Women were not invited to the Tea Party this year. Why should they be? They’re in the kitchen where they “belong” making the tea.
As the Republican party struggles to attract more women and minorities to vote for their candidates the Tea Partiers who are seeking to take the party over are working just as hard to exclude women and minorities.
Of 80 candidates endorsed by major Tea Party organizations this year, only four are women and two of them have already lost their primaries. Joni Ernst who bragged in a campaign ad that she “grew up castrating hogs” and will know how to get rid of the pork when she gets to Washington, is leading in the Republican primary for Senate in Iowa. Mia Love in Utah has already secured the Republican nomination for the fourth congressional district.
Although overall there are fewer Republican women who have thrown their hats into the ring this election cycle there are 74 who are running or considering a run meaning that the Tea Party finds 70 of them to be unacceptable candidates, in other words they are not conservative enough.
Tea Party groups are not content to simply endorse male candidates for open slots, they have mounted attack campaigns against Republican women already in office in an attempt to unseat them. The Club for Growth has been running ad campaigns to defeat Representatives Martha Roby (R-AL) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC), both of whom enjoyed support from the Tea Party in their original quests for office.
Tea Party groups seem to have missed the fact that Republicans and conservatives in general are often seen as waging a war on women and women’s issues. They have forgotten that Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock both lost their races in 2012 running in solidly red states after Akin said that pregnancy rarely results from a rape because the woman’s body had “ways of shutting that whole thing down.” Not to be outdone Mourdock asserted during a debate that if a pregnancy resulted from a rape it should be seen as something that “God intended.”
“We recognize that we need to speak to single women under 35,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said recently. “It’s a demographic issue that we want to do better with.”
If he is serious about that statement he is going to have to do some house cleaning and rid the party of the extremist Tea Party faction that is dragging the entire party further to the right with every passing day.