Don’t Tread on Us
By Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, March 13, 2012 -
Hillary Clinton has fought for women’s rights around the world. But who would have dreamed that she would have to fight for them at home?
“Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me,” she told an adoring crowd at the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center on Saturday. “But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies.
“Yes,” she continued to applause, “it is hard to believe that even here at home, we have to stand up for women’s rights and reject efforts to marginalize any one of us, because America needs to set an example for the entire world.”
As secretary of state, Clinton is supposed to stay out of domestic politics. But this was a moment pregnant with possibility, a titanic clash of the Inevitable (Hillary) and the Indefensible (Republican cavemen).
The attempt by Republican men to wrestle American women back into chastity belts has not only breathed life into President Obama, it has roused and riled Hillary. And that could turn out to be the most dangerous thing the wildly self-destructive G.O.P. leaders have done.
In some kind of insane bout of mass misogyny, Republicans are hounding out the women voters — including Republicans and independents — who helped them gain control of the House in 2010.
Senator Olympia Snowe, who’s fed up and leaving Congress, told The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty that “it feels as if we are going back to another era,” warning that Republicans could drive women into Democratic arms.
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