If you think marriage between a Democrat and a Republican is bad…

NPR reports that mixed marriages don’t work.  It’s not talking about mixed race or mixed religion, it’s about mixed politics.  Democrats and Republicans make for bad bedfellows.  What NPR doesn’t discuss is marriages in which one partner has a mid-marriage political conversion.  Believe me when I saw that doing so is as bad, if not worse than, having an affair.

To convince voters, conservatives need to learn that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it

I spend ridiculous amounts of my time trying to convince my children that, while “Give me that!” and “May I have that, please”, mean the same thing, their chances of success are much greater with the second phrase.  I repeat ad nauseum that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.  People respond not only to a statement’s core message, but to the packaging around that message.

Advertisers have always understand that packaging is as important as, if not more important than, the underlying message.  Will a specific car, beer, or aftershave really turn an insecure, badly dressed young man into a sex God?  Of course not.  But if you’re a car manufacturer, and you have the choice of buying advertising hours that say to the young man “This car drives well” or spending those same dollars to say “You will be a suave chick magnet if you drive this car,” which ad would you choose?  Advertisers know that sex sells.  Or if sex is usable, “sell the sizzle, not the steak.”

1956 Monarch car advertisement

Politics is also a two-tiered structure.  There’s the product, or ideology, and there’s the sales pitch to sell that ideology to the greatest number of people in hopes of garnering their votes.  Democrats have fully mastered the sales pitch.  Republicans haven’t.  Democrats say “Look at this picture of dead children or pathetic (and perhaps dead too) minorities.”  Republicans say “Look!  We have a chart.”  Honestly! The last time charts made a difference was in the 1992 election, when Ross Perot whipped out his little pieces of cardboard — and back then, all those charts did was to tip the election in a Democrat’s favor.

There’s certainly a lot of data to drive Republican charts.  Indeed, back in 2011, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), put together a clever little video comparing Perot’s federal debt and spending charts to the numbers Perot would use if he were making the same pitch today:

I liked the video. You probably did too. The problem, though, is that you and I are high information voters who respond to facts and analysis. Though it pains me to say this, we are not the norm. The vast majority of people are probably never going to be high information voters in any society, but there’s also no doubt that a Leftist-controlled education system has rendered Americans almost incapable of either appreciating or understanding hard data.

As the 2012 election proved, facts on the ground (joblessness, flabby economy, disastrous foreign policies) are just too deep for most voters. Properly manipulated, they find it more emotionally satisfying to stick it to a mean rich man who puts dogs on car roofs and wants all women to carry their rapist’s fetus.

In this non-intellectual universe, it’s almost irrelevant what a political party’s message is. What matters is whether the party can position itself as the good guy party, regardless of its ideology, while simultaneously positioning the opposing party as the bad guy party. The Democrats do this masterfully.

As an example, think about the administration’s recent decision to put women on the front lines: Conservatives responded to this announcement with talk of military missions, battle readiness, logistical problems, changing standards, etc. — all of which are sensible and appropriate responses to an administrative fiat that will, more probably than not, have a negative effect upon military missions, battle readiness, logistics, and standards.

Women in combat

Democrats bypassed all that “tech talk” and, instead, went in for the kill: Republicans hate women. Never mind the unspoken part of that sentence, which is that “Republicans hate women, because they won’t allow women to go into situations where they are extremely likely to be killed and raped.” If you speak the unspoken, you get a very clear idea of Cloud Cuckoo Land that Leftist’s inhabit. But never mind about the reality behind the ideology — the Left sells sex and sizzle.

No doubt because I am the quintessential word person (although I have no knack for clever quips and pitches), I’ve been harping on this issue for years. When it comes to the Democrats and Progressives, there’s a message to their madness: We, the Democrats/Progressives are good; they, the Republicans/conservatives, are bad. Everything flows from that.

Fortunately, given that my voice has no resonance in world outside of my blog, better thinkers than I am are making the same point. David Horowitz, who understands Leftist thinking from the inside out, urges Republicans to stop the anguished, self-involved, navel gazing and to begin the hard work of communicating to voters in language they understand. He argues, correctly, that the Left is fighting an epic battle, complete with villains and heroes, and we’re still whipping out our gosh-darned charts.

Horowitz’s article, though long, is worth reading in its entirety. I’ll just leave you with a few of his conclusions:

A Winning Strategy for Republicans

1. Put the aggressors on the defensive.

2. Put their victims — women, minorities, the poor and working Americans -­-­ in front of every argument and every policy in the same way they do.

3. Start the campaign now (because the Democrats already have).

The Weapons of Politics Are Hope and Fear

The weapons of political campaigns are images and sound bites designed to inspire the emotions of fear and hope. Obama won the presidency in 2008 on a campaign of hope; he won re-election in 2012 on a campaign of fear.

Hope works, but fear is a much stronger and more compelling emotion. In a political campaign, it is directed at one’s political opponent. Democrats exploit this emotion to the hilt; Republicans often seem too polite to even use it.

Please read the rest here.

Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven are also engaged in the work of using a prominent forum (National Review Online) to publish a series of articles aimed at shaping a coherent, and salable, political narrative for conservatives.  This week’s installment is “The Moral Case for Conservativism.”

As with Horowitz, Habeeb and Leven urge a level of public discourse that avoids charts and data, and that frames an epic battle in the same way that Progressives claim politics as an epic battle — except that, in this version, we’re the good guys:

If there is a single reason why conservatives continue to lose the battle of ideas, it’s because we don’t make the moral case for freedom and free markets. Our political class instead makes the economic case for our philosophy. Our smart guys are so impressed with their own intelligence, they think we can win the debate using numbers and data, charts and graphs, and political tactics and strategy.

It’s the Left’s secret advantage. They create the feeling that they care more about the average American because they make the moral case for their philosophy.

One of the advantages this confers on the Left is this: They get to play large ball, while we play a dour brand of small ball.

As with Horowitz’s article, I urge you to read the whole thing.

Those of us who spend our time following politics understand that we are engaged in a battle for America’s heart and soul.  On one side is an ideology that dreams of subordinating the individual to an all-powerful state.  History proves that this has never turned out well.  On the other side is an ideology that dreams of allowing each individual maximum freedom in a state that exerts minimum coercion but that, instead, provides a stable infrastructure and a level playing field.  Our own history demonstrates how successful this approach is.

Put another way, life is imitating Star Wars, with an epic battle taking place over America’s future.  We’d better call our agents and make sure that they let the audience know that we’re the rebels, not the Empire.  Once we’ve established that we’re the good guys, we — the ordinary people who aren’t paid political operatives — need to put on our thinking caps and figure out how we can contribute to winning this battle.

Pain, parenting and politics

Last night, one of the neighborhood kids fell and broke his wrist during a vigorous after dark game, played without adult supervision.  That kind of injury would never have happened to me when I was a kid, because I wasn’t allowed to play rough or vigorous.  My parents, who had experienced the 1930s and 1940s with excessive force, were bound and determined to protect my sister and me from pain.

The only problem is that it doesn’t work.  I’m not advocating torturing kids or anything to get them to face life’s realities, but you can’t hide them from it either.  Yesterday, this youngster learned about pain, but he also learned about bravery.  He cried — but then he sucked it up.  Today, he’s basking in sympathy and interest.  His wrist will heal, and life will go on.

Swathed in cotton wool as I was, when I ran into pain in my 20s, I had absolutely no idea how to respond.  An ordinary lesson when one is 10 or 12 or 14, became a very difficult lesson for me.  I’m still embarrassed when I look back and see how badly I behaved.

One of life’s realities is that pain, both physical and emotional, is out there.  Short of living locked in a room, which itself is a measure of psychic pain I can’t even imagine, one cannot hide from the physical and mental hits life has in store for us.

Interestingly, my parenting and political philosophies mesh well, just as my (liberal) husband’s parenting and political philosophies do.  Both politically and as a parent, I believe in maximum individual freedom within a small, but stable and reliable, framework of rules.  Kids and citizens should have the opportunity to soar, even if there is a risk of falling.  My husband is a micro manager, who is so certain that he knows what is right for all people, and that he can control all known risks, that he is loath to allow anyone, whether citizen or child, off the leash.

Leftist tactics to scare the uninformed about America’s religious freedoms *UPDATED*

I got a very hysterical form letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  What’s impressive about it is that Barry Lynn, the Executive Director who purportedly authored this fevered screed, is totally uninformed about the nature of America’s Constitutional mandates regarding religion.  Here’s what the First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Boiled down to its essence, the First Amendment says that government in American may not control people’s religious worship.

By stating this principle, the Founding Fathers sought to distinguish themselves from the European tradition that saw government actively interfering in people’s religious practices.  On the one hand, European governments dictated which religion citizens should worship and often controlled the doctrinal substance of that state approved religion.  On the other hand, these same governments brought harsh civil penalties to bear on those who refused to comply with state religious mandates.  The easiest example to point to, of course, is England, which was the situation against which the Founders were reacting.  Not only were the State and the Church of England inextricably intertwined (with the monarch as head of the church), but England in the late 18th Century still had multiple laws on its books barring people who were not C of E from serving in the government or even obtaining a higher education.

Although Leftists deny it, Thomas Jefferson was imply reiterating the principles in the First Amendment when he coined the phrase “separation of church and state” (a phrase found nowhere in the Constitution itself).  Although Progressives like to forget this fact, Jefferson was a very religious man, although he was sufficiently private in his worship that he avoided incorporating it into public ceremony, as Washington and Adams had done.

In late 1801, while still President, Jefferson received a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association complaining that, as a religious minority in Connecticut, the state was treating their religious rights as privileges from the legislature, rather than immutable rights inherent in all citizens.  Jefferson’s reply makes it plain that the Legislature can neither grant nor deny religious rights, since it is not the responsibility of the American government to interfere in church function and doctrine (emphasis mine):

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.

It is manifestly clear from perusing both the Bill of Rights and Jefferson’s own letter that none of the Founders intended that religious people must be barred from civil participation.  They can bring their values to bear in the civic arena, even if those values are religiously inspired.  What they cannot do is hijack the government so that the government uses its coercive powers to force people to worship a specific faith, to interfere with a religion’s doctrine, or to punish or ostracize people for practicing a faith that the government does not sanction.

These subtleties — the difference between government controlled religion, which is bad, and a religious people whose religion informs their conduct, which is constitutionally neutral — completely eludes the anti-religious Left.  They want people who enter government to check their religion at the door.  They are incapable of understanding that the complete absence of religion is a religion in and of itself, with faith in government and its bureaucracy being substituted in place of faith in God and his morality.

During the 1980s, religious people called this Leftist faith “Secular Humanism.”  As a thoughtless, knee-jerk Leftist myself during those years, I actually appreciated the label (“Hah!  I’m a Humanist”), but rejected the Religious Right’s contention that Secular Humanism is itself a religion.  To the Left, something can be a religion if the word “God” (or, if you’re polytheistic, “Gods”) is involved.  None of us on the Left understood (or, at least, the thoughtless amongst us refused to understand) that Secular Humanism is a religion because it is a comprehensive belief system.  The only difference between Secular Humanism and traditional “religion” is that, in place of an omnipotent deity, secular humanists worship an omnipotent government that rejects traditional Judeo-Christian moral and social values.

It is this Secular Humanist faith that explains the letter I received today, parts of which I reproduce below, along with my interlineations in red:

Do you know how the Religious Right is now targeting your neighborhood, and every town and city in America?

By joining local school boards and local communities . . . winning local elections . . . and creating local precedents with NATIONWIDE consequences . . .

Dear Friend,

They want to hit you right where you live.

The Religious Right has hijacked Christianity and claims to speak for all people of faith . . . and its leaders and activists want to force their ultraconservative agenda on you and your community[You'll notice that Americans United does not argue, because it can't, that religious Christians are trying to enforce their faith on Americans, which would be unconstitutional.  Instead, it just makes it sound utterly evil that religious people want to get involved in local politics to advance their values, something that the Founders generally and Jefferson specifically would appreciate.]

The goal of the movement’s members is nothing less than to shatter the wall of separation between church and state . . . and force you to live a “moral” life.

Their morals!  [Again, this statement ignores the fact that our government is set up so that all citizens, including religious citizens, are welcome to get into politics to advance their values, including their "moral" values.  They just can't use politics as a means of forcing you into their church, something even the hysterics at Americans United cannot say is the case.]

And if they can’t get into your public schools with creationism . . . if they can’t get into your pharmacy to deny patients and their doctors the right to make medical decisions . . . if they can’t use the power of their pulpits to choose your political representatives . . .  [If they can't do all that, then they'll leave more room for the Leftists to get into your public schools with endless scare tactics and indoctrination regarding anthropogenic climate change, pro-illegal alien propaganda, pornographic sex education, and identity politics and anti-marriage activism.]  UPDATEPer Atlas Shrugged, we now know that Lynn’s particular brand of non-deity center religion is being actively foisted onto American students.

. . . Then they’ll zero in on friendlier, more willing targets to get the political clout and legal precedents they need . . . which then may have nationwide ramifications.

FROM THE BOTTOM UP, THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IS WORKING TO CHANGE NATIONAL AND LOCAL POLICIES

[I've deleted the bit in Barry Lynn identifies himself, his career and his organization.]

Throughout those years, we’ve seen what happens when religious extremists like Pat Robertson and James Dobson get their way:

* A tax-funded “faith-based” initiative that forces citizens like you and me to pick up the tab for the Religious Right’s ideology-based social agenda.  [I have no idea what Lynn is talking about here.  As I detailed above, as a tax payer and a parent, I'm currently paying for my children to learn about increasing discredited AGW, the virtues of illegal immigration, radical sex education, anti-marriage values, victim-based identity politics, etc., all of which are part of the Leftist religious canon.  After all that kind of intellectual garbage, just how bad can the Religious Right's "ideology-based social agenda be?]

* “Marriage amendments” that turn out anti-gay voters and swing elections.  [This is a perfect example of Lynn's confusion about the different between a state religion, and religious people speaking up within a state.  The religious right did not seek to force people into a religious viewpoint about marriage in California.  That is, no one said, when we pass this law, you'll all have to become Mormons.  But people who are religious and take seriously the fact that Western religions limit marriage to a man and a woman certainly did get out and vote.  What's really ironic about Lynn's sentence here is that it was Obama's presence in the election that was the "swing" factor, since the same blacks who made their way to the polls so they could vote for him, also happen to come from religious backgrounds that created in them values antithetical to gay marriage.]

* Houses of worship endorsing political candidates, violating their tax-exempt status.  [If I remember my election history correctly, the Democratic candidates were barely able to peel themselves out of Leftist houses of worship, and had Leftist religious people crawling all over them.  I'm unaware of any celebrated case in which the IRS went after any church, Left or Right, for encouraging its voters values in such a way that the voters learned towards one candidate or another.  Churches are allowed to teach values -- and in heated elections, those values may steer voters in one direction or another.  This is not the same as endorsing a candidate.]

* More restrictions on reproductive choices chipping away at the right of access to contraceptives and services that citizens have worked so hard to win since the 1960s.  [I don't need to make my argument here again about the difference between religious people using the government to force all people to Catholicism or Baptism, so that they forswear abortion, something that hasn't happened and won't happen, and the fact that people of faith are disturbed by the number of abortions performed annually, and who seek to change the laws to change that situation.  What I do find interesting, however, is the way in which Lynn's sentence makes it sound as if religious people aren't "citizens."  "Citizens" work for abortion; religious people are scary zombies who block citizens from their Progressive-guaranteed rights.  That kind of phrasing highlights the way in which the Left is incapable of acknowledging that religious people are citizens and that the Constitution clearly allows them to use government to advance their values, although not to advance their specific faith.]

I’ll stop here.  Believe it or not, there are three more single-spaced hysterical pages with this types of ignorant, mean-spirited demagoguery.

Long-time readers know that I don’t even really have a dog in this fight, as I am a non-religious Jew.  I am, however, intellectually honest, and it disgusts me to see the Left try to use our Constitution and the deeply religious Thomas Jefferson as vehicles by which they shut religious people out of politics and civic discourse.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Why Scott Brown’s election is so inordinately important *UPDATED*

Thinking about it, Scott Brown’s election as the Senator for Massachusetts may be more significant than any election in my lifetime, including the Reagan Revolution and the 1994 Congressional takeover.  I know this sounds silly.  In 1980, the political shift involved a President, not a mere Senator; in 1994, it was an entire Congress, not just a single Senator.  The thing with the previous elections, though, was that they represented the usual pendulum of politics.  Of course, that pendulum shift is going on here too, although it’s significant how quickly the pendulum swung.  This unusually swift voter backlash — in Massachusetts yet! — has to do with the fact that (a) voters have come to realize that Obama lied to them consistently about his political beliefs, going far beyond the puffery that is normative for political campaigns and (b) voters are seeing that unlimited one party rule is precisely as dangerous as the Founders feared it would be.  Still, the back and forth of political winds is nothing new.

What is new is that Scott Brown represents the first populist candidate in my lifetime.  As you recall, the Republican machine tried to ignore him.  It was the people, galvanized by the internet, who elevated this campaign from a simple regional special election to a national referendum on the White House and Congress.

Nor can the power of people on the internet be discounted by saying “Well, it was Obama who first ran the perfect internet campaign.”  While it’s true that he used the internet as a good fundraiser (although I believe I read that most of his money ultimately came from big bundlers), the campaign simply used the internet as another means of disseminating information from the top down and raising money from the bottom up.  It was all very centralized.

The difference with Scott Brown’s campaign is that the internet did not function from the top down.  Instead — and here’s the staggering thing — it functioned from the bottom up.  This was the first big win of the Army of Pajama-clad Davids. The internet finally fulfilled the grassroots political promise all of us were expecting to see.

Think about it:  Brown leaped to national prominence because his “It’s the people’s seat” went viral on the internet.  He stayed in the public eye because bloggers and emailers everywhere spread the news.  It was the internet functioning from the bottom up that enabled him to raise more than $1,000,000 in a single day, in donations averaging $77 each.  In other words, not only did Scott Brown win “the people’s seat,” as opposed to the Kennedy Seat, for the first time in my lifetime, we also had the people’s candidate.  This should shake them up, not only at the DNC, but at the RNC too.

All of this, of course, was helped by Scott Brown himself.  The increasing unpopularity of health care and the Democrats’ other big-government initiatives, combined with an appallingly bad candidate, might have been enough for a squeaker, with Brown sneaking into the Senate seat under a cloud of recounts and recriminations.  Brown, however, put the thing over the top.  He proved to be an unusually deft and sophisticated candidate, who handled his sudden appearance on the national scene with great aplomb.  He managed to maintain an intelligent focus on the issues, all the while projecting a warm, folksy populism.  It didn’t hurt that he’s physically attractive.  In a media age, people would rather look at Brown than at Reid.  The question now, of course, is whether he’s a perpetual candidate, a la the increasingly weary and wearisome Obama, or if there’s substance behind the image.  I would like to think we’re seeing a new Republican star being born here.

I also hope that Brown manages to remain grounded.  The sudden wave of adulation can be very heady stuff.  Someone who is weak could easily start discounting both the public mood and the horrible Coakley as factors in the election, and begin to think “it’s all about me.”  My friends and I don’t think Brown shows any signs of narcissism, but I’m still nervous.  Fame is dangerous.

UPDATEMore details about the true grassroots nature of Brown’s victory.

UPDATE IIMore evidence (do we still need it?) that Brown’s victory came from below, not above.  Wheeee!!!  The people!

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/social-networking-key-to-browns-success/

Maybe the health care vote was the cataclysm America needed

Yesterday, I took to heart Mark Steyn’s warning that this is the beginning of the end.  Health care is the wedge, and Democrats were willing to engage in long-term strategies — including the sacrifice of a few Democratic political careers — to make it happen.  Bruce Kesler, however, actually sees cause for hope in the recent Democratic alignment around health care:

For the past three and a half decades, the clearest dividing line and predictor of how we and our leaders would approach issues, ranging from the social to the geopolitical, is the position – contemporaneous or in retrospect — held about the US Congress’ votes to not meet US pledges to supply and aid South Vietnam in the face of North Vietnam’s heavily Soviet and Chinese supplied continued armed and logistical build-up and massive invasion.

In the reaction to President Nixon’s deserved fall, an overwhelmingly Democrat and anti-Vietnam war Congress was elected in 1974, determined to overturn US foreign policy. Polls were equivocal, at least providing some cover or excuse. In the wake of President Obama’s undeserved credence to govern from the center, an overwhelmingly Democrat and liberal Congress was elected in 2008, determined to instead legislate from the left and overturn US domestic policy. This time, polls are decisively opposed, but ignored, and there’s no cover or excuse.

Basically, in both cases, we went from a nation following a course – as befuddled as it may be – of determination to pursue freedoms to a nation that waffles freedoms away. Basically, our “conservative”, “liberal” and “moderate” postures toward most issues over the past decades have been in line with how we view the causes and outcomes of our Vietnam involvement. So, too, will our future divides and postures be determined by how we now or come to view the causes and outcomes of reshaping almost a fifth of the US economy and almost 100% of our personal and fiscal health.

Read the rest here.  I hope he’s right, although the insidiousness of Leftism, it’s refusal to die (kind of like fungus or cockroaches), has me down.

Did the White House bribe ScuzzyFuzzy to support a Democrat?

Old joke:

At a very fancy ball, a man has been talking to a woman for a while, and they’re getting along well.  Eventually he asks her, “Would you sleep with me for $1 million?”

She bats her eyes at him:  “Oh, you romantic man!”  She then suggests that they rendezvous in a quiet hotel near the ballroom.

Rather than agreeing, he pulls her up short with another question:  “Would you sleep with me for $100?”

She draws herself up, completely affronted.  “What do you take me for?!  A whore?!”

His response:  “We’ve already established what you are.  Now we’re just negotiating your price.”

As is often the case, my bad old jokes have a point.  We all know ScuzzyFuzzy was a RINO.  We all know she’s a vengeful bee-ach.  But now Bruce Keslar raises the interesting possibility that she’s also something more:  a woman who will sell herself to the highest bidder.

(And a hat tip to Rob Miller, who blogs at JoshuaPundit, for introducing the nickname ScuzzyFuzzy to my vocabulary.)

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Women and politics

I found fascinating the fact that, even in San Francisco, the most liberal, diverse, open to everything (except conservatism and religion) city in the whole US (except for Berkeley), women are not making headway in politics:

In a year when gender has played a significant role in the presidential campaign – 18 million people voted for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the Republican base is enthused by Gov. Sarah Palin – women in San Francisco politics aren’t gaining nearly as much traction.

In fact, they have been losing ground for decades in this famously open-minded, diverse city. In the 1980s and 1990s, several configurations of the 11-member Board of Supervisors had female majorities of six or seven members. Now, the board has three.

It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that the fault, Dear Brutus, might not lie with the voters, but may lie with the women — or, to be more accurate, with the children.  In my neighborhood, all of the women started out in their 20s as high achieving professionals.  With children, all of those who don’t have to work have stopped.  And all of those who do have to work try to keep it part-time.

I believe all opportunities should be available to woman.  (That would be the famous equality of opportunity that true feminists desire.)  However, it’s worth noting that all women may not wish to take advantage of those opportunities.  (Putting the lie to the Leftist belief that government can force equality of outcome, that which NOW feminists desire.)

That New Yorker cover

I know that you’ve already read about, and probably seen, the New Yorker’s latest cover, the “parody” of “right wing” views about Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama.  I think Charles Johnson has the best summation of the New Yorker‘s thinking (along with a reproduction of the cover):

The cover is obviously a moonbat parody of what they think are right-wing ideas about their messiah. But they got so meta with it, they ended up wrapping around and making themselves look stupid.

I’m going to go a little bit Freudian here and wonder whether, even if that was the editors’ intention, if there wasn’t some subliminal desire to harm a man who seems so quickly to be betraying the “Progressive” promise he offered them during the primaries.  I say this because this week’s New Yorker also runs a Ryan Lizza article that tackles Obama’s Chicago political background — and no matter how you try to dress that one up, short of actually lying, it’s not pretty.

Lastly, with regard to the cover, I think it’s worth visiting Michelle Malkin’s post on the subject, because she makes the ultimate correct point:  if you’re going to be in American politics, you’d better toughen up, Mr. Obama, a point she illustrates with the truly vile attacks against Condi (racist in the extreme) and the President (murderous to the point of treason).

As it is, Obama has distinguished himself by whining about every single attack leveled against him.  If this frail little flower can’t handle the rough and tumble world of an American election, how is he going to handle the burdens of office?  Sure, you can get the media to back off when you cry “racism!” (at least, in the beginning you can), but I can guarantee you that Kim Jong-Il or Ahamadinejad or Chavez or Putin, or any other tin pot tyrant who takes the world stage, is not going to back off.  Instead, these bullies will be delighted to have someone so easily cowed by a discouraging word.

On this point, you’ll also want to read Rick Moran.