During the contented years in the middle years of Clinton’s first term, they were called “soccer moms,” their voting decisions based presumably on issues that affected the shuttling of children to and fro. Post 9/11, they became “security moms,” fixated more on the terrorist threat than on the domestic sphere. Now that we live in an economic toilet bowl, dodging the refuse from Wall Street’s collapse and the recession, more mothers are going back to work. (In fact, they’re partly responsible for cushioning unemployment and poverty predictions.) And NPR thinks it knows what we should call them: “weary working moms.” What an empowering turn of phrase! “They are tired from carrying the economic burdens for their families, and they may just be tired of carrying the water for the Democrats as well.” Those Democrats, always asking for favors like, “Vote for us, we promise it’ll pay off eventually (psyche).”
One potential pitfall for Democrats is that these moms might be too weary to vote. A New York Times/CBS News poll from last week found women less interested in the 2010 election than men. As NPR points out, they needn’t defect to the “Mama Grizzly” camp to hurt Democrats chances in November. All they need to do is stay home.
What’s the male rejoinder? May we suggest re-appropriating “angry white males,” the demographic who brought the Republicans the House and the Senate in 1994. “Angry white unemployed males,” doesn’t have the same ring to it, but Christopher Hitchens maps how their anxiety took shape over the summer. The same poll showed men saying they will vote for Republican candidates over Democrats in their districts by a margin of 45 percent to 32 percent.