Politics & Policy

EMILY’s List Does Not Speak for Me

And probably not for you, either, if you’re like the majority of Americans — including the majority of women.

Do you have your John Boehner Halloween costume yet? I know they’re not flying off the shelves of your nearest costume headquarters, but you’d never know that listening to Barack Obama and those who are trying to keep his party in power.

After Obama’s recent tour attempting to demonize the pro-life Ohio congressman, EMILY’s List has hit the trail, and perhaps your favorite liberal gal’s Facebook page. EMILY’s List, the political-action committee that exists to elect supporters of legal abortion to political office, is looking to make the sound of Boehner’s name chill-inducing enough to make you vote Democratic. “Don’t Let John Boehner and the Republicans Turn Back the Clock for Women,” their “Boehner’s America” website implores — indicating that this chronically dissatisfied interest group can’t even come up with new pick-up lines. In a speech to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock announced: “John Boehner can only take the speaker’s gavel from Nancy Pelosi by defeating the Democratic women you and I have worked so hard to elect. And by discouraging women voters so much that they stay home on November 2.”

And with that, Schriock made clear that she’s not listening to what Americans are telling politicians. She’s taking her campaign strategy from the president, and focusing like a laser on making the House minority leader this year’s bogeyman.

Marsha Blackburn, a Republican congresswoman from Tennessee, throws cold water on EMILY’s strategy. “Women voters are fired up for this year’s election and will most definitely not be staying home on November 2, and there are at least 146 good reasons for this. A record number of Republican women have sought federal office this year — 129 GOP women in House races and 17 in Senate races. In 1994, another record-breaking year, 91 Republican women ran for the House and 13 for the Senate. How can EMILY’s List say that the party is running women out when more and more women are running? This is the year of the strong conservative woman, but because those women are overwhelmingly pro-life, EMILY’s List clearly doesn’t see them as good enough.”

Blackburn’s colleague Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R. Wash.), adds: “The type of women we are running — political outsiders who are moms, small-business women, women who up until recently never thought of running for office but were inspired to run because of the dangerous course [on which] President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are taking America — are threatening to the liberal special-interest groups who believe that to be a woman you must be a liberal and that conservative women candidates . . . must not only be defeated, but also branded as somehow anti-woman. This is absurd.”

Billie Tucker, a tea-party organizer from Florida, has no patience with Schriock’s attempt to keep the Democrats in power: “It’s not the number of women in Congress Ms. Schriock is really worried about. It’s the number of women with Nancy Pelosi’s behaviors that she wants to keep there.” Stacy Mott, president of Smart Girl Politics, adds: “The next Congress is going to get this country back on track because brave women have had enough of Speaker Pelosi and President Obama’s pandering, condescension, and broken promises.”

All of these women are people that EMILY’s List exists to drown out. But they’re being heard loud and clear. As Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List — the closest thing the pro-life movement has to an organized response to EMILY — says: “EMILY’s List has only dominated women’s politics for so long because it discourages female voter turnout of what they consider the ‘wrong kind of woman.’ That dominance is clearly on the wane.”

This election season points to a reality that hurts EMILY’s List at its core. There is “enormous consensus” on the issue of abortion, Knights of Columbus head Carl Anderson argues in his upcoming book, Beyond a House Divided: The Moral Consensus Ignored by Washington, Wall Street, and the Media. Surveys done for the Knights by the Marist Poll found that eight out of ten Americans “favor restrictions that would limit abortion to the first three months of pregnancy at most.” Additionally, Anderson notes that “53 percent of Americans would limit abortion to cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of a mother — or would not allow it at all. Among women, the number is even higher — 55 percent.”

In this election, according to Marist’s polling (which is consistent with CNN and other polling), EMILY’s List is playing to the less than a quarter of Americans who want abortion available throughout a woman’s pregnancy. Republicans, for the most part, seem to be playing to the consensus while being authentic to their principles. If 80 percent of us can agree on some restrictions, how about we start with prohibiting all federal funding of abortion? That’s a far cry from overturning Roe v. Wade, but it’s a start. And, by the way — contrary to the EMILY’s List scare tactics — a Speaker John Boehner wouldn’t have the power to do that even if he wanted to.

People are fed up with the scare tactics, because they are genuinely concerned about the future of their country. They know who they are. They know how to keep those who are supposed to represent them accountable. EMILY’s List does not speak for me; it speaks for fewer Americans every day. I understand that’s why Schriock and her friends are spooked. But there is no tricking voters this year.

–  Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online. She can be reached at klopez@nationalreview.com. This column is available exclusively through United Media. For permission to reprint or excerpt this copyrighted material, please contact Carmen Puello.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
Elections

Biden Lies Again and Again

Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden's business dealing as "a Russian plant." There is zero evidence for this. He offered this line: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said ... Read More
Elections

Biden Lies Again and Again

Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden's business dealing as "a Russian plant." There is zero evidence for this. He offered this line: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said ... Read More
U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More