Earlier today, President Obama threatened to veto a law that would have kept student loan interest rates low because Congressional Republicans had funded it with money earmarked for a mostly woman-focused preventative health care program. When faced with accusations that this was yet another way that conservatives were picking on the ladies, GOP House members pointed out that mere months ago, the Obama administration proposed cutting the very same funds in their budget to prevent Medicare reimbursements from dropping. And then John Boehner's leaky citrus fruit of a cranium proclaimed the "war on women" was yet another hysterical lady hallucination. Another day, another tale of men bickering over what's best for women.
The GOP-backed bill in danger of veto would have prevented interest rates on federal Stafford loans issued after July 1 of this year from doubling. But it would have been funded with $5.9 billion saved by axing a preventative health care program, a program Democrats say mainly benefitted women. Never fear, though, ladies! Your bff President Obama continued his quest to be the political equivalent of the Old Spice Guy ("Look at me. It's money for college. Now look in your hands. It's a pack of birth control pills. Courtesy of me, your Commander-in-Friendship. Now look back. It's a fresh cut bouquet of equal pay.") and swooped in to sternly chastise the GOP for their continued anti-lady crusade. And John Boehner couldn't resist being a dick about the whole thing.
But Democrats aren't always the innocent defenders of the uterus they've claimed to be, at least in this case. According to the AP, back in February, Democrats proposed cutting $4 billion from the same program in order to keep doctors' Medicare reimbursements from falling. I guess if this were a big March Madness style bracket, women would lose to both doctors and college students.
But even though this particular situation doesn't look as blatantly War On Women-y as other incidents over the last year and a half, Republicans haven't done themselves any favors. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Democrats are indeed attempting to "create" a war on women by baiting Republicans with issues deliberately selected to provoke them. Let's say that the Obama administration declared birth control "preventative care" because they hoped that Republicans would spazz out about it and make themselves look like a bunch of jerks. Let's also say that they tried to cut this preventative care program in the past with the hope that the GOP would revive the cuts and make themselves look like jerks. Even if Democrats tried to engineer the whole thing — Sandra Fluke, the preventative care mandate, the abortion debate — the left wing doesn't control the way the right wing reacts. And the GOP has consistently responded to liberal prodding in the most unflattering, jerky way possible.
Republicans, here's a free strategy tip: if you want women to vote for you, now is not the time to be doing anything that even looks like it might be a tiny bit anti-woman. You cashed your Benefit of the Doubt Checks sometime between nearly shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood funding and comparing women carrying stillborn babies to pregnant cows.