Gerson's Woman Problem
The title of Michael Gerson’s latest in the Washington Post, “How Romney can solve his woman problem,” suggests that it is not the subtlest piece of writing. And upon further inspection, it appears Romney may not be the only one who has issues with women.
Gerson claims Mitt Romney’s electoral trouble with women is caused by the fact that he hasn’t offered the “positive vision for the common good” that women want. Gerson advises that Romney think beyond normal ideological boundaries—like Gerson’s old boss George W. Bush—and appeal to like “increasing the quality of education for poor children.” He concludes, “One of the best ways to appeal to women…is to show some humanity.”
But in trying to help Romney appeal to female voters, Gerson illuminates a much bigger and more significant “woman problem.” He seems to have bought into the old stereotype that women vote only with their feelings and not their brains. And Gerson also insinuates that the welfare of the poor and immigration reform—“humanity”—are women’s issues that no man would care about.
After considering and eventually vetoing the idea that Romney should try to woo women “by handing out the pill at rallies or by a balloon drop of inflated condoms at the Republican convention in Tampa,” Gerson goes more than a step too far. He sums up his memo to Romney: “The composite Republican candidate … has been harsh on immigration, confrontational on social issues, simplistic in condemning government and silent on the struggles of the poor. How many women would find this profile appealing on eHarmony?”
In Gerson’s world, women are too stupid to realize that they’re choosing a president and not a husband. This howler shows that he should examine his own biases before giving any more free advice to the GOP nominee.