Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush speaks at the National Urban League's conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. on Jul. 31, 2015. 
Photo by Andrew Innerarity/Reuters

Jeb Bush flubs another test on women’s issues

Donald Trump, caught up in an ugly mess of his own making, tried to divert attention away from his own controversy on women’s issues with a related argument: Jeb Bush is the one who really has a problem with women.
It was, of course, a self-serving argument – but that doesn’t mean it was wrong.
On Friday night, Trump touched off a firestorm of controversy, saying in reference to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” It prompted RedState’s Erick Erickson to disinvite Trump from an event for Republican presidential candidates in Atlanta on Saturday.
But Jeb Bush attended that gathering, stood alongside Erickson, and made a curious proclamation. ThinkProgress reported over the weekend:
Jeb Bush appeared at the RedState Gathering on Saturday and pronounced that Erickson was “on the side of women.”
Erickson tried to distinguish his own comments from Trump’s by claiming he has apologized. But he only apologized for one sexist remark – referring to the first day of the Democratic National Convention, which featured female speakers, as the “Vagina Monologues.”
So, let me get this straight. Looking back over the last few days, Jeb Bush said, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” The former governor then made accusations against Planned Parenthood that were demonstrably untrue. He then stood alongside a right-wing media personality with a lengthy record of misogyny and said, “You’re on the side of women.”
It’s almost as if the Florida Republican is trying to alienate voters.
For those unfamiliar with Erickson, the right-wing media figure has a truly remarkable rhetorical record, generally exemplified by the time he labeled retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat f—ing child molester.”
But it’s Erickson’s record on women that’s truly breathtaking. The list is simply too long to be re-published here, but Media Matters, ThinkProgress, and Vox highlighted many of his most notable quotes related to feminism, women, and gender equity.
Ironically, even Fox News’ Megyn Kelly has chastised Erickson on the air for his brazen sexism.
Max Fisher added, “It’s obvious from Erickson’s own statements that he himself loves sexism and thinks that hating and disparaging women is not only great fun, but that anyone who tells him not to hate and disparage women is themselves a ‘feminazi’ or, worse, a fun-hating ‘male feminist.’”
If Jeb Bush has an explanation for why he believes Erickson is “on the side of women,” I’m eager to hear it.