Times Op-Ed: “Republican Women Are in Crisis”


Leading Republican Women Disagree – RNC Chairwoman cites examples of GOP women who are “Leading the Way”

Wait ’til you see the examples!

Author and historian Nancy L. Cohen penned an Op-Ed in the New York Times entitled, “Republican Women Are in Crisis,” in which she opined, “In the past 10 years, they (Republican women) have become an endangered species on the political stage.”

Cohen supports her contention with facts and polling data:

  • Republicans will ring in the new year with only 13 women in the House of Representatives, the lowest number since 1993, and eight women in the Senate. (There are, for comparison, 88 Democratic women in the House and 17 Democratic women in the Senate.);
  • Donald Trump’s misogyny and the party’s far-right stance on issues such as abortion and L.G.B.T.Q. rights, guns and immigration have driven away many female voters. Women favor the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by a 19-point margin, according to the Pew Research Center. Seventy-three percent of women under the age of 30 disapprove of the president’s performance, according to the Harvard Institute of Politics Youth Poll;
  • Suburban and college-educated white women, once reliable Republican voters, have fled the party in droves since Mr. Trump’s election. According to the Brookings Institution, white college educated women increased their vote for Democrats by 13 points between 2016 and 2018. Among women, only white evangelicals remain firmly committed to the Republican Party and Mr. Trump;
  • The alienation of female voters from the party is compounded by the indifference, at best, of Republican men to female candidates.

All of this, Cohen believes “…has decimated the ranks of female Republican officeholders.”

Needless to say, some Republican women leaders and officeholders have pushed back. And good for them for doing so if the facts are on their side.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said that House Republicans have recruited a “record” 181 women to run for Congress in 2020. Stefanik, who was dubbed a new “Republican star” by Donald Trump for her full-throated defense of him in the House Impeachment inquiry, was elected in 2014 at the age of 30, becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the time. Her district, the largest geographically, is the most rural district in New York

While I could find reference to 170 GOP women who have filed to run for Congress, not 181, that’s still dramatically more than the 67 who had filed at this point in 2018. So, Congresswoman Stefanik’s rebuttal does hold up.

But is that it? Stefanik left to defend GOP women on her own? Where’s the national Republicans? What do they say?

Well, we have it, from Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel whose push back started by calling Cohen’s Op-Ed, “fake news.” 

(Don’t you think it’s time to come up with a less trite response to opinions you don’t agree with than “fake news.” But I digress.)

McDaniel, who is Mitt Romney’s* niece, defended her position by citing three GOP women who are “leading the way:” Kellyanne Conway, Ivanka Trump and Elaine Chao.

*For more of Around the Block’s take on Mitt Romney please see September’s post: “Romney won’t endorse Trump. Why? Could be the rare gene he’s carrying.”

In case you’re too busy, Around the Block will summarize how Conway, Trump and Chao are “leading the way.”

Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway is an American pollster, political consultant, and pundit who now serves as counselor to U.S. president Donald Trump. Since Trump’s inauguration, Conway has been embroiled in a series of controversies:

  • Using the phrase “alternative facts”, talking about a “Bowling Green massacre” that never occurred;
  • Claiming that Michael Flynn had the full confidence of the president hours before he was dismissed;
  • Subjected to a recommendation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel that she be fired for “unprecedented” multiple violations of the Hatch Act of 1939.
  • Being accused by members of Congress from both parties for an apparent ethics violation after she publicly endorsed commercial products associated with the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.

Speaking of Ivanka Trump…

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump is the self-made daughter of a self-made real estate mogul (who, in a tender moment of fatherly infatuation said he would have gone out with her if she wasn’t his daughter), Ms. Trump has been described as a fourth-generation businessperson who has served as executive vice president of the family-owned Trump Organization. She was also a boardroom judge on her father’s television show The Apprentice. With those sterling credentials, Ms. Trump was appointed, along with her husband, Jared, a special advisor to her father, the President of the United States. But wait, there’s more: 

  • Ms. Trump was a member of the Donald J. Trump Foundation board until the foundation was dissolved and forced to pay a $2 million settlement for misusing the foundation for business and political purposes. The settlement also included mandatory training requirements for special advisor Ivanka and her two upstanding brothers, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
  • Ivanka, along with brothers Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, is under investigation by the United States attorney for the District of Columbia for their role in their father’s inauguration, although “none of them had any official role in running the committee.”
  • Despite closing down her fashion business due to declining sales, Ms. Trump received 34 new trademarks from China’s Trademark Office since her father became president. According to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, “The public will continue to have to ask whether President Trump has made foreign policy decisions in the interest of his and his family’s businesses.”

Elaine Chao

Elaine Chao

Elaine Chao is Secretary of Transportation and the wife of Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Formerly Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush, Chao’s father is founder of the Foremost Group, a major shipping corporation.

  • The Washington Post wrote towards the end of Chao’s tenure as Labor Secretary that the Labor Department under her was “widely criticized for walking away from its regulatory function across a range of issues, including wage and hour law and workplace safety.”
  • An October 2018 Politico analysis found that Chao had more than 290 hours of appointments which were labelled as “private” during working hours on working days in the first 14 months of her tenure as Secretary of Transportation. The hours were equivalent to seven weeks of vacation. Former Department of Transportation officials described this as unusual. Current DoT officials stated that the “private” labeling existed to help ensure Chao’s security by obscuring her actual activities.
  • As Secretary of Transportation, Chao appeared in at least a dozen interviews with her shipping magnate father with extensive business interests in China. Ethics experts said the appearances raised ethical concerns, as public officials are prohibited from using their office to profit others or themselves.
  • In June 2019, Politico reported that in 2017 Chao had designated her aide Todd Inman as a special liaison “to help with grant applications and other priorities” for Transportation Department projects in the state of Kentucky, the only state to have such a liaison. Inman was to act as an intermediary between the Department, local Kentucky officials, and her husband, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.

Wow…GOP women setting examples and leading the way…the “GOP Way.” With absolute impunity. Perhaps their slogan should be, “Republican Gals, Be All You Can Be!”…just don’t get caught.”

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

2 thoughts on “Times Op-Ed: “Republican Women Are in Crisis”

  1. I had read this article when it first came out. I love this response and the analysis of the three women who are leading the way. What losers. What ethically challenged individuals. If this is all the Republicans have in the way of women leaders, my condolences. I wasn’t even particularly impressed with the congresswoman from New York during the impeachment trial. She just read the piece of paper. I can do that.


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