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God Spares Phyllis Schlafly Sight Of First Woman President
At least she saved us from unisex toilets.
Phyllis Schlafly died Monday at the age of 92, bringing an end to more than a decade of Wonkette comments beginning "You mean to say that old hater is still alive?" Schlafly made a career out of portraying herself as a simple housewife who was so driven by her love of American values and traditions that she had no choice but to to go to work to tell women to stay home and be mommies like God and George Washington wanted them to, or the Communists would win. In reality, she was a shrewd political operator most of her life, even well before those nasty '70s feminists stopped shaving their legs and abandoned their babies at daycares so they could go become lesbian witches. If you read any other longform pieces about Schlafly beyond the mandatory New York Times obit, read Lisa Wines's fine Wonkette story about the time in 1966 when Schlafly started a riot at the 1966 convention of the National Federation of Republican Women. In fact, read that before you read what the Grey Lady has to say about the grey lady.
In recent months, Schlafly had been busy working for the election of her new political boyfriend, Donald Trump, which led directly to an ugly internecine battle over control of the political group she founded, the Eagle Forum. The fight transformed Schlafly's family into a cut-rate wingnut version of King Lear,with all the acrimony and potential for violence, but none of the real sense of tragedy. As the Bard said, “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise,” right? How bitter was the Schlafly Family drama? In a now-deleted (but still cached) Breitbart piece, Schlafly gave out her daughter's phone number and urged supporters to tell her to surrender.
As the fuck-tussle progressed, we learned Ms. Schlafly (we always loved typing that combination) briefly considered naming fangirl Michele Bachmann -- who credited Schlafly with ending the Cold War -- as her designated successor, but ultimately decided Michele Bachmann was simply too fucking stupid for the job. Then again, maybe her chosen Presidential candidate wasn't any prize, either:
Trump almost immediately deleted the tweet, but screenshots are forever. Also, Donald, obituaries are not about you. Just kidding, of course they are.
One of the reasons people always seemed surprised Schlafly was still polluting American political discourses was that she was that rare political figure who really accomplished her life's work: Thanks largely to reactionary panic whipped up by her hyperbolic warnings about how the Equal Rights Amendment would end America forever, that constitutional amendment -- one of those rare amendments saddled by Congress with a ratification deadline -- was eventually defeated. With no more threats of equality to slay, Schalfly became just another voice in the chorus of rightwing shitheads, good for a bitter laugh when she'd rise from obscurity to explain that if women really wanted to end rape, they'd settle down and get married, since that keeps men's baser instincts under control. Or that the Statue of Liberty has nothing to do with immigration. Or that pregnant women with jobs were destroying America. Or fretting that a Few Good Men in the military will be ruined just for raping women in the military. But instead of leading a powerful single-issue juggernaut, Schlafly was now just one more snarling hateweasel among many, notable mostly because people were surprised she was still around, until now she isn't.
We would be remiss not to note the simple elegy for Schlafly by Juanita Jean Monday evening:
Y’all, Phyllis Schlafly went to the great beyond today. That loud gasp you heard is Phyllis discovering that God is liberal black woman who wants to have a little chat with her.
Phyllis was 92 years old, proving once again that the good die young.
Ms. Schlafly leaves behind a fractious family fighting over the remnants of the Eagle Forum; a son who founded Conservapedia, one of the most moronic websites in the world; a niece, Suzanne Venker, who seems dedicated to continuing Aunt Phyllis's mission of being wrong about everything, like for instance marital rape; and several score rightwing pundits all typing the headline "Phyllis Schlafly Was Right."