Reader J.C. e-mails reagarding our post on Dem party chairman Howard Dean’s invocation–three times!–of the latest liberal meme: that Iraqi women had it better under Saddam Hussein than they do in today’s Iraqi democracy (see “We Loved You, Saddam,” Aug. 18):

“[M]uch of the puzzlement people feel about Dean’s remarks is based on the simple fact that they are so counterproductive for the Democratic Party. But are they counterproductive for Howard Dean? His extremist remarks warm the hearts of the far-left MoveOn wing (Howard’s personal base), and as long as the Democrats are out of power the Party Chairman (Dr. Dean) doesn’t have to contend with an uppity President in the White House as de facto leader of the party.”

Ah, true enough, J.C., there’s no Dem competitor in the White House right now to steal Dean’s thunder. And I’m sure that the Dem base of Mover-Onners loves it whenever Howard runs at the mouth. The problem: the Dems don’t need a base (they’ve got one); they need voters. Isn’t it Dean’s job as chairman to make his party bigger, not smaller?

Reader M.H. alerts us to this op-ed piece by Carol E. Lee in the New York Times about the new trend among Hollywood celebrity babes to marry and get pregnant while they’re in their early 20s. Here’s an excerpt:

“[T]he stars we admired 10 or 15 years ago were young, cool, glamorous, independent and single. Today they’re young, cool, glamorous, married and pregnant.

“Britney Spears’s young followers had barely walked a mile in their low-rise jeans before their idol, then 22, traded hers in for a wedding dress and, shortly after, maternity tops. And more and more it seems that celebrities in their early 20’s are getting engaged, married and having babies. In the last year alone, engagements were announced by Avril Lavigne, 20; Nicole Richie, 23; Christina Aguilera, 24; Pink, 25; Katrina Elam, 21; and Paris Hilton, 24. Reese Witherspoon married when she was 23 and now has two children.”

What’s fascinating is that Lee finds this trend disburbing. She tut-tuts:

“Now, it seems somebody — the celebrities themselves? their marketers? the public? the White House? — has decided that the sexually active, very young single woman is passé.”

No, in liberal-land, young women must be “sexually active” (PC-speak for having what used to be called a “loose leg”) or else. Virginity, marriage, commitment, children? They violate the “transgressive” image that liberal women assiduously cultivate–plus, as the polls show, married women, especially married women with children, skew more conservative at the ballot box than their free-wheeling single sisters. Lee also quotes with approval this column by Cheryl-Anne Millsap for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., asserting that gals in their 20s are too immature to be mothers:

“The last thing we need is young girls everywhere saying, ‘I want a big belly just like Britney’s.’

“In Britney Spears’ world, it’s fashionable to have a baby. It’s also fashionable to carry a Chihuahua in your purse. I just hope Spears knows the difference….

“[E]ven for those of us with both feet rooted firmly in the middle class it comes as a surprise to discover that the soft, cherubic, babies of our imagination are born with their own agenda. Instead of pretty playthings, real children are unpredictable, inconvenient and frequently messy.”

Actually, Cheryl-Anne (and Carol), I think that any young woman who’s grown up in a big family like Britney’s knows that “real children” can be even worse than that. Funny but back when our moms and grandmoms were in their early 20s, they were considered to be young adults who were ready, willing, and longing for wedding rings and bassinettes. Many of them had been in the working world for several years, or they had helped out with younger siblings, so they had acquired the maturity to be responsible mothers perfectly aware of the sacrifices they would be making. Everyone knows that women in their 20s are at the peak of their health, looks, energy, and fertility, and some young women are beginning to suspect that it’s easier to make a lifelong commitment when you haven’t spent your best years being “sexually active”–and hence, jaded by the opposite sex. As M.H. notes:

“There are a lot of down sides to being ‘sexually liberated,’ and it’s a ‘movement’ that largely benefitted men who get to be unencumbered and irresponsible. But the feminists will never admit that. I suspect that these young women have seen enough of the problems faced by their divorced parents, and the difficulties faced by women who’ve postponed having children and find it’s too late.

“Bravo to these young women who know what they want, commit themselves to marriage (we hope!), and are creating families now, while they are young. They’re not stupid or brainwashed.”

We couldn’t agree more.