“Women are not only the CFO in the household, but they’re the chief purchasing officer.” For the first time that I can remember, it’s Republicans who are taking on this modern reality for women, not Democrats. So, the fundamental reason the answer is Tea Party Republicans is because Democrats simply aren’t addressing the issue.
The quote above is from Lisa Caputo, former Hillary aide and close Clinton confidant, talking to Andrea Mitchell recently. That it comes from a Clintonite won’t surprise anyone, because no politicians have bored down into economic realities of the American people better than Bill, then Hillary. It’s the main reason former Pres. Bill Clinton is the hottest Democratic ticket in the country.
But the political answer is that Democrats aren’t talking to women about these issues, while the Tea Party led by Sarah Palin is. She’s even thrown down the gauntlet to Republicans. Via The Hill:
“If they start straying, then why not a third party?” the former governor added. “That’s what people are going to start asking.”
Meanwhile, Obama and the Democrats are in the weeds over foreign money “stealing” elections, which was quickly taken to rewrite after it was roundly laughed at, then changed to secret donors and transparency issue that was drowned out. The disclosure and transparency issue was always the better argument, but Dems couldn’t even figure that one out, though it still shouldn’t have been their closing argument. That’s a long-term discussion at a moment when Dems need a short-term solution for revving up their base before the midterms.
There was a short and illuminating conversation on “Morning Joe” yesterday, with Leslie Stahl asking why so many women are siding with the Tea Party. Joe wasn’t there, but Mika was the first to chime in: “Sarah Palin?”, which was asked as a question. It fell on dead air, because Patrick J. Buchanan wasn’t there to second it. Joe Scarborough is still not taking Sarah Palin’s 2010 power seriously, even though it isn’t predictive of anything beyond the midterms, except maybe a Republican civil war. For someone so smart, Joe’s missed the Palin story by a mile, with both he and Mika’s distaste for all things Palin hurting their 2010 analysis. You don’t have to like Palin or her politics to see what she’s stirred up, with the help of Democrats who haven’t been able to find a coherent political midterm message, not even with all the wunderkinds in Obamaland.
I got into a brief tweet exchange yesterday with Jonathan Martin of Politico about Palin over this article (here, here, here, here, here, here), because of Martin’s conclusion: “She’s done nothing in the 2010 cycle to demonstrate an ability or desire to appeal to anyone beyond those who are already fervently devoted to her.” Because of the political attention span of news coverage, everyone wants to already skip over midterms, which is why everyone is missing the story. Plus the men just don’t care about it, with most women in media so turned off by Palin there isn’t any objective analysis anywhere on what she’s done.
The impact of Sarah Palin out there talking directly to conservative women, Republicans and Independents, is reaching an emotional chord that has resonated, which can be seen in most people now firmly believing the GOTP will take the House. The news media is blaming the Tea Party for the chance lost by Republicans to take the Senate, but the GOTP still comes out way ahead, because take the Tea Party energy out of the midterms and they wouldn’t have had a chance at Congress at all. With the House subpoena power and investigative thirst on the Right, it’s the chamber that should worry the Dems the most.
The 2010 midterms has taken “ladies day” back in the spring, when Nikki Haley, Carly and Meg won primaries, with people talking about the “year of the women,” to where we’re now looking at Dem femmes being defeated in a potential wave year, which I’ve written about many times before. Democratic women aren’t immune to the same fall-out from an election that is a referendum on Obama and the direction of the country. Dem femmes were acknowledged earlier and more often by getting voted into Congress, with 2008 the first moment when Republicans discovered females and the power they have with the electorate.
Women still vote for Democrats in larger numbers than they vote for Republicans. However, in a year of the unpopular donkey, likely women voters on the Left aren’t seeing any talk about what matters to them, while on the Right all you hear is economics. Being torn, many femme Dems may not vote, because they can’t bear to vote for anti feminist, anti women’s freedom Republicans, even as they remain unsure about what Dems offer the future of their family and their kids. (There is also a small subset of female voters on the Left who have lost all faith in Dems, because of their abandonment of women’s rights issues in the health care bill, led by Speaker Pelosi and Pres. Obama.) Judging that the country is on the wrong track, confusion sets in for women this year, because they’re only hearing conservatives talk about their economic issues.
The voter unrest that is manifesting itself in myriad (and often peculiar) ways reflects a real fear that not just family finances but the country itself is in a state of decline. “I don’t know where we’re headed,” said a businessman named Chuck Carruthers, who chatted with me in a coffee shop in Atlanta last week. “But I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t think it’s anyplace good.” Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have come to grips with this fear, although the Republicans have done yeoman’s work exploiting it. – Bob Herbert (emphasis added)
There is no way centrist women are going to relate to Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle, with Sarah Palin a political sound bite superstar who simply can’t deliver on any serious policy specifics, so taking her seriously enough to follow seems like a dangerous gambit for many. Where would Sarah lead? Modern feminists know she doesn’t stand for women’s freedoms, so wherever it is it’s going backwards on a fundamental equality issue that takes women back to where the only ones who are free are men.
Meanwhile the Democrats aren’t talking to women about economics and how they can save the future of their kids so it looks like that of their parents.
Toss in all the crazy negative ads, which drive down turn out among many women, because they respond best to fair comparison advertising, and what you’ve got is a confused likely femme voter who isn’t impressed with anyone, especially if she is center to center-left in her thinking.
The conservatives and Tea Party candidates have caught the financial discontent of the country, which appeals to women who are not only the CFO in the household, but the chief purchasing officer.
Led by Sarah Palin the argument gains power on the Right with conservative women, including Independents, because it’s a first for them to have any female taking it to the misogynistic GOP who ignored women completely on the issues, but also on the national ticket, that is until Hillary Rodham Clinton lost the nomination in 2008.