Stop me if you've heard this one: the Republican party can't help but notice that women don't like them much. Thankfully, they've got a fancy new consulting firm ON THE CASE. They've got pamphlets. They've got a polished message and nice fingernails. They've got pretty much the same plan they had after 2008, and, uh, after 2012 — you know, the one that didn't work. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result, then the Republicans have gone beyond insane and straight to deluded. Single women will never vote Republican until they stop feeling like a vote for a Republican is a vote against their own body.
The New York Times ran a profile recently of Burning Glass Consulting, a new firm that aims to help Republican candidates reach out to unmarried women. And everything about the company proves just how little the party understands — or is willing to admit — about its fading electability.
There's certainly a need for outreach to women; in the Virginia governors' race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who is basically a political cartoon of a political slimeball that has come to life, defeated Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli by 2.5%, thanks to women, who favored McAuliffe over Cuccinelli by 9 points. But it wasn't just Women: The Monolith who carried the election for McAuliffe, as the Times' Jonathan Martin points out. It was unmarried women, who broke for McAuliffe by 42 percentage points, who really won the day. Maybe we should... do a thing about that? said the geniuses on the right. But why in the world would single women consistently vote against Republican candidates in huge numbers?
Gee fucking whiz. I wonder why single women would cast their vote against a guy whose most memorable public achievements have been in restricting abortion and contraception? I wonder why women existing independent of nuclear families would vote, again and again, against candidates who promise to make that existence more difficult?
It's Maslow's Hierarchy, stupid.
As long as single women feel like their bodily safety would be threatened by the election of a candidate, all of the rebranding in the world won't convince single women to vote Republican. What people behind Burning Glass Consulting (and other similarly doomed-to-fail GOP efforts) don't understand is that yes, single women care about economic issues, and many are probably aligned ideologically with fiscal conservatism, but as long as they fear for their bodily autonomy, they wouldn't vote Republican if Idris Elba personally asked them to via midnight front yard serenade. Survival needs trump comfort. It doesn't matter if a person is paying a few thousand less in taxes per year if that means they might be denied medical care.
Further, the GOP simply doesn't have anyone on their team who can efficiently reach out to the single women whose votes they so desperately need. Just take a look at the women who run Burning Glass.
Listen, some of my best friends are white, so don't take this sentence the wrong way: but there's no way this trio of Beckies straight from Key & Peele central casting (Wanted: conservative-looking, uptight suburbanite woman to serve as comedic foil for young mouthy Latina character. Must be okay with falling off yacht) are going to do any successful reaching out to the demographic that has most eluded Republicans: women of color. If Burning Glass Consulting is the face of GOP outreach to women, either Republicans have no idea how to talk to nonwhite women, or they're simply not interested in their votes.
Finally, if Republicans are interested in reaching out to unmarried women — young ones who weren't brought up in an America where "boys will be boys" was an okay thing to say non-ironically — they'd be well-served to firmly instruct their party's bellowing mouthpieces to tone down the anti woman shit talking. Remember last week when Rush Limbaugh said women were nothing but "abortion machines"? Or when Fox News' John Stossel said women should pay more for insurance because they're whiny hypochondriacs? Here's a fun secret about young, unmarried American women: we know how to use the internet. And social media. And, contrary to how stupid GOP rebranding strategists may think we are, we have memories that last significantly longer than 6 seconds. How a party can, in good conscience, ask a demographic for their votes while simultaneously telling them to go fuck themselves is almost unfathomably audacious.
What Republicans don't understand is that all the chick lit cover Just Us Gals yogurt ad-style empowering Brand montages in the world won't tilt women red. The only thing Republicans can do to win young, single women is stop actively and obviously working to foster a social environment that his hostile to young, single women. No glassburning needed.