In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraception case, prominent political voices responded with very different reactions. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), for example, refused to give an opinion, insisting “a good leader” knows how to duck questions about important national debates.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) took a more direct approach, telling Aspen Ideas Forum audience this week, “I disagree with the reasoning as well as the conclusion. I find it deeply disturbing that we are going in that direction.”
In one of the more cringe-worthy reactions to the story, however, Fox News’ Jesse Watters broke new ground, telling viewers that Clinton’s response was calculated to appeal to a specific constituency.
“[Hillary Clinton] needs the single ladies vote. I call them ‘The Beyonce Voters’ – the single ladies. Obama won single ladies by 76% last time, and made up about a quarter of the electorate.“They depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands. They need things like contraception, health care, and they love to talk about equal pay.”
Oh good, we’ve managed to drag Beyonce into the political debate over whether employers should limit women’s access to birth control.
Regardless, let’s see if we have the Fox argument straight. According to Jesse Watters, “single ladies” – a.k.a., “Beyonce Voters” – have a choice. These women can either depend on husbands or they can depend on government.
And apparently they should stop talking about equal pay for equal work.
Here’s hoping Joan McCarter’s pointed response reaches Watters’ attention: “What are they going to do with equal pay, silly sluts, if they don’t have a man around to tell them how to spend it? And what, they need health care? Get married, then maybe you can have health care. But not contraception, apparently. Because if you have a husband to depend on you don’t need birth control.”
Also note, as Lawrence O’Donnell highlighted on The Last Word, none of the four Fox News hosts surrounding Watters on set at the time challenged his assessment in any way.
Politically, Watters’ point about single women’s partisan preferences was largely correct – exit polls show these voters prefer Democrats to Republicans – and thanks to the Fox host, this political dynamic is unlikely to change anytime soon.