In this week's Etch A Sketch moment, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said the GOP's perceived "war on women" was as fictional as a war on caterpillars. Now, while it's pretty fun to imagine politicians in suits doing battle with what we can only assume would be enormous, mutant caterpillars, it's also reveals the problem with drawing such comparisons: trivializing people's concerns isn't the best way to get them to drop an issue.
Priebus' point, which he made in a Bloomberg Television interview to air this weekend, was that the so-called war on women, seen in initiatives like mandatory ultrasounds for abortions and the push to drop birth control from employer-funded health care, was a media creation: "If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars," he said. That gave his critics a high road position: "If you agree that attacks on women's health is too serious to be compared to a 'war on caterpillars' tweet @Reince to tell him how you feel!" tweeted Democratic National Committee press secretary Melanie Russel. And it gave them a silly road position: "In response to Priebus' comment, @CaterpillarInc is now assembling its militia for the upcoming War on Caterpillars," tweeted MSNBC's Amanda Sakuma.