Editorial: How the GOP can put women back in their place

Column By John Young

It seems a bit late to do anything about it in 2022.

If we know anything about today’s Republican Party, however, the GOP will do anything and everything it can before 2024.

About what? About angry women voters.

Oh, yes. Those women are a big problem for the party of Trump; of McConnell and Cruz; of Abbott and DeSantis – any and all political animals committed to taking rights away.

Ever since the Supreme Court gave states the power to impose the most oppressive public policy of the last half-century – to order one who is impregnated to gestate until term without exception – women have been registering to vote Democrat in big numbers.

As one Republican strategist told Politico regarding voter registration for the midterms, his party is “getting killed by women.”

Democratic strategist Tom Bonier writes in the New York Times he has “run out of superlatives” to describe the surge in registration among women – “numbers I’ve never witnessed before.”

This should surprise no one after the stunning defeat of an anti-abortion ballot measure in Kansas, Sarah Palin’s loss (to a Democrat!) in her bid for Congress, and the victory of Democrat Pat Ryan in a New York congressional special election with abortion rights a central issue.

Yes, the Republicans may squeak by with control of the U.S. House in November. The micro majority they accomplish, however, is not destined to last beyond 2024 – particularly with the drag guaranteed by the GOP’s continued crush on the twice-impeached, disgraced, criminally corrupt individual who used to reside in the White House.

Let us not forget that after that man’s inauguration, alarmed women took to the streets in the largest single demonstration in America’s history.

So, what do the Republicans do now? If we consider their track record over the last six years, two things: (1) The party will scratch every itch Donald Trump has. (2) It will get to work suppressing and marginalizing the vote – in this case the angry female kind.

Heretofore, vote suppression pertained solely to what GOP leaders do to the turnout of people of color and those of little means. In advance of 2024, however, the task grows with all these outraged women.

The GOP must expand vote suppression to those for whom XX marks the chromosome.

How so? Never underestimate Republicans. They are really good at this.

Take gerrymandering. Computer modeling has allowed Republicans to draw districts that marginalize people based on their color. Surely, GOP leaders can do the same with gender. And most assuredly they will. It’s what they do.

I’m reminded of a joke from years ago: that the University of Wyoming football stadium, when full, was the third largest city in the state.

Our right-wing-driven Supreme Court this term likely will show it doesn’t give a bleep about limits of any kind on gerrymandering, like requiring contiguous blocs of voters. Republicans will have their cue to:

— Create districts out of as many football stadiums as it takes to create safe, male-dominated House districts.

— Draw together combos of Bass Pro Shops, Harley dealers, auto parts stores and Buffalo Wild Wings eateries. Presto. Safe, manly districts. Pass the sauce.

— Gerrymander hobby stores, fabric stores and tea shops into political oblivion.

Redrawing districts is just one tool. Another GOP specialty is simply making voting harder. Before 2024, it must be made harder for women.

For starters, GOP leaders can do this by confining polling locations to gun shows, Jeep showrooms and jet ski dealers, and wherever Autorama is held.

They can make it a felony, meanwhile, to register voters outside the Ice Capades, Louise Penny book readings or any crafts show.

Another idea for GOP leaders: Ban voting by mail entirely. Clearly it favors women who work at home.

All of these strategies would improve the GOP’s odds against a surge of female anger.

If those things don’t achieve the intended ends — if Republicans get shellacked again in the next presidential election? In advance of 2026 they could push to repeal the 19th Amendment – you know – the one that let angry women vote.

Foes of the 19th can dust off the same campaign literature by which the Equal Rights Amendment failed to be ratified.

Forget what the founders say about equality. Hear today’s Supreme Court and red-state poohbahs. Some rights are right-er than others.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.