David Brooks: Republicans Can’t Win Without Waitress (Read: Single) Moms

by W.F. Price on April 14, 2012

While listening to NPR yesterday, I heard a political discussion about the presidential race, and the two pundits, E.J. Dionne and David Brooks, were offering their opinions on Mitt Romney’s speech at the NRA convention. While discussing the demographics of the race, Brooks opined that Romney needs to overwhelm Obama with white voters in order to win, and said that the group he really needs to focus on is high school educated women, the so-called waitress moms. This is the demographic that is having children out of wedlock at very high rates, and also most likely to be divorced. What Brooks is saying is that Republicans need to cater to these women. And he strongly suggests that what Romney needs to do is offer them government support. i.e. “Big Daddy” government programs.

If you listen to Brooks on NPR’s audio clip, you’ll hear him almost sneer as he mentions Romney’s “freedom and liberty” theme (at about 5:00). He says:

Well, if you’re trying to appeal to high school-educated women, that’s not the message that works. That’s you’re on your own, sister. And that will not work. And so, I’m a little mystified by the very libertarian theme he’s got.

He’s probably right. If Romney wants working class white women to vote for him, he’s got to play the same game white Republicans in the south do. This means he’s got to bash single fathers and promise free goodies to the single moms, i.e. he’s got to promise them a government husband/daddy. I suppose it’s a catch-22 for the Republicans. You bash the men and promise goodies to the single moms, and the men will turn their backs on you or refuse to vote (this is why I think McCain lost — lots of men simply didn’t vote). You support individual responsibility and the single moms will reject you. This just shows how deep and pervasive the divide between the sexes has become in this country. What a mess.

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