Friday, July 22, 2005

Action of the Day

Have you written a "concerned" letter yet today? I just sent off about ten, expressing sadness and disappointment on the conservative bias of various programs, providing facts to support my opinion and ending with a velvet-gloved threat to tell all about it to my readers! It makes as much difference as shouting into a barrel but I must do something to release my inner demon.

The problem we progressives and liberals have is that we are like cats, walking alone. It's much more powerful if a tv station, say, suddenly gets a few thousand letters from a bunch of us than if some loony Echidne of the snakes bothers them on a regular but solitary basis. We really need to acquire more group discipline.

It's hard work, of course. And there are days, like today, when I wonder if I belong to the group of liberals and progressives. Some liberals and progressives want to get rid of us pro-choice folk, because they believe that they'd get more votes from the fundies. Even Howard Dean is saying things like this:

Democrats need to reach out to voters who oppose abortion rights and promote candidates who share that view, the head of the party said Friday.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told a group of college Democrats that their party has to change its approach in the debate over abortion.

"I think we need to talk about this issue differently," said Dean. "The Republicans have painted us as a pro-abortion party. I don't know anybody in America who is pro-abortion."

Dean's approach echoed similar arguments advanced in recent months by former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

"We do have to have a big tent. I do think we need to welcome pro-life Democrats into this party," said Dean.

Fair enough. But what if you vote for the Democrats almost solely because their pro-choice platform? How many pro-life Democrats does it take to turn off that whole segment, and I believe that it's quite sizeable. After all, the Democrats have stopped about caring for the poor and appear every bit as eager to fill their pockets with corporate money as the Republicans, so there isn't that much else (other than the environment) where the Democrats make a separate appeal from the wingnuts. Would enough fundies shift over to make the policy change worthwhile in numbers? I very much doubt that.

No, it's just part of the same old same old. Women are sort of invisible and what their concerns might be is also invisible or unimportant. Remember how Bush and Kerry courted women? A couple of slapped-on infantile slogans, especially from Bush ("W" is for Women), but also from Kerry. No long-term attempt to attract female voters.

There are days, and this is one of those, when I think that the Democratic Party doesn't deserve its women voters.