The Year of the Conservative Woman

Pundits have already picked up on the theme of the June 8 primary: Female candidates made some remarkable gains. The next senator elected in California, for example, will be a woman. The talk sounds like November 1992, when political articles touted five victories of female candidates in Senate races in California (two races), Illinois, Washington, and Maryland. This was proclaimed the "Year of the Woman." 

But 1992 was actually just the "Year of the Democrat Woman." All five women who won were leftist Democrats. Democrat women have not doing so well at all eighteen years later. Senator Blanche Lincoln celebrated squeaking by a leftist Halter in very conservative Arkansas, with nearly everyone predicting she will lose her seat in November. Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer, three-term incumbents from very blue states, both face very tough races against Republican candidates in five months. Or consider the biggest electoral story so far in 2010: the astonishing victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, in which he defeated her, Ms. Marcia Coakley, the sitting Attorney General of this bluest of all states. 

This would seem to be more the Year of the Republican Woman. Nikki Haley has an excellent chance of becoming the first female governor of South Carolina with her thumping victory in the primary. Sharron Angle also has an excellent chance of knocking off Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In California, two successful women, Whitman and Fiorina, will carry the Republican banner for governor and senator. Susana Martinez is the Republican gubernatorial nominee in New Mexico, and if she wins, which polls show as likely, she will be the first female Latino governor in American history. In neighboring Arizona, Jan Brewer has become a hero to Republicans for standing up with grace, wit, and courage to the leftist establishment media and to President Obama. In nearby Oklahoma, polls show Congresswoman Mary Fallin as likely to be the next governor. If Senator Hutchison had won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Texas, then voters in November across the entire tier of states bordering Mexico (and also Oklahoma) could have elected Republican women as their governors.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, however, did not win, and that is the essence of the political story. It is really the year of the conservative, not the Republican woman. Governor Perry, the man who defeated her, was considered by voters to be a genuine conservative, while Hutchison was considered more of a RINO. The same sort of distinction occurred in upstate New York last November, when Doug Hoffman ran far ahead of Dede Scozzafava in a House special election -- he was not the official Republican candidate, but he was the real conservative candidate, and in a Republican district.

Ideology, not political party, and much less gender, guides voters today. Feminists do not lift a finger to help Sarah Palin when she is pilloried with the vilest sort of harassment. Michele Bachmann, another rising star in the Republican Party, is getting noticed precisely because she is an articulate, brave, and joyful conservative -- but none of the dreary groups pretending to champion women is touting her for higher office, or even reelection. 

The salient fact about nearly all the rising starlets in the Republican Party -- Palin, Bachman, Angle, Haley, Brewer, Fallin, and Martinez -- is that each is conservative. (Whitman and Fiorina, the two California Republicans, are not conservative, but both of these Republicans, like Scott Brown, are conservative for their state.) Susana Martinez proudly proclaims herself pro-life, a supporter of the Second Amendment, and a conservative. Sharron Angle was supported by the Tea Party and probably won because she was so conservative. Jan Brewer, like Nikki Haley, has a very clear conservative position on every important issue. Mary Fallin has voted for the conservative position 96% of the time, according to the American Conservative Union's congressional voting scorecard.  

Conservatives obviously have no problems with women. Indeed, an increasingly large number of conservative leaders are women. Instead, conservatives have problems with leftists and their policies. The snow job of the left, the myth that somehow conservatives and Republicans are against women, is falling apart at the seams. The use of identity politics or special interest politics, the perversion of representative limited government proposed by the left, may soon run into some stormy seas. 

Women are, in many ways, more naturally conservative than men. Bad and dangerous schools, for example, are more likely to arouse direct action by mothers than by fathers. Pornography, juvenile promiscuity, and related social issues are at least as troubling to women as to men. The avalanche of abuse thrown at Sarah Palin shows how much leftists fear strong conservative women. But Palin, like Bachmann and Brewer, are unperturbed. These women, along with others who will win office in November, are changing the face of American politics.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and  The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
Pundits have already picked up on the theme of the June 8 primary: Female candidates made some remarkable gains. The next senator elected in California, for example, will be a woman. The talk sounds like November 1992, when political articles touted five victories of female candidates in Senate races in California (two races), Illinois, Washington, and Maryland. This was proclaimed the "Year of the Woman." 

But 1992 was actually just the "Year of the Democrat Woman." All five women who won were leftist Democrats. Democrat women have not doing so well at all eighteen years later. Senator Blanche Lincoln celebrated squeaking by a leftist Halter in very conservative Arkansas, with nearly everyone predicting she will lose her seat in November. Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer, three-term incumbents from very blue states, both face very tough races against Republican candidates in five months. Or consider the biggest electoral story so far in 2010: the astonishing victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, in which he defeated her, Ms. Marcia Coakley, the sitting Attorney General of this bluest of all states. 

This would seem to be more the Year of the Republican Woman. Nikki Haley has an excellent chance of becoming the first female governor of South Carolina with her thumping victory in the primary. Sharron Angle also has an excellent chance of knocking off Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In California, two successful women, Whitman and Fiorina, will carry the Republican banner for governor and senator. Susana Martinez is the Republican gubernatorial nominee in New Mexico, and if she wins, which polls show as likely, she will be the first female Latino governor in American history. In neighboring Arizona, Jan Brewer has become a hero to Republicans for standing up with grace, wit, and courage to the leftist establishment media and to President Obama. In nearby Oklahoma, polls show Congresswoman Mary Fallin as likely to be the next governor. If Senator Hutchison had won the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Texas, then voters in November across the entire tier of states bordering Mexico (and also Oklahoma) could have elected Republican women as their governors.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, however, did not win, and that is the essence of the political story. It is really the year of the conservative, not the Republican woman. Governor Perry, the man who defeated her, was considered by voters to be a genuine conservative, while Hutchison was considered more of a RINO. The same sort of distinction occurred in upstate New York last November, when Doug Hoffman ran far ahead of Dede Scozzafava in a House special election -- he was not the official Republican candidate, but he was the real conservative candidate, and in a Republican district.

Ideology, not political party, and much less gender, guides voters today. Feminists do not lift a finger to help Sarah Palin when she is pilloried with the vilest sort of harassment. Michele Bachmann, another rising star in the Republican Party, is getting noticed precisely because she is an articulate, brave, and joyful conservative -- but none of the dreary groups pretending to champion women is touting her for higher office, or even reelection. 

The salient fact about nearly all the rising starlets in the Republican Party -- Palin, Bachman, Angle, Haley, Brewer, Fallin, and Martinez -- is that each is conservative. (Whitman and Fiorina, the two California Republicans, are not conservative, but both of these Republicans, like Scott Brown, are conservative for their state.) Susana Martinez proudly proclaims herself pro-life, a supporter of the Second Amendment, and a conservative. Sharron Angle was supported by the Tea Party and probably won because she was so conservative. Jan Brewer, like Nikki Haley, has a very clear conservative position on every important issue. Mary Fallin has voted for the conservative position 96% of the time, according to the American Conservative Union's congressional voting scorecard.  

Conservatives obviously have no problems with women. Indeed, an increasingly large number of conservative leaders are women. Instead, conservatives have problems with leftists and their policies. The snow job of the left, the myth that somehow conservatives and Republicans are against women, is falling apart at the seams. The use of identity politics or special interest politics, the perversion of representative limited government proposed by the left, may soon run into some stormy seas. 

Women are, in many ways, more naturally conservative than men. Bad and dangerous schools, for example, are more likely to arouse direct action by mothers than by fathers. Pornography, juvenile promiscuity, and related social issues are at least as troubling to women as to men. The avalanche of abuse thrown at Sarah Palin shows how much leftists fear strong conservative women. But Palin, like Bachmann and Brewer, are unperturbed. These women, along with others who will win office in November, are changing the face of American politics.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and  The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.