RUSH: Washington Post from Sunday. It’s a long story. I’m not going to go through the whole thing with you. It’s written by Linda Hirshman and it’s just amazing. Let me give you just a couple of quotes here. ?In every election there’s a chance that women will be the decisive force that will elect someone who embraces their views. Yet they never seem to have done so. My own theory is that women don’t decide elections because they’re not rational political actors. They don’t make firm policy commitments and back the candidates who will move society in the direction they want it to go. Instead, they vote on impulse and on elusive factors such as personality.? Linda Hirshman, the author of this, is a woman, and a feminist. She’s describing all the women in America as little empty headed, pretty little dears pulling the lever for the nicest or the cutest candidate. So you gotta feminist insulting women. Let me just give you some spare quotes here.
?As much as it pains a feminist like me to say it, a lot of Hillary Clinton’s campaign will have to involve putting her on the couch and analyzing her character and motivation. Again, my own theory is that women don’t decide elections because they’re not rational political actors. They don’t make firm policy commitments and back the candidates who will move society in their direction the way they want it to go. Instead, they vote on impulse and on elusive factors such as personality. With Clinton’s candidacy on the horizon, I decided to test my theory by asking a few white married women, a key demographic, what they are up to this time. If any women were going to be politically aware, I figured, it would be those in the Washington area. So I contacted half a dozen members of the Wednesday Morning Group, a DC area organization that provides speakers and programs, mostly for stay-at-home moms.
?A 49-year-old former public relations executive in suburban Maryland told me she votes the political agenda she learned from her lefty father. She reads the Post but there are no books on her bedside table. She counts on her husband to tell her what’s in The Nation magazine and on the Web. Thirty-six-year-old former financial sales executive considers herself an independent, reads only the style and weekend sections of the Post, and the marketplace and personal journal sections of the Wall Street Journal. She counts on her husband, a Republican, to tell her what’s interesting in the rest of the paper. A former human rights activist told me that she still reads the New York Times, skims The Economist, and gathers political information from the Newshour on PBS, a local broadcast from the BBC and her church.? Her church? A liberal getting political information from her church?
?Most of the women read People and Real Simple magazines. They all listen to news on the car radio, mostly NPR, mostly all of their full time working husbands consume immeasurably more political information than they do.? Now hang on. This gets even better. We’ve had these Year of the Woman elections, we’ve had the soccer moms, and we’ve had the Drive-By Media and propagandists telling us every year that the candidate that wins has to get women and every year I break down election results and I find out that whoever got the majority of men is who wins. Presidential races, I’m talking about here. Now, here’s Linda Hirshman in the Washington Post on Sunday. ?Any campaign,? she says, ?that needs women to win would have to break the 88-year record of women failing to produce election results that men oppose.? Can I read that to you again? Because it makes my point.
?Any campaign that needs women to win would have to break the 88-year record of women failing to produce election results that men oppose. To this day, even as my DC correspondents seem to confirm, women just aren’t as concerned in politics as men are. Worse, women consistently score 10 to 20 percentage points lower than men on studies of political knowledge, regardless of their education or their income level. Two million more men than women read either TIME or Newsweek. More men listen to radio news and talk radio, read the paper, and get news online. Only broadcast television news plays to more women than men, and a lot of that is TV news magazines and morning shows. So-called liberal women are the majority of swing voters — those tantalizing independent late deciders — in every election. While men remained committed to Republicans Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush throughout the campaigns, women polled heavily for Democrats Walter F. Mondale, Michael S. Dukakis and John F. Kerry as late as September before settling in to vote Republican or anemically Democratic in November.
?The second lesson is that elections that turn on the female electorate bear an unfortunate resemblance to a popularity contest. The Republicans have succeeded with women at the polls when they’ve made Democrats look not just mistaken, but clownish or geeky. Reagan in blue jeans beat Jimmy Carter in a cardigan. George H.W. Bush looked like John Wayne next to Dukakis peering over the edge of a tank in a helmet. And who knows what would have happened if Kerry hadn’t donned a wetsuit to go wind-surfing?? It wasn’t just that. It was the sperm picture. It was mounting a swift boat and taking Boston harbor again on his way to the convention. He was a clown all the way through.
Now, ?If Clinton is going to stand a chance in 2008, her campaign may have to discredit the Republican nominee. As political scientist Dianne Bystrom has found, it doesn’t hurt female candidates when they go negative, and if women are going to make their political decisions based on impulse, then anyone needing their votes is going to have to make sure no one wants to sit with the other guy in the cafeteria. It was illuminating how often the Wednesday women spoke of Clinton’s toughness.? This sounds like women never got out of high school, and this is a feminist writing this. This is a feminist in the Washington Post. This is almost a case for taking away a women’s right to vote, because they’re irresponsible. It’s a popularity contest, has nothing to do with policy, they depend on their husbands to tell ’em what’s important in a newspaper. You can say that Ms. Hirshman is making the case, partially, that one of the biggest misses in American history was women’s suffrage. Now, you people in Rio Linda, that doesn’t mean suffering and all that, suffrage is vote rights, the right to go vote. Look it up. There’s no E in it.