The Year of the Woman
WASHINGTON -- How many years of the woman have we had? Let me count. To the extent that women's votes count more than men's, it's been the year of the woman since at least 1964 -- when women began outvoting men.
In 2008, 10 million more women than men voted, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
The operative assumption, obviously, is that women pick winners and losers as a voting bloc. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is true that more women are trending toward Barack Obama over Mitt Romney -- but this is only partly owing to the usual, so-called "women's issues." And it is, potentially, temporary.
Thanks to certain outspoken members/supporters of the GOP, the Democratic Party has been able to capitalize on a fiction created by the Obama campaign -- the alleged "war on women."
It is not helpful when people such as Rush Limbaugh call Sandra Fluke a "slut" for her position that insurance should cover contraception. Then there was Todd Akin's strange intelligence that victims of "legitimate rape" don't get pregnant, a flourish of rare ignorance. Check the birthrates in countries where rape is employed as a weapon. Finally, some Republican-led states have waved one too many ultrasound wands at women.
While these incidents and anecdotes provide handy faces for dart practice, they constitute a war on women only if all women find these positions reprehensible. And, only if all women care more about contraception and reproductive rights above all other issues, which is not the case.
This also happens to be the year of the fiscal cliff, when automatic spending cuts go into effect at the same time Bush-era tax breaks expire. It's the fourth year of a $1 trillion budget deficit. It is also the year that the number of unemployed Americans is still too high and economic recovery too slow.
It is the year that al-Qaeda caught its breath and began gaining traction again, and when terrorists murdered one of our ambassadors. It is another year when America's standing as the world's brightest light continues to dim; and that the Arab Spring descended into an extremist winter.
These are things that women care about, too.