”[E]ven if Cory Gardner wins, it seems unlikely that he will be able to single-handedly ban birth control. Perhaps the guy’s complete lack of awareness of how basic politics works is why his partner thinks he’s too stupid to think of checking drugstores for condoms.”
The condescension just oozes out of Bump, like an open sore. Well, actually, Cory Gardner would just be a Senator, not wizard with a magic wand that would allow him to enact his every policy whim instantaneously.
Gee, thanks for the civics lesson, Plato. But here’s the thing: Literally everybody knows that, and it’s irrelevant to rational voting decisions. The rational thing to do is to support those candidates who hold policy positions you approve of, and oppose those candidates who hold policy positions you disapprove of, because the policy positions they hold are more likely to be enacted if they are elected. That's how "basic politics" really works. Alternatively, I suppose you could simply assume that nothing will ever change no matter who is elected and just flip a coin. Such an approach may win the approval of the oh-so-savvy people who write about politics for the Washington Post’s blog The Fix, but you may end up regretting it.
So while Bump is sneering at the rubes about “how basic politics works,” he’s also making just about the stupidest possible argument: That you shouldn’t consider what candidates want to do, as they will be unable to do them single-handedly. But, hey, people who write about politics make just about the stupidest possible argument all the time: What else is new, right? In this case, it’s the combination of condescension and utter stupidity that’s really impressive. Well done, Philip Bump!
Sadly, Bump isn’t alone in lecturing women not to worry about politicians who want to take away their reproductive rights. It’s something of an epidemic. The Oregonian editorial board — all men, by the way — mocked the “threadbare Democratic ‘war on women’ narrative” earlier this month.
Similarly, the Denver Post endorsed Gardner for the Colorado Senate seat, calling opponent Mark Udall “obnoxious” and “tedious” for talking about Gardner’s opposition to reproductive rights because “Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.” Why? The Post didn’t bother to explain, apparently believing it self-evident that United States Senators have no influence over public policy. There, again, is that combination of condescension and stupidity. Notice how often it shows up in claims that women shouldn’t worry about their rights?
Then came a Colorado Senate debate in which the two (male) moderators and the (male) Cory Gardner took turns lecturing Udall for talking about women’s rights too much. The lowlight of that particular exchange came when one of the (male) moderators said, essentially, But enough about women, let’s talk about voters who matter: Men.
When was the last time you saw journalists lecture a candidate for talking too much about budgets or national security? Never, right? For some reason (male) moderators only seem to do that when they think candidates are talking too much about women’s rights.
Why are so many men so insistent that we stop talking about women’s rights — and that women shouldn’t worry about politicians who want to take those rights away? Maybe because our laws and culture are rigged in favor of men, and they want to keep it that way?