Another setback in the GOP’s outreach to women voters

ANOTHER SETBACK IN THE GOP’S OUTREACH TO WOMEN VOTERS…. Earlier this week, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, arguing that Gen. Stanley McChrystal should put Pelosi “in her place.”

The Speaker responded this morning.

“It’s really sad they don’t understand how inappropriate that is,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference. “I’m in my place. I’m the Speaker of the House, the first woman Speaker of the House. And I’m in my place because the House voted me there. That language is something I hadn’t heard in decades.”

For the record, as of this afternoon, not one of the 17 House Republican women representatives has been willing to criticize the NRCC’s claim that Pelosi should be put “in her place.”

This was not, by the way, the only pushback Republicans are facing on women’s issues this week. Earlier today, nine Democratic senators “took to the floor on Thursday to highlight how they believe women would benefit from their health care legislation.” There’s also an effort to point to the larger trend.

Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida … and Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan held a telephone conference call to highlight other situations they argue show that Republicans are “out of touch” with women’s issues — the consequences of the Republicans’ white male majority, said Ms. Wasserman-Schultz.

As examples, they pointed to Chris Christie, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey, Bob McDonnell, the G.O.P. gubernatorial choice in Virginia, as well as Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, one of the Republican leaders.

“This is an ongoing challenge we are having, bill after bill,” said Ms. Stabenow, citing an exchange in which Mr. Kyl said that his plan should not be required to cover basic maternity care, because he doesn’t need it.

Democrats argue that women tend to earn less and pay more for premiums and are rarely covered for basic maternity care. In some states women, can be denied coverage if they are pregnant or are victims of domestic violence.

I’ve also learned that every Democratic woman senator will be on CNN’s “Larry King Live” this evening, talking about Kyl’s remarks and pointing to discriminatory health practices against women.

And for added context, let’s also note that just yesterday, 30 Senate Republicans — all of them middle-aged white men — representing three-fourths of the caucus, voted to keep rape victims working for defense contractors from having their day in court.

As a substantive matter, Democratic efforts this week bring much needed attention to an issue — or, more accurately, multiple issues — that often goes overlooked. As a political matter, highlighting recent, insulting Republican attitudes towards women helps put the GOP on the defensive.