Saturday, May 8, 2010

Moms to the Rescue!

Article in the WSJ, by Michael Graham, the guy who introduced Palin at the Boston Tea Party:

If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And if you've been to a tea party, you know Momma ain't happy at all.

Forget "angry white men." In the male-dominated world of conservative politics, the tea party stands out as a movement of energized and organized women. In particular, moms.

Moms like Sarah Palin, of course, who's been described as the "Momma Bear" of the tea party movement. But more important are the thousands of women at the state and local level who created this political phenomenon.

Moms like Christen Varley, the suburban mother of four who organized the successful tea party rally on Boston Common last month. Moms like Karen Miner Herd, who calls herself "one of the founding mothers" of the tea party movement in Virginia.

Her favorite tea party sign? "Menopause Was Change Enough for Me."

In fact, a recent Quinnipiac poll of voters found a majority of tea party supporters—55%—are women. To put that in perspective, only 48% of women voted for George W. Bush in 2004. And just two years ago, President Obama won 56% of the female vote.

As part of a recent book project I've been asking women around the country: Why are you angry? What is it about the tea party movement that energizes busy working moms to get even busier organizing protests?

Many women gave the most obvious answer: "If we waited around for you men to do it, it would never get done."

When I asked Christen Varley, the Boston tea party leader, she said it's because moms tend to be "the CEO's of our households. We do the shopping, bill paying, budgeting, etc. We know less money means less freedom. Maybe if the president and Congress did the grocery shopping, they'd know why we're mad."

Dana Loesch, talk host and co-founder of the St. Louis tea party, believes the tea party movement is the modern conservative version of "the personal is political."

"Motherhood itself has become a political act," says Ms. Loesch. "And the tea parties are an extension of our need as moms to protect the future for our children."

Keli Carender isn't a mom, but the Seattle-area 30-something is the mother of the tea party movement. She held the very first rally of the modern tea party era to protest the so-called stimulus package, days before Rick Santelli's infamous CNBC rant.

The tea party idea "just clicked in the minds of conservative women," she says. "Most women I know are thinking 'I'm taking care of my family and the government's taking care of it's business—right?' Then they see what the government is really doing and they saw 'Whoa, whoa! I guess I've gotta take care of their mess, too.'"

1 comment:

David said...

but if it's big enough to take everything you have and it's not giving you what you want... what then?