It worked to an extent in 2012. It failed in 2014. It failed in 2016. It took a break somewhat in 2018. Now the “war on women” trope has been revived by failing presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Gillibrand doesn’t even have enough donors to qualify for the first Democrat primary debate — and she doesn’t even consistently show up in polls as voters’ choice for president. She’s built her campaign on the idea that American women are oppressed in this country. She’s claimed her bad poll numbers are due to sexism, even though rival Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are the third and fourth most popular candidates. She has, for years, targeted men in her campaigns to broaden the definition of sexual assault and create a greater victim class.
Now she claims President Donald Trump “has started a war on America’s women.”
Speaking on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” the struggling candidate blamed Trump for the abortion laws recently passed in Alabama and Georgia — even though he had nothing to do with them.
“This is nothing short of an all-out assault on women’s reproductive freedom, an effort to take away our basic human rights and civil rights,” Gillibrand said, as reported by The Hill.
“President Trump has started a war on America’s women. And if it’s a fight he wants to have, it’s a fight he’s going to have and he’s going to lose,” she added.
Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature passed a bill that bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected. It was signed into law by the state’s Republican governor. Days later, Alabama’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, signed a bill that essentially makes abortion illegal in the state and punishes doctors who perform the procedure. A law similar to Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill is likely to be signed by Louisiana’s Democrat governor, John Bel Edwards.
Trump didn’t push for these laws or make abortion a cornerstone of his campaign or presidency, but Gillibrand needs attention and needs to set herself apart from her primary rivals.
Gillibrand, according to the Hill, has said she would codify Roe v. Wade if she becomes president. Notice to Gillibrand: Laws can be repealed, so this promise is nothing more than a platitude for low-information voters.
Gillibrand isn’t even coming up with a new idea. The Democrats have been trotting out the “war on women” trope for nearly eight years now. In 2012, they claimed then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney was waging a “war on women” because he … dared to ensure women were hired at his company. In 2014, even though every Republican running for Congress was accused of hating women, the GOP took back the Senate. In 2016, Trump won the presidency and Republicans retained control of the House and Senate. In 2018, the trope wasn’t used to the extent it had been previously, but anger over Trump’s alleged decimation of women’s rights (women have not lost any rights under the Trump administration) led to Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives.
Expect the tired phrase to be used a lot more in 2020.