In politics, topic selection is everything. You talk jobs - which the president is doing - and it's a winner. You talk the growing national debt - as the Republicans are doing - and it's a solid issue for them.
Sometimes the same discussion can involve a number of different topics - one can be a winner, another a loser. Take this issue of religious organizations and birth control.
When religious organizations, especially the Catholic Church, were being told to pay for birth control - two issues were prominent - the right of churches not being forced to act against their deep beliefs, the concern of women for readily accessible birth control.
Last Friday, the first topic ceased to have its prominence when the president decided that insurance companies, not religious institutions would finance birth control coverage.
Now the issue sits squarely on the question of birth control. Should women have it as part of their health insurance coverage or not? Should the government require that they do as President Obama has decided they should?
The Republicans held a hearing on that today and their first bank of witnesses include a group of religious leaders but, here on a question of birth control, had no one in that highly visible group who could possible give birth.
Not surprising, several women members of Congress noticed the selection of first witnesses and demonstrated their objection by either boycotting the hearing or walking out once there.
I get it.
Most voters certainly get for the ample reason that most voters are women. Most voters, that is, are born with the possibility have giving birth, a reality that men, including me, don't.
They, therefore, know that life may well include the possibility of getting pregnant - pregnant, in fact, when they don't want to get pregnant.
This is the reality that women in politics are bringing to national attention on this day, February 16, 2012, not exactly early in the game but early enough to warn the Republicans that if you want to get the most votes this November remember where the most votes lie - with that rather large, majority group that you left out of the that first group of witnesses today on the issue they know best.