John Boehner is teaching Republicans how to talk to women, Politico reports. “When you look around the Congress, there are a lot more females in the Democrat caucus than there are in the Republican caucus,” the Speaker of the House observed. His solution? Sensitivity training. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be.” Boehner’s top aides met recently with Republican staff to discuss how lawmakers should talk to female voters, especially the ten male Republican Representative incumbents who will face female Democratic challengers in 2014. (Quickly: Compliment her shoes, ask whether she’s Team Peeta or Team Gale, promise not to legislate her ovaries.) “Let me put it this way,” a staffer who attended the session told Politico, “some of these guys have a lot to learn.”
In the aftermath of the War on Women, other Republicans — including the all-female GOP consulting group Burning Glass — have argued that Democrats focus on abortion to distract from the economy and purposefully trip up their un-p.c. candidates. Virginia Representative Scott Ringell, who is running against a Democratic woman next year, echoed the sentiment to Politico. “I look at it this way — I wake up every day not thinking about the social issues,” he said. “I sought office because I know we can do better on job creation and I’m also concerned about our fiscal trajectory.” Reporters will probably stop asking about abortion and get back to the economy just as soon as Republicans cease slowly but systematically rolling back women’s rights on state and federal levels, but I bet they look forward to discussing this legislative assault with newfound sensitivity.