Feb 21st, 2012
Josh Holland notes that one of the interesting things to come out of the GOP's war on contraception is a fracture in messaging:
"Most progressives have come to hold a grudging admiration for the conservative movement's message discipline. We're often impressed by the way the entire movement repeats and reinforces its preferred narrative on most issues – from the most obscure bloggers in the fever swamps of wingnuttia to the Republican caucus in the senate. There's real power in that discipline."
At first, the arguments against the so-called "contraception mandate" were framed exclusively as an issue of "religious liberty." I thoroughly debunked this nonsense HERE. My expectation was that the establishment would keep order, the wing-nuts would follow and, as usual, I would have to keep making my point in an attempt to expose the underlying hypocrisy.
However, when you use a dog-whistle you can't always control how the hounds respond. From the recent disgusting pronouncements of Dana Loesch to the extreme proposals of Republican Senator Roy Blunt which would expand conservative demands for exceptions beyond the religious and into the "moral," the discipline of GOP propaganda which we once expected is showing signs of collapse.
The real and underlying fear among "conservatives" over changes in women's roles over the last two generations has erupted and is "throwing them off message and making it clear to the public at large that this fight is first and foremost about women's role in society, and not “conscience” or “liberty” or any of the other talking points that might have won the American people over to their side in the debate.
And that clarity will play out in this election cycle. As Greg Sargent notes, over the past three months pollsters have seen a dramatic, 18-point swing from Romney to Obama among unmarried women, and the president now leads the supposedly “moderate” contender by a stunning 65-30 margin among that group. When it comes to this bizarre fight over contraception, social conservatives are proving to be their party's own worst enemies."
And it's still only February.