McCain and the Women's Vote
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 03:42:07 PM EDT
In 2004, George W. Bush lost the women's vote 51 percent to 48 percent. In 2006, the Republican Party lost the women's vote by a significantly larger margin, 55 percent to 43 percent. So what is John McCain's plan for wooing back women, who made up 51 percent of the electorate in 2006 and 54 percent of the electorate in 2004? Aside from running on a hard right anti-choice platform -- which, by the way, would likely lead to the swift overturning of Roe v. Wade (protecting a woman's right over her uterus), and perhaps even Griswold v. Connecticut (ensuring a right to contraception) -- McCain is joining other reactionary Senate Republicans in opposing equal employment rights for American women.
Republican Sen. John McCain, campaigning through poverty-stricken cities and towns, said Wednesday he opposes a Senate bill that seeks equal pay for women because it would lead to more lawsuits.
The Senate had scheduled a late Wednesday vote on the measure, which would make it easier for women to sue their employers for pay discrimination. Both Democratic presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, were leaving the campaign trail and returning to Washington to vote for the bill.
McCain was skipping the vote to campaign in New Orleans.
"At a time when American families are struggling to keep their homes and jobs while paying more for everything from gasoline to groceries, how on Earth would anyone who thinks they can lead our country also think it's acceptable to oppose equal pay for America's mothers, wives and daughters?" Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney said.
This is a pretty simple bill, though it has wide ranging impact. Last year the Supreme Court greatly inhibited women's ability to recover legitimately earned wages in situations in which their male co-workers earned significantly more than them for the same work. What's more, and to underscore, this was a legal remedy available to women before this Supreme Court decision, so Congress is seeking only to restore that power to American women all around the country.
Republicans have decided to filibuster this bill. Apparently the idea of female workers earning a just wage is sufficiently noxious to some that they would use the most extreme of the procedural tactics at their disposal in order to stop this legislation from moving forward. And John McCain, walking lock-step with the far right within his party, is opposing this legislation as well -- though he doesn't even have the decency or honor to go to Washington to make his vote on the matter official.
Apparently, this is how John McCain believes he's going to be able to win back at least some of the women voters lost to his party in recent years. Good luck with that, Senator.