View From Lodi, CA: Can Women Really Like Dubya? [With Joenote To VDARE.COM Readers]

Time Magazine's lead story this week, "What do Women Want?" reports that women are drifting toward President George W. Bush in his re-election bid.  

The Republican spin is that soccer Moms think that Bush will do a better job of protecting the country against further acts of terrorism.

Is anyone paying attention to facts? The truth is that Bush, in general, is no friend to women. And the women I know rate his track record on terrorism as abysmal.

Since elected Bush has done little to promote women's advancement.

In a Washington Post story dated July 13th 2004 titled "Leaked Salary List Shows Bush's Highest Paid Staff Mostly Male," reporter Dana Milbank wrote that 12 of the 17 White House staffers who make $157, 000—the top of this year's pay scale—are men.

Post researcher Margot Williams crunched Milbank's figures to arrive at salary data that indicates White House wage discrimination against women.

According to Williams, men in the Bush White House earn an average of $76,624 versus an average of $59,917 for women. Using those salaries as her base, Williams calculates Williams that Bush female employees are paid about 78 cents for every dollar that Bush male employees earn—similar to the U.S. wage gap that still exists between men and women.

The March 2004 National Council for Research on Women report titled "MISSING: Information about Women's Lives " [PDF] reveals more bad news about how the Bush administration perceives women.

The report states that the White House has systematically deleted and altered information previously posted on government websites that deal with women's concerns including but not limited to pay equity, childcare and birth control.

Furthermore, the report charges that key government offices such as the White House's Office of Women's Initiatives and Outreach and the President's Interagency Council on Women have been disbanded.

Now, to move from the general to the specific, the Bush campaign's assertion that women view the president as stronger on terrorism than Kerry is preposterous.

Women who have lived through the trauma of 9/11 and the horror of the Iraq War hold Bush in low esteem, to phrase it as politely as possible.

As background for columns, I have interviewed several of the sisters, wives and mothers of 9/11 victims. I have met with them in Washington D.C.

Without exception, they have been bitterly disappointed by Bush's lax approach to investigating what happened on 9/11 and why it happened.

And they remain unconvinced that Bush has taken even the most basic steps to secure the country from future attacks.

A letter posted on the 9/11 Families for a Secure America, contains this paragraph:

"For decades the policies and lack of attention to the real dangers our nation faced by the Congress, Senate, and the President led to the failures of September 11, 2001. Those weaknesses in our defense continue to this very day."

A New Jersey group, the "Four Moms" forced Bush, over his strong objections, to form the 9/11 Commission.

These four mothers—raising seven fatherless children—also concluded that the Bush administration did nothing to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Said one of the Moms, Mindy Kleinberg,

"The Bush people keep saying that Clinton was not doing enough to combat the Al Qaeda threat. But nothing is less than not enough, and nothing is what the Bush administration did."

The Bush administration delivered the ultimate insult to women by arresting 55-year old Sue Niederer for protesting the death in Iraq of her only son, Second Lt. Seth J. Dvorin. 

Niederer confronted Laura Bush at a New Jersey fund raising event to challenge the first lady. Standing at the back of the room while Mrs. Bush lauded the president's Iraq policy to a handpicked group of supporters, Niederer called out, "Why don't your children serve?"

Immediately, Niederer was, as she retold it, "surrounded by men in dark suits with little earpieces," handcuffed and arrested for trespassing even though she had identification and a ticket to the event.

Niederer was subsequently released and charges were dropped.

Niederer's asked an appropriate question. Whatever you may think of the war, arresting a fallen soldier's mother for expressing her grief is a slap in the face to every parent who has lost a child in combat.

If the war is as noble a cause as President Bush insists, why don't Barbara and Jenna sign up for the National Guard? As the twins said in August at the Republican National Convention, "Since we graduated from college, we're looking for something to do for the next few years."

As always with my columns regarding President Bush, I encourage readers to fact check.

I could not find any overwhelming evidence that women should—or do—prefer Bush to Kerry as the November choice.

But please don't take my word for it. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions.

 

JOENOTE TO VDARE.COM READERS:

In addition to interviewing 9/11 families, I have also spoken at considerable length with dozens of mothers, wives, sisters and daughters of innocent U.S. citizens killed by illegal aliens who then fled to Mexico for safe haven.

Without exception, those women consider President Bush to be a contemptible coward for his repeated failure to pressure Mexican President Vicente Fox to extradite the killers back to California.

They have all made passionate pleas to Bush to intervene. But Bush—again revealing his peculiar partiality for Mexico—ignored them.

My personal conclusion: Bush is not merely cowardly, but arrogant.

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.