Nov. 20, 2002
Democrats are going through a process of self-flagellation trying
to figure out whom to blame for their election-day debacle. Some blame
their own lack of a message, some blame candidates' mistakes, some
blame fallout from 9/11.
The Democrats are having a hard time dealing with the double Bush
victory in Florida after Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe
had targeted that state as his priority. Jeb Bush's impressive 13-
point margin, combined with Republicans winning a nearly two-thirds
majority in both Houses in Tallahassee, wipes out all the sour-grapes
whining about George W. Bush's narrow win in 2000.
But leave it to the New York Times op-ed page to come up with the
most ridiculous reason why the Democrats lost: Media bias in favor of
the right wing!
Paul Krugman's column the day after the election explained it:
"Talk radio and Fox News let the hard right get its message out to its
Krugman must have been reading the New York Times best-seller
lists, which reveal the amazing popularity of the books that document
the real left-wing bias of the media (Ann Coulter's "Slander," Bernard
Goldberg's "Bias," and books by Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity), and
figured that the left can use the same message. But Krugman's
complaint that "some of the major broadcast media are simply biased in
favor of the Republicans" doesn't pass the laugh test.
Krugman's argument reveals his own liberal bias. Note his choice
of words that talk radio and Fox News "let" the right get its message
out. I thought the purpose of the media is exactly to let candidates
get their issues out for the public to decide!
In their search for the cause of their defeats, the Democrats
should examine the stranglehold that the feminists exercise over their
Party, its candidates and its politicians. EMILY's List, which raises
funds only for Democratic pro-abortion feminist candidates, is by far
the largest political action committee, and money talks.
The EMILY's List website boasts that Tom Daschle said, "The reason
I'm here today as Senate Majority Leader can be said in two words:
EMILY's List," and Rep. Nancy Pelosi said, "I know that I would not ...
be the Democratic Whip of the House without the work that was done by
However, EMILY's donations, combined with Hillary Clinton's
political contributions, came back to sting Democratic candidates in
It didn't help EMILY's List candidate Senator Jean Carnahan that
she aggressively played the abortion card. Election-day polls
conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation reported that, after the
economy, abortion was the second most important "issue that mattered
most" to Missouri voters, and 80 percent of those voted for pro-life
With big bucks for television ads from NARAL (National Abortion
Rights Action League), Tom Strickland expensively advertised his
support of abortion during the last weeks of his tight campaign. David
Hill's Research Associates of Houston reported that the TV spots were
counterproductive and had a "rebound" effect that enhanced pro-life
Wayne Allard's unexpectedly strong reelection as Senator from Colorado.
Pro-life conservatives played a huge role in the Republican sweep
of Georgia, electing pro-life Saxby Chambliss over a pro-abortion
genuine war hero incumbent. Likewise for the stunning election of the
first Republican governor in Georgia in 130 years (another pro-lifer),
plus taking more congressional seats than anyone anticipated after
redistricting was loaded for the Democrats, and the toppling of the
longtime Democratic leaders in Georgia's Senate and House.
The other candidate EMILY's List was counting on to play a role in
a Democratic Senate next year, Jeanne Shaheen, bit the dust after
flaunting her pro-abortion advocacy. It turned out that John Sununu's
pro-life position suited New Hampshire voters better after all.
After Paul Wellstone's death opened up Minnesota's seat to Walter
Mondale, he tried to show his vigor by telling the voters how pro-
abortion he is. Contrary to predictions, his career was ended by pro-
life Norm Coleman.
You would think that a Democrat named Shannon O'Brien would coast
to easy victory in Massachusetts, even if her style is "unbecoming" (in
the tactful word of her opponent). But her extremist pro-abortion
positions, including cutting the age of parental consent for abortions
to 16, plus rubbing elbows with those well-known advocates of feminist
policies Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy, helped pro-life Republican Mitt
Romney win election as Governor.
In one of the most encouraging sidelights of the 2002 election,
the media admitted that the Kennedy name helped defeat another EMILY's
List favorite hoping to capture a governorship, Kathleen Kennedy
Townsend in Maryland. It must be salt in the wounds of the pro-
abortion lobby that she didn't even carry a majority of women.
In the U.S. House, the gain of seats by pro-life candidates
exceeded even the unprecedented off-year gain in Republican seats.
The Democrats have figured out that they have been on the wrong
side of the gun issue and are trying to crawl back toward common sense,
but it is unlikely that they can extricate themselves from their fatal
embrace with the feminists.