Washington (CNSNews.com) - With Republicans in charge of the White House and Congress and Democrats fearing that the next appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court could lead to the reversal of legalized abortion, one of the most liberal groups in Washington believes the only solution to such a "dire" problem is to elect more women.
"When I look at what is happening right now in this city, I am horrified," said Ellen Malcolm, the president and founder of the abortion rights group Emily's List, while speaking to a group of feminists and Democratic Party regulars this week in the nation's capital.
Malcolm believes more female politicians will end the "nasty tone" and "horrible partisan atmosphere" in Washington.
"One of the things that I appreciate is that when you elect more women, the tone gets more reasonable, the women figure out ways to get together, find more compromise," she told Cybercast News Service. "I think we could use that kind of leadership in a big dose right now."
Malcolm did not mention anyone by name, though many people expect that the nation's most prominent Democrat female politician, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, will run for president in 2008.
"Our dream is correct, that if we put women in power, the country will be better off -- we will be better off," Malcolm said on a night when she, as the founder of Emily's List, was receiving "woman of the year" honors from the Woman's National Democratic Club. Emily's List raised over $40 million to try to elect female abortion rights candidates in 2004.
Members of the Woman's National Democratic Club, like 30-year member Ruth Nadel, agreed with Malcolm.
"Everyone I know is so disturbed to see what we are going through right now with this (the Bush) administration. I have never seen politics take such an ugly point of view," Nadel told Cybercast News Service.
Nadel believes Democrats will eventually regain control of the government, but admitted that religious conservatives currently have a message that resonates with many voters.
"I have been learning of course about the evangelists, but I think they have been on target much more than we have. [Democrats] have to talk about our values, our family values, our values for our country, values for our economic success, and we haven't," Nadel said.
Mary Beth Cahill, who managed the presidential campaign of failed 2004 nominee, Sen. John Kerry, attributed Bush's victory to the Iraq War and terrorism threat. "[In 2004] a wartime president had a relationship with American voters, [which] was very difficult to overcome," Cahill told Cybercast News Service.
But Cahill predicted that the "Democrats are very well positioned for victory in 2006."
Cecile Richards, the daughter of former Texas Governor Anne Richards, praised Malcolm's leadership of Emily's List.
"When the history books are written -- the ones that include women -- the story will be that Susan B. Anthony got us the right to vote, but Ellen Malcolm got us political power," Richards told the crowd.
But on Thursday, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List rejected the linking of suffragist Anthony to the abortion rights movement.
"It is very unfortunate that pro-choice women's groups such as Emily's List have decided to claim the early feminists as their own when in fact all of the early suffragists, including Susan B. Anthony herself, were adamantly against abortion and called abortion child murder," Samantha Cheatham, the political coordinator for the Susan B. Anthony List, a Virginia-based group named for the 19th century suffragist.
Ellen Malcolm's legacy and that of Emily's List are not positive, according to Cheatham.
"[Emily's List] has been to the destruction of women, because being pro-choice and adamantly for abortion is harmful to women and their unborn children. So I think [Malcolm's] legacy is not going be a positive one especially for women," Cheatham said.
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