Obama campaign ads

The president’s campaign is running some ads aimed at ‘the women vote’ that are more revealing of how he regards voters than anything else. And they reveal a lot about his character.

First we got the Life of Julia ad campaign.

The slide show narrative follows Julia, a cartoon character, from age 3 to age 67 and explains how Obama’s policies, from Head Start to Obamacare to mandated contraception coverage to Medicare reform, would provide Julia with a better life than Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan could.

Julia is not your typical all-American girl, but an obviously independent, yuppie liberal woman. She goes to public school, graduates college, and becomes a Web designer. She is able to pursue her career because, at age 27, “her health insurance is required to cover birth control and preventive care, letting Julia focus on her work rather than worry about her health.”

At age 31 she “decides to have a child,” with no mention of a father or husband. Her son Zachary heads off to a Race to the Top funded public school, while Julia goes on to start her own Web business. She retires at age 67 with Social Security and Medicare supporting her financially and spends her later years volunteering in a community garden.

Julia’s happily-ever-after tale is remarkably void of reality. Nowhere in her fictional life is it mentioned that Head Start has done little, if anything, to improve elementary education, that she will likely graduate with $25,000 in student loan debt, that she has a 50% chance of being unemployed or underemployed after college, that Medicare and Social Security are headed toward insolvency, and that her share of the national debt is $50,000 and growing.

For Republicans, Julia’s story might seem like a joke too good to be true, but they should take it very seriously. Because buried within “The Life of Julia” is the ideological vision of modern liberalism — to create a state that takes care of its people from cradle to grave. The story of Julia is a microcosm of Obama’s vision for America and emblematic of his view of the government’s role in an individual’s life.

That whole thing was demeaning to women who don’t rely on government as their provider and caretaker. Women who don’t place a primacy of importance on government provision of their birth control and reproductive choices.

 Like Women Speak for Themselves women, like Helen Alvare and Kim Daniels and Colleen Carroll Campbell and Jenn Giroux and Carrie Severino and others.

Kathleen Parker recently weighed in on the bogus ‘war on women’ campaign and the nonsense that feeds it.

Then came the latest, the YouTube ‘first time’ video.

This week marks an especially repugnant page in President Obama’s catalog of attempts to woo young female voters.  In an online ad titled “Your First Time,” featuring actress Lena Dunham, the President’s campaign drew an offensive and distasteful parallel between losing one’s virginity and the “awesome” experience of voting for Mr. Obama.

Explaining that it’s “super uncool” to abstain from the election, Miss Dunham says she became a woman when she voted for the President, and was honored to “do it” with a guy who cares about her right to taxpayer-funded birth control.

Until very recently, it would have been unthinkable for any politician, let alone the President of the United States, to endorse an ad that so trivializes sex and demeans the importance of a chaste lifestyle.  Mr. Obama apparently thinks he speaks for women by endlessly insisting on their right to taxpayer-funded birth control and abortions. But in fact, Gallup polls show that social issues and birth control rank among the least important issues in this election cycle. The economy, which voters deem as their greatest concern, has plagued women during Obama’s presidency. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment among women has risen from 7 percent to 8.1 percent and from 12.5 percent to 14.4 among young women during his administration. Women have regressed during the last four years, and many are now supporting Governor Romney.

President Obama enjoys indicting his opponents as propagators of a “war on women.”  But what is truly demeaning is to suggest that the womanhood of female voters depends on his reelection, and a few newly minted goodies that will make it easier to have uncommitted sex without regard for the sanctity of life.

Catholic scholar George Weigel calls it the ‘Lolita ad’, for obvious reason.

In it, Lena Dunham, the creator of HBO’s smutty Girls, offers advice to seemingly innocent young women and other onlookers. The 26-year-old star, who has the look and mannerisms of a 13-year-old, channels her inner Lolita and coos the following:

Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy . . . who really cares about and understands women.

A guy who cares about whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control. The consequences are huge. You want to do it with a guy who brought the troops out of Iraq. You don’t want a guy who says ‘Oh, hey, I’m at the library studying,’ when he’s really out not signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Or who thinks that gay people should never have beautiful, complicated weddings of the kind we see on Bravo or TLC all the time . . .

Think about how you want to spend those four years. In college-age time, that’s 150 years. Also, it’s super uncool to be out and about and someone says, ‘Did you vote?’ and ‘No, I didn’t vote, I wasn’t ready.’ My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand. Before I was a girl. Now I was a woman. I went to the polling station and pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama.

Voting as analogy to recreational sex underwritten financially by tax dollars: That’s what the Obama campaign imagines to be a winning strategy in fighting what it is pleased to call the “War against Women.” Showcasing Sandra Fluke at the Democratic National Convention was not, as the Marxists used to say, an accident: This is an administration that seems to imagine that America is a nation of Sandra Flukes (and their gigolos), and that this is a Good Thing.

Even attempting to parse this kind of vulgarity seems demeaning, although it’s clear enough that the administration is committed to an ideology of lifestyle libertinism that it is eager to “impose on a pluralistic society” (as the vice president would not put it). So let’s just say that the Lolita ad is ugly, coarse, breathtakingly stupid, and profoundly anti-woman — which tells us something about the character of the people who create and authorize such ads, even as it further clarifies their vision of the American future.

Beauty is a window into what is true and good and life-giving. Ugliness helps us understand what is base, ignoble, and dehumanizing. That’s worth keeping in mind when entering the voting booth.

Conventional wisdom on women’s issues

Who proclaims to speak for women’s concerns in America? Both political parties are trying to answer that. The Democrats are staking everything on it.

Last week, experts were telling me the Democratic National Convention will be a celebration of abortion. This week, it’s starting to look more like they were right.

Take this ABC News report, for instance, with Sandra Fluke calling Republican policies “dangerous for women.” She allegedly “speaks for a new generation of young women.” At least according to that report.

But wait.

I’ve had a bunch of young women on my radio show who speak for themselves, and other young and multi-generational women for whom Fluke, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards and other pro-abortion women do not speak.

In fact, a movement of them sprang up to do just that, speak for themselves. They have quite a formidable presence on Facebook.

While Fluke and other Democrats try to make political hay with the frankly bizarre remarks of one lone Republican about abortion after rape, an interesting development has received virtually no coverage in big media from a group of women most qualified to speak to this subject. 

Every year, legislators, judges, and other policy makers discuss the problems of women who have become pregnant as a result of sexual assault. These discussions take place without ever first soliciting our input. In most cases, it is only in the context of highly divisive debates over abortion that we are discussed. In virtually every case, those people who claim to be defending our interests have never taken the time to actually listen to us to learn about our true circumstances, needs, and concerns.

We are deeply offended and dismayed each time our difficult circumstances are exploited for public consumption to promote the political agenda of others. This is a grave injustice. In pursuing their political agendas, these exploiters have reduced our concerns, needs, and circumstances to a crude caricature.

Those who claim to represent our interests have never sought our authorization to represent us. They do not know us, understand us, or truly care about us. Just as we were once used, without our consent, to gratify the sexual desires of others, so we continue to be used, without our consent, to gratify the political goals of others.

Only we who have actually experienced a sexual assault pregnancy truly understand the trauma, fears, concerns, and needs of our sisters who are, or will someday become, pregnant as a result of rape or incest.

Each year, thousands of women will face this experience. Unless society at large begins to listen to us today, these other women will, like us, face great difficulty in finding authentic understanding and help…

We are the only ones who can bear witness to our real experiences and our real needs. How long will you refuse to listen to us?

They should be heard. Dignity and respect requires no less, and honesty demands that those who deign to speak for them first listen to them.

That’s just one problem for the Democrat’s convention so targeted to a liberal women’s agenda, which doesn’t speak for other women’s concerns, as the Democrats for Life found out when they tried to have a voice in the party platform drafting process.

A Democratic committee has rejected efforts to broaden the party’s platform in order to acknowledge and welcome “differing positions” on the issue of abortion.

Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America, told CNA on Aug. 15 that there is a lack of understanding about the extent of pro-life support within the Democratic Party.

They will not be well represented at the party convention, as even some feminists concede in their own way when the edict against babies went out.

Feminists are denouncing a rule at the upcoming Democratic National Convention that will bar children, including breastfeeding babies, from entering the event without being credentialed.

Critics say that officials for the event slated to begin Sept. 4 in Charlotte make it difficult for moms to credential their children, leaving delegate moms at a loss as to how to provide for their tots.

Top feminist icon Gloria Steinem said that by not even offering child care at the event the Democratic Party will alienate female voters, and that the party should acknowledge that, where there are women, there are occasionally babies too.

Credit Steinem is honest here.

“Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women,” said Steinem in a statement noted by the Charlotte Observer. “It’s both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist.”

Others spoke out too.

“The DNC requires children and babies to have a credential to enter the convention, and then denies these credential requests from moms,” said Hollywood NOW President Lindsey Horvath. “The DNC credentialing process is being used as a tool to prevent mothers from participating at the convention and is nothing short of discriminatory.”

Breathtaking, really, given the pitch for the women vote.

California Democrat Susie Shannon, 45, who planned to come to the convention with her 4-year-old daughter Gracie, called [convention spokeswoman Joanne] Peters’ response “not enough.”

“When the Democratic Party refuses to provide child care at the convention and denies automatic access for young children to join their moms who serve as delegates on the convention floor, an entire group of women are disenfranchised,” said Shannon. “Moms with young children 6 years of age and under who cannot be left at home, some of whom are breast-feeding, are relegated to second-class status within the Democratic convention.”

These next two weeks will be illuminating on many issues. This is a big one.