(WEEKLY STANDARD) -- In the sixth century b.c., the Chinese tactician Sun Tzu observed: “All warfare is based on deception.” If only he could have seen the “war on women.” This whopping deception—that Republicans are out to destroy women and everything they hold dear—looks increasingly like the Democrats’ entire battle plan heading into November. For well over a year, party leaders, strategists, and elected officials have tried to rekindle hostilities at every opportunity—congressional votes on abortion, debates over the Obama-care contraceptive mandate, the selection of Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential nominee, and, most recently, Missouri congressman Todd Akin’s bizarre comments on rape. Leaving nothing to doubt, the Democrats have orchestrated their convention agenda to press the same case: Speakers include Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America; Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood; and Sandra Fluke, who, as a 30-year-old Georgetown law student, became a household name by demanding free birth-control pills.
This is more than just stroking an important constituency: Democrats are making the “war on women” the centerpiece of their case for reelection. The motivations are as much tactical as ideological; young, unmarried women did not turn out for Democrats in the 2010 cycle, and if they stay home in 2012, it could spell doom for Obama’s hopes of a second term.