And, while past research suggests that women officeholders of both parties tend to be more ideologically moderate, that doesn't seem to be the case with the newly elected Republicans.
The only women who survive the Republican primary process these days are in the strict-conservative mold of Michele Bachmann. Just two of the 24 Republican women voted against the Pence Amendment to ban Planned Parenthood funding — and both of them, Judy Biggert of Illinois and Mary Bono-Mack of California, are 10-year House veterans.
Some women's activists are watching the GOP highlight its few women — trumpeting new South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, for example, and giving new congresswoman Kristi Noem a leadership position — and worrying that these female faces are masking the same misogynist party.
The Democrats are dead, they warn, if they let Republicans get away with it.
They don't intend to let that happen; they say to expect more high-profile "war on women" messaging in coming weeks — and even more if Republicans include more cuts in their FY2012 budget recommendation, which Cantor says will be released in about six weeks.
To read the "Talking Politics" blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.