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The War on "Obama Defectors"

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is targeting what it calls "Obama defectors": female voters who supported Barack Obama in 2008 but now are considering voting for Mitt Romney.


Defectors? That's a term usually reserved for Syrian troops who go AWOL or adults who escaped the yoke of authoritarian regimes. The left's unabashed use of the word "defector" suggests a feeling of ownership -- as if, having voted for Obama once, female voters are conscripts, property of the (all kneel) Democratic Party.

Democrats usually are masters at co-opting language. This year, under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration mandated that church-based institutions provide "access" to birth control (in Obamaland, "access" means free, with no co-payment) to members of their health care plans. The order later was delayed until 2013.

Thus, the Obama White House set up a false dichotomy: Obama, for access to contraception, versus Romney, who opposes Obamacare and its "access" to contraception. Repeat endlessly, and people might start to think Romney wants to prevent women's ability to obtain birth control.

Obama likes to cite his signature of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act to assure women that he believes in equal pay for equal work. Quoth the president: "Women can't wait for equal pay."


At the second presidential debate, Obama pointed out that Romney has declined to say whether he would have signed the measure. Hence, Obama argued, Romney doesn't deliver "the kind of advocacy that women need in any economy."

Problem: As attorney Victoria Toensing wrote in The Wall Street Journal, the 1963 Equal Pay Act and 1964 Civil Rights Act guarantee equal pay for equal work. The Ledbetter bill "merely changed how the statute of limitations is calculated" for civil lawsuits. And Romney told ABC's Diane Sawyer he doesn't intend to change the Ledbetter law.

The Chronicle's Carla Marinucci reported Tuesday that NARAL Pro-Choice leader Nancy Keenan is heading to Ohio in search of "Obama defectors."

The very idea brings to mind Operation Clark County -- the 2004 campaign waged by the British Guardian newspaper that encouraged Brits to write letters in support of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry to the swing voters of that Ohio county.

It might be that the Obama "war on women" tactic works, and Democrats carry the state. Playing to the base often wins elections.


Or the don't-let-the-defectors-escape effort could backfire. Clark County was the only Ohio county to defect from supporting Democrat Al Gore in 2000 to favoring George W. Bush in 2004.

In 2012, women voters are giving Romney a second look because they suspect that Obama cannot fix the anemic economy. Hence the trumped-up "war on women."

"Do I really think we're going back to the point where women won't be able to have abortions or birth control is going to be rationed?" Cincinnati voter Dana Hogan asked during an interview with The New York Times. She added, "I think it's just a scare tactic. Really, you think women are that dumb?"

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