Brent Budowsky: War on women is winning

Brent Budowsky: War on women is winning
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A warning to the women of America: If Republicans win control of the House and Senate in the midterm elections this fall, it will be a powerful victory for the war on women, with consequences that will be severe and long-term. A large majority of women know this. The question is, will they will vote in November?

Democrats should issue a clarion call for women to vote through an extraordinary and urgent campaign initiative bringing together three women of great credibility and appeal for the cause: first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama celebrates success of ‘Black Panther’ How textbooks shape teachers — not just their students Michelle Obama dedicates Valentine's Day playlist to Barack Obama MORE, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump's SEC may negate investors' ability to fight securities fraud Schatz's ignorance of our Anglo-American legal heritage illustrates problem with government Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee MORE (D-Mass.).

Bringing together Obama, Clinton and Warren for joint campaign events, TV appearances or a mass distributed video would create an electrifying moment that dramatizes to female voters the enormous damage to their vital interests of a GOP victory in the midterms.

Pundits are now scheduling the funeral dirge for the Democratic Senate. Not so fast.

According to the latest polling highlighted on Real Clear Politics, the favorability of Congress, with one house controlled by Republicans, is under 14 percent. How predictable is an election, when the popularity of Congress is hardly higher than that of ISIS terrorists; when the brand of Democrats, who are predicted to lose, is more popular than the brand of Republicans, who are predicted to win; when the most popular candidate for president in 2016 is Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, and the most popular living former president is Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard? Make the compromise: Ending chain migration is a small price to legalize Dreamers Assessing Trump's impeachment odds through a historic lens MORE, who is barnstorming for Democratic candidates?

There are strange and contradictory undercurrents in a restive electorate that make for an unpredictable election. Who predicted that former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorFeehery: The governing party 'Release the memo' — let's stop pretending that Democrats are the defenders of the FBI Raúl Labrador, a model for Hispanic politicians reaching higher MORE (R-Va.) would be defeated in a primary, resign as leader and be gone from Congress within a matter of weeks?

It is panic time for Democrats. Good. It should be. Democrats could squeak through and retain control of the Senate or lose 9 Senate seats in an electoral debacle. The difference between the former and the latter is whether enough Democratic voters care enough to vote. If they do, Democrats with the more popular brand will defeat Republicans with the less popular brand. If they do not, Election Day will be Armageddon for Democrats. 

The polls look dark for Democrats. The war on women is winning. But could the GOP peak too soon? Could predictions of a Republican wave scare the daylights out of Democrats and motivate them to vote? Yes. It could happen with black, Hispanic, young and especially women voters. 

Shouldn’t women be paid equally with men? Women say: Of course. Democrats say: You bet. Republicans say: No way.

When job discrimination against women was considered by the Supreme Court, it was five conservative Republican men on the court, appointed by Republican presidents, who plunged the legal dagger into the heart of women seeking redress against discrimination.

In a GOP-controlled Senate, the obstruction against judicial confirmations spearheaded by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (Ky.) would be magnified tenfold. By contrast, if Democrats Alison Lundergan Grimes (Ky.) and Michelle Nunn (Ga.) and Democratic Sens. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganPolitics is purple in North Carolina Democrats can win North Carolina just like Jimmy Carter did in 1976 North Carolina will be a big battleground state in 2020 MORE (N.C.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuProject Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible CNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' MORE (La.), Mark BegichMark Peter BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (Alaska), Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDemocratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' MORE (Colo.) and Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (Arkansas) win, women and workers will have champions of minimum wage and pay equity.

Who is hurt if Republicans win? Women who use contraceptives. Poor women who are hungry. Senior women who benefit from Social Security and Medicare. Women served by Medicaid. Jobless women who need unemployment benefits. Working women seeking fair pay and benefits. Single moms. Sons and daughters crushed by student debt.

Democrats should bring in their heaviest hitters to organize a massive, urgent and extraordinary appeal to women voters and mobilize them to vote in large numbers against a GOP victory in the midterm elections. If Democrats act boldly and decisively, their turnout among women will surge, and many Democrats in Congress — and the interests of women — will be saved.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors Blog and reached at