LA Times debate analysis rehashes gendered notion of Dems as "Mommy Party"

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

The Los Angeles Times' Doyle McManus recycled a standard gender cliché by asserting that Sen. Barack Obama "seemed to prove" conservative economist Jude Wanniski's theory that Republicans are the "Daddy Party" and Democrats are the "Mommy Party." McManus also uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false claim that Obama "would raise taxes" as president.

In a Los Angeles Times analysis of the October 7 presidential debate, staff writer Doyle McManus wrote that Sen. Barack Obama "seemed to prove" conservative economist Jude Wanniski's theory that Republicans are the "Daddy Party" and Democrats are the "Mommy Party" by "laying out the more expansive government role in caring for middle-class Americans" and "mention[ing] not only his mother, but his wife and grandmother too." In doing so, McManus recycled a standard gender cliché frequently used by the media to discuss Republicans and Democrats. But while asserting that Obama "seemed to prove" that the Democrats are the "Mommy Party," McManus failed to note any of Obama's statements about foreign policy during the debate -- statements that, according to Time magazine's Amy Sullivan, were "tougher foreign policy rhetoric than Americans are used to hearing from Democratic nominees."

Later in the analysis, McManus wrote that "McCain repeated oft-made charges that Obama was ... a big spender who would raise taxes," without noting that McCain's claim is false. As Obama noted during the debate, under his tax plan, "If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down." But it's not just Obama who disputes McCain's claim; McCain's chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has also reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes." As Media Matters for America has documented, the Tax Policy Center has concluded that, compared with McCain, "Obama would give larger tax cuts to low- and moderate-income households and pay some of the cost by raising taxes on high-income taxpayers."

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
Los Angeles Times
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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