|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
They’ve failed to organize the millions of supporters they have into a coherent and powerful movement. 'Cause when your movement looks like an amateur mess compared with the "keep your government hands off my Medicare" teabaggers, you're doing something wrong.
They’ve failed to frame the debate and influence how we talk about issues that affect women’s lives. While they're still arguing about "choice" -- a word that persuades no one and narrowly focuses the conversation on abortion instead of the full spectrum of reproductive health -- opponents are thinking up clever new phrases to use incessantly and force into the public consciousness until they become law. "Partial birth abortion." "Rights of the preborn." "Culture of life."
They’ve failed to make women’s rights a legislative priority for the very representatives they help send to Congress. And if their supposed allies don't worry about losing support of the feminist organizations, certainly their opponents don't lose a lot of sleep over invoking the almighty wrath of the feminists. What's the worst they can do? Organize another march? Hey, that might actually be great news for Republicans!
They’ve failed to adapt their movement and their message to a new era and a new generation of would-be feminists. Where are the bumper sticker slogans, the tactics, the refreshed, revised 21st century approach to a problem as old as time? Are they using the internet for anything more than urgent emails and processing donations? Where are the clever YouTube videos by a new generation of feminists talking about how this or that bill affects them? Where is the television presence? Where are the bloggers? (Oh, there are plenty of feminist bloggers out there, but they’re not being supported or promoted or elevated by the feminist organizations, who still think the internet is primarily for sending email. For example, guess who the "featured blogger" on Emily's List is? Why, it's Ellen Malcolm, the president.)
They’ve failed –- time and again, in any number of ways, under Republican and Democratic administrations. And if they don't figure that out, and figure out how to change it, they will become irrelevant. We already know how to raise money with the internet, and we don't need Ellen Malcolm, or her successor, or any of her FeminismTM counterparts to do it.