Republican Party

Republicans' Women Strategy: Less Policy, More Patronizing

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Republican National Committee/Facebook

An NPR piece today dissects the GOP's "attempt to appeal to women." It's not doing Republicans any favors.

The efforts, according to Republican National Committee (RNC) Press Secretary Kirsten Kukowski, began after Mitt Romney lost the women's vote to Barack Obama by 11 percentage points in the 2012 election. Since then, the RNC and other big Republican groups have been working together to better engage with women voters, she says. 

Burning Glass Consulting firm was hired explicitly to help Republicans message to women. Here's an ad, "Dear Daughter," that Burning Glass created to this aim. Note that it doesn't really say how Republicans will address issues relevant to women, but it does direct complaints about Obama to a hypothetical daughter. (GOP messaging tip #1: Ladies like when you acknowledge that the female sex exists.)

McMorris Rodgers, who heads the House Republican Conference, says Republicans talking to women need to remember to put policy prescriptions in terms of how they will effect women's families. (GOP messaging tip #2 Less facts, more emotion.) 

Katie Packer Gage, head of Burning Class Consulting, tells NPR that if Republicans want women to listen, "they need to stop bombarding them with data and focus on day-to-day concerns. Don't talk about energy; talk about gas prices. Don't talk about Obamacare; talk about getting to see your doctor." (GOP messaging tip #3: Women are myopic idiots.

Gage tells candidates, "If you can demonstrate some compassion for people in general, even if it isn't specific to women, women respond to that." (GOP messaging tip #4: Don't be sociopaths.

The RNC has also launched an initiative, "14 in '14," which involves sending Republican women ages 21 to 40 door-to-door in swing states to talk with other women. It's perhaps the one part of the RNC's women strategy that seems well-conceived, as long as it can keep female volunteers far away from the GOP messaging strategists. 

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  1. It’s not doing Republicans any favors.

    National Propaganda radio, undermining the Rethuglitards?

    No WAI!

  2. The RNC has also launched an initiative, “14 in ’14,” which involves sending Republican women ages 21 to 40 door-to-door in swing states to talk with other Republican women.

    Er… shouldn’t they be talking to non-Republican women?

    1. Whoops. That’s my mistake.

    2. Corrected to just say ‘other women.’

      1. So now you’re othering them? Tisk tisk.

  3. You are dead on that it is patronizing as hell to think you can’t appeal to women by talking about macro issues like energy policy and instead must dumb it down to everyday items like gas prices. Just because it is patronizing, however, doesn’t mean it isn’t effective.

    I think “Romney didn’t hire enough women in business and wants to take your birth control” to be pretty patronizing and stupid. Yet, it worked. I am not a political consultant so who am I to argue with people who are. Isn’t it possible that the patronizing dumbed down message is the winning message?

    1. “Isn’t possible that the patronizing dumbed down message is the winning message?”

      Sigh. Sadly, yes.

      1. If women are going to be the kind of dolts who think it’s flattering to be portrayed as school children creaming their panties at the thought of voting for Obama (see Lena Dunham), maybe they deserve to be treated like they are.

    2. Patronizing sure seems to be working for the Dems.

  4. GOP messaging tip #2 Less facts, more emotion.

    You really don’t think that’s the way to go, overall?

    1. Pretty much has worked for the Dems.

      1. Depressing but true.

        Not to say that the GOP hasn’t used emotion plenty of times when it comes to social issues. They’re just not as good as combining it with moral posturing.

  5. Being patronizing is the de facto approach for all of TEAM BE RULED. That’s not going to change. Because they think the population is composed of idiots, and they want to control those idiots. It’s sort of a default feature of the ruling class.

    1. Because they think the population is composed of idiots, and they want to control those idiots

      Seems there is evidence that this is a good working premise.

      1. Some are. But others–including us–are included in that assumption. Their believing that the populace is all idiots is another form of collectivization that causes all kinds of control schemes to protect us from ourselves.

  6. More or less patronizing than the other TEAM’s “War on Women” rhetoric that assumes that women are too stupid to figure out that there is no difference in the actual policies?

    1. You do know that Sanctum Santorum recently again suggested that contraceptives were ruining women and need to be banned.

      This is the guy who finished second to Romney in 2012.

      1. As long as they aren’t shoving an E-Cig up there to block the baby juice everything is A-ok with us.

      2. Palin’s Buttplug|5.6.14 @ 11:27AM|#
        “You do know that Sanctum Santorum recently again suggested that contraceptives were ruining women and need to be banned.”

        As opposed to your fave team claiming not giving free birth-control is hating on wemenz!
        Slimy POS…

  7. Good luck with that.

    I was talking to a woman’s chest the other night and her face kept interrupting.

    Very rude.

  8. Don’t rush conservatives. They are just now getting over the fact that women can vote.

    1. Whose Buttplug are you again?

      1. Sista Sarah’s. I can be as rude to chicks as anyone here.

        1. Palin’s Buttplug|5.6.14 @ 11:37AM|#
          “Sista Sarah’s. I can be as rude to chicks as anyone here.”

          More slimy and dumber than most all, however.

  9. GOP messaging tip #4: Don’t be sociopaths.

    I wish them the best of luck with that. They could maybe share that tip with the other political parties while they’re at it?

    1. Just the tip?

      1. That’s what Warty said.

  10. So… comments about “legitimate rape”: yay or nay?

    /derp

    1. So… comments about “legitimate rape-rape”: yay or nay?

    2. Oh, what? Now they’re going to go out and recruit candidates that have forebrains? Where will they find enough?

      I think my guidance in ’12 for candidates was to say, “rape is a horrible crime that no woman should suffer. My plan for preventing abortions of rape induced pregnancy is by making rape vanishingly rare.” And shut up.

  11. Can’t we just repeal 19A?

    I keed, I keed!

  12. Republicans’ Women Strategy: Less Policy, More Patronizing

    Huh, that’s the Dems’ strategy, too.

  13. You know, I find the GOP “gender gap” to be a fascinating case study in the Beltway’s hangups. The Democratic Party has the exact same problem the GOP has, except they struggle to attract men. But I rarely see thumbsucking articles on the Dem’s gender gap. Why is that?

    45% of Romney’s voters for women, and this is a gender gap that needs to be studied and discussed, all the while pushing the War on Women meme.

    45% of Obama’s voters were men, and there is not one single piece attempting to explain it, and no one would dream of suggesting that Obama and Obama’s policies have hit men much harder the women.

    1. Stop your mansplaining!

    2. After lengthy femputations, I, Femputer, have decided the fate of the men. Femputer sentences them to death…by snu-snu!

  14. OK, maybe they’re going to get more emotional, but you can’t prove it from this:

    “put policy prescriptions in terms of how they will effect women’s families. (GOP messaging tip #2 Less facts, more emotion.)”

    In and of itself, I would think that focusing on your family’s interests would be very practical.

  15. Contentless cries of RACISM work like a charm for the Democrats, but there does not seem to be a corresponding incantation available for use by the Republicans to conjure legions of committed voters.

  16. It’s marketing 101. If you want people to buy what you’re selling, appeal to emotions, not logic. Emotions trigger action. Libertarians aren’t immune to that either, which is probably why so many stay home on election day. 😉

  17. Why would a website called “Reason” be so stupid as to believe ANYTHING NPR says, especially if it’s about Republicans.

  18. McMorris Rodgers, who heads the House Republican Conference, says Republicans talking to women need to remember to put policy prescriptions in terms of how they will effect women’s families. (GOP messaging tip #2 Less facts, more emotion.)

    Katie Packer Gage, head of Burning Class Consulting, tells NPR that if Republicans want women to listen, “they need to stop bombarding them with data and focus on day-to-day concerns. Don’t talk about energy; talk about gas prices. Don’t talk about Obamacare; talk about getting to see your doctor.” (GOP messaging tip #3: Women are myopic idiots.)

    Guess what, though — this kind of idiotic bullshit is also totally standard for female-targeted marketing. Because math is hard, ladies love babies, and I forgot the third thing because as a woman I’m too stupid to remember a list that long.

  19. “how they will effect women’s families”

    I believe the correct word is affect.

    1. Maybe not; you know how intrusive politicians can be!

  20. What’s the dif between this & Marshall Fritz’s advice to sell the sizzle, not the steak?

  21. Just sprayed more Trolls Begone.

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