Year of the Woman proclamations mostly blather
The hype is getting a little overbearing.
Mike Allen, writing in Axios this morning, leads his top-ten news items for the day promoting the forecast that 2018 could be the electoral Year of the Woman. He bases his argument on the Irish abortion vote; the anti-Trump pink pussy hat women's march; the #MeToo post-Harvey Weinstein movement; and more to the point, the number of women running for Congress.
- What's happening: Everywhere you look, women are rising and forcing results.
- Why it matters: It's sparking debate about whether this is a landmark, '60s-style liberation and empowerment – but on a global stage.
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who successfully pushed for legislation mandating sexual harassment training in the Senate, tells me: "[T]here was bound to come a moment when the unfairness of it all bubbled over into electoral success. ... [W]hy does it suddenly feel like a mass movement – a.k.a., a global juggernaut? I would say that a lot of women have been waiting in the wings wondering if they can do it, and suddenly they are."
- Katie Couric, who recently examined gender equality in a National Geographic episode called "The Revolt," adds: "It feels like a historic, watershed moment. ... Think of what we can accomplish when more than half the population has a real seat at the table.”
- It's not just politics. Tech companies are trying to improve their perpetual gender imbalance, the Financial Times reports, by "training staff in unconscious bias, ... insisting that shortlists include women, improving referral incentives, ... enhancing maternity rights and showcasing female role models on social media."
It's not just him. CNN has been touting the same line, claiming that it all goes back to outrage over the election of President Trump.
I call baloney.
Allen and others rightly note that we've seen these claims before – in 1992's Year of the Woman in the wake of the Anita Hill accusations, and something or other in 1996, probably to do with Bubba Clinton around some pre-Lewinsky scandal, yet nothing has changed. Well, yeah, that's exactly the point.
Why is nothing changing? Because all of these women being touted are leftists – garden-variety left-wingers touting the same Obama socialism that got Obama's handpicked woman candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, soundly rejected in 2016.
Playing the women's card means one and only one thing: abortion. As if that's the only thing women really want, and as if abortion has not been perfectly legal for decades. Not exactly a barn-burner.
The matter has even less weight due to the involvement of Planned Parenthood in the congressional candidates' marqueed statements of support. That group has two credibility-killers even among those who are pro-choice: their involvement in the sale of baby parts for profit, as exposed by an anti-abortion group, and their continuous coddling of sex harasser and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein, who was always in tight with this bunch. In a weirdly parallel way, it rather resembles the credibility problems the Vatican has had due to its Church scandals.
That abortion rights should be the end-all and be-all of the appeal to women is absolutely insane. One gets the feeling that Democrats who are running so many women on this platform are instructing these willing pawns ambitious for high office to just slop the female zoo animals with Planned Parenthood chum as their nod to the sex and move on.
Those who are looking closely at this race and year are finding the Year of the Woman about as credible as the Great Blue Wave.
Just yesterday, a Los Angeles Times journalist reported that the large numbers of women in the race aren't likely to yield many victories for Democrats, given that all of these much vaunted women's candidates are running in a crowded field, with many of them challenging red-district incumbents. Her headline: "It could be another 'Year of the Woman' in California, but probably not."
A really good analysis was made on May 9 on CNN of all places, where a former Democratic candidate, Jennifer Lawless, described the unlikelihood of a women wave happening, again, due to female candidates overcrowding the ballots and running in red districts where they are unlikely to win. She also notes that if women are crowding the primaries for the left, so are men, and there is actually no surplus of women running for office.
Women were just as likely as men to win their races. In fact, far more so: 57% of women, compared to 32% of men, declared victory Tuesday. In Indiana, West Virginia, and Ohio, the majority of Democratic candidates on the ballot in November will be women. That's remarkable.
When we take a closer look at the districts where women won, though, it becomes clear that for many of them, general election victories are highly unlikely. Consider Indiana. Democratic women won primaries in five of the state's nine districts. But all five are solid GOP territory. The two Democratic districts reelected their Democratic male incumbents.
It all suggests to me that someone put out a dog whistle to leftist women that this is their year to run, and they all jumped for it, going to the easiest places rather than the places where they were most likely to win.
To underline it, the problem remains that elections are about ideas, left and right. Nobody votes for a female candidate just because she is a woman. They vote on the platform. Whether ideas are translated into votes by a man or woman is irrelevant, because voters have to live with the results. Electing a left-wing woman is the same as electing a left-wing man because they vote the same. The real question is, why elect a leftist? Are red-district voters really going to change their ideas because they want to see a woman (OK'd by the left, since conservative women are not usually considered women) to represent them? Do they really want to endure the high taxes, the social engineering, the illegal immigration, the lard to school bureaucrats producing failing schools, the bloated pensions of civil servants, the lack of jobs, the soaring Obamacare costs, and the high housing costs, all of which is the work of electing leftists? I don't think so.
Even the Nation says the Year of the Woman is hype, arguing that Democrats aren't developing political talent.
To place all of these realities into some magical movement for electing women, for no other reason than that they are women, rings hollow, an old stale left-wing technique for enticing the masses to vote for them because their leftist ideas aren't doing the trick. Ideas are primal in elections, and when you have leftist women running on those left-wing ideas, the result isn't going to be very different from if men run on them. Call that the real progress.