Favorite

The year of the man 

Alice Stewart, former press aide to Gov. Mike Huckabee, now handles publicity for the Arkansas Republican Party. Among her duties is passing around notices to media about articles supportive of the party's cause.

Bright and early Monday came a note from Stewart about an article in USA Today. It said Sen. Blanche Lincoln, a Democrat, is fighting for her political life against favored Republican Rep. John Boozman.

It will indeed be a Truman-Dewey moment should Lincoln prevail. What interested me was that Stewart overlooked or found unremarkable the real point of the USA Today report and widely spread it around.

The article said that this could be the "Year of the Setback" for women candidates, who typically have a harder go in difficult economic times. Lincoln made the Senate 12 years ago with significant help from women's groups fighting centuries of legislative paternalism. There are now 56 female Democrats and 17 female Republicans in the House; 13 Democrats and 4 Republicans in the Senate are women. The article said analysts predict that the number of women in Congress will drop this election for the first time in more than three decades. So much for the glass ceiling cracked by Hillary Clinton's candidacy and Sarah Palin's nomination for vice president.

You'd think this would be a negative point to female voters. But there it was: Stewart's preferred political party is about to make gains at the expense of women.

Coincidentally, a Tea Party group held a rally in Mountain Home Sunday. A photograph of the scene was telling — where hair wasn't silvery it was often disappearing and men, middle-aged and up, dominated the modest assembly.

You know the Tea Party. THEY WANT THEIR COUNTRY BACK. It's not just the black president with Islamic relatives and foreign-born ancestors that troubles them. It's the wave of immigrants. It's the growing, if still grudging, acceptance of sexual minorities. And, yes, it's women who don't rely solely on sexual wiles to get ahead; who think independently and don't meekly submit to menfolks' bellicose and sometimes nutty notions. Times were so much better when white men were in charge and women tended the children, the cookstove and man's needs. Weren't they?

Our memories are so short that many voters really do think times were better two years ago and that President Obama's predecessor didn't leave the mess he's trying to clean up. Many voters, too, are hard-wired to believe that tough times — as if the economy was a cage wrestling match — call for men. Sadly, many of these voters will be women.

While swaggering men were lying the U.S. into bad wars, women like Blanche Lincoln were fighting for child nutrition legislation. While paternalistic men like John Boozman reflexively voted to restrict women's autonomy over their bodies, women like Blanche Lincoln were casting votes to preserve family planning programs that could reduce both unwanted pregnancies and abortion.

The list goes on. It is enough to know that the Republican Party opposes the Equal Rights Amendment and its guarantee of equal treatment for all regardless of gender. The GOP says it's no longer necessary. But look around. You don't need a calculator to compute the number of women CEOs in Arkansas or the number of women who serve on corporate boards. If the Republicans are successful, you won't need quite so many fingers and toes to count women in Congress, either. If I were Alice Stewart, I don't think I'd be bragging about it.

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Supremely discredited

    Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court.
    • Jul 30, 2015
  • Hutchinson pulls Faubus move

    I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
    • Jan 19, 2017
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More on LRSD tax

    When the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and a Walton Foundation-paid lobbyist, long devoted critics of the Little Rock School District, lead the messaging for a quarter-billion dollars in new tax debt for the district, it is cause for caution.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • And what was that about the Clinton Foundation's Global Initiative shutting down because donations have…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Really? That's your argument? The Russians and the Soviets are two different things? That's pretty…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Tony Galati- You are the one that needs to learn history. They had been invaded…

    • on January 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation