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Countering Dems' claims about GOP & women

| Saturday, July 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Democrat animus toward women manifests itself in contraception, self-defense, the “women's vote” and many other issues, according to Katie Pavlich, author of “Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women” (Threshold Editions). But she thinks it all stems from liberal political philosophy.

Discussing the book in an interview published on the Watchdog Wire website, Pavlich, news editor of Townhall.comand a regular Trib columnist, said “the Left's most damaging offense against women is promoting the false idea that reliance on government is empowering.” In her view, it's that desire to make women dependent on government — and thereby gain women's votes for more of the same — that motivates Democrat claims of a Republican “war on women.”

That Democrat approach actually runs counter to true regard for women as equals. “Equal opportunity is available for all of us and women have proved for years they don't need special coddling or government assistance to be successful, yet the Left would like us to think otherwise. Women need respect, not special treatment,” she told Watchdog Wire.

Having seen Democrats succeed with that message in the 2012 presidential election, Pavlich wrote the book, in part, as a warning about Democrats' attempts to do the same in this year's midterm elections and the 2016 presidential race. One way of doing so is exposing liberal Democrats' hypocrisy toward women.

The book demonstrates how the Obama administration, despite all its seemingly female-friendly talk, pays its female staffers less than it pays its male staffers. Pavlich also details stories of harassment told by women who formerly worked in the Obama White House.

Reviewing the book for the PJ Media website, Westmoreland County native J. Christian Adams, an attorney who once worked on civil-rights issues for the Justice Department, said it “flips the script on the creaky old War on Women narrative of the Left.” Drawing on Pavlich's own reporting and the record of liberal Democrats' statements and actions, “Assault and Flattery” should prove thought-provoking for Americans of all political persuasions — and both genders.


“Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman” by Robert L. O'Connell (Random House) — A military historian tackles a subject whose enduring name recognition stems from the “Gone With the Wind” depiction of his famed “March to the Sea,” which he shows to be inaccurate. The book also shows how Sherman was driven to be his own man and escape the shadow of the politically influential foster father who raised him after his own father's death. The foster father helped Sherman enter West Point, but he left the Army during the California Gold Rush to join a bank that failed, then became superintendent of a predecessor to Louisiana State University. He considered blacks inferior and didn't oppose slavery, but he also considered Louisiana's secession treasonous, so he joined the Union forces. And after the Civil War, Sherman — always quotable — became a celebrity speaker and society figure.


“Wilhelm II: Into the Abyss of War and Exile, 1900-1941” by John C.G. Röhl (Cambridge University Press) — The massive final volume of a biography begun in 1999 with “Young Wilhelm” and continued in 2004 with “Wilhelm II: The Kaiser's Personal Monarchy, 1888-1900,” this book first was published in Germany (and in German) in 2008. Now translated into English and revised to include newly available information from primary sources, it exhaustively portrays a near-absolute yet insecure ruler, politically and interpersonally inept, surrounded by favor-currying courtiers. His World War I role of course is central, but presented in broad context that takes in his post-war years. In defeat, he fled to Holland, which refused to extradite him for prosecution by the victors. His anti-Semitism growing as he spent his final decades in exile, he hoped — in vain — that like-minded Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime would restore his monarchy.


“The Story of Spanish” by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow (St. Martin's Press) — Adding interest to this book's topic are America's changing demographics, reflected lately in the attention paid to Spanish-language Univision's TV ratings for World Cup games. Now available in paperback, which should help broaden its audience, the book is by married authors who live in Canada and wrote 2006's “The Story of French.” They trace Spanish from its roots long ago among shepherds in northern Spain to its contemporary status as 21 nations' official tongue and America's unofficial second language. Much history and culture are covered along the way, ranging from Columbus and conquistadors to Arab and Muslim influences, Spain's expulsion of Jews, the Spanish Inquisition and Francisco Franco's dictatorship. Also explored is the language's role in the United States and the fundamentally Spanish nature of such American cultural touchstones as the dollar sign, barbecues, ranching and cowboys.

Alan Wallace is a Trib Total Media editorial page writer (412-320-7983 or

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