Nope, No Out Of Touch Old White Dudes Here

Pajamas Media founder Glenn Reynolds had a sort of amazing op-ed in yesterday's New York Post, arguing that the Republican Party’s underperformance among women is driven by a failure to reach low-information female voters, who “vote based on a vague sense of who’s mean and who’s nice, who’s cool and who’s uncool.”

What’s his proposed solution to the problem of the ignorant, Democratic-voting female? Wealthy Republicans should found or buy women’s magazines, excise the liberal bias in their political coverage, and instead seed them with favorable fluff stories about Republicans and negative ones about Democrats. No, really:

For $150 million, you could buy or start a lot of women’s Web sites. And I’d hardly change a thing in the formula. The nine articles on sex, shopping and exercise could stay the same. The 10th would just be the reverse of what’s there now.

For the pro-Republican stuff, well, just visit the “Real Mitt Romney” page at, or look up the time Mitt Romney rescued a 14-year-old kidnap victim, to see the kind of feel-good stories that could have been running. For the others, well, it would run articles on whether Bill Clinton should get a pass on his affairs, whether it’s right that the Obama White House pays women less than men, and reports on how the tax system punishes women.

I mean, how hard can it be to run a women’s publication? Just throw together some stuff about sex and shopping and whatever else it is that women like. Add in some glossy photos of Mitt Romney and, bingo, now wealthy Republican donors have their subliminal hooks in low-information female voters across the country. Muhahahaha!

Back in the real world, women vote Democratic more than men in large part because they tend to be more liberal on many policy questions, particularly health policy, defense and welfare. They may also get the vague sense that the Republican Party is run by old, white guys who are out of touch with women’s perspectives and concerns.

They might get that idea when Republican Senate candidates say idiotic things about rape that reflect a lack of empathy for women. Or perhaps they get it when they read op-eds in the New York Post from prominent conservative bloggers about how the key to changing women’s minds is running a different kind of puff piece in Cosmopolitan. Or perhaps they get it because the Republican Party is in fact run by old, white guys who are out of touch with women's perspectives and concerns.

(Josh Barro is lead writer for the Ticker. E-mail him and follow him on Twitter.)

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