Election 2014  
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GOP: A Party That Hates Women

Romney and Ryan envision an anti-woman economy and society, but women are increasingly key to winning elections.
 
 
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Missouri GOP senatorial candidate Todd Akin's absurd comment that women's bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape" is disgusting. It also points to a deeper problem within the GOP.

Plainly, this is a party that hates women. And given the huge gender gap opening up in favor of President Obama over the presumptive GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, this has important implications for economic and social policy going forward. Because if they win, the Democrats are less likely to embrace the draconian fiscal austerity proposals now advocated by Romney’s advisors, along with the party’s regressive social agenda.

The current Republican Party is a perverse coalition of the top 1 percent and the socially conservative right. The latter are not well off for the most part. The Koch brothers (and others of that ilk) have managed to convince the have-not religious fundamentalists to vote against their own economic interests and support their internal colonialism through economically regressive policies which are exacerbating the country’s mounting economic inequality.

This is untenable over the long run. Skewing income distributions by shoveling money to the top always ends in a big political upheaval. The social conservatives are older and aging and becoming less of the total electorate. Someday the GOP’s infernal combination will blow apart because the top 1 percent will be rejected by the masses and the numbers of the social conservatives will dwindle too much.

Why? Largely because of today’s new generation of women. Although they represent varying degrees of economic progressivism to conservatism, this generation is largely rejecting the social conservatism of the Creationists and hardcore fundamentalists on the right. President Obama continues to outpoll Mitt Romney by substantial margins among women voters. I would guess that this will more than offset the appeal Romney holds among angry white males, increasingly alienated by a country that is becoming less white, more socially diverse, a veritable rainbow coalition of different ethnicities rather than a Caucasian-dominated nation.  An older generation of women who saw no other way than to be dependent and kept and sexually repressed is dying out.

This will change the economic landscape. Why? Well, take a look at the latest bit of "economic wisdom" from the Romney campaign (I owe this observation to economist Bill Mitchell), which has just put out an economic paper,  The Romney Program for Economic Recovery, Growth, and Jobs, written by Stanford’s John B Taylor, Harvard’s Greg Mankiew, Columbia’s Glenn Hubbard, and Kevin Hassett from the American Enterprise Institute. These men make the following claims:

America took a wrong turn in economic policy in the past three years. The United States underperformed the historical norm shown in the administration’s own forecasts, and its policies are to blame …These short-term stimulus packages were ineffective, leaving the nation with higher debt, which acts as a drag on long-term growth because households and businesses understand that the administration must raise taxes significantly to pay off that debt.

Romney’s economic team also claims that “uncertainty over policy” (i.e. the large deficits and the private fear of large tax hikes) is preventing a sound recovery in private spending. This has been a common theme among the conservatives since the governments decided to deploy fiscal stimulus.

True, President Obama also retains an unhealthy obsession with "long-term fiscal sustainability" and "entitlement reform" (i.e. shredding the social safety net). But for the most part, he has avoided the worst of the excesses of the fiscal austerity fanatics in Europe and those of the Tea Party in the U.S. As a consequence, the U.S. economy has continued to grow. True, it is below trend, but it is still growing and generating some jobs, in marked contrast to what is occurring on the other side of the pond.