The SCGOP makes a pitch for the pocketbooks of empowered women 

Girl Power

Ladies of the Lowcountry, South Carolina GOP chair Karen Floyd has a message for you: She wants your money. And, well, that's about it. See, last week, the SCGOP launched a new initiative to encourage more women to participate in the political process, namely the fundraising side of it.

Floyd and company even gave the initiative one of those dreadful acronyms that only the collective might of a committee can conjure up: POWER. It stands for the Power of Women Electing Republicans, and its goal is "to mobilize the financial power of Republican women to help provide the party with the resources to have a maximum impact on the most important competitive campaigns in the state."

I don't know about you, but reading that made my eyes glaze over faster than a couple puffs of K2. Here's hoping the SCGOP hasn't replaced their cadre of campaign mad men with accountants or else we're all going to have to start chugging 5-Hour Energy drinks just to make it through a single campaign commercial in October. (This paragraph has been approved by H&R Block.)

Now, I must say that it's a particularly savvy move right now to try to bring more women into the Republican fold, what with GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley appearing on the cover of Newsweek and allegedly underneath the covers of — well, we won't go there.

The point is, it's a good time for the S.C. Republican Party to try to woo womenfolk, even if the inspiration for all that wooing is an accountant who was fined for paying her taxes late, failed to disclose $42,500 she received as a consultant, and so far has not released her legislative e-mails, which may or may not contain correspondence which some believe could implicate her in an adulterous affair.

Wait. Where was I? My apologies. It's just that Nikki Haley gets me all hot and bothered like a plate of chicken vindaloo. Back to the SCGOP.

Oddly enough, in their move to win the hearts and minds of South Carolinian women, Floyd and company simply don't offer much of anything in return to the very folks they're courting. There is no pledge to place women in high-ranking positions within the Haley administration. There is no commitment to try to run more viable female candidates in future elections. There are no words of encouragement urging women to run for office — not for national office, statewide office, or local office. The SCGOP apparently couldn't care less if women actually fully participate in the political process. All that Karen Floyd and the rest of the guys behind the POWER initiative want is money. Helen Reddy weeps. RuPaul cries. Larry Wachowski sobs.

As for how the S.C. Republican Party plans to use the filthy lucre, it's pretty simple: They are going to buy ads, send our mailers, and host get-out-the-vote drives all in an effort to get this year's crop of GOP candidates elected. And this shouldn't come as a surprise, but of the 16 major races on the ballot in November, only one of them is occupied by a woman.

On second thought, that is surprising. The SCGOP routinely fails to run a female candidate in any one of these Sweet 16 races. Heck, I don't remember if they ever have.


I don't know about you, but I'm beginning to think that the SCGOP picked the wrong acronym. Near as I can tell, the POWER initiative isn't about female empowerment at all; it's the exact opposite.

Maybe the Republican Party should've picked an acronym that more accurately reflected their opinion about women and their place in the good ole boy world of South Carolina politics. Maybe something like GET ME A BEER. Or BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT. Or MICHELLE DUGGAR. Or VOTE LIKE YOUR HUSBAND TELLS YOU. Or IT'S TIME TO FULFILL YOUR WEEKLY WIFELY DUTIES. Anything but POWER.


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