Did the War on Women Backfire on Democrats?

We already know that the War on Women worked backwards for Democrats. A great number of Republican women won office, defeating Democrat candidates.

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But was “the War on Women” itself the reason why so many Democrats were defeated—or at least part of the reason?

According to Ben Johnson at Lifesite news, a prominent democrat is claiming that “the War on Women” actually hurt Democrats.

The Democrats’ “war on women” theme was so transparently over-the-top that it made “women feel manipulated by a man.” This assessment that the ubiquitous meme seemed exploitative comes, not from James Dobson or Gary Bauer, but from Bill Curry, a two-time Democratic candidate for governor of Connecticut and a former domestic adviser to President Bill Clinton (who knew a thing or two about manipulating women himself).

Curry made his statement to consumer activist and three-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader the day after the 2014 midterm elections.

Curry said that Democratic consultants – who also represent “large corporate interests” – are in politicians’ “last circle of advisers before going out to cast their vote or give their speech.”

“The effect of the consultants on this debate has been overwhelming,” Curry said. “Among other things, it turns [Democratic politicians] into the most transparent puppets.”

U.S. Senator Mark Udall of Colorado was exhibit A. Curry said, as “a decent senator from a powder blue state,” Udall “shouldn’t have been in any trouble at all – and this consultant-think totally infected him.”

During his campaign Udall railed against Cory Gardner’s alleged desire to outlaw contraception and abortion so tirelessly that a reporter for the Denver Post dubbed him “Mark Uterus.” Already by September, Lynn Bartels wrote, “If Colorado’s U.S. Senate race were a movie, the set would be a gynecologist’s office, complete with an exam table and a set of stirrups.”

Curry said Udall’s political consultants recycled what they thought was a winning issue, because they are out-of-touch with anyone outside a corporate boardroom or the Beltway.

“When the consultants took the issue over, what they really did was make women feel manipulated by a man more than defended,” Curry said. “Women have had to have really sensitive antennae for when men are just using them. And I think the way in which he used the issue of reproductive freedom in that race, I don’t think it got him any women’s votes in the end. I think that they just felt manipulated.”

So we have two issues here. First, women were too smart to fall for the claim that there is “a war on women.” Second, smart successful political consultants can still run stupid and self-destructive campaigns.  The fact that many of them are “out-of-touch with anyone outside a corporate boardroom or the Beltway,” does not only describe Democrats. That critique probably has much to tell us about the political campaigns of John McCain and Mitt Romney.