The Republican party -- its leadership, 2012 candidates and media surrogates -- is working feverishly to dispel and dismiss any notion that they're engaged in a "war on women" as accused by Democrats. To this end, a quick listen to presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney would have you believe that the GOP is the true champion of issues critical to women.
The issue took a hot turn Sunday when sparks flew on the set of NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning as guests Rachel Maddow and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos debated whether American women are at a compensation disadvantage in the workplace.
Maddow: Right now women are making 77 cents -- on the dollar for what men are making, so --
Castellanos: Well, that's not true.
After a brief back and forth and several interruptions by the right-winger:
Maddow: -- it's weird that you're interrupting me and not letting me make my point, because we get along so well. So let me make my point.
Castellanos: I will.
Maddow: But it is important, I think, the interruption is important, I think, because now we know, at least from both of your perspectives, that women are not faring worse than men in the economy. That women aren't getting paid less for equal work. I think that's a serious difference in factual understanding of the world.... It's about policy and whether or not you want to fix some of the structural discrimination that women really do face that Republicans don't believe is happening.
After another brief exchange Castellanos added: And I love how passionate you are. I wish you are as right about what you're saying as you are passionate about it. I really do.
Maddow: That's really condescending.
Kudos to Maddow for holding her own and making Castellanos appear like the typical middle-aged conservative white male who claims to know more about what's best for women than they do. She came prepared with facts, which of course makes it extremely difficult to debate those on the right. But what's really condescending, and infuriating, is how Republicans like Castellanos and his clients in the House and Senate say one thing and do another when it comes to supporting women and their interests. They've consistently voted against and/or advocated the repeal of every single thing women care about... from contraception, health care and food subsidies for children to day care, equal pay and shutting the Department of Education. They really think American women are stupid.
If Romney and Republicans truly cared about women as much as they contend, they'd stay out of their bedrooms and vaginas and stop trying to cut everything that supports them and their families. Don't think women won't go to the polls in November remembering who's on their side and who isn't.... and, to Castellanos' claim that men and women are paid the same, which party believes women have nothing to be upset about. All the fake conservative rhetoric in the world won't change that.
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