The following represents the essay, as originally submitted:
This seems to be the only ideal the Republican Party is united about these days, and the desire to squash a sitting president does not an effective campaign make. The GOP does not have it together, and that’s what scares away those of us in the middle. As proven by the disastrous McCain/Palin ticket, you can’t just dress up an ill-prepared hockey mom, put lipstick on her, shove her onto a national platform and expect her to save your party. She may walk like a duck and squawk like a duck, but she’s still just a good ol’ boy dressed in drag.
The Democrats, however, are guilty, too. They sit back quietly on their laurels, and when the GOP begins to take too much ground, they occasionally throw out the reminder that still gets many women to vote their way: “Watch out! They’re all out to take away abortion!” The Democrats seem to think it’s the only winning card they have to play. We have to ask ourselves whom it really behooves to keep throwing the right to choose up for fisticuffs. I said it as Poky Puppy ADD It Again, in my featured piece on BlogHer.com, The Enlightened Middle Majority and Why ‘The Sides’ Are Alienating Us:
“But that's all any of us really want, and it’s the very foundation on which this country was built. We still don't want anyone to tell us whom we must worship, where we must worship, or that we have to worship at all, nor do we wish to stop anyone who wants to do so. Freedom of religion must also mean freedom from religion, and religious doctrines simply cannot enter into a political discussion of our rights as Americans. I believe in God. But I don't want anyone to tell me that I have to.”
So uphold Roe vs. Wade, take the right to choose off the table, as it must be, and see what kind of progress we can make on all the other issues. I believe suddenly the discourse would become far more productive.
The only other cohesive message that seems to come from the Republican side is from that ultra conservative Christian sector, which isn’t what this country wants or needs. What we are aching for, what this whole 51% thing is about, is the hope and the desire and, dammit, the demand for a voice of reason; to speak out and say, “Enough already!” I suspect that voice will be a woman’s; to represent the middle majority and do what’s really good for this country as a whole. In the meantime, if everyone would stop opposing so vehemently and start participating in bi-partisan cooperation, great things could be accomplished now.
Women hold treasures far more valuable than brute strength: flexibility, common sense, diplomacy, the ability to multi-task and keep entire families together, to balance and stay within budgets, to go Momma Bear, Tiger Mom, and even Hockey Mom and fight to the death for our clan when we must. We do this while our men-folk bump chests, bully and bluster and attempt to bend the world with their military prowess. We are cut open or ripped open to give birth, yet the entire problem both parties have can be summed up in these few words: They Under-Estimate Us. We survive rape and breast cancer, poverty and oppression, and we possess strength beyond imagination.
Except that we imagine it. We understand it--live it--we keep it close and we keep it quiet in order to keep peace, exercising it only when we must. Well, my sisters, we must. Whether we lean to the right or to the left, we can no longer afford to just hold our collective breaths and hope for the best. We must act now. We must be willing to mix it up with the boys and spar a little; to stand up and let our altos and sopranos and our keyboards be heard. We are the 51%. We are the Enlightened Middle Majority and we are the future; of politics, of our nation’s success and of the very continuation of our race.
I can’t imagine what sort of resistance a woman president might one day be subjected to, but I know this: ‘They’ won’t know what size Jimmy Choos hit them.
[Here's the link to the first post, "My Friends Think I'm The Only Liberal They Know. I Don't Know What I Am," which was featured on BlogHer.com, before "The Enlightened Middle Majority And Why 'The Sides' Are Alienating Us," was featured on the same site. Of course, they are originally posted here, but the comments of the many brilliant readers on BlogHer make for entertaining reading as well.]