Twice during recent health care debates, Democrats have played “gotcha” with photos suggesting Republicans are excluding women in planning to repeal and replace Obamacare. But laws don’t have anatomy. Counting breasts (and skin tones) may be how liberals measure public policy, but conservatives aren’t interested. Don’t expect an apology from the Republican leadership – or a token window-dressing female legislator – any time soon.
The first complaints came after the release of a photo of a March 24 meeting between the president, the vice president, and members of the House Freedom Caucus.
Despite its impressive name, the House Freedom Caucus has no official legislative function. All 30 members happen to be men, but there’s no plot to exclude the 21 Republican women in the House. They just haven’t chosen to join. Actually, if Democrats think chromosomes determine one’s political priorities, they should welcome the contributions of a one-gendered caucus. They don’t.
The photo pictured a meeting of an organization, not a congressional subcommittee. What would Democrats want, for the caucus to quickly recruit a woman to please feminist bean-counters? Or for Trump to avoid any meeting with too much testosterone?
Yet feminists and other Democrats pounced, claiming the men (or “white men”) in the room were “negotiating away birth control, maternity care and abortion”. But the meeting was about health care in general, and it wasn’t a “negotiation.” The caucus presented its ideas to Trump, as Planned Parenthood may have done to Obama (with how many men in the room?). No conspiracy.
Then Democrats gleefully derided photo arrays of the thirteen senators working on the health care bill – all men (sometimes described as “white men” despite the participation of Cuban-American Sen. Ted Cruz). Sen. Patty Murray’s reaction was priceless, referring to “the 13 Republican men currently negotiating a secret health care plan – which I really hope is not happening in the men’s locker room.”
Do Democrats really think Republican legislators are excluding women from health care conversations out of misogyny? Half their voters are women. They have a strong incentive to think about women’s health needs in deciding how to vote, namely their continued service in Washington.
The demand women be in the room during health care conversations because men can’t get pregnant is illogical to the point of silliness. Health care legislation greatly affects people with leukemia, lupus, and bipolar disorder – but nobody demands an ailing-legislator quota. The Democrat objection is more time-worn identity politics, rather than some special empathy for health care consumers.
Let’s face it. Tallying lawmakers by gender and race is a Democrat pastime, and we refuse to participate. A fashion designer who favors the team with the nicer uniforms is not taken seriously by those who care about the score.
Incidentally, while we’re bean-counting, there are 193 Democrats in the United States House of Representatives. Do you know how many of them are members of conservative religious groups (Evangelicals, Mormons, Orthodox Jews)?
I don’t either. I’m a Republican, and we don’t care.