Friday, June 24, 2005

Women - The Democrat's Best Hope

"Men's minds are raised to the level of the women with whom they associate." Alexandre Dumas Père

The seemingly quaintly named but serious political PAC called EMILY's List (Early Money Is Like Yeast ... it helps raise the dough) is out with a new national study, the Women's Monitor Report 2005.

The report confirms that women, the critical swing vote in the 2004 presidential election, are increasingly fed up with George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress.

Well, it's about damn time.

Women used to be the Democrat's guaranteed hole card. The Democratic party historically welcomed women and minorities into the club and onto the ballet. It courted and won their votes by being genuinely responsive to their issues and concerns.

The Republican party, on the other hand, has been the solid bastion of Rich White Men, holding on to the old-fashioned and grossly denigrating belief that women should be in the home, and minorities belowstairs or in the fields.

But something happened after 9/11. Our homes, our families, our children were threatened. Too many women stopped thinking ... they let their hearts override their judgment. In response to the visceral horror of direct attack--and the lack of an authentic agenda from John Kerry and the Democratic party--women across America fell for the Republican's Great Security Con. They gave away substantive participation and representation for a pig in a poke.

Republicans, in their swinish zeal to capitalize on women as easy marks, ultimately and inevitably made a fatal error in judgment. They mistook momentary fear for enduring conviction. In their lack of real regard and respect for women, they continue to dish out empty platitudes and expect women to swallow them whole like good little girls. Because women handed them the White House, they thought they had us locked up securely, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

A monumental blunder, as it turns out. We aren't nearly that gullible, or stupid. Republicans played the Family Values card all wrong. They acted as if women want big strong men--read: radical right wingnuts--to tell us what to do and how to think.

Big mistake.

EMILY's List President Ellen R. Malcolm has this to say, “Republicans will continue to lose women if they fail to respect that women see themselves—not government or politicians—as the arbiter of family values. From the intrusion of government into private family decisions, the risk created by efforts to privatize Social Security, and the ‘my way or the highway’ foreign policy of the Bush administration -- the Republican’s own agenda has worked to turn women away from that party.”

So now a major piece of the Democratic party's power base is coming back. But it'll be up to the Democrats to hang on to them. The party learned the hard way they can't take women's votes for granted any more. They have to EARN their support by listening and responding, with real solutions for family and country.

I have to tell you, with bully boy Howard Dean in charge, that doesn't seem very likely.



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