Posted on | July 30, 2010 | 166 Comments
Phyllis Schlafly is one of conservatism’s great heroines. Both Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter acknowledge Schlafly’s influence as a role model. Forty-six years after her rallying cry for Goldwater, A Choice Not an Echo, and three decades after she led the crusade to stop ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, she’s still driving liberals nuts:
“One of the things Obama’s been doing is deliberately trying to increase the percentage of our population that is dependent on government for their living. For example, do you know what was the second-biggest demographic group that voted for Obama? . . . Unmarried women. Seventy percent of unmarried women voted for Obama. And this is because, when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have Big Brother government to be your provider. . . .”
This is what we in the journalism business call a “fact”:
Those numbers are from an exit poll conducted by a notorious right-wing extremist group — CNN — and Schlafly’s explanation of why single women vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is neither new nor “extreme” nor uniquely hers. Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum in National Review, April 10:
Take a recent report entitled “Advancing the Economic Security of Unmarried Women” by the Center for American Progress, the “progressive” nonprofit run by Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff John Podesta. The report reviews the problems of a growing segment of our society: unmarried women. They are poorer, more likely than other women to be unemployed, have less access to health care, and often struggle to care for children without support from fathers.
What’s CAP’s solution? More government at every turn. Among the recommended proposals are more generous unemployment benefits, more job-training and job-placement programs, greater subsidies for child care, more generous child-nutrition programs, direct welfare payments for those with children, government intervention to prevent foreclosures, expanded low-income-housing programs, an increased minimum wage, government intervention to increase the pay of occupations dominated by women, mandatory paid family and sick leave, and, of course, government-provided health care. In other words, complete cradle-to-grave, taxpayer-provided government support.
It’s tempting to call this paper sexist: Women — especially unmarried women — are portrayed as barely able to subsist without extra protection. One could also ruminate on CAP’s view of family formation, which seems willing to substitute a dependent relationship on the government for marriage. A woman without a man is encouraged to depend on Uncle Sam.
One might disagree with that analysis, but it is hardly “extreme,” and yet the Schlafly speech making the same basic point is being seized as a campaign issue by Democrats:
Democrats aim to exploit the comments to pressure the more than 60 Republican candidates who have earned Schlafly’s endorsement. . . .
Democrats plan to jump on the 75 Republican candidates for federal office that Schlafly’s Eagle Forum has endorsed and donated to — a list that includes Todd Tiahrt in the Kansas Republican primary for Senate, Ken Buck in the Colorado Republican primary for Senate, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and his Senate Conservatives Fund and Sen. David Vitter. Already, reporters in Vitter’s home state of Louisiana are getting releases from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pressing them to ask Vitter if he agrees with Schlafly. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is doing the same thing to Eagle Forum-endorsed House candidates, painting Republicans on dozens of ballots — including Rep. Michele Bachmann and Scott Rigell in the competitive VA-02 race — as “extreme” and saying the candidate should refuse Schlafly’s endorsement.
I plan to renounce any Republican who renounces Phyllis Schlafly.
UPDATE III: Professor Donald Douglas suggests that Rocky Raczkowski is inviting renunciation. I’m not going to be hasty, like Vilsack throwing Sherrod under the bus.
The Blog Prof offers a primer in the techniques of liberal bias, as demonstrated by the Oakland (Mich.) Press News.
For the benefit of any Republican confused by all this uproar, let me explain the basic problem: The way to tackle feminism is head-on.
Feminism is a left-wing phenomenon. It is a radical egalitarian ideology based upon a fallacy, and should never be endorsed or appeased in the erroneous belief that, by kowtowing to ideologues, Republicans can win “The Women’s Vote” (capital-T, capital-W, capital-V, denoting a dubious category that is reified by feminist ideology). A brief explanation:
Insofar as men and women are different, they are not equal.
Equality implies fungibility — that two things are perfectly interchangeable, so that one thing may be substituted for the other without any difference in value. Only a fool could believe that men and women are equal in that way, and yet this is what feminists would require us to believe. And any man who dares contradict this egalitarian dogma is a sexist, an oppressor, a reactionary representative of the patriarchy.
All the other errors of feminism flow from this one fundamental error, a counterfactual insistence on the equality of the sexes. Men and women are not the same, and therefore are not equal.
Do not think that you, a Republican, can benefit by attempting some sort of “me-too” feminism, nor should you fall into the error of thinking that there is some sort of “conservative feminism” which can be mobilized to elect you. Such foolish behaviors and atttitudes only betray your lack of judgment and courage.
Most of all, do not think that you can benefit by throwing Phyllis Schlafly under the bus. Do you know how Phyllis Schlafly earned her way through college? Working in a munitions plant during World War II, when her job was test-firing .50-caliber machine-gun ammunition.
Think about that, gentlemen.