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Feminism vs. Family Values
Women at the 1992 Democratic and Republican Conventions

by Jo Freeman

Published in off our backs, January 1993, pp. 2-3, 10-17.

The 1992 Conventions of the Democratic and Republican Parties saw the culmination of trends which have been developing for twenty years. The two major political parties have now completely polarized around feminism and the reaction to it. Each parties' position has become institutionalized to the point where it is not seriously questioned within the national party and where the differences are clearly evident to the voting public. On feminist issues and concerns the parties are not following the traditional pattern of presenting different versions of the same thing, or following each other's lead into new territory.1 They are presenting two different and conflicting visions of how Americans should engage in everyday life.
Although the party platforms and the speeches at the conventions devoted many words to many issues, each parties' vision can be summed up in a slogan. The Republicans articulated their's clearly in the phrase "family values." While their platform does not define this slogan, both the document and the speeches indicate that it stands for programs and policies which strengthen the traditional two-parent, patriarchal family in which the husband is the breadwinner, the wife is the caretaker, and children are completely subject to parental authority. The Democrats attempted their usual strategy of pre-emption and co-optation by borrowing the Republican's phrase to use in a different context, but their very use of it belied its content. In reality the Democrats have incorporated the feminist demand that "the personal is political" and have put on the public agenda issues which were once deemed to be purely personal. The most controversial of these is abortion; the most recent is sexual harassment. In between are a plethora of concerns ranging from wife abuse and incest, to ending discrimination against gays, lesbians and others living nontraditional lifestyles, to proposals to reduce the conflict between work and family obligations.



When the feminist movement emerged in the mid-sixties, the major parties did not view women, let alone feminists, as worthy of notice. Support for the Equal Rights Amendment had been removed from the Democratic Party's Platform in 1960 and the Republican Party's in 1964. By 1968 the sole reference in the Republican Platform was "concern for the unique problems of citizens long disadvantaged in our total society by race, color, national origin, creed or sex." The Democratic Platform didn't go that far. The words "women" or "sex" did not appear any place.2
This changed in 1972. In 1970 the feminist movement became publicly known. In 1971 the National Women's Political Caucus was founded specifically to bring more women into mainstream politics, including the major political parties. At the 1972 national nominating conventions its Democratic and Republican Task Forces organized feminists to put their issues back into the Platforms and to increase the number of women delegates. Although feminist activities at the Democratic Convention were by far the more public and the more publicized of the two, the Task Forces were about equally successful in achieving their goals. The ERA was put back into both parties' platforms; proposed planks on abortion were left out.3 Women's percent of delegates increased from 13 to 40 percent in the Democratic Convention, and from 17 to 30 percent at the Republican's. The greater increase at the former was because Democratic women were riding a reform movement within the party to make it more accessible. While this movement to write national rules which would curb the power of the local machines was stimulated more by Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements than by incipient feminism, it created an opportunity which the NWPC used to women's advantage.4
By 1976 feminists were strong enough within both parties to engage in major battles, but they were very different battles. The fight within the Democratic Party was over the "50-50" rule to require that from 1980 on all delegations would have to be half women. This change was proposed because there had been a sharp fall off of women delegates from 40 to 34 percent at the 1976 Convention. It lost in the Rules Committee, but with enough support for a minority report, and thus a potential floor fight. The Carter campaign controlled a majority of the votes and did not support the 50-50 rule. However, neither did it want a bloody floor fight in a year in which the Democrats sensed victory. After several days of negotiations Carter compromised by agreeing to promote equal division in future conventions and a floor fight was avoided. In December of 1979 the Democratic National Committee voted to require that all future delegations be half women.
At the 1976 Republican Convention, the fight was over keeping the ERA in the Republican Party platform. Although ostensibly between Phyllis Schlafly's STOP ERA and Republican feminists affiliated with the NWPC, this fight was a surrogate for the struggle between the Reagan and Ford factions of the party, and it was ultimately these two campaigns which decided what would be in the Platform. The Republican Party's Platform Committee meets the week before its national convention, unlike the Democrats who draft their platform in the Spring. In 1976, STOP ERA was gaining momentum in state battles; it mobilized Reagan delegates to remove the ERA clause from the Platform. Defeated in the subcommittee and barely reinstated by 51 to 47 in the full Platform Committee, the ERA was ripe for a major floor fight. However Reagan only wanted a floor debate on two issues and this wasn't one of them. Thanks to candidates Ford and Reagan, the ERA stayed in the Republican Platform until 1980.
In 1980 neither convention saw much fighting. Yet it was clear from reading the platforms that the polarization over feminist issues that had emerged in 1976 was escalating. Both feminists and anti-feminists had established their hegemony over their respective parties' positions by 1980 and were consolidating their power. The few remaining feminists in the Republican Party had no ties to the victorious Reagan campaign and the ERA was removed from the Platform by a full Committee vote of 90 to 9. Abortion actually received more support than the ERA. A motion for neutral recognition of the right to differ on the issue only lost by 75 to 18. For the Democratic convention minority planks had been filed and floor fights scheduled on both the ERA and abortion, but the issue was not support, but how much support. Feminists wanted "the Democratic Party [to] offer no financial support ... to candidates who do not support the ERA" and to go on record in favor of government funding of abortions for poor women. Though the Carter campaign supported neither of these, both were passed by the Convention itself without much debate -- the former by acclamation and the latter by a two to one margin.
By 1984, both feminists and anti feminists had so thoroughly permeated the two national parties that they could truly be called insiders in the dominant Presidential campaigns. NOW's Action Vice President was put on the Democratic Platform Committee by Mondale's campaign with "sign off" authority on all planks of interest to feminists. Phyllis Schlafly sat on the national defense subcommittee of the Republican Platform Committee but gave directions on the language she wanted in other subcommittees through Eagle Forum supporters. Nothing on women was put in the platform without her agreement. Feminists focused their energies on persuading Mondale to run with a woman; once they succeeded, they celebrated at the convention. Republican feminists boycotted their convention as futile; the few who tried to testify on the ERA at the platform hearings were questioned about Geraldine Ferraro's family finances. Outside the convention, NOW did not even march in protest as it had in 1976 and 1980. 1,700 people came to Schlafly's fundraiser, where prominent feminists were parodied.
Conflict re-emerged in the 1988 conventions, but it was subtle, muted by the desires of feminists in both parties to win the Presidency and to be on good terms with the winners. The Democrats wrote a feminist platform in consultation with representatives of several national organizations, but only after initial drafts that left out mention of the ERA and abortion. NOW moved from being a powerful insider in 1984 to commenting from the fringes that women were still being neglected; other women's organizations told the press that women were now such insiders that they didn't have to be catered to as in the past. At the Republican Convention, abortion, which had been shunned by GOP feminists in the 1970s, became the issue. However, most of the earlier Republican feminists were no longer involved with the Party, or were part of the Bush team and more interested in avoiding divisiveness than making policy. Thus it was mostly a new group of women, and men, who opposed support for the human life amendment in the Republican platform and tried to remove language which declared that "the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed." They lost by 55 to 32. Instead of taking the issue to the convention floor, several had a press conference in which they lauded the "progressive platform" and declared their support for George Bush.
The ease with which feminists and anti-feminists could have their respective positions adopted by the two major parties was facilitated by major transformations occurring within each party. The reform movement within the Democratic Party changed it from a coalition of state parties and local machines into one of national constituencies. Organized labor retained its traditional clout, but over time it was joined by organized minority groups, women, gays and lesbians and others who won acceptance within the party by their ability to elect delegates, raise money and conduct quadrennial struggles over platform planks and rules changes.


The Republican Party saw the emergence of a powerful interest group, the New Christian Right, despite a political culture that was traditionally hostile to organized interest groups within it. In the 1970s several well known ministers were recruited by hard right Republicans looking for troops. They in turn persuaded their deeply religious followers to overcome their repugnance of party politics as well as their traditional Democratic voting habits. Politicized by the legalization of abortion, evangelical Christians began to move into the Republican Party in 1980 to support Ronald Reagan. Pat Robertson's Presidential campaign organized them to become delegates to the 1988 convention. Not warmly received by more traditional Republicans who found them rather déclassé, their persistence, organization and numbers compelled their reluctant acceptance. By 1992, the Christian right had the same hegemony over social issues within the Republican Party that the liberal constituency groups did in the Democratic Party. They not only wrote the Platform, but the party line.


Despite running rapidly in the opposite directions, the Democratic and Republican Parties had several themes in common at this year's Conventions. Foremost was harmony on the inside.5 Most of the protests, and there were more than usual this year, were on the outside by groups for whom the conventions were primarily a press availability, not a chance to educate delegates from all over the country. Abortion was the reigning issue; no longer seen as just a "women's issue", or even a debatable one, it has become a deep moral conflict on which elections can be won and lost and on which deviance from each party's official line is tantamount to treason. To the women in the parties, however, electing more of their own took up more time than talking about the right to choose. Showcasing candidates and raising money to elect more women were emphasized far more than in any previous convention. It was female fundraisers who received the maximum honors, not spokeswomen.

Harmony. There was very little fighting in part because each convention's most contentious delegates (except Jerry Brown's) either felt their concerns were adequately met by the winning candidates, or there weren't enough of them to mount an effective protest. The newest claimant in the Democratic Party coalition, the Lesbian and Gay Caucus, with 104 "out" delegates most of whom weren't pledged to Clinton, felt it had "tremendous access."6 Feminists had no complaint. They liked the platform. They liked the speeches. Unlike Dukakis in 1988, Clinton honored the party's women by making his only off-the-floor speech at their Tuesday morning gathering. NOW, which usually provided at least a voice of disagreement, stayed outside. National President Patricia Ireland was in Kenya that week. The only dissident voice was Jerry Brown's, and his was largely ignored.
At the Republican Convention, there was a lot of press play over abortion, but it was mostly smoke; the few pro-choice delegates did not come organized or even inclined to oppose their President on this issue. "Embarrassing" the President through public dissent is not considered proper behavior for Republicans; it often results in ostracism. The Right kept quiet because even before the convention began it had been given the platform, several prime time spots on the program, frequent invitations to the Presidential box, and Vice President Dan Quayle as the featured speaker at a God and Country revival hosted by Rev. Pat Robertson. The most lively moments at the GOP convention were the several occasions when ACT-UP activists, disguised as press or Republicans, disrupted a speech or other event. They were quickly dragged out.

Abortion. Internal harmony did not prevent abortion, pro- or con-, from being a dominant motif, but only at the Republican Convention was there even token dissent from established orthodoxy; Mass. Gov. William Weld was allowed to leave a pro-choice line in his convention speech, though he was booed for his boldness. As in the past, the Democrats permitted a quiet floor demonstration with "Pro Choice, Pro Clinton" signs passed to the delegates on the floor. This one was held while six pro-choice Republican women endorsed Clinton from the podium. Their presence emphasized the fact that the Democrats no longer see the issue as a matter of principle or even as deference to one of its constituency groups. Democrats are now convinced that it's the way to win elections. Convention chair Ann Richards denied Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey's request to speak against what he claimed was the Platform's support of "abortion on demand".7 She herself set the tone when she began her own opening remarks Monday night by declaring "I'm Pro-Choice and I vote." Virtually every speaker in the four day marathon pledged fealty to choice and received thunderous applause. Just in case the Democrats lost, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and Planned Parenthood lobbied for the Freedom of Choice Act, by which Congress would limit the state's ability to impose restrictions on abortion.
At the Republican Convention, Phyllis Schlafly's STOP ERA was reincarnated as the Republican National Coalition for Life. Although not a member of the Platform Committee this time, Schlafly and her minions worked closely with the Bush campaign to "Keep Our Winning Platform", as their lapel stickers declared. Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans debate and modify the prepared draft of their platform the week before the convention -- thus providing a bit more drama as well as more public exposure of the process. After two days of subcommittee deliberations, the RNC-L held a press conference down the hall from where the full platform committee was to meet. There Schlafly displayed boxes marked with the name of each state which she claimed contained pledges from 100,000 people, including 3,500 public and party officials, committed to the platform's extreme pro-life position. Surrounded by several dozen young women wearing red cowboy hats with RNC-L hatbands, Schlafly declared that "pro-life is a winner for Republicans." "The Democrats", she went on to state with a smile, "are in the death grip of the radical feminists. Jesse Jackson and Dick Gephardt were pro-life until they got the Presidential bug, then they had to toady to the special interest of the radical feminists."8
Later that afternoon, Richard Rosenbaum, former chair of the New York Republican Party State Committee, held his own press conference at one of the hotels to declare that "if our party doesn't take a pro-choice position now, we will suffer for it in November." He said his request for a room to make this statement in the headquarters hotel or in the convention center where Schlafly held her press conference was denied by the Republican National Committee -- whose convention office stored the RNC-L pledge boxes. There were other reports of pro-choicers being denied space, or even being removed as delegates.9
The full Platform deliberations of both parties each saw a futile motion by one delegate to remove all language on abortion. The speeches that followed could hardly be called debate; they were overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the issue in both platforms, largely expressed in emotional and personal terms. Of course the opinions were for the opposite positions, as was the vote in each Platform Committee. However, the Republican's refusal to remove their pro-life language got more press because they voted in Houston the week before their convention, in full view of hungry reporters, while Operation Rescue was blocking clinics around the city. The Democratic Platform Committee voted in Washington a month before the New York convention when no one was paying much attention. Thus, dissent was less disruptive for the Democrats.

Protests. As usual, people came from all over the country to march in the streets or stand outside the convention hall holding signs. And as has been true since the bloody conflicts with police at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, the protests were tightly controlled. Demonstration pens were set up outside each convention hall from which the protestors could see the building, but the delegates, brought in by bus, couldn't see them. Instead the demonstrators provided a little color for an otherwise bored repertorial corps and an opportunity for those alienated from the two major parties to show the flag in their shadow. The space allocated for demonstrations at the Republican Convention was much bigger than that at the Democrats', with three microphone sites, a first aid tent, water, portapotties and free parking. Most of the time it was largely empty, with only the strip facing the street lined with tables and signs, from advocates for POW-MIAs to Bosnia to Khalistan. In New York, protestors preferred to march. AIDS brought an estimated 20,000 past the convention hall in New York while the Democrats were reading their Platform on Tuesday, July 14. In Houston only a few hundred joined ACT-UP's AIDS march on Monday, August 17, but a Unity march the day before brought 5,000 people from one of Houston's poorest neighborhoods to one of its richest. However, neither marches nor protests got quite the attention of a little ingenuity. In Houston, a dozen women in antebellum hoopskirts identifying themselves as the "Southern Belles for Safer Sex" got more coverage from passing out condoms to the delegates than any of the protests.

Both NOW and NARAL used the Republican protest site for major rallies, the former two days before the convention began, and the latter while President Bush was being renominated inside. Neither organized marches at the Democratic convention, though a committee of New York City NOW did. According to Jill Ackerman, members of NOW-NYC's Women's Anti-Violence Committee were frustrated at their inability to get an anti-violence plank into the Democratic Party platform, or to even present testimony on it at the Platform Committee's May hearing. Therefore they invited New York City's many feminist groups to weekly meetings to plan a march around this theme, and its numerous feminist luminaries to address the crowd. Over 6,000 marched a mile on July 13, during the first convention session, to hear a very long list of speakers give personal and political testimony late into the night.
National NOW's reason for coming to the cities where the national nominating conventions were held was to face down Operation Rescue, which had sent thousands of people to the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta to close down abortion clinics. In the intervening four years, OR had mobilized adherents from all over the country for "rescues" in different cities, some of which occupied police and "defenders" for weeks at a time. In anticipation of a repeat of 1988, NOW and its sister organization, the Feminist Majority Foundation, a private non-membership organization founded and headed by former NOW President Ellie Smeal, sent staff and funds to New York and Houston to defend the clinics. The FMF led this effort in New York; NOW did so in Houston.
As early as May FMF came to New York to prepare for the expected onslaught. With help from the New York Clinic Defense Task Force, an already existing coalition of feminist groups, it recruited 5,000 people for clinic defense classes held in the Brooklyn YWCA and the Friends Meeting House in Manhattan. Beginning a few days before the convention, from 200 to 2,000 defenders met at 5:00 a.m. at ten clinics around the city designated as mobilization sites. Here, facilitators wearing orange vests organized defenders into drills and escort teams, while site leaders wearing yellow vests used cellular phones to keep in contact with a secret headquarters. Caravaners roamed the streets looking for OR, and reported all sightings to headquarters, which in turn directed defenders to where they were needed. This elaborate organization did not see much action in New York, as OR was largely a No Show. An injunction obtained by New York States Attorney Robert Abrams ordered its participants to keep at least 15 feet from any clinic door. Only a few dozen rescuers, mostly locals, even showed at the clinics. The only action which made the news was an attempt to hand Bill Clinton a fetus in a box.10
In Houston, National NOW worked with its local chapters and Planned Parenthood to train 2,500 defenders. Since the platform deliberations lengthen the time the GOP is in town, defenders met daily for two weeks at 5 mobilization sites. OR was more numerous and better organized. Despite another injunction specifying that they stay 100 feet away, several hundred rescuers mostly from California OR, wearing special GOP Convention T-shirts, led by Rev. Keith Tucci, marched, prayed and assaulted the clinics as their leaders ordered. Despite the injunction, the police did not always keep the two sides apart. At one clinic on Saturday, August 15, NOW's Ireland and FMF's Kathy Spillar ducked under the one barricade and walked a few feet to confront Tucci directly. After several minutes of cross yelling, he tore up the injunction and put it on Ireland's head. Tucci was later asked why OR had failed in NYC. Initially he said that "the bigger the city the harder it is to get people to respond." Switching focus, he denied that OR ever intended to stage a large operation in New York. "Our plan was to make them think that we were going to New York but we never told our people to come. We just wanted them to spend a lot of money."
Action at the Houston clinics got local headlines every day, but, unlike New York, it did not get the local candidates. A march over the Brooklyn bridge organized by NY-NARAL and WHAM (Women's Health Action Mobilization) the week before the Democratic convention attracted only 500 supporters, but three of the four candidates for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Two of them, Geraldine Ferraro and Robert Abrams, even joined in blocking traffic on the Manhattan side of the bridge. (Abrams is New York State's highest law enforcement official). A dozen candidates from several states, male and female, endorsed by NOW/PAC, joined in a clinic defense on Tuesday, July 14. The only Republicans who did this in Houston were a few young women affiliated with Republicans for Choice, and some of the leaders of the National Republican Coalition for Choice. None of the pro-lifers vocal at the platform meetings, or the 3,500 public and party officials who supposedly signed Schlafly's pledges, were spotted at any of OR's events. Among the Democrats, public officials and protestors, candidates, conventioneers and demonstrators, insiders and outsiders, are part of the same universe. At the Republican Convention, whether pro-choice or pro-life, they lived in different worlds.
There is something about the national nominating conventions that attracts even those activists who disdain party politics, and feminists are no exception. Two groups -- artists and writers -- saw 1992 as the time to resurrect radical feminist thought and action. Many were aroused by the Anita Hill / Clarence Thomas hearings or "kicked out of their complacency" by the Supreme Court's recent Casey decision upholding Pennsylvania's restrictions on abortion. Additionally, as writer Jane O'Reilly put it, "there are a lot of talented unemployed women these days."
The Women's Action Coalition (WAC) was started in January of 1992 by women artists at a Soho Gallery, The Drawing Center, who "realized their problems went beyond art." Quickly expanding beyond the artists community, WAC plans actions at weekly meetings of several hundred people loosely guided by "Roberta's" Rules of Order and revolving facilitators instead of chairs. Inspired by the militant gay group ACT-UP, ad hoc committees form to organize each action which usually combines the street theater and zap actions of the sixties with sophisticated media presentations. Only in June did WAC decide the Democratic Convention was a good target. Soon it had plastered its "WAC Is Watching" literature with its CBS-like eye for several blocks around Madison Square Garden, handed out pamphlets -- full of facts, figures and footnotes -- to the pre-convention media party and put them in the women's rooms at the Garden. It also organized a fifty woman drum corps to lead 600 chanting women down Fifth Avenue's Museum Mile while the delegates were visiting on free passes Tuesday afternoon.
WAC is a New York group, and going to Houston had not been on its agenda, according to Lianna Tomcheson. But, high on the success of the Democratic event and encouraged by Houston artists, WAC raised $35,000 from private donors to send 40 women and equipment to the GOP convention. Unlike most feminists, artists have longstanding relationships with wealthy individuals who buy art. Thus WAC could find the funds to put on what became a performance art event with a political focus. Joined by 75 Houston artists working out of the Lawndale Art Center, WAC organized a three-night slide show on the wall of a tall parking garage in downtown Houston. This was accompanied by an open mike speak out, which often "became very personal" and group singing. The Drum Corps, now a popular WAC institution, mounted "Operation Dessert Storm". From a rented ice cream truck it toured Houston to drum up attention at the clinic defenses, marches and rallies, while passing out literature wrapped in a "menu" featuring such flavors of the month as "Good 'Ole Boysenberry", the "Slush Fund Slush" and the "Taxpayer Shakeout". As in New York, the pamphlets were eyecatching but not superficial. Inside were cites all the bill numbers -- federal and state -- that WAC wanted women to support.
Unlike the artists, New York women writers had not organized for action prior to the conventions. However, they did have organizations and at one meeting Pat Reuss, director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, suggested that a newsletter for women delegates be published at the Democratic Convention. Word went out quickly on the publishing grapevine, and soon a brownstone within walking distance of the convention and some money had been donated to do it. Soon writer Jane O'Reilly found herself sitting in Pat Reuss's office in Washington writing a memo to raise more money. That office was next to the Women's Campaign Fund, where director Jane Danowitz inspired the title of what became the Getting It Gazette. Its tone, black ink on hot pink paper, was the brainchild of Susan McLane, a Republican state representative from New Hampshire, who happened to be wandering by at the time.

After raising $20,000 with the help of Gloria Steinem and John Kenneth Galbraith, O'Reilly and 150 other women wrote, published and distributed five daily tabloid sized sheets during the Democratic Convention. From 2,000 to 6,000 copies each day were distributed at women's caucus meetings and at all the delegate hotels. Striking a much lighter tone than the WAC pamphlets, the Gazette not only listed the daily parties and protests, but "Confessions of a Political Junkie" by Linda Bird Francke and tips on "Rabble-rousing" by Cong. Pat Shroeder. As with WAC, GIGers had not intended to go to Houston, but the momentum of success and support carried them there. Nine flew to Texas at the last minute, where one couple let them take over "their home, their cars and their cookie cupboard for days," and Houston Woman magazine gave up its offices for the production of four tabloid sheets. Since the Republicans do not have a daily women's caucus, about 2,500 copies were distributed to the press, protests, and pro-choice parties each day. As in New York, Houston women literally walked through the door to volunteer once they heard about the paper. "Women in Houston were ready" summed up O'Reilly. "They are the most remarkable women in the country."11

Candidates. The importance of running for office and winning was the one issue on which Republicans and Democrats could agree, and the one issue which divided feminists in the Democratic Party from pro-choice Republicans. The big events at both conventions were receptions and press conferences to introduce women candidates and parties to raise money for them. The NWPC held a "Salute to Women of Color" for select Democratic candidates, funded with $5,000 from Avon and AT&A, attended by hundreds, and a press conference for Republican women attended by dozens. It wasn't alone. DNC Vice Chair Lynn Cutler's office put out a three page Calendar of Women's Events with 13 ones for candidates, some to raise money, some to introduce candidates, and some to toast fundraisers. The 128,000 member National Federation of Republican Women, which was founded in 1938 and has focused on electing Republicans, not women, printed its own three pages with eight candidate events, not including the NWPC's or those of pro-choice Republicans.
By 1992 there were eleven national political action committees (PACs), which gave money predominantly to women candidates or functioned with a predominantly female donor base. The oldest is the bipartisan Women's Campaign Fund (WCF), which started in 1974. The best known is Emily's List (Early Money Is Like Yeast). Founded only in 1985 to support Democratic women candidates for federal or statewide offices, it was a chief beneficiary of women's anger at the 1991 Hill / Thomas hearings making it one of the most powerful political organizations in Washington.12 Several had convention events. Emily's List said it raised $750,000 at its convention reception. It's Republican counterpart, WISH (Women in Senate and House), which was only formed in 1992, said it raised $200,000 for pro-choice Republican women.13 According to the NWPC, 29 of the 57 Republican women running for Congress were pro-choice. Emily's List and WISH supported women who ran against each other. In addition several organizations have PACS and even the Parties are getting in on the act. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has established a Women's Council and the Republicans have the Women's Leadership Network and the Women's House Republican Victory Committee.14

Reflecting the interest in raising money for women candidates rather than raising feminist consciousness or even training women in political skills is the fact that Emily's List boasted 15,000 "members", who paid $100 just to receive a newsletter and recommendations on which women should receive donations to their campaigns. The NWPC, a bipartisan membership organization committed to train women to run for office, only had 10,000 members in 1992, many of whom resent the national body's pre-emption of candidate endorsements and lack of membership services. Both Emily's List and the WCF made the Federal Election Commission's "top-50" PAC list for the 1991-92 election cycle. Neither NOW nor the NWPC did.

Delegates. In the past, the convention press offices issued news releases with statistics describing the delegates, usually written to emphasize the diversity of the Democrats and hide the homogeneity of the Republicans. Not in 1992. However the DNC delegate tracker did provide a print out of delegates (but not alternates) on request. Although Party rules mandate that half of all state delegations be women, the large number of Superdelegates, who are public or party officials, creates some discrepancies. Of the 4319 delegates to the Democratic Convention, 2146 were female and 2173 were male. Only those elected at the District level were truly 50-50; the Superdelegates were 70 % male and the at-large delegates were 70 % female. Racial breakdowns showed that the 70 % who were white and the 2.4 % who were Asian/Pacific were more likely to be male; The 7.6 % Hispanics, 1.2 % Native American and 18 % African Americans were more likely to be female. Surveys by news organizations indicate, as has been true for many decades, that Democratic delegates, even Superdelegates, are more liberal than Democratic voters on both economic and social issues. Unfortunately, the surveys did not provide delegate responses by sex. The 50-50 requirement came at the time that women became a significant majority of Democratic voters. Among those who identified themselves as Democrats in 1992, there are 30 % more women than men.
The Republican convention press office would not even admit there was a delegate tracker, let alone provide statistics in 1992. However, the Associated Press contacted 2206 of the 2210 known delegates, and some other news organizations did sample surveys. AP's figures show that 41 % of the GOP delegates were women; CBS estimated 43 %. Males predominated in all racial groups, 83 % of whom were white (CBS says 86 %). Mirroring the Democrats, the surveys showed that delegates were much more conservative than Republican voters. CBS said they were "possibly the most conservative since CBS began polling delegates on this question in 1976." A cursory review of answers to the CBS poll questions indicates that the Platform Committee members were much more conservative than the Republican delegates, especially on abortion.

Speakers. Since the conventions are media events, the parties use their speakers to create an image, as well reward important people and acknowledge key players. It is sometimes difficult to know which role is being played by whom. The Democratic Party emphasized it's pro-choice position by bringing Republican women on to the podium and by showcasing a large number of women candidates Tuesday night. The press dubbed this Women's Night, joking that the Democrats were featuring women when men would be watching the All-Star baseball game. More notable was the prominence of women on Monday night when Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan and Barbara Mikulski all spoke and the women Senate candidates were introduced. No one said this was showcasing women; it was simply another Democratic show. The Republicans also had a few key women speakers, but even those that were pro-choice (e.g. Sect. of Labor Lynn Martin) carefully avoided any reference to anything that might be identified as feminist. Instead the Republicans staged a "family values" night, whose message was conveyed through addresses by the first and second ladies on the importance of electing their husbands. The Republicans used a nontraditional mode (speeches by wives) to impress on viewers their concern with traditional values.


The feminist presence at the New York City gathering was notable both for women's partial assimilation into the party at all levels, and the resulting fragmentation into competing, but not conflicting, groups, attitudes and priorities. Feminists were everywhere, inside and out, running the convention and running the protests, but there was no unity and not a great deal of communication. The two feminist marches took place outside the convention at the same time that the two biggest receptions for women candidates were going on inside. On the one hand, 1992 was a celebration of women in somewhat the same way that the 1988 convention was for African-Americans. On the other hand, that same success left many activists feeling alienated. At the very time that feminist values have been incorporated into the party culture to the point that they are taken for granted, feminists who did not feel connected to the party took to the streets.


These different feelings were articulated by two women who have been major participants in the feminist movement for many years. Alice Travis, currently Director of Political Programs for the DNC and formerly Political Director for the NWPC, claimed that "the Democratic Party is a feminist organization. We don't have to lobby and march outside any more. We march together. It's not Us v. Them. The Party stands for the same things the movement stands for."15 After a press conference in Houston on August 10 on defending clinics that had little to say about the impending Republican convention, Patricia Ireland explained that National NOW was boycotting the conventions because the "parties are irrelevant". Instead NOW participated in the founding convention of the new "Twenty-first Century Party" in Washington D.C. on August 29-3016. NOW, which in 1984 sought to be a major player in the Democratic Party, has ceded the role of feminist insider to the Washington women's establishment, and in particular to NARAL which covets it and the NWPC which is officially bipartisan but has few ties to the Republican Party and none to its primary players. NOW is still undecided about whether to join other disaffected groups as the Democrats' "radical flank", pushing the Party further left, or to opt out of major party politics altogether.

The Women's Caucus. The DNC has a long history of working with established women's groups -- even when it was not in agreement with them. During the Spring before each convention there are regular meetings of the Washington women's establishment to plan a women's caucus. Hosted by Chair Lynn Cutler, the 1992 meetings decided that each of the four daily caucus meetings should have a theme which would be co-ordinated by different groups along with Cutler. Monday's session brought in experts to analyze the woman's vote. Tuesday was candidates' day. Wednesday was a rally for Choice and Thursday was A Call to Arms. These plans were adjusted when the winning nominee, Bill Clinton, agreed to address the women's caucus but on Tuesday, rather than the Thursday that had been requested. According to Cutler, he had "touched base with other groups before the convention but hadn't had a chance to talk with women."
The DNC has usually been the chief sponsor of the daily women's caucus because it can requisition hotel space for the meetings and work space for participating organizations. In 1992, the NWPC, the WCF and Emily's List were given work space. NARAL paid for six hotel rooms and a staff of 20 from which to run its own projects, and the rest of the groups fended for themselves. Stickering the delegates was the most popular activity. NARAL promoted "We Will Decide"; the NWPC's said "When Women Run, Women Win". Despite NOWs professed disdain for the Democrats, some members put purple "Elect Women for a Change" stickers on any woman passing by and distributed placards on the convention floor.
At one time the DNC itself had a Women's Division. During the Roosevelt Administration it organized Democratic Party women into one of the strongest and most effective units of the Party. However, it was abolished as an economy move in 1953 and not officially recreated until the Carter Administration. Cutler was originally chosen as DNC Vice Chair specifically to head the Women's Division, which had its own staff and budget and even a desk for volunteers in DNC headquarters. However, in 1985 DNC Chair Paul Kirk abolished it along with the six other recognized groups as part of his campaign to rid the DNC of special interests. Five these groups still exist as loose alliances, but none have staff or budgets from the DNC. Women are one of several portfolios for which Cutler is responsible.
The daily meetings, to which anyone, not just delegates, could come, have been a fixture of the Democratic convention since 1972. This year's, held from 10:00 a.m. to noon, was different; each day was a rally, not a roundtable in which to debate. For the first time there was no floor microphone and no opportunity for participants to speak. Instead those attending were presented with a program and ample opportunity to applaud all the Democratic women moving through the political pipeline to higher and higher offices. At past conventions, even when there was no conflict on an identifiable feminist issue, there was still debate. For example, in 1988 the caucus argued the merits of supporting the Jackson platform proposals. In 1992 neither the Brown nor Tsongas's issues received a hearing.
Despite the lack of controversy, the meetings were regularly attended by the faithful (only a few of whom were actually delegates) where they heard most of the prominent women (and some men) of both the Democratic Party and of the feminist movement tell them this was their year. At the entrance to the ballroom was a organizational fair. Numerous groups piled tables with literature, buttons and posters while the Getting It Gazette was hawked at the door. The highlight was Bill Clinton's speech on Tuesday. He said all the right things and drew a much larger audience than any other speaker, including Hillary who didn't come to the caucus until Thursday. Caucus organizers claimed his appearance as a first, a symbol of women's arrival in the party, but in reality 1988 was the only year in which candidates did not address the women's caucus.

The Platform. The Democratic Party's Platform writing process is less public than that of the Republicans'. The Platform Committee finishes its' work the month before the convention, while the Republicans have continued the tradition of deliberating on a draft the week before. In 1992 the Democrats began later than usual, holding the first and only hearing in Cleveland, Ohio on May 18. There was no open mike. Organizational representatives and individuals who received permission to speak included Bella Abzug, NARAL, NWPC, BPW and the YWCA. In past years these organizations and others have joined together to negotiate specific language with the platform committee or the campaign; occasionally individuals representing feminist organizations have been appointed to the Platform Committee. Neither happened in 1992. Instead most members of the Platform Committee were sufficiently conscious of feminist issues to put them in automatically. Half of the 15 person drafting committee was appointed by the Clinton campaign, and half by DNC Chairman Ron Brown. The campaign had an especially close working relationship with NARAL, and was particularly concerned with health issues. Consequently, the women on the committee, such as San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg, made a special effort to put in planks on women's health issues, such as breast cancer, while more traditional feminist issues, such as the ERA and pay equity, barely got an honorable mention. This time there was no separate section on women, though there were on "choice" and on "strengthening families". Feminist concerns were blended into these paragraphs and those on worker's rights, civil rights, health care, crime and community.



In the Republican Party feminism is a dirty word, but choice isn't. Indeed, individual choice, and responsibility for making those choices, is the essence of traditional Republican philosophy. Unlike the Democrats, Republican women were not brought into the pro-choice fold out of concern for women's rights; they believe in keeping the government out of their personal lives. Thus they have been particularly appalled at how easily the party "sold out its principles" to adopt the gospel of the New Christian Right. Not all are willing to do something about it. According to a CBS survey, only 45 % of the delegates to last summer's convention favored the extreme language in the Platform; 67 % wanted an acknowledgement of diversity of opinion, and 12 % were pro choice. Between 50 % and 70 % of Republican voters support abortion rights, depending on how the question is asked.
However, party loyalty is a virtue among Republicans, much more than among Democrats, so publicly deviating from any position supported by the leadership is hard to do. In 1976 and 1980 when the candidates favored by Republican feminists (Ford and Bush) opposed abortion their women avoided it. It was only after a several ringers on the 1988 Platform Committee objected to that document's extreme language and the Supreme Court's 1989 Webster decision galvanized a strong public reaction, that pro-choice Republican women decided the time had come to speak out.
The first to do so was Ann Stone, an unlikely candidate for spokeswoman for any "liberal" cause. Although she describes herself as "almost a libertarian", Stone has been a conservative since age 9 with long and lengthy ties into the hard Right. After learning the direct-mail business working for Richard Viguerie in the 70s, she formed her own company to raise money for many conservative groups. In 1989 former RNC Chairman Lee Atwater suggested she start a pro-choice PAC for the Republican Party. Despite severe criticism from both her former colleagues on the right and her new allies among pro-choicers, her Republicans for Choice has raised more money and garnered more publicity than all the other pro-choice Republican groups put together.17
Next to organize was the National Republican Coalition for Choice, headed by Mary Dent Crisp. A Goldwater devotee from Arizona, Crisp was co-chair of the Republican National Committee from 1977 until 1980, when she resigned under pressure from Reagan operatives after expressing disagreement with the removal of the ERA from the Republican Party Platform that year.18 The NRCC is tied into the network of pro-choice activists — it's convention staff were NOW members -- and it has made some effort to organize the Republicans in this network into state chapters. Reflecting the realignment that abortion has brought about within the major parties its Board members range from the moderate Sen. Bob Packwood (OR) and (former) Cong. Bill Green (NY), through Betty Ford to Barry Goldwater. The NRCC views Stone as a fifth column, set up by the Right to siphon off funds and support from their cause.19 The two groups maintained a surface appearance of co-operation during the convention, but did not really work together.
The people involved with these pro choice groups, including the elected officials, are on the fringes of the national Republican party; few are even delegates. Control of the national party has shifted so far to the right that many who were once in its center (e.g. Ford) or even on its right (e.g. Goldwater) can merely comment from the sidelines. Instrumental in this shift was Pat Robertson, who turned the supporters of his losing 1988 Presidential bid into the building blocks of the Christian Coalition. Aided by a $64,000 grant in October 1990 from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, by 1992 the CC claimed 550 chapters in 50 states with thirteen million dollars in donations from 250,000 members. Using what executive director Ralph Reed Jr. described as "stealth" tactics to avoid the stigma attached to religious activism, it claims to have taken over the state Republican Party in at least a dozen states and to have elected dozens of its candidates in state and local races.20 Its four Congressional candidates lost last November.21 However accurate its claims, it's influence at the 1992 convention was unmistakable, as was its ability to command the attention of President Bush. The CC claimed it had 300 delegates at the 1992 convention, including 20 members of the Platform Committee. Some journalists put the number at 200, but that's still 10 % -- more than Robertson had in 1988. Pat Buchanan, who ran for President in the 1992 primaries, only had 78 delegates.
Schlafly was not as major a player as she has been at previous conventions, largely because she was not a Bush supporter until he became President. When Reagan was in power she exercised influence through Ed Meese, but has had no equivalent contact in the Bush administration. However, she did put up a good front, holding press conferences during the Platform deliberations to claim credit for holding off pro-choice attempts to sabotage the platform. As a Catholic, she has no roots in the evangelical Christian right but she does work with it. She had a walk-on role at Robertson's God and Country Rally; Robertson and Falwell came to her usual fundraising gala. Like Mary Dent Crisp, she was an early Goldwater supporter, though she did not achieve national fame until the emergence of the feminist movement gave her a platform, first through STOP ERA and, since 1990, RNC-L. Foreign policy is still her favorite topic. Her column in the Christian American's "Special Pro-Life Issue" was entitled "Beware the New World Order". It attacked the United Nations, not feminism or choice.

Platform. Like the Democrats, the Republican Party has required that members to the Platform Committee be half female since 1944. But unlike the Democrats, they must also be delegates, and there can be no more than two members per state.22 Also like the Democrats, the GOP holds regional hearings in the Spring. In 1992 there were four; the one in Salt Lake City on May 26 allocated twenty minutes to abortion, ten to each side. Crisp and Stone spoke for the two Republican pro-choice groups; Phyllis Schlafly and Beverley LaHaye of Concerned Women for America presented the pro-life position. Despite an effort to minimize attention to the issue, the presence of demonstrations meant it was the only one which made the headlines.23 Everyone thought the confrontation in Salt Lake foreordained Houston. Stone announced to the press that she would have enough support for a floor fight and sent out direct mail letters soliciting contributions to change the party platform. In late July she sent a "pro-choice caravan" from Washington to Houston intending to rally the faithful along the way. It was a flop. The media and abortion opponents outnumbered supporters. Stone explained the low turnout by disclaiming "Republicans don't do rallies; that's not our thing."24
The Platform Committee, largely chosen after the hearings were over, was so packed with pro-lifers that there was never any possibility that 27 members would sign a minority plank. Nor was there any great effort to plan a Platform strategy. According to Eleanor S. Nussley, an outspoken pro-choice Platform Committeewoman from New Jersey, none of the pro-choice groups contacted her before coming to Houston. "I wrote Ann Stone, but she didn't reply," she said. "We (the pro-choicers) found each other after we got here.... The others didn't hear from anyone either." John Carroll of Vermont had been asked to "carry the ball" by Planned Parenthood, but he was on the wrong subcommittee and out of town making a speech. While the pro-choice Platform Committee members did meet with Stone and Crisp during the week, a minority report was never a possibility and its discussion only a tease.
The GOP dispensed with the usual first day of hearings and went right to subcommittee deliberation in hopes of wrapping up the platform early. Abortion was in the Subcommittee on Family Values, Education and Health Care, as was most of the press, but there were no surprises. The 1988 language was adopted by 17 to 3 after minimal discussion. The following day the full committee voted 84 to 16 against removing the same language, followed by voice votes on other changes in the wording, such as one exempting victims of rape or incest.
Throughout the week a certain amount of drama was maintained by both sides, who brought their supporters to hand out stickers. Spokeswomen regularly retreated to the hallways to hold mini press conferences claiming that "pro-choice delegates are being intimidated" (Stone) or "being a turncoat is a loser" (Schlafly). Stone regularly told the press how close she was to getting a commitment from six state delegations for a minority plank, the other means of generating a floor fight, but this was also not realistic. Bush operatives quickly dampened any sign of rebellion and fed the few pro-choicers a tidbit from Barbara Bush that abortion was "a personal decision" that should be omitted from the platform. Everyone assumed the President was trying to have it both ways -- give the Right the Platform and the pro-choicers a pat on the head.25 This did not smooth any feathers. After the Platform was finalized on Thursday, August 13, New York pro-choice delegate Tanya Melich, who has been to every GOP convention since 1952, turned in her credentials and went home.
Some of the most interesting debate was in other subcommittees on such subjects as AIDS, health and education. Outside the glare of public scrutiny, many delegates were trying to think out what their values meant when applied to concrete situations. Others appeared to be operating from a script, sticking in such pat phrases as "Judeo-Christian heritage" every place it could fit. The result was lauded by Pat Robertson as "the most conservative platform ever." The final version, elegantly printed with illustrations and photographs in striking contrast to the Democrats' mimeo version, inverted the usual Republican priorities. The section on "Uniting Our Family" came before national defense. Platforms are read by few voters; they generally act more as a window through which to view factional fights and a means to assess their relative strength. If this holds true in 1992, the influence of the Christian Right is larger than its acknowledged delegate strength would suggest. Fear of homosexuality, which was not even mentioned in the 1988 platform, is pervasive. Concern with maintaining parental authority over children is prominent. "[E]fforts of the Democratic Party to redefine the traditional American family", or "to include sexual preference as a protected minority receiving preferential status" are denounced. Even traditional Republican issues such as taxes, government and bureaucracy, and newer ones such as tort reform, are discussed in terms of their impact on the family. The Party which traditionally favored limited government urged "State legislatures to explore ways to promote marital stability."



Symbolically and substantively the parties sent clear messages that they represent distinct approaches to American politics. Long gone is the day when they chased each other to occupy the middle road, becoming variations on the same theme. The Democrats were heralded for nominating a team of two Southern white males with strong ties to the moderate Democratic Leadership Council. Yet in the platform and their speeches, this same team articulated values and policy positions that only twenty years ago were viewed as radical (abortion) or even unthinkable (gay rights), and did so as though they really believed them.26 The Republican slate combined a product of their old politics with a creature of their new. Yet even their Eastern Establishment has learned to speak with a Christian Right accent, however artificial it sounds, and many of the contenders for the 1996 nomination will be native speakers.
Although the Republicans are running one, maybe two, election cycles behind the Democrats, they too are being thoroughly transformed by the entry of new players with their own agenda. But it was done by a somewhat different process reflecting the different structures and the different cultures of the parties.27 The Democratic Party is pluralistic, with multiple power centers which compete for membership support in order to make demands on, as well as determine, the leaders. When challenged by the social movements of the sixties, it followed its usual strategy of co-opting them into the Democratic coalition -- changing the nature of the coalition in the process. These groups in turn were sufficiently well organized and committed to claim hegemony over those issues that were their primary concern. Feminists in particular, though not in isolation, put the "personal" on the political agenda and convinced the Democrats that government had a responsibility for righting the wrongs of private life and balancing the burdens of an inequitable social structure.
The Republican Party is a hollow shell. Run by an economic and social élite which uses money, professional expertise and institutional position to elect its candidates and determine policy, its state organizations are very weak, as reflected in their inability to control state legislatures even while regularly electing a Republican President. In the late 70s and early 80s Christian Right leaders were courted by the national Party, not to curb challenges as the Democrats did, but to gain new workers and voters sufficient to enable the Republican Party to challenge Democratic dominance in Southern states. In exchange, Party leaders and the Reagan and Bush administrations ceded authority over anything touching on issues of family and sexuality, a policy arena unimportant to Party operatives but central to evangelical religious doctrines. Initially tutored in political strategy by more experienced hard Right leaders, Christian Right leaders eventually became sufficiently sophisticated to demand that their issues be placed at the top of the party's agenda; "family values" became the major theme.28
During the last twenty years an élite realignment has taken place within and between the major parties. New players were brought into the national party coalitions, for different reasons and at different times, with opposing agendas. Each succeeded in capturing control of those policy arenas which were most important to it. Consequently the parties have polarized around issues - gender roles, sexual behavior, reproduction, care of children, family structure, intersection of work and family obligations, military service -- which twenty years ago were either not considered proper political issues, or were not partisan ones. Other issues which already were on the public agenda -- race, welfare, education -- have been transformed by the new ones. As a result, Presidential candidates in both parties have changed their views to become politically correct. Among ordinary party workers, dissidents from the dominant themes have dropped out or been drummed out. And voters are beginning to switch: feminists vote for Democrats and evangelicals vote for Republicans.
During the next twenty years, or less, these changes will work their way down through the party and political structure, eventually realigning the electorate. Feminists have a head start. Although not as well organized on the local and state as on the national level, they nonetheless have a lot of influence. A lot of women have been trained in political skills; a lot of money has been raised to elect them; a lot of men run on feminist issues -- or at least don't oppose them -- in order to win elections. As was clear from the 1992 Democratic convention, electing women, preferably feminists, to public office is high on the priority list. When women are elected to state and local offices, some studies show, their issue priorities are different. They are much more concerned with the same cluster of concerns as are the evangelicals.
The Christian Right has also recognized the importance of electing sympathetic public officials on the local level. Much more than feminists, it is seeking to use the existing party structure to attain its policy goals. In 1989 Pat Robertson created the Christian Coalition to obtain "working control" of the Republican Party from the bottom up. Access to Washington only affected national policy; many matters of concern to Christians were decided on the local level. Control of the Republican Party would provide a respectable vehicle through which to "return America" to "her Christian roots."29 To do this the CC combined a traditional tactic of Democratic insurgents, grass-roots organizing of committed ideologues through the network of evangelical churches, with a Republican one, ties to prominent national figures. Given the lack of participation in most local Republican bodies, and the pre-existing network of evangelical churches, it has not been hard to take them over. The more traditional Republicans who don't like the Christian Right's style and agenda by and large have no troops.
"Family values" did not turn out to be a winning issue in 1992; it was eclipsed by the sorry state of the economy. But for the Christian Right, family values is not merely a slogan with which to win elections; it summarized why they got into partisan politics in the first place. The cluster of issues this slogan represents is fundamental to their religious beliefs. Pat Buchanan, a Catholic who comes from the old hard right, not the new religious right, best articulated their view when he told the Republican delegates "this election is about much more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe, it is about what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be - as was the Cold War itself.... [R]adical feminism [is] the agenda Clinton & Clinton would impose on America - abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat - .... It is not the kind of change we can tolerate in a nation that we still call God's country."
If Buchanan is right, and I think he is, the realignment of the next twenty years will transform the nature of partisan competition from a mere fight for office to a surrogate civil war. Each party, and its candidates, will be the carrier of a conflicting cluster of values. The winner will get to decide the role of government, or each of the many governments in our federal system, in promulgating those values. Culture, not class or economics, will define the great political debates of the twenty-first century.30


I would like to thank the following people for helping me cover the 1992 conventions: Nedda Allbray, Willem Bouwer, Katya Williams, Shauna Martin, Kathleen Knight, Duane Oldfield.


1 Party platforms traditionally show a "cyclical movement" in which one party leads on an issue, and the other follows within an election or two. Polsby, Nelson W. and Aaron Wildavsky, Presidential Elections, New York: Scribner's Sons, 6th edition, 1984, pp. 240, 258-9. Pomper, Gerald M., Elections in America: Control and Influence in Democratic Politics, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1971, Chapters 7 and 8.

2 Past Party platforms can be found in Donald Bruce Johnson and Kirk H. Porter, National Party Platforms, Urbana: U. Ill. Press, multiple dates. This failure to mention women was not because no one asked. Betty Friedan testified on "A Bill of Rights for Women in 1968" at both parties' platform hearings, and the National Women's Party asked for an ERA endorsement. 3:3 NWP Bulletin, Fall 1968, 2-3, and Spring/Summer 1968, 2-3; Reel 158, NWP papers; Party Platforms, 734, 749.; minutes of NOW Board meeting, Sept. 14-15, 1968, author's files.

3 At the time of the conventions abortion was still illegal in all but a few states, though reform (not repeal) bills were under consideration in many more. Roe v. Wade was not decided until January 23, 1973.

4 Shafer, Barry, The Quiet Revolution: Party Reform and the Shaping of Post Reform Politics, New York: Basic Books, 1984, Chapter 17. Jo Freeman, "Whom You Know Versus Whom You Represent: Feminist Influence in the Democratic and Republican Parties" in Mary F. Katzenstein and Carol M. Mueller, eds. The Women's Movements of the United States and Western Europe Philadelphia: Temple U. Press, 1987,. pp. 222-5.

5 National Journal Convention Daily, July 14, 1992, p. 31. New York Times, July 15, 1992, p. 1:6.

6 National Journal Convention Daily, July 14, 1992, pp. 10, 14.

7 National Journal Convention Daily, July 15, 1992, p. 22. Casey did testify at the May 18 Democratic Platform Committee hearings in Cleveland, Ohio; The Boston Globe, May 19, 1992, p. 8.

8 They weren't the only ones to change positions on abortion. In 1986 Clinton wrote a letter to the Arkansas Right to Life Committee saying he was pro-life. New York Times, July 15, 1992, p. A11:6. When Albert Gore was a member of the House, he regularly voted against government funding of abortions. He changed his position when he advanced to the Senate in 1985 and ran for President in 1988. National Journal Convention Daily, July 13, 1992, p. 5. President Bush has also altered his view; he once supported Planned Parenthood.

9 The National Journal Convention Daily, August 16, 1992, p. 16; August 17, 1992, p. 1; August 19, 1992, p. 5.

10 New York Times, July 15, 1992, p. A11:6. OR member Harley David Belew stopped Clinton outside a hotel under the pretense of requesting an autograph. When Clinton saw what was in the box, he refused to accept it. OR leader Terry Randall was convicted of criminal contempt for his part in the violation of the injunction and sentenced to five months in federal prison.

11 A list of volunteers and benefactors for each convention is listed on the back of the Thursday Gazette -- July 16 for the Democrats and August 20 for the Republicans.

12 The other national PACs are: ANA-PAC (American Nurses Association), Hollywood Women's Political Committee, Leader Pac, National Federation of Business and Professional Women's PAC, National Organization for Women PAC, National Women's Political Caucus PAC, WISH List, Women's in Psychology for Legislative Action, and the Women's Council for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. There were also thirty-one state PACs. In 1992 the Center for the American Woman and Politics at the Eagleton Institute asked the 42 women's PACs how much money they had contributed to candidates. Thirty-five reported giving $11,558,712 to women candidates. In 1990, 26 such PACs had given $2,695,354. 9:1 CAWP News and Notes, Winter 1993, p. 10-11. These do not include the many PACs who specifically support pro-choice candidates.

13 Emily's List was widely reported as raising and contributing $6.2 million to Democratic women candidates in 1992. CAWP News and Notes p. 13 and CQ Weekly Report, October 17, 1992, pp. 3270. However the final report of the Federal Election Commission for the 1991-92 election cycle showed that for federal candidates Emily's List reported receiving $4,139,346 and contributing $365,318 to federal candidates out of total disbursements of $3,389,276. The Women's Campaign Fund raised $1,980,430 and disbursed $1,976,482, of which $512,067 went to federal candidates. WISH List reported receiving $300,345 and disbursing $288,520 of which $67,191 went to federal candidates. Federal Election Commission press release of April 29, 1993, and inquiry of the FEC Press Office on August 23, 1993. Campaign money was also raised by state affiliates of national organizations, none of which are included in these figures.

14 National Journal Convention Daily, August, 19, 1992, p. 23. CAWP News and Notes p. 18 reports that the Women's Council "distributed $1.5 million to 10 Democratic, pro-choice women candidates in the general election." It didn't say whether these were federal, state or local candidates, but the Women's Council is not on the FEC's top 50 PAC list for any category.

15 Telephone interview with author, Nov.13, 1992.

16 National NOW Times, August 1992, p. 3.

17 "The GOP's Abortion-Rights Upstart", The Washington Post, April 4, 1992, p. D-1. For the 1991-1992 election cycle Republicans for Choice reported to the Federal Election Commission that it received $617,446 and disbursed $619,793, though only $35,674 went to federal candidates. By contrast, Phyllis Schlafley's Eagle Forum, which also has its own PAC, raised $379,852 and disbursed $271,447, of which $148,361 was contributed to federal candidates, and her Republican National Coalition for Life PAC received $117,893, and disbursed $98,958 of which $85,750 was contributed to federal candidates. Federal Election Commission press release of April 29, 1993, pp. 23-25, 35-37 and inquiry of the FEC Press Office made on August 23, 1993.

18 The New York Times, July 11, 1980, p. 14:4. The Washington Post, July 11, 1980, p. B1.

19 See The Legal Times, March 16, 1992, p. 1.

20 Frederick Clarkson, "Inside the Covert Coalition", Church & State, November 1992, pp. 220-223.

21 The Wall Street Journal, November 5, 1991. p. A18.

22 Rule 17, The Rules of the Republican Party, 1992. "State" includes the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In addition Guam, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands can send one delegate for a total of 107 members.

23 The New York Times, May 27, 1992, p. 1:5. Kate Michaelman of NARAL was not allowed to testify at the GOP hearing.

24 The New York Times, August 2, 1992, p. 24.

25 "Beyond Bush's Mixed Abortion Signals", The New York Times, August 15, 1992, p. 1:3. "Anti-Abortion With an Asterisk", National Journal Convention Daily, August 20, 1991, p. 6.

26 Many in the Party's left wing expressed satisfaction with Clinton's agenda. Frank Watkins of the National Rainbow Coalition claimed his domestic program was taken from the NRC platform; Salim Muwakkil, "Keeping Clinton's Feet to the Fire", In These Times, Nov. 30 - Dec. 13, 1992. p. 20.

27 See my "Political Culture of the Democratic and Republicans Parties" Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 101, No. 3, Fall 1986, pp. 327-356.

28 Duane Oldfield, The Right and the Righteous, Ph.D. Dissertation, U.C. Berkeley, 1990.

29 Quoted in The Washington Post, Sept. 10, 1992, p. 1:3.

30 Byron Shafer came to a similar conclusion after observing the 1984 conventions. "The New Cultural Politics", PS, Spring 1985, pp. 221-231.