The official Republican line on the "war on women" is simple: denial. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus' caterpillar metaphor helped summarize the party line quite nicely -- as he put it, the whole controversy is a "fiction."
It's a tough sell given the agenda being pushed by Republican officials at the state and federal level, but as Annie-Rose Strasser noted, it's an especially tough sell for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
On a local Kentucky radio show today, the Senate minority leader argued that the female members in his caucus agree with him that the GOP's "war on women" is just "a manufactured issue." [...]"There is no issue. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine I think would be the first to say -- and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska -- 'we don't see any evidence of this.'"
The Senate is out this week, but McConnell may way want to pay a little closer attention to what members of his caucus are actually saying.
In this case, McConnell specifically mentioned five Republican senators -- all of whom are women, and three of whom have raised serious concerns about what their party is up to.
Hutchison reiterated her support for Planned Parenthood two weeks ago; Snowe said her party's fight over contraception feels like "a retro-debate that took place in the 1950s"; and Murkowski went so far as to say, "It makes no sense to make this attack on women. If you don't feel this is an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters."
All three "don't see any evidence" of a GOP campaign targeting women's health?
McConnell seems comfortable speaking for all of these women, and ascribing beliefs to them. But if McConnell stopped telling us what these senators think and started listening to what they actually think, he might learn something important.