In 1964 the Democratic National Committee was riding high. Lyndon Johnson had just crushed Barry Goldwater by winning 61% of the popular vote, and the Dems held a 2 to 1 edge in the Congress. Back then, the Democrats didn't need a feminist plank in their platform to woo the female vote.
But in 1972 the party began its process of ritual self-immolation. That year the DNC recommended the make-up of the National Convention delegations be "in reasonable relationship" to the proportion of minorities and women in each state. That guideline quickly became a 50-50 gender quota.
Suddenly ethnic Catholics, conservative southerners, and male union workers, long the backbone of the party, were out in the cold. And the Dems found themselves sucked into the vortex of feminist-socialist agenda.
The Reign of the Femocrats had begun.
If there is one person who can take credit for the Democrats' rapid descent into hysterical irrelevance, she would be Eleanor Smeal, former president of the N.O.W. It was Smeal who first ballyhooed the notion of the gender voting gap, and used it to bludgeon reluctant Dems to embrace the rad-fem manifesto.
While it was a matter of record that the men's and women's vote sometimes aligned differently, it was less clear which political party would become the beneficiaries of that gap.
In early 1984 Smeal guaranteed the Democrats would enjoy a 10% boost if they selected a female presidential running mate. So that July the Democrats announced Walter Mondale's right-hand gal would be Geraldine Ferraro. But four months later, only 44% of female voters voted for the Mondale-Ferraro ticket, handing Ronald Reagan a historic landslide victory.
No comment from Ms. Smeal about that sure-fire 10% margin of victory.
In 1985, EMILY's List arrived on the scene, funneling millions of dollars to Democratic candidates who advocated abortion. EMILY's List would eventually help elect 61 members of Congress, 11 senators, and eight governors, all of them proponents of a death-dealing ideology.
Three years later Michael Dukakis tapped lady-in-lavender Susan Estrich to head up his presidential campaign. Then Dukakis waffled on what he would do if his wife was raped and murdered. Overnight his polling numbers plummeted, and Bush Senior waltzed into the Oval Office.
In 1992 the "two-for-the-price-of one" Clintons came to power. Practically overnight, Hillary became the darling of the Democratic left and feminist ideology became the operating principle for the executive branch of the federal government.
Eight years later, still determined to capitalize on the elusive gender voting gap, Al Gore had one of his Alan Alda moments and selected Donna Brazile to manage his campaign. No one seemed to mind that Brazile's columns in Ms. Magazine consistently played the gender-victim card.
And in the 2004 go-around, the Dems chose hen-pecked John Kerry, the man who admitted during one debate, "And my daughters and my wife are people who just are filled with that sense of what's right, what's wrong. They also kick me around."
What of Smeal's now-famous gender voting gap? From 1976 to 2004, the DNC managed to increase its share of the female vote by exactly one percentage point. That's right - in 1976, 50% of the ladies opted for Mr. Carter. Twenty-eight years later, John Kerry garnered 51% of the soccer-mom vote.
And what of the NASCAR dads? They abandoned the Democratic party in droves. While 50% of men voted for Carter in 1976, only 44% of the guys selected Mr. Kerry in 2004, translating into a 3.5 million vote gap favoring Mr. Bush.
In the seven elections from 1980 to 2004, the once-noble Democratic party has managed to prevail in only two contests. The conclusion is clear: The gender voting gap usually operates to the benefit of the Republicans, thanks to consistently strong support from men.
The Democratic party now appears to be caught in a mental paralysis, incapable of coming up with constructive solutions to the Iraqi war, acknowledging the existence of the Social Security crisis, or reversing the break-down of the American family. The Femocrats can't even engage in honest debate that goes beyond boo-hoo stories, stale clichés, and Nazi comparisons.
The Democratic party has become intellectually vacuous, psychologically emasculated, and morally bankrupt. Call it the death knell of the DNC.
(Editor's Note: I just hope they'll STAY dead when the time comes. Then we can work on the other one... ML)
Carey Roberts probes and lampoons political correctness. His work has been published frequently in the Washington Times, Townhall.com, LewRockwell.com, ifeminists.net, Intellectual Conservative, and elsewhere. He is a staff reporter for the New Media Network.