By Bill Wineke
Special To Channel 3000
It's good to know Wisconsin Republicans produced their party's new national chairman, Reince Priebus. As the national voice of the GOP he seems destined to reflect glory on his home state.
That is, if one considers equating women with caterpillars as a sign of glory.
You've probably heard the story by now. Over the weekend, Priebus was interviewed by Bloomburg Televison's Al Hunt and was asked what he thinks of current accusations that Republicans are waging a war on women.
Nah, Priebus replied. "If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we'd have problems with caterpillars."
Well, yes, I suppose.
Of course, no Democrat has accused the GOP of waging a war on caterpillars. What Priebus's people are accused of doing is waging a war on women, doing things like threatening to close down the government unless it stops funding Planned Parenthood, or adopting bizarre procedures for women who want abortions – like forcing them to undergo pelvic ultrasounds or join religious groups in demanding that insurance plans don't cover birth control.
That sort of thing.
So as far as I can see, Republicans don't like women. But they do like babies.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker just signed a bill demanding that sex education programs in schools teach that abstinence is the only sure-fire way to avoid pregnancy (which is, of course, true but will come as no surprise to most kids) but does not require that sex education programs address birth control.
Of course, Priebus might have a point about the media. MSNBC commentator Andrea Mitchell wanted to know why Priebus would compare women to "insects."
I suppose that's true in one sense. Caterpillars do end up becoming butterflies and moths. Butterflies and moths are insects. But, while in their larval stage, i.e., their caterpillar stage, butterflies and moths are crawly little things that eat crops and cause havoc.
I could make some analogies here, but that probably wouldn't be a very good idea.
And I might be totally wrong. Mitt Romney says women aren't really concerned about things like birth control or the various humiliations Republican lawmakers across the country seem dedicated to imposing on them should they desire a legal abortion. They are concerned about the economy, Mitt says.
Maybe the perceived gender gap is caused by the media reporting all the bizarre legislation Republicans around the country are passing into law and women really don't care about deciding for themselves how many children to have or whether they should be legally required to carry a rapist's baby to birth.
My own guess, though, is that most women don't like being compared to caterpillars.