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 shares advice for first-generation college students ‘Outnumbered’ host shares ‘9 Rules’ for success in new book Poll: Republicans view Netflix less favorably MORE, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSunday Shows preview: Lawmakers, Trump allies discuss Russia probe, migrant family separation Giuliani: FBI, prosecutors investigating Trump belong in the psych ward Des Moines Register front page warns Iowa could lose up to 4M from Chinese tariffs MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump to nominate budget official as next consumer bureau chief Sessions floats federal law that would protect states that decriminalize marijuana Bank regulator faces backlash over comments on racism MORE (D-Mass.).

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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 ClintonTrump's strategy for North Korea and beyond James Comey's higher disloyalty to America IG report doesn’t fault Comey for ‘partisanship,’ but it should have for his incompetence 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 CantorThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election Scalise allies upset over Ryan blindside on McCarthy endorsement 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 McConnellCongress had a good couple of weeks — now let's keep it going McCarthy: 'The Mueller investigation has got to stop' McConnell: Mueller 'ought to wrap it up' MORE (Ky.) would be magnified tenfold. By contrast, if Democrats Alison Lundergan Grimes (Ky.) and Michelle Nunn (Ga.) and Democratic Sens. Kay HaganKay Ruthven Hagan2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Politics is purple in North Carolina MORE (N.C.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuLandrieu dynasty faces a pause in Louisiana Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Project Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns MORE (La.), Mark BegichMark Peter BegichFormer Alaska senator jumps into governor race Overnight Energy: Trump directs Perry to stop coal plant closures | EPA spent ,560 on customized pens | EPA viewed postcard to Pruitt as a threat Perez creates advisory team for DNC transition MORE (Alaska), Mark UdallMark Emery UdallSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Democratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups 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 brentbbi@webtv.net.