Attacks On “Julia” : The Right Still Diverting Attention From Conservative Policies' Effect On Women

The Obama campaign introduced a slideshow on its website this week called “The Life of Julia.” The idea is simple enough -- it compares the effect that President Obama's policies have on the life of a hypothetical woman named Julia with the effect Mitt Romney's policies would have on her life.

The right-wing media immediately rained scorn on “Julia,” first with mockery on Twitter, and then in a host of blog posts and columns that labeled the slideshow “creepy” and accused the Obama campaign of glorifying a cradle-to-grave welfare state that takes a “paternalistic” view of women.

First of all, it's not clear to me how using a hypothetical to illustrate the differing effects of two candidates' policies is “creepy,” but hey, if you're losing an argument about whose policies hurt women, you have to come up with something, I suppose.

Second, there is nothing “paternalistic” about pointing out that cutting social programs would be detrimental to women. The attacks on this slideshow are a distraction from that fact.

The themes in the slideshow mostly fall into two categories:

  • The House GOP's budget, which Romney has endorsed, makes drastic cuts to education and social programs. These cuts have tangible effects on all Americans -- including women.
  • Romney has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have a direct effect on women.

Richly imagined complaints from the conservative media about an online slideshow don't change any of that.