Phyllis Schlafly's Remarks over "Unmarried Women" Draw Fire

At age 85, Phyllis Schafly is still kicking and now drawing fire for remarks made at a fundraiser for Andrew “Rocky” Raczkowski, a conservative vying in a four-way GOP primary in Michigan's Ninth Congressional District.

"Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you've got to have big brother government to be your provider," said Schlafly, president of the ultra right wing Eagle Forum and doyenne of the American conservative movement. She went to accuse the Obama administration of trying to win support by providing government relief to various groups, such as unmarried women.

On Thursday, in an interview with Talking Points Memo, Schlafly repeated her link of single women, Obama and welfare, and added "Yes, I said that. It's true too. All welfare goes to unmarried moms. They are trying to line up their constituency for Obama and Democrats against Republican candidates."

Schlafly went on to tell TPM's Christina Bellantoni that she doesn't care if Republicans are targeted over her comments since she thinks they are truthful.

Well, Schlafly is correct that 70 percent of single women did vote for the Democratic ticket but that demographic has been trending Democratic for some time now. In 2004, 62 percent of single women supported Democrat John Kerry, while 37 percent voted to re-elect President Bush. Clinton, in contrast, only received 53 percent of the single women vote in 1992.

According to the most recent Census data, 22 percent of the voting-age public are never-married women and as voting bloc, never-married women have been gaining in clout. Once deemed to be a politically inconsequential voting block—marriage has always been a top social factor that controls voting—single women are slowly starting to become an important voting block. In the 2000 general election, the number of unmarried women voting was 19 percent with that number jumping to 22.4 percent in 2004. In 2008, single women represented 24 percent of the electorate and according to Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner 70 percent of unmarried women with and without children did support Obama.

The share of unmarried voters, male and female, in 2008 was 34 percent down from 37 percent in 2004. In 2008, married voters went for McCain by 5 and unmarried voters for Obama by 32 - a difference of 37 points but this is largely a factor that Obama carried 66 percent of the 29 and under age demographic.

And while three in four families on welfare are headed by unmarried women, the number of families on welfare had been falling steadily since peaking in 1995. Nine months into the Great Recession, the number of American families receiving cash assistance stood at just 1.6 million in September 2008, the most recent date for which national tallies are available. Furthermore the New York Times reported that amidst soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls in 2008, and nationally the number of people receiving cash assistance remained at or near the lowest in more than 40 years. While welfare rolls rose in 2009 for the first time in 15 years, the 5 percent increase was dwarfed by spikes in the number of people receiving food stamps and unemployment insurance.

The cash-assistance program that once helped more than 14 million people served an average of 4 million in the 2009 fiscal year, up from 3.8 million in fiscal 2008. By comparison, there were more than 37 million people receiving food stamps in September, an increase of 18 percent from the year before. The number receiving unemployment benefits more than doubled, to about 9.1 million. To suggest that unmarried women voted for Obama because they were looking to go on welfare is beyond the pale and speaks to the vile callousness of Phyllis Schlafly.

Meanwhile the Democrats are jumping on Schlafly's remarks targeting GOP candidates endorsed by her Eagle Forum. From TPM:

Democrats plan to jump on the 75 Republican candidates for federal office that Schlafly's Eagle Forum has endorsed and donated to -- a list that includes Todd Tiahrt in the Kansas Republican primary for Senate, Ken Buck in the Colorado Republican primary for Senate, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and his Senate Conservatives Fund and Sen. David Vitter. Already, reporters in Vitter's home state of Louisiana are getting releases from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pressing them to ask Vitter if he agrees with Schlafly. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is doing the same thing to Eagle Forum-endorsed House candidates, painting Republicans on dozens of ballots -- including Rep. Michele Bachmann and Scott Rigell in the competitive VA-02 race -- as "extreme" and saying the candidate should refuse Schlafly's endorsement.

Democrats should want to castrate Hank Paulsen

 The reason Democrats are about to go extinct as a political party is former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen's decision not to put up the pocket change needed to help Barclay's buy Lehman Brothers and allowed this American company, which was the lifeblood of the US financial system to fail.  This in turn allowed Barack Obama, an experienced, naive and downright bumbling Presidential candidate to take the lead in the polls over John McCain. 

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South Dakota and the Native American Vote

By: Inoljt,

A while ago I was perusing the election results, when I happened upon South Dakota. South Dakota is one of those conservative Plains states which everybody writes off as inevitably Republican. Yet nobody has a really good explanation for why Democrats can't win it; it's kind of like Indiana that way. Few people know this, but Bill Clinton actually came within four percent of winning the state during both elections.

In any case, Barack Obama lost South Dakota by 8.41%, a substantial but not overwhelming margin (I bet he could win it, but that's not the point of this post). This New York Times map indicates how he did in each county:


There is an extremely strong correlation between Indian reservations and Obama's share of the vote in South Dakota.

Check it out:


More below.

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Report Shows 2008 Electorate is Most Diverse in Modern History

The 2008 election was the most diverse in modern history, with increases in participation among young people, minorities, unmarried individuals, and other historically underrepresented groups, according to a comprehensive new report by the voting rights group Project Vote. Whether gains by these groups will hold steady in 2010, however, remains to be seen.

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1984 in 2008 - Bill Ayers Speaks

I know references to 1984 are cliche, but the editorial today by Bill Ayers in the New York Times brings it home:

Unable to challenge the content of Barack Obama's campaign, his opponents invented a narrative about a young politician who emerged from nowhere, a man of charm, intelligence and skill, but with an exotic background and a strange name. The refrain was a question: "What do we really know about this man?"


I was cast in the "unrepentant terrorist" role; I felt at times like the enemy projected onto a large screen in the "Two Minutes Hate" scene from George Orwell's "1984," when the faithful gathered in a frenzy of fear and loathing.

This happened a lot during the campaign. Reverend Wright, Tony Rezko (that one never really did catch on), and towards the end, Barack Obama himself - they were yelling, "Kill him!"

And it's happened a lot in our society, both under Bush and more broadly. A government spying on its citizens. A country in constant, often meaningless war. When Osama Bin Laden's face flashes on screen, it's almost a literal Two Minutes of Hate.

How does this get changed? Ayers has his solution:

With the mainstream news media and the blogosphere caught in the pre-election excitement, I saw no viable path to a rational discussion. Rather than step clumsily into the sound-bite culture, I turned away whenever the microphones were thrust into my face. I sat it out.

Can Obama move us away from 1984-style governance? I really hope so. But as Ayers says, this stuff - suspicion, sound bites, hatred, violence - it's part of our culture. Moving away from an incurious, reactionary culture towards something else is more than one man can do in a lifetime. And besides, this change can't really be legislated - it's going to take every one of us, individually.

I'm not saying we should move backwards and use cultures of the past as our models - technology and modernity have forever closed off that route - but we should move somewhere new. And I'm not saying this process hasn't started already. The day after the election, K Street in Washington DC (where I work) just felt different.

Still, there's a long way to go and I'm not sure the Ayers solution, sitting it out, is really appropriate for everyone. We're part of this country and this culture whether we like it or not. So, what else can be done?

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