Wendy Davis and the Democrats don't understand what women care about

Published on Tuesday, 7 October 2014 21:17 - Written by

Here’s what’s wrong with the Democratic Party this year in Texas, in a nutshell. When state Sen. Wendy Davis was asked why polls show Attorney General Greg Abbott is leading even among women, Davis says she “can’t understand” that.

Democrats just won’t give women credit for caring about anything other than abortion without limits and birth control paid for by someone else.

That’s why Wendy Davis is losing.

On Monday, Sen. Davis appeared on MSNBC.

“One thing that has been surprising to me in this, is that Greg Abbott somehow miraculously is running ahead of you by a couple points in the polls among women and I wonder if you think this latest turn of events in Texas in terms of access to abortion will change that dynamic?” asked interviewer Alex Wagner.

“You know, I truly do not understand how women can support his candidacy,” Sen. Davis responded.

One women’s group, Red State Women, reacted hotly.

“Wendy Davis’ comments in today’s MSNBC interview are offensive to all Texas women,” said Red State Women Executive Director Cari Christman. “Women do not base their vote on gender alone. For too long Wendy Davis has confined women to a single issue. Greg Abbott has a proven record of fighting for Texas women by arresting over 4,500 sex offenders and making Texas No. 1 in the nation for child support collections.”

The fact is, women care about a lot of things. Most of all, though, they care about security — physical and financial — for their families.

The most astute political observation made in the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election was by the wise Mona Charen. While everyone else focused on Mitt Romney’s missteps and verbal gaffes, she pointed out simply, “Women want security above all.”

In the midst of a recession (or at least the after-effects of one), President Obama was pledging to shore up the social safety net and his “Julia” ads were blatant in their promise to secure health care for women from the cradle to the grave. Of course he appealed to women — particularly single women, as the statisticians now tell us.

But things are different now. Unemployment is down — but so is workforce participation. During the 2008 financial crisis, it seemed we all had someone close to us who lost a job. But now, it seems like most of us know one or more people who have just quit looking for a job. They’re discouraged.

Throughout the Great Recession and its jobless aftermath, Texas has remained a bright spot — mostly because of the policies of the Republicans in office.

(Many will say Texas has boomed because of oil and gas, and that’s true as well, but lots of states have copious amounts of petrochemicals. Good policies are needed to take advantage of those.)

Women care about security, and right now, security means a healthy job market. The safety net is important, but it’s not enough. Women see through the “war on women” rhetoric.

That’s what Sen. Wendy Davis and the Democrats can’t understand this year.