After a brief discussion of the attack on Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, the post considered the implications of the GOP’s refusal to bend even when voters are likely to punish them for that intransigence:
The most striking fact when it comes to women and birth control is this one: 99 percent of sexually active women use it.
Pundits have often pointed out that historically, neither party tends to dominate the political system for very long. The reason for this is that, like how corporations exist to make money, political parties exist to win elections, and if the party keeps taking positions that alienate huge fractions of the electorate, then they’ll change those positions.
But the GOP isn’t doing this. After the 2012 defeat, driven in large part by being absolutely crushed in practically every minority demographic, Republicans halfheartedly tried to choke down an immigration reform bill to at least stop the bleeding. President Obama signaled his support, and the Senate passed a half-decent measure. But now reform looks dead because House Republicans refuse to let the Senate bill come up for a vote. For the GOP, it’s almost the worst of all worlds: a bill supported by all the prominent Democrats goes down due to extremist Republican intransigence. Now Democrats get to blame the GOP for breaking their promise, and quite possibly increase their share of the minority vote. It would have been better to not do anything.
Something similar looks to be happening for women’s issues. Ken Cuccinelli just went down in the Virginia governor’s race largely due to his antediluvian views on women’s rights. The party as a whole would be best served by this debate just going away. But extremists have strongly-held beliefs, and don’t particularly care about clear-eyed electoral cost-benefit calculations.
Here in Indiana, the culture-warrior contingent of the state GOP remains adamant about the need to pass HJR6, despite pretty convincing evidence that their position is costing them support–especially among the younger voters they will increasingly need.
Politics is the art of compromise. Religion, of course, is a matter of faith. To describe today’s Republican party as “Faith Based” is accurate–but it is not a compliment. It’s another way to suggest that the party’s current course is suicidal.