Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller finds a cable discussion of a favorite right-wing spin point:

MSNBC contributors can't figure out why so many women are part of the Tea Party

Confusion was the word of the day on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" this morning when the panel questioned why so many women have been drawn to the Tea Party movement.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski, The New York Times' Sam Tanenhaus, CBS's Lesley Stahl, columnist Mike Barnicle, and Newsweek's Jon Meacham were initially stumped when Stahl prompted the discussion.

"I wanted to ask all the gurus here, why so many of the Tea Partiers are women. I find that just intriguing and don't quite understand why that has happened," Stahl said.

To which the panel replied: "I have no idea." "Sarah Palin?" "I don't know." "I don't know either."

... Tanenhaus eventually surfaced with an attempted explanation. "You've been talking about the economy, who runs the household economy in America? The classic Greek work for economics means 'home economy.' Who's paying the bills, who's worried about the kids and college loans?" he offered.

Barnicle took a stab at the riddle as well. "It could be women, as we all know, are smarter than men. And they have better instincts than men, and they know -- off of what you just said -- that the government or the household, you have a checkbook, you can't start writing checks for things you can't pay for, the checks bounce. We've been bouncing checks as a government for twenty years." ...

Oh, right -- Carly Fiorina (net worth: at least between $30 and $120 million, and at one time $2.2 billion) and Linda McMahon (net worth: $1.1 billion) are teabaggers because they just got sick of sitting at the kitchen table trying to get the goshdarn checkbook to balance. Oh, and Christine O'Donnell, who hasn't held a real job in years and who sometimes lives off campaign funds, is a teabagger because she's such a careful financial steward.

What's absurd about this is that all these geniuses batted around the question of why women would seek to be tea party candidates without once asking why there are so few female tea party voters. Um, if there's something innately woman-oriented about this movement, why is the female half of the electorate fleeing it?

As I've noted, there's a 34-point gender gap in the New York governor's race, with men favoring Cuomo over Paladino by 1 point and women favoring Cuomo by 35. There's a 25-point gap in Connecticut -- women favor the Democrat, Richard Blumenthal, by 17, while men favor Linda McMahon by 8. (That's a gender-reversed gender gap, of course.) There are similar gender gaps in Senate races in Wisconsin, Washington State, California, and Delaware (and that Delaware one is also gender-reversed, of course).

And, of course, there's a gender gap in approval of the Mama Grizzlies' big mama, Sarah Palin:

... men are split 44 to 45 between those who hold favorable and unfavorable views of her; for women, the split is 35 to 58, according to a National Journal poll.... In a recent survey presenting respondents with a hypothetical matchup between Palin and Obama, Obama beat Palin by 13 points among women, but men preferred Palin by 2 points. In other words, if it were up to men, Palin might very well become president in 2012 (if it were up to white men, she'd be a shoo-in).

No doubt the "babe factor" has something to do with it: Palin's sex appeal is a frequent topic of right-wing male talkers like Rush Limbaugh, and similar voices in Delaware waxed on about Christine O'Donnell being "easy on the eyes"; one even issued an "Alert" for the "Major Babe." The gambit resembles that of Fox News shows with predominantly male audiences that have featured a bevy of attractive right-wing females, boosting the careers of commentators like Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter.

Um, maybe that's why there are so many women running as teabaggers -- pathetic white guys dig it when they hear women cooing about "reloading" and small government.

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