How the Grand Old Party Lost its Mojo
By: Carey Roberts
On November 7 American voters took the GOP to the woodshed and gave them a licking they wonâ€™t forget for a good long time.
Congressman Mike Pence concluded solemnly, â€œI believe we did not just lose our Majority, we lost our way. I believe this happened to us because somewhere along the way we lost our willingness to fight for limited government, fiscal discipline, traditional values and reform.â€
So how did the GOP fall off the wagon?
Six years ago the GOP brain-trust decided to get serious about closing the gender gap. At the 2000 Republican National Convention someone seized on George Bushâ€™s middle initial, and soon everyone was buzzing that â€œW is for Women.â€
After Bushâ€™s photo-finish victory over Al Gore, the GOP pollsters poured over the exit results. True enough, a strong showing from the men had tipped the race in Bushâ€™s favor. But despite his â€œW is for Womenâ€ mantra, Bush had lost the female vote by 11 points.
Clearly a catchy slogan wasnâ€™t going to do the trick. So word was put out to recruit more females to prominent party roles and pay more attention to womenâ€™s issues.
But that turned out to be a Faustian pact. Because when it comes to womenâ€™s issues, itâ€™s the rad-fems who pay the piper and call the tune. Suddenly the Grand Old Party found itself beholden to the dictates and whims of the National Organization for Women.
For starters, the Bush State Department established its Office of International Womenâ€™s Issues. After US troops dethroned Saddam, our negotiators demanded the Iraqi Constitution include a 25% female quota for the National Assembly.
Many would call that rigging the elections. But the State Department claimed it was merely â€œincreasing womenâ€™s political participation.â€
Then the First Lady unveiled her high-fashion womenâ€™s health initiative, ignoring the fact that men lag on every health indicator and die 5 years earlier than women. [source] Donâ€™t worry ladies, there will be a nursing home somewhere to take care of you after heâ€™s gone.
When the 2004 presidential campaign rolled around, the GOP unveiled its new and improved â€œW Stands for Womenâ€ slogan. Soon the GOP-fems were stepping up their demands for female â€œempowermentâ€ and â€œstrong women,â€ whatever that means.
A month after George Bush edged John Kerry, the Washington Times ran a defining editorial on â€œGender Gap Myths and Legends.â€ Revealing that Kerry had lost the election because white women in Ohio had voted 55-45 in favor of Bush, the article concluded the gender gap is a â€œsubterfuge of the radical feminist movement.â€ [source]
But the Republican party apparently went fishing the day the Times ran that editorial. Because from that point on, all the GOP could do was obsess over the question, What do women want?
And things went from the improbable to the bizarre. These are some of the high points:
In late 2004 Bush tapped libber Ann Veneman to head up UNICEF. Veneman later made the claim that men were good-for-nothings who exploit their wives. [source]
At the 2005 White House Correspondentâ€™s Association dinner, Laura Bush ridiculed her husband, the leader of the free world. A few months later she publicly advised him on the preferred gender of his next Supreme Court nominee. And earlier this year Mrs. Bush confirmed in an ABC interview that she considers herself a â€œfeminist.â€
In September 2005 ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey traveled to the conservative Heritage Foundation. There she delivered a rant so filled with half-truths and larded with radical feminist assumptions, jargon, and conclusions that it left many in the room speechless. [source]
Maybe her speech was written by Peggy Kerry, sister of senator John Kerry, who still occupies a high-profile position at the United States mission at the UN.
Then conservative senator Orrin Hatch of Utah became an ardent proponent of the family-destructive Violence Against Women Act. And RNC head Ken Mehlman kept telling everyone how the Bush administration had advanced the rights of Iraqi women, somehow forgetting to mention that the vast majority of persons who had died in Saddamâ€™s torture machines were male.
To top it all off, President Bush began to celebrate International Womenâ€™s Day, an event that had been instituted years before by the Socialist Party of America.
Some called this pandering. Others worried the GOP was sleeping with the devil. But everyone seemed to agree this would help the GOP put a lock on the female vote.
Call it a clichÃ© if you wish, but women still care deeply about their families, husbands, and children. But over the last several years the GOP has had precious little to say about these concerns. And all the Marxist rhetoric about female empowerment and strong women fell flat with middle Americans, male and female alike.
And on Tuesday November 7, the Republican party lost its mojo. Now, how is it going to get it back?
Carey Roberts is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.