Rachel Maddow responded to the Republican denial of a pay gap, and the Meet The Press attack on her, by intellectually destroying the Republican War On Women.
Here is the video from MSNBC:
Maddow said, “What I wanted to talk about there was policy. About why Republicans would not support a common sense solution to a very specific part of the problem of women making less than men. But on the way to trying to raise that question, I accidentally learned, I guess we all accidentally learned that Republicans don’t believe that women make less money than men do. Women make less money than men do. On average, women get paid seventy seven cents for every dollar that a man gets paid. That’s for everybody in the workforce. If you look at the most popular jobs among men, it is the same thing. If you look at the most popular jobs among women, it is the same thing. There are a few outliers you can cherry pick like you can with any statistical truth, but this is a really, really clear statistical truth.”
The MSNBC host continued, “Women get paid less than men do, seventy seven cents on the dollar on average, that’s true. Democrats know that’s true. It is the accepted truth by anybody who is looking at the facts of the matter. Republicans do not know that’s true. This seems important. I finally see this now, and it’s important both in terms of the facts, but also in terms of the politics. I think this is why this debate has been so talking past each other, so incoherent and dissatisfying.”
Maddow blew the GOP’s war on women solution out of the water, “Republicans think that you solve the war on women perception problem by having your presidential candidate be seen with women. Right? That’s Mr. Romney on the campaign trail today with Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. She won Judd Gregg’s senate seat after he retired from the Senate. Two days after President Obama was inaugurated, Judd Gregg was one of those Republicans who voted no on the Fair Pay Act. Because there is no fair pay problem, right? When they got in trouble on this issue earlier, they put out Kathy McMorris Rogers as Mr. Romney’s female surrogate to shore up the way people felt about this issue. She voted no on the Fair Pay Act. Mr. Romney himself will not say whether he would have signed the Fair Pay Act that President Obama signed. Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who Mitt Romney has been praising as a hero, he just repealed the state level version in Wisconsin of the Fair Pay Act.”
Rachel Maddow concluded, “If you recognize that there is a problem with women getting paid less than men, a political party opposing or at least refusing to support policy to fix that problem seems like hostility towards women’s interests. But if you don’t recognize that there is a problem with women getting paid less than men, then policy debates about how to fix something that’s not really a problem just don’t seem that important to you. And so you downplay the importance of policy, and you can’t understand why everybody keeps saying this war on women thing is going on. And your seventeen point deficit with women voters, that’s uh, that’s uh, that’s just the product of not putting your candidate out there with enough women standing next to him, regardless of how they vote and what they think.
And that brings us to what’s going to be a central bet in the campaign, a central question. Does the country live in Republican world, where women getting paid less than men isn’t a problem? Where policy on issues like this don’t matter, because it turns out women are doing great. While Mitt Romney was on the campaign trail with a female Senator Kelly Ayotte today, on the campaign trail for President Obama today in New Hampshire, in the same state was Lily Ledbetter. After whom the Fair Pay Act was named. The Democratic side is making a bet that general election voters are not Republicans on the set of Meet The Press. They are betting that the average general election voter does not live in Republican world, but rather in the reality based community, where facts are useful for understanding what the problems are, and policy is useful for solving those problems.”
Rachel Maddow responded to the attack on her and all women on Meet The Press, by attacking the basic strategy behind the war on women. (Hint: it’s the same strategy that Republicans use when they attack every issue). The basic strategy, which Maddow politely described as not knowing, is an intentional rejection of facts. Republicans have constructed a world for themselves where facts are what they decide they are. Right wing ideologues understand that they can challenge any issue simply by denying the facts.
Every element of the Republican war on women is based on a denial of facts. In keeping with her style, Maddow never came out and said that Republicans are being willfully ignorant, but this is exactly what she was talking about. Republicans intentionally reject facts that are either politically damaging to them, or disagree with their ideology. This was the tactic used against Maddow on Meet The Press. By disagreeing on the facts, it was impossible for her to discuss the policies that Republicans are using to take rights away from women all across the country.
The other area that Maddow focused on was the Republican solution to the perception problem caused by women. Their big answer is to surround their presidential candidate with lots of women. Not surprisingly, this is the same strategy the party used in 2008 when Sarah Palin was added to the ticket to attract women voters. The fact that the GOP thinks that women are so stupid that they will ignore the theft of their rights as long as they see Mitt Romney campaigning with other women demonstrates that their attitude towards over half of the population has not changed in nearly four years.
Alex Castellanos and the Republican Party made a big mistake when they set out to make an example out of Rachel Maddow, and MSNBC host responded with the best kind of retaliation. She used truth and facts to expose what the Republicans are doing, and she went deeper than the rest of the media has on this story.
The story should have never been a debate on whether or not there is pay gap. Anyone who limited their reporting to the pay gap missed the bigger point. The real questions that should be discussed are why are Republicans rejecting empirical data and agreed upon facts? What are their motives? What is going on beneath the surface? It isn’t that Republicans don’t know that a pay gap exists, but that they are denying the existence itself.
The Republican Party is going to long regret coming after Rachel Maddow. By attacking Maddow, they not only lost the battle, but they may also lose their war against women.