Point of View Columns

Ladies Choice?

In my novel, The Pride, I wrote a story from the perspective of four main characters, one of whom was a woman. I have been told by numerous female readers that my expression of a woman’s point of view was pretty accurate. But I must confess to not having the slightest idea as to how a woman would look at the current crop of G.O.Tea Party presidential candidates.

Assuming that following the tenets of the Party of No made sense – no new taxes, no “unnecessary” government services and no to a second term for Barack Obama – it would seem that a woman would have give a great deal of thought to supporting any of the current cast of characters.

Newt Gingrich is known as the “intellectual” of this bunch, presumably because he somehow managed to get a doctorate from a non-descript school in rural Georgia – a region not previously known as a hotbed of rigorous academic pursuit. In addition to running up a $250,000 tab at Tiffany’s while campaigning as a man of the people, Newt is carrying around some heavy baggage.

When his first wife was recovering from cancer surgery he thought that it was the perfect time to serve her with papers announcing their divorce. While excoriating President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Mr. Gingrich was – you guessed it – engaged in his own extramarital affair. He has excused his hypocrisy by stating that he was so “passionate” about America that his passions somehow led him astray. What a guy!

Herman Cain, in addition to trying to explain the impossible mathematics of his “9-9-9” faux tax plan, is now trying to explain how he was unaware of sexual harassment complaints against him until he was aware of sexual harassment complaints against him. At this point there are not enough facts to make any kind of judgment regarding these complaints, but it is difficult to understand how a senior corporate executive would not remember a sexual harassment complaint, even it was untrue – perhaps especially if it was untrue.

Channeling his inner George W. Bush, Mr. Cain has endeavored to “misremember” whether there were any such complaints, until he remembered such complaints, all in the same day. And then, being versatile enough to give a stunning imitation of Bill Clinton (remember his trying to explain the use of the word “is” during the deposition that led to his impeachment) the former pizza chieftain has tried to provide us with a useful distinction between a “settlement” of these sexual harassment complaints and an “agreement” whereby these complaints went away. What a guy!

Michele Bachmann and her husband ( who runs a clinic “curing” people of their homosexuality) turned foster parenting into a cottage industry. It is not clear whether Ms. Bachmann was padding her bank account or her resume, but having over twenty girls as foster children for relatively short periods of time is certainly a unique concept of motherhood.

As the only female candidate in the G.O.Tea Party presidential candidate cavalcade, Michele Bachmann has demonstrated an amazing capacity to be factually wrong on a consistent basis. Whether it is claiming that the HPV vaccine can cause mental retardation (an awful lie) or that President Obama’s trip to Asia last year cost taxpayers close to a quarter of a billion dollars (a stupid lie), Michele Bachmann has done little to demonstrate competency or base level intelligence. Of course, just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean she has to be smart – but that’s no reason to be wrong 24/7. What a gal!

Meanwhile, the of the Republican candidates are lassoed and branded by the social agenda of the right wing of the right wing. On the issue of the right of women to make choices with respect to reproductive health, all of the candidates echo the unrelenting chorus of the Party of No. Their consistent refrain is no – no to abortion – no to contraceptives – no to sex education.

The right of women to choose when it comes to issues of reproductive health and related issues is neither a new nor radical concept. The notion that eight male candidates (and one possibly deranged woman) would think that the G.O.Tea Party can impose their concept of right and wrong on every girl and woman in America should be unthinkable.

Nevertheless, we continue to witness legions of women supporting the Party of No when it comes to the reproductive rights of women. That would be the same party of no that is a staunch opponent of universal health care in this country – even though the primary beneficiaries of universal health care will be women and children.

The point of view of these women is difficult to understand. And I am certainly not prepared to have a female member of the G.O.Tea Party in my next novel just yet.