- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Strong women

“It is said by passionate admirers and appalled bystanders alike that … President Bush is secure enough in his masculinity to be comfortably around ‘strong women.’ He says so, too. Clinging vines can go cling somewhere else, as far as he’s concerned.

“‘Why would you want to marry a weak woman?’ Bush rhetorically asked in a Ladies’ Home Journal interview conducted by conservatism’s prose laureate, Peggy Noonan. ‘I was attracted to Laura because of her strength — her beauty and her strength. My mother? I didn’t have a choice with her.’ Along with the wife he chose and the mother he didn’t, the strong-willed women in Bush’s satellite system include Karen Hughes, Condoleezza Rice, Cabinet members Gale Norton and Elaine Chao, and his twin-terror daughters, Jenna and Barbara. …

“On wedge issues such as abortion and capital punishment, Laura declines to distance herself from her husband in public — ‘If I differ from my husband, I’m not going to tell you,’ she once told a reporter.”

James Wolcott, writing on “The Bush Bunch,” in the July issue of Vanity Fair

Aborting voters

“More than 40 million legal abortions have been performed and documented in the 30 years since the U.S. Supreme Court declared abortion legal. The debate remains focused on the legality and morality of abortion. What’s largely ignored is a factual analysis of the political consequences of 40 million abortions. Consider:

“• There were 12,274,368 in the Voting Age Population of 205,815,000 missing from the 2000 presidential election, because of abortions from 1973-82.

“• In this year’s election, there will be 18,336,576 in the Voting Age Population missing because of abortions between 1972 and 1986.

“• In the 2008 election, 24,408,960 in the Voting Age Population will be missing because of abortions between 1973-90.

“These numbers will not change. They are based on individual choices made — aggregated nationally — as long as 30 years ago. Look inside these numbers at where the political impact is felt most. Do Democrats realize that millions of Missing Voters — due to the abortion policies they advocate — gave George W. Bush the margin of victory in 2000?”

Larry L. Eastland, writing on “The Empty Cradle Will Rock,” in the June issue of the American Spectator

Face the realities

“Part of what was supposedly useful and liberating about the feminist message was its insistence that women’s value was not linked inextricably to appearance or reproductive powers. But eventually, most women make the fertility link themselves (how else would we have a sense of something like a biological clock?). And eventually, all women must face the realities of aging. …

“By the time we reach middle age, women — and increasingly, men — must confront our successes and failures in arenas where we might not feel we exercise as much control as we once did — careers, relationships, perhaps even in our family lives. Cosmetic surgery offers us control over one thing: our physical appearance. …

“Feminist critics are correct that the demand for cosmetic surgery is closely linked to a society’s cultural norms regarding aging, especially for women. … In our youth-oriented, image-driven democratic culture, visible signs of aging, particularly for women, will soon be markers of declining status.”

Christine Rosen, writing on “The Democratization of Beauty,” in the spring issue of the New Atlantis

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