Dowd tells women this election is all about their lady parts

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press

Maureen Dowd’s column Of Mad Men, Mad Women and Meat Loaf echoes President Barack Obama’s campaign message that women should “vote like their lady parts depend on it.”  Dowd quotes Tina Fey: “Republicans want to drag us back to being secretaries in the Mad Men era” to further the essence of the column’s theme that the 2012 presidential election is a zero-sum game for women.  Vote for Romney/Ryan, she basically writes, and men will accrue all of the political advantages currently given to women.  To back this up, Dowd quotes some Republican Congressman and Senators who want to overturn Roe v. Wade.{1}

Dowd writes about her sister being a Romney convert despite Dowd’s attempts to convince her that “Republicans in Congress would force Romney to sign their far-right bills on Medicare and legislation that concerns women’s reproductive rights, and that they (the Republicans in Congress) know Romney is an empty suit who would happily sign their far-right bills as long as he got Air Force One.”

The first question this sister should ask Dowd is if she genuinely believes that Romney’s aspirations are as empty as she states, or if her statements are based on partisan assumptions?  The sister would probably have to qualify this question by saying, “I don’t think Romney’s aspirations are entirely altruistic, but if he were this empty suit lusting for nothing more than power, wouldn’t he have found more satisfaction in the private sector?”  Granted, it’s a lot more difficult to achieve an historic legacy in the private sector, but even the most partisan Democrat would have to admit that it would be a lot easier for the business-minded Romney to achieve economic success, and subsequent power, in the private sector than it would be in the more humbling, and less immediately rewarding, process involved in achieving stature in the public sector.

Another question this sister should ask Maureen is: “is it all about your lady parts for you in this election, and isn’t that a limited concern?  I say this, because I have to tell you that I’m a woman that has concerns that extend beyond sex, sexual relations, and abortion.”  My responses to Maureen, if I were her sister, would all revolve around a “Is that all you got” theme for Maureen’s pitch as to why I should vote Democrat this time around.  “I have a lot more concerns, and they all revolve around economics, and the Obama team has not successfully convinced me that they will pull a 180 degree turn on economics, and I fear the future that lays in wait for my children, and other people’s children, if this fiscally irresponsible president is re-elected.

“And if it’s not all about your lady parts,” this sister should ask, “Then how are Romney/Ryan going to develop gender specific, economic legislation that promotes men and pushes women back to the Mad Men-era?”  Dowd’s response: “(Romney) is baked in the fuddy-duddy dad image from the era when white men ruled and the little women toiled over a hot stove.”  That answer, I would say, relies on superficial imaging, and the female inferiority complex to get women to agree that Democrats are better for women than Republicans are.  Dowd’s other statement on this issue is: “Republicans are geniuses at getting people to vote against their own self-interest.”  The sister’s reply to this could be: “But isn’t the “lady parts” agenda specifically geared towards women’s self-interest with a total disregard for the economic turmoil that this administration has, at least, furthered?”

If the Romney/Ryan ticket promotes legislation that will free up public land for more drilling, how does this benefit men more than women?  If Romney cuts federal income taxes and capital gains taxes, how does this push women back to a previous era?  In what could only be discerned as an answer to this, Dowd writes: “Republicans are geniuses at getting people to vote against their own self-interest.”  As Tip O’Neill once claimed: “All politics is local.” {2}  We all vote with our own self-interest in mind, in other words, and Republicans do feed into this by developing legislation that is better for the individual, but it doesn’t matter to them what group those individuals belong to when they vote “yea” on legislation.

Dowd then furthers her pleas to us, and ostensibly her sister, by writing: “After the draining W. years — when grumpy old men foolishly refought grumpy old wars — Barack Obama was going to sweep us to modernity.”  Republicans would respond that it could be said that W. was forced to clean up the mess created by previous administrations with his “grumpy old wars”.  Were there errors made in this pursuit, yes, but the overall goal was a noble one.  Also, did Obama sweep us to modernity?  The answer any non-partisan individual following the specifics of the Benghazi attack, would have to give is: no.

When she attempts to bolster Obama’s bona fides through the Colin Powell endorsement, she does so by quoting Romney surrogate John Sununu: “The only reason Colin Powell endorsed Obama, is because Obama is black.” In her attempt to discredit Sununu, and subsequently Romney, she fails to mention the fact that Powell did not endorse the previous Democrat candidates Kerry, Gore, or Clinton.  Powell stated that the reason he endorsed Obama was based on the fact that Obama is a moderate Democrat and he (Powell) is a moderate Republican.  Even the most radical, far-left Democrat would find it difficult to call Obama a moderate, or if they did they might say: “Well, he’s more moderate than I am,” or “I wish he wasn’t more moderate than me.”  Those Democrats that continue to cling to the idea that Obama is a moderate, especially in this Powell endorsement context, need to answer the question is Obama more moderate than Kerry, Gore, or Clinton?  If not, and if you don’t believe in a Powell/Obama racial alliance, how would you explain the endorsement?

Dowd concludes the column writing: “Mitt hopes Americans are ready for some rules — and binders.  He is baked in the fuddy-duddy dad image from the era when white men ruled and the little women toiled over a hot stove.”  Romney may look like Ward Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver, and he may espouse some traditional American values, but in this election he and his running mate Paul Ryan are the ones espousing ideals and ideas that they believe will move America forward, and Obama and his running mate are espousing the ideas and ideals that are the current status quo that has us all mired in debts and deficits that extend out as far out as our unborn children are able to see.





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