The Year of Republican Women?

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I have a story in this week’s dead tree edition out today looking at the seeming plethora of GOP women candidates this year. Yes, there are a lot of high profile races: Niki Haley, Sharron Angle, Linda McMahon, Sarah Palin’s “Mama Grizzlies.” And there have been a record number of Republican women who’ve run for federal office this year. But too many of them are losing – case in point, one of Palin’s mamas, Rita Meyer, on Tuesday lost the GOP nomination for Wyoming governor by just 700 votes — for the year to truly be claimed by Republican women.

Sick of hearing about the ‘Year of the Conservative Women’ when Dems still have many more women running, Emily’s List this week launched a new campaign, Sarah [Palin] Doesn’t Speak for Me. Here’s the video:

Palin responded with a facebook essay on the 90th anniversary of women’s suffrage (August 26, 1920) pondering whether feminism in this age can be defined by one issue: abortion.

Women don’t walk in lockstep with each other in politics, any more than men do. We should be proud of our ability to engage in a civil discussion and healthy debate. I know I am. Unfortunately, I’ve recently come under attack for speaking up for sisters who seek to serve in public office. The sad part is that the attack comes from other sisters who happen to be on the other side of an issue that has been of great importance to American women from the time of our feminist foremothers, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, down to today. I’m speaking of the issue of life. I feel compelled to offer some advice to our sisters who like to throw stones at those of us who respectfully disagree with them on this issue (and they sometimes refuse to even countenance the fact that some of us can call ourselves feminists and disagree with those who claim the mantle of “real feminists”). First, ladies, it’s hard to take a critic seriously when they lecture you wearing a bear suit. So, it’s difficult for me to drum up much outrage at this latest ad. But, really, lying about a sister while wearing an Ewok outfit is no way to honor our foremothers on the eve of the 90th anniversary of their victory. But, that aside, I’d love to know where you got those get-ups. Halloween is just around the corner, and Piper and Trig would look adorable as little grizzly bears.

More women entering into politics is something that should be celebrated and the issues should be debated seriously. There’s something sad when you see women attack women, particularly over abortion – it’s an argument no one is ever going to win so why not agree to disagree and move on? Cat fights make no one look appealing, which is, perhaps, why this year, for all the new women candidates, could be the first election since 1978 where the number of women in Congress declines.