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Kathleen Parker: Advice column to the GOP

BY KATHLEEN PARKER Published: November 4, 2013
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Pivot now to your less-than-sterling record with women voters. Does the “war on women” ring a bell? I understand that this was mainly a fiction created by the Obama campaign (brilliant, I must say), but you had some help from a couple of star witnesses regarding “legitimate rape” and God's will when a rape victim becomes pregnant. Why, do tell, would you be surprised that women who value their autonomy in making the most personal decisions might view such statements as “war”?

My point: Don't attack a woman as a woman. No allusions to awful female characters or anything to do with her appearance.

This is especially relevant to women candidates for two reasons. One, men beating up a woman summons a number of associations that only make women recoil in revulsion. Two, while you were hunkering in your duck blind, women the world over were getting busy organizing and helping each other. There's a global movement afoot in which Hillary Clinton has played a crucial part. If you attack her, all but the most rigidly ideological women will circle the wagons and you will lose. On the bright side, you won't have to worry anymore about birth control. Your own, that is.

At the moment, though Hillary's ratings have slipped a bit, the GOP holds the distinction of being the first party in polling history to have a negative rating over 50 percent (53), according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey. Thus, my advice: Marshal your sharpest thinkers and create a product that people want. If you can't win with the strength of your arguments and the clarity of your vision, you can at least lose with your dignity intact — a decent start to a much-needed Republican Reformation. Good luck.

WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP


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