NARAL is urging people to "Call Governor Walker every Wednesday during the legislative session and tell him women's health matters!" I went to that page as a result of email from NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin with the subject line "We ARE talking about women's health." (I don't know why I get email from them. I see how to unsubscribe from their email list, but I choose not to.)
There's a short clip at the link with Scott Walker responding to an interviewer, deflecting a question about women's reproductive rights on the ground that "women I talk to in my state never talk about that issue." Here's a longer clip, and I can see that the interview is from August 2012, in the heat of the presidential campaign, and his point was to focus on the economy:
Actually, even that longer clip is out of context. The interviewer, Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now!), is shown in the middle of something and ending "On choice, on abortion, with Paul Ryan being the vice-presidential candidate, do you share his views?" What views? What did Paul Ryan say as paraphrased by Goodman? Walker's response is "That’s a ridiculous question." What, exactly, did Walker call "a ridiculous question"? NARAL would like you think that Walker — now, even after the presidential 2012 race is over — thinks "the state of women's health care in Wisconsin" is beneath his concern.
Goodman did follow up with: "You’re saying women’s reproductive rights is a ridiculous question?" And Walker — who is one guy who takes a position and sticks to it — says "It is." I would have gone all lawprof and said "Women’s reproductive rights is not a question. It's a phrase. You'd like to catch me minimizing concerns about women's health, but you know that is not my point. My point is that this is a presidential campaign, and what is at stake right now is the economy, and what I'm saying is that women and men alike are going to vote based on which candidate is best suited to deal with economic problems."
But Goodman got him on record saying "it is" to "women’s reproductive rights is a ridiculous question," and now NARAL is fundraising and campaigning against Walker. They're trying to get this hashtag going: #WeAreTalkingWI.
I'm posting about this because I'm interested in following the way Republicans — especially my Governor — are playing the "war on women" political game. Saying the real issue is the economy is one good move, but it shouldn't be the only move. And your opponents are always looking to snag that one line that will be used against you.
ADDED: Goodman asked her question shortly before Paul Ryan spoke to the GOP convention in 2012, and I consulted the text of that speech to see if I could extrapolate what views of his might have been presented to Walker to elicit that "ridiculous." There's no mention of abortion or birth control or even health care. I did a search for "women" and every single time Ryan used that word, it was in the phrase "men and women." Republicans don't want to talk about gender, but they will be forced at least to talk about not talking about it. They've got to figure out how to do that well and without offending female sensitivities, and they've got to remember that their opponents will always be prodding women to feel offended by whatever can be portrayed as misogynistic, mean, or just uncaring.
Clue: Women hate to be called "ridiculous."