By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Nov 06, 2012, 11:24 PM EST
The 20-something filmmaker and actress Lena Dunham captured the sensibility perfectly in an instantly mocked video likening voting for Obama for the first time to having sex for the first time. "You want to do it with a great guy," Dunham gushes. As the conservative writer John O'Sullivan noted, if Dunham can really compare "the excitement of her first vote to losing her virginity, one can only encourage her to persevere: Sex really will get better."
Dunham's pitch is fashioned, of course, to young, single women in particular. (One hopes that by age 35 or so, older and wiser, she will look back on the spot with embarrassment.) But single women in general are key to Obama's coalition. He wants government to occupy an outsized role in their lives, as captured in the symbolism of his campaign. Obama was implicitly the husband of Julia, the cartoon character created to demonstrate the cradle-to-grave assistance rendered by his programs; Obama is implicitly Lena Dunham's lover.
The tsar in Russia styled himself the Great Father of the serfs. Obama is the Great Provider for the women in his coalition. He gives them material and emotional support. He helps them not have children, protects them from the depredations of their male employers, and scorns any suggestion that anyone ever have to fall back on self-reliance. The implicit picture his campaign painted of women is one of economic powerlessness and extreme political credulity.
Every public-opinion poll that showed Mitt Romney closing the gap among women was a small victory for a less-slighting view of women. Not that the Romney campaign hasn't engaged in its own embarrassingly simple-minded courtship of female voters. Its convention was devoted to it, and - reassuringly enough - got Romney nothing. He made his strides among women with a performance in the first debate that was substantive, future-oriented, and designed to speak to the entire country rather than to narrow slivers of the electorate.
The president is increasingly incapable of the latter. The former uniter is now a divider. Let's be glad that Susan B. Anthony and the gals were spared the spectacle.
(c) 2012 by King Features Syndicate
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