, which set us back in fighting the phony war on women. He led the news on many shows, and was reduced to defensively claiming that he is married to a “strong woman” and that “Uncle Sugar” is a term all southerners understand. I’m from down home, too, and I have a piece of advice in terms that I know Mr. Huckabee will understand: Mike, if you persist in talking like that, you’re going to be as lonely as a pine tree in a parking lot.

Mike Huckabee forgot Clausewitz's First Principle for Fighting the "War on Women:" Know thine enemy.

A portly Republican male talking about the libido is catnip to Democrats, and Huckabee should have known that. Poor innocent Huckabee, however, thought contraception has something to do with—you know—sex. In the context of the "war on women," contraception involves two forces stronger than the human sex drive: feminist ideology and the drive to win. Contraception as an issue has been golden for Democrats. Any news cycle devoted to the topic or any remark that can be contorted into a discussion about whether conservatives want to limit access to contraception (never mind that they don't) is a win for Democrats.

Charlotte Hays

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