In Neil Vigdor’s piece in today’s Connecticut Post, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano resorted to his usual tactics, downplaying a legitimate difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties as a distraction and launching a disjointed, nonsensical defense of the GOP.
J.R. Romano, who took over as state GOP chairman in late June, said Democrats are resorting to dividing the state on social issues to make up for their weak economic record as the party in power in Connecticut.
“Don’t throw stones at the Republican Party when we have people like Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln,” said Romano, who considers himself a libertarian. “Why aren’t we talking about Margaret Sanger’s quotes and her history and who she is? Hillary Clinton won the Margaret Sanger Award. Did she not? The Republican Party is a big-tent party.”
Couple things about that.
- First of all, women’s health services are anything but a distraction. Although Mr. Romano probably doesn’t want to talk about the fact that Republicans are working hard to defund one of the leading organizations for women’s health services, an organization that dedicates 97% of its services to cancer screening and prevention, testing and treatment, contraception, and other women’s health services. Even though no federal funding is used for abortion services.By the way, we’re more than happy to talk about economic issues. Under Governor Malloy and Democratic leadership, Connecticut’s economy has created nearly 80,000 private sector jobs, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest point since the Bush recession.
- Second, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass? Really? Is Mr. Romano trying to argue that Republicans are actually the party figthing for civil rights? Because if so, one would think he could come up with at least one Republican civil rights leader in the past 150 years. Oh right, he can’t do that because today’s Republican leaders are more likely to defend the Confederate flag than fight for civil rights.
Maybe J.R. should refrain from throwing stones at the party of Barack Obama and John Lewis.
- And third, at least J.R. is right about one thing: the GOP is a “big tent party” … unless you are a member of the LGBTQ community, a woman, a worker, a poor person, a middle class family, or an immigrant.
“I get it, J.R. Romano is in a tough spot. On one hand, the Family Institute of Connecticut and the base of his Republican party is rabidly anti-choice and anti-woman. On the other hand, the vast majority of the public supports providing access to basic women’s health care services, ensuring pay equity for women, raising the minimum wage, and guaranteeing paid sick time for workers. The bottom line is that today’s Republican Party is out of step with reality.” – Connecticut Democratic Party Communications Director Leigh Appleby