Republicans and Women: Duh

I’m not a big fan of Nancy Pelosi. But she had a good point yesterday, and it’s one that Republicans should take seriously. Members of a House committee gathered to navel-gaze on the Obama administration’s revised rules regarding contraception. The problem: the Republican majority didn’t reach out to any women as witnesses.


Well, since it’s Friday, let’s have Politico do the heavy narrative lifting here:

Nancy Pelosi wants to know – where are the women?

The House minority leader chastised a House committee examining the Obama administration’s contraception rule that included an all-male panel of witnesses.

“Imagine having a panel on women’s health and they don’t have any women on the panel,” she told reporters Thursday. “Duh.”

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee convened a hearing earlier Thursday that delved into the Obama administration’s revised contraceptives rule. The panel of witnesses was comprised of five men, and committee Democrats demanded that Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) allow a female to speak, which Issa refused.

Maloney and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton walked out of the hearing to protest the lack of female witnesses, with Holmes Norton likening the hearing to an “autocratic regime.” However, a second panel of witnesses including two women is scheduled to speak to the committee later Thursday.

Pelosi later joked that she was more than willing to play the role of teacher to the GOP.

“What else do you need to know about the subject?” she said. “If you need to know more, tune in. I may, I may at some point be moved to explain biology to my colleagues.”

Issa’s office later responded to Pelosi.

“Rep. Pelosi is either ill informed or arrogantly dismissive of women who don’t share her views,” Becca Watkins, a spokeswoman for Issa, said. “Today’s hearing does in fact include two women, Dr. Allison Garrett of Oklahoma Christian University and Dr. Laura Champion of Calvin College Health Services.”

Oh, boy. I saw the story on CNN last night, and it sure looked like an all boys’ club to me. Maybe the girls were sitting off in the corner, like at a junior high school dance. Just askin’.

Let’s face it. Congressional hearings are political theater — and perceptions matter. Remember when the ass hairs from Detroit came to Capitol Hill via private corporate jets to beg for a government handout?

The Republicans right now have enough obstacles to overcome (yeah, that means Mitt Romney, among other problems) as we approach the elections in November. Is it too late for Sarah Palin to make a run for it?

Why create more hurdles, especially with women?




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