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Battling Bias: Conservative Women Say They'll Keep On Fighting

Despite attacks from liberal commentators and others, GOP women — including Wisconsin's lieutenant governor — say they'll continue to defend their values.

TAMPA, Florida — The mostly female audience watched quietly as a video clip of HBO's Bill Maher was shown on the screen.

In the segment, the talk show host was trying to explain why liberals don't like conservative women like Sarah Palin or U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

"Because they’re crazy people," Maher said. "It’s not because they have breasts, it’s because they are boobs.”

While the punchline drew laughter from Maher's studio audience, the 50 or so people who watched the clip at the TECO Theater at the Straz Center in Tampa remained silent.

That segment was just one example of the "liberal bias" against women highlighted at "Lashing Back at the Backlash," a forum sponsored by Her New View, an initiative of Palladian View, a digital magazine for conservative women.

That conservative Republican women regularly come under attack from the "mainsteam media" and liberal commentators is something that can't be disputed, the five women — including Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch — on the panel agreed.

But the best way to deal with that bias, they said, was to wear it like a badge of honor and continue to fight for the conservative values they believe in.

The discussion, which took place the week of the Republican National Convention, also featured U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Renee Ellmers of North Carolina; conservative talk show host Dana Loesch; and author Katie Pavlich. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, while not part of the panel, spoke at the end of the program.

Numerous Examples of Media Attacks

To hammer home the theme of the session, several video clips were played that showed some of the hits conservative women have taken from commentators like Maher, MSNBC's Ed Schultz and commentator Keith Olbermann.

Moderator Karen Floyd, publisher of Palladian View and the former chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, said the half dozen or so clips shown were just a sample of the many clips she found in which conservative women — particularly attractive ones — came under attack from the media.

"There is a great double standard," Ellmers said. "Hillary Clinton... I have great respect for her and think she’s doing a great job. But you don't see the left give conservative women the same benefit or the same voice of support."

"There’s a whole list of things we get attacked for," added Pavlich, who noted it was ironic that liberal women — who have been fighting for equal rights for decades — aren't condemning those kind of attacks. 

"These comments made against conservative women are the same things that you fought against," Pavlich said. "Are you going to stand behind your principals or not?"

Moms Come Under Fire

Panel members noted in particular how liberals seemed to attack stay-at-home moms. One example was the comment by Democrat Hilary Rosen that Ann Romney, who stayed at home to raise five sons, has "actually never worked a day in her life."

Kleefisch said Democrats, including President Barack Obama, don't understand that moms are keenly aware the problems facing the country — particularly the economic ones.

"Women make 90 percent of the consumer household decisions in a American home and women deserve some respect," she said. "The president of the United States of America just does not seem to get that women deserve that type of respect. They'll continue talking to us in this insulting, disingenuous tone like we just don’t get it.”

'A Badge of Honor'

While each of the women on the panel has taken shots from the other side, they made it clear that they weren't looking for sympathy.

"I look at is as a badge of honor when they attack a conservative woman," said Loesch. "I kind of welcome that."

Added Elmers: "It’s up to us to do it all —and we can do it all. We can be good moms, good wives and be a strong voice for our constituents."

Haley gave the group three examples of obstacles she faced in her career — she called them "war stories" — and how she overcame them.

"As we go through life, we have war stories and those war stories make us who we are," she said. "They're not fun..but they make you strong and make you rise to your potential."

James R Hoffa August 31, 2012 at 08:34 PM
@FreeThought Troy - "Yet it is Republicans who can not trust a woman and her doctor to make thier own choices about thier healthcare, or modify the rules so a child of Latin decent who was born in this country can become a citizen." What choices about women's healthcare are you talking about that Republicans want to co-opt away from a woman and her doctor? And you say that Republicans need to modify the rules about illegal immigration - so apparently you have no problem with the fact that those people broke the law in the first place. Apparently, you have no respect for rule of law when you personally disagree with the law. Yeah, you're a liberal all right!
FreeThought Troy August 31, 2012 at 08:46 PM
A woman with a medical condition needs a perscription for birth control. If Repulicans had thier way, Insurance Companies would no longer cover it Primary Source: Blunt Rubio Amendment Primary Source: Every Personhood Amendment brought forth by a Republican Legistature. A child who was born in and has lived in this country, but whose parents are undocomented. Gets deported. Primary Source: Failure to pass the Dream Act (Another Republican idea.. correct me if I am wrong). That really does need to pass by the way.
James R Hoffa August 31, 2012 at 09:39 PM
@FreeThought Troy - Honestly, has the word 'fact' been re-defined to mean other people's opinions, and no one told Hoffa? "Candidates Lie. They want to be elected... so they lie. Have you ever accused the President of lying? I bet you have." Of course they do - Hoffa never said that they didn't. But how can you fairly assess whether or not they're lying about a policy position until the opportunity presents itself? Hoffa only ever called Obama a liar when he definitively lied. Obama promised no mandate in his healthcare bill, remember? That was a LIE. Obama promised no tax increases on the middle and working classes, remember? That was a LIE. Obama promised transparency, remember? That was a LIE. Obama promised to close Gitmo, remember? That was a LIE. Obama promised to close the WH to lobbyists and crony capitalism, remember? That was a LIE. Obama said that he would end the wars on day 1, remember? That was a LIE. Notice how all the lies Hoffa accuses Obama of don't rely on assumptions, speculation, conjecture, etc? They are all grounded in real objective FACT. You call Romney's tax plan a lie premised on speculation, conjecture, assumptions, etc and call it fact - that's a joke, right? My logic is not circular - it's logic. You're the one who operating on the basis of other's opinions, speculation, conjecture, assumptions, etc - not Hoffa. If you don't even see that, then the problem goes beyond the failing of our public school system!
James R Hoffa August 31, 2012 at 09:53 PM
@FreeThought Troy - "If Repulicans had thier way, Insurance Companies would no longer cover it." Re-read the legislation you've cited - it doesn't ban insurance companies from covering birth control, does it? It merely says that insurance companies can choose whether or not they want to cover birth control and set their premium rates accordingly. That's called being able to exercise personal autonomous freedom. And birth control can be purchased without insurance. Last I checked, legal tender, or cash, still had to accepted for all retail transactions, right? Or do you know something that Hoffa doesn't? And how does any of this relate to co-opting the medical decisions of a woman and her doctor? Come on - this is just stupid and you know it! "A child who was born in and has lived in this country, but whose parents are undocomented. Gets deported." Umm... yeah, because we abide by the rule of law in this country and those are the laws that are presently on the books. Did the illegal aliens not break those laws in entering this country illegally? Do we not have a legal avenue of immigration? Is it not the parent's of the illegals fault for engaging in illegal activity in the first place? Why should it be society's responsibility and burden to accommodate illegal acts? If we aren't going to follow our laws, then why the need for government? Again - this is just stupid and you know it.
TaterSalad September 01, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Barack Obama's second term in office will be a dictatorship if not permanent and here is why.....in his own words: http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=82380

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