Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Conservative Women Pols: For Real?

Even lefties like A.C. Kleinheider in Nashville are noticing. Conservative women politicians are front and center.

Beyond a steady rightward shift and an increasingly reactionary rhetoric, conservative leadership is taking on another characteristic — it’s becoming more female.

See what I mean? We'll discuss "reactionary rhetoric" another time. But the interesting thing is that Kleinheider cant' help wondering if it is all for real.

But just because there are no strings doesn’t mean they aren’t being used...

[as in] Rep. Marsha Blackburn taking on Al Gore in congressional hearings, the more confrontational political work is increasingly being left to women.

Obviously, Kleinheider suspects that the conservative back-room boys may be shoving the girls out front to do the dirty work.

Well, maybe. But I suspect that the simple assumption is the correct one. Conservative women, i.e., the kind of women that build their lives around love--of God, of family, of children--are waking up to an America that isn't good for them and for the ones they love. So they are becoming active and they are doing something about it. He quotes Rep. Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN):

"The amazing thing to me about the tea parties is, when you look out across the crowd, the crowd is predominantly female. ... It’s amazing, the number of women attending these events, and women are speaking out as never before. ... They are looking at what’s happening with the cost of health care, they are truly concerned about the strong arm of government reaching into their lives and into their pocketbooks."

That reads to me like a spontaneous political movement that isn't being stage-managed by anyone.

In fact we know this. The august wing of the Republican Party is afraid of and embarrassed by Sarah Palin. And it was completely blindsided by the Tea Party movement.

It all connects with my notion of a woman-centered, woman-led conservatism. The issues of the future are woman issues. Shall society center around the family and free association? Or shall it center around government and the individual? Shall health care be government-centered and controlled? Shall education be government-centered and controlled? Shall welfare continue to be a government provision of charity, or return to its old ways, inspired and run by women?

It's beginning to look as if American conservative women are taking control and deciding that they must lead the resolution of these great questions.

Frankly, I couldn't be happier. Nearly a century after they got the vote, women--real middle-class women, not rich liberal women--are moving to the center of political power and are eager to work for change, good conservaive change.

Now we'll see something.

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