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Steven Kurlander

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Time for Obama and Dems to Focus on the Real "War on Women" -- in China

Posted: 04/29/2012 8:20 pm

We've been hearing a lot lately from President Obama and fellow Democrats about the GOP prosecuting a "war on women" in this country.

The allegation is the latest round of an effective political strategy of distraction by the White House that promotes diverting attention away from the moribund economy and other clear failures of the Obama Administration over the last four years -- and the polls show that the tactic is working.

Earlier this month, California Sen. Barbara Boxer wrote an article in Politico entitled "Foul play: War on women is real" in which she accused the GOP in Congress and state legislatures of looking to curb American women's rights, focusing on recent GOP attempts to limit abortions, ban Planned Parenthood funding, and Rush Limbaugh's stupid characterization of activist Sandra Fluke as a "slut."

"The facts are the facts. The Republicans have launched a war on women," wrote Boxer.

The Obama campaign also seized on the social conservative rhetoric of Rick Santorum during the contested primaries to limit funding for contraception and to outlaw abortions to successfully frame these arguments in anti-women terms so that now Mitt Romney and GOP members in Congress are on the defensive with women voters.

With the GOP contest over, the Democrats continue to press the woman issue. Last week, they tried to make the passage of The Violence against Women Act, which funds domestic violence victim services, another battle in that war.

Nevertheless, the bipartisan resolution passed the Senate with 68 senators voting in favor of the measure, including 15 out of 47 Senate Republicans.

Now an important development in Sino-US relations will make the Obama Administration and Democrats show how really sincere they are in being on the right side in the global war on women and protecting advocates of women's rights overseas.

With the help of sympathizers (some of whom have been subsequently arrested), Chinese human rights dissident Chen Guangcheng managed to escape over a tall wall last week and was driven hundreds of miles to the safety of the American Embassy in Beijing, where Chinese authorities can't detain him.

Chen, who is blind and a self-taught lawyer, built his reputation as a human rights advocate for revealing atrocious abuses of women by Chinese authorities in their brutal enforcement of a one-child policy mandated by the Communist regime for decades.

Chen served four years in prison and continued under house arrest with his wife since 2010 after he accused officials in the Sandong Province of forcing over 7000 women to have abortions or to be sterilized.

So far, the Chen situation is being framed as a diplomatic standoff.

Our nation's top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, stated on Sunday that instead of taking a strong stand against the Chinese and demanding that Chen be allowed to leave the country, the Obama Administration is going to instead weigh human rights advocacy against a continued unhampered relationship with our nation's largest creditor.

"We're going to make sure that we do this in the appropriate way and that appropriate balance is struck," said Brennan.

In contrast, the GOP presidential candidate Romney urged the President to "take every measure" to protect Chen.

"Any serious U.S. policy toward China must confront the facts of the Chinese government's denial of political liberties, its one-child policy and other violation of human rights," he said in a statement on Sunday.

There should be no "appropriate balance" by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in deciding Chen's fate, particularly in light of the fact that the president and his fellow Democrats have spent the last two months cynically alleging that Republicans want to take away the same basic human rights that Chen has championed for years.

As Boxer stated, the facts are the facts-and in this case, Romney, the standard bearer of the GOP, laid them out plain and clear. Chen needs to be protected no matter what by U.S. officials, and the war on women in China (and in other nations around the globe) is the only real conflict against womanhood that should be distracting Americans in this election year.

Steven Kurlander (Kurly) is a Communications Strategist who writes opinion columns for The Sun Sentinel, Huffington Post, & Florida Voices. He posts daily komments on Facebook, Google+, and Linkedin.

 

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