Charlotte Hays

“Everybody I know is here!” exclaimed a delighted Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood. An elegantly turned out woman who is paid $400,000 annually by an organization that receives $542.4 million a year in government grants, Ms. Richards was among the more than 150 women gathered at the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Washington, D.C. think tank with close ties to the Obama administration.

A new program “Fair Shot: A Plan for Women and Families to Get Ahead” was being launched. A better name might have been “Perpetuating the Gender Gap: A Plan to Keep Democrats in Power,” and thus of course keep leading feminists such as the stylish Ms. Richards on the receiving end of taxpayer largesse.

The conference, as far as I could tell, wasn’t the sort of venue where one learns to make compelling arguments to counter opposing arguments by people who have different views on public policy. Nope, the Fair Shot approach to diversity of opinions is far blunter and can be summed up in three words: vilify, vilify, vilify.

A mistress in this black art, Nancy Pelosi, for example, breezed into the CAP conference, admitting that she had “goose bumps” from just being there, and was beleaguered from a taxing morning of doing battle on Capitol Hill with Republicans, who live and breathe only to starve small children. Ms. Pelosi recalled that a priest had recently said it’s wrong to pray in Mass and then "go out and prey on people." “And isn’t that exactly what [the Republicans] are doing—preying on people?” Ms. Pelosi asked. It was a rhetorical question.

No one has been subjected to the vilification treatment lately more than Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s attorney general and Republican candidate for governor. If Terry McAuliffe—the candidate from Clintonworld—beats Cuccinelli and becomes Virginia’s next governor, he will do so largely because women voters believe Cucinnelli is dangerous for women. “I honestly don’t think he cares if women are raped,” whispered a well-bred Virginian at a subdued coffee, the kind of place where politics are discreetly avoided. A lifelong Republican, she will not be voting for the scary Mr. Cuccinelli.

While the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which hasn’t yet endorsed a gubernatorial candidate, called McAuliffe an “unserious,” noting that he often refuses to enlighten the public about his views on the difficult issues, the Washington Post reported earlier this week that McAuliffe is beating Cuccinelli 47 to 39 in polls. Much of McAuliffe’s advantage is women, who support McAuliffe by a 24 percent margin.


Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.