By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Nov 06, 2012, 11:24 PM EST
It is a mercy that the suffragettes weren't around to see President Barack Obama's campaign for the women's vote. It would have made them weep in dismay.
Almost a hundred years after passage of the 19th Amendment, the president made perhaps the most superficial, misleading, and insulting appeal for the support of women in American presidential politics ever. It's a wonder that his target audience doesn't rise up as one and say, "Please, stop condescending to us."
If David Axelrod is right, what women care about most is making other people, even religious employers, pay for their birth control. They love abortion with a single-minded passion. They are so easily manipulated that they can be motivated to oppose Mitt Romney because he said innocently in a debate that his aides brought him "binders full of women" to consider for his cabinet as Massachusetts governor.
They can be convinced that they are the victims of a "war on women" as long as the slogan is repeated over and over again. They can be made to believe that the Lilly Ledbetter Act is an epochal change in the balance of power between the genders, when pay discrimination has long been illegal and the Lilly Ledbetter Act merely tilts the playing field against employers and toward trial lawyers by allowing lawsuits years after alleged acts of pay discrimination.
The likes of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton argued that women were just as capable of rational deliberation as men. The conceit of the Obama campaign is that, to the contrary, they are quite susceptible to a few powerful dog whistles and unable to see beyond their gender. To paraphrase a notorious post on the Obama campaign's Tumblr page, "ladies vote like their lady parts depend on it."
The 20-something filmmaker and actress Lena Dunham captured the sensibility perfectly in an instantly mocked video likening voting for Obama for the first time to having sex for the first time. "You want to do it with a great guy," Dunham gushes. As the conservative writer John O'Sullivan noted, if Dunham can really compare "the excitement of her first vote to losing her virginity, one can only encourage her to persevere: Sex really will get better."
Dunham's pitch is fashioned, of course, to young, single women in particular. (One hopes that by age 35 or so, older and wiser, she will look back on the spot with embarrassment.) But single women in general are key to Obama's coalition. He wants government to occupy an outsized role in their lives, as captured in the symbolism of his campaign. Obama was implicitly the husband of Julia, the cartoon character created to demonstrate the cradle-to-grave assistance rendered by his programs; Obama is implicitly Lena Dunham's lover.
The tsar in Russia styled himself the Great Father of the serfs. Obama is the Great Provider for the women in his coalition. He gives them material and emotional support. He helps them not have children, protects them from the depredations of their male employers, and scorns any suggestion that anyone ever have to fall back on self-reliance. The implicit picture his campaign painted of women is one of economic powerlessness and extreme political credulity.
Every public-opinion poll that showed Mitt Romney closing the gap among women was a small victory for a less-slighting view of women. Not that the Romney campaign hasn't engaged in its own embarrassingly simple-minded courtship of female voters. Its convention was devoted to it, and - reassuringly enough - got Romney nothing. He made his strides among women with a performance in the first debate that was substantive, future-oriented, and designed to speak to the entire country rather than to narrow slivers of the electorate.
The president is increasingly incapable of the latter. The former uniter is now a divider. Let's be glad that Susan B. Anthony and the gals were spared the spectacle.
(c) 2012 by King Features Syndicate
I hate dog movies. In dog movies, the good, loyal, lovable dog always dies at the end and I end up sitting there in the dark with big tears streaming down my cheeks.
May 21, 2013
Mr. President, the buck stops with you.
President Truman set that standard, with these very words posted on a sign on his Oval Office desk.
But now, with over a thousand days left in this second Obama administration, we find a Nixonian stench emerging from the “W. House.”
Rarely has the White House briefing room so resembled the main ballroom at a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference.
I’ve not kept it a secret that I find people who dress their dogs in clothes to be, to put it nicely, somewhat more than just eccentric. And many friendly, helpful readers out there have not kept it a secret that they really wish I would not express my views about dogs dressed as humans.
May 17, 2013
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
The federal government recently announced new regulations for buying fast food.
It sounds like the plot from a dystopian libertarian novel. The word “patriot” and the phrase “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” triggered heightened scrutiny from the most intrusive agency in the federal government.
The action at the bird feeder has been spectacular lately: Cardinals, finches, songbirds in impressive variety crowding around all day long in search of sustenance. It is truly gratifying …
For my neighbor.
That’s what it’s like at his feeder.
May 14, 2013
On April 27, Dr. Jeff Butts demonstrated a rare form of servant leadership as he participated in the Go Love Indy westside service project.
May 13, 2013
Everyone presumes that Sen. Chuck Schumer, the media-hungry Democrat from New York, wants to be the next Senate majority leader. His performance in the negotiations over the Gang of Eight immigration plan should bolster his case for an eventual promotion.
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
When J.J. Abrams took over the "Star Trek" franchise in 2009, he boldly went where the series hadn't gone before — romantically — pairing Uhura with Spock. Many fans disliked the change. Some loved it. Others didn't care, because they just wanted to see Kirk and Spock make out.
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