Sunday, September 28, 2008

Editorial: What a friend the left has in Barack

Remember the Sour Grape Girls and their embarrassing 'critiques' of Governor Sarah Palin? (Full of errors that no one has ever bothered to run a correction on, by the way.) Some just hissed, some pretending to be 'caring' while casting Palin as a 'victim' -- while they repeatedly tore into her with, yes, bitchy commentary. Well the one point the Sour Grape Girls all agreed upon was that Palin (and McCain) were the enemies of the choice but Barack was our great protector of abortion. Now Barack's running mate Joe Biden declared that life begins at conception -- a point the anti-choice crowd has long made.

Where were the Sour Grape Girls? Oh, that's right, it's not about empowering women, it's about being Handmaidens to the Democratic Party.

Which is why our feminist 'leaders' are strangely silent about what's currently going on.

That would be Barack's "Faith, Family, Values Tour." As Tom Tales (Pam's House Blend) explained September 21st:

The Christian Broadcasting Network is reporting that the Obama campaign next week will kick off “Barack Obama: Faith, Family, and Values Tour,” designed to woo the votes of left-leaning Catholics, progressive Evangelicals, and some conservative mainline Protestants. If LGBT people find the tour eerily reminiscent of the South Carolina gospel tour the campaign arranged last year with antigay "ex-gay" gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, their instincts may not be far off. CBN names Catholic legal scholar Douglas Kmiec as one of the religious surrogates who will hit the road stumping for Obama. Kmiec wrote a June 13 op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle supporting California's Proposition 8, the ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage, titled "On Same-Sex Marriage: Should California Amend Its Constitution? Say 'No' to the Brave New World." Kmiec's first two sentences in the piece read, "The California ballot initiative intended to set aside the state supreme court's judicial invention of same-sex marriage deserves public support. Maybe it is enough to say, as many do in conversation, that it merely re-secures a millennia of tradition and common sense."

As with the South Carolina tour, you don't find any 'leaders' speaking out even though homophobia is neither a feminist value nor supposed to be a Democratic Party value.

While Republicans are cast as the sole enemies of choice, it might do the Sour Grape Girls good to check out A14 of The New York Times, August 30th. That's where, top of the page, Peter Steinfels' "For Ex-G.O.P. Official, Obama Is Candidate of Catholic Values." The article is a Q & A with homophobe Douglas Kmiec. In it he agrees he wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned and he state he "fully accpets the teachings of the [C]hurch that participating in an aobrtion is an intrinsic evil." And this is who Barack has heading his battleground states, month long tour, this is who is comfortable having as a surrogate in states like New Mexico, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, etc.

Uh, Sour Grape Girls, what message is being sent?

Maybe first up to speak should be Kim Gandy, president of NOW. September 16th, NOW PAC endorsed Barack Obama for president. In doing so, they not only ignored Palin, they also ignored

Cynthia McKinney and her running mate Rosa Clemente on the Green Party's presidential ticket. It was the first NOW PAC endorsement where a woman or a ticket with a woman on it was not endorsed. That's NOW PAC, not NOW. NOW cannot endorse any candidate and keep their tax status. That is why NOW PAC was created. NOW PAC is a small group (and those forcing their decisions from the top are even smaller) so Kim apparently felt the need to repeatedly LIE and claim NOW was endorsing Barack Obama in interview after interview. (For example, check out this NPR interview on the day of the endorsement.) Kim thought she could have the attention and get away with it by saying she misspoke if anyone called her out on it or if the IRS came calling.

We're not sure that would fly should the IRS look into it. NOW PAC has been around long enough (it predates Gandy as president of NOW) and the line between it and NOW is supposed to be so clearly marked that it's not easy for Gandy to claim she misspoke.

She made that task impossible last Thursday when she elected to send out, to NOW membership -- not NOW PAC -- an e-mail entitled "Feminist? Lip-schtick?" That 10K e-mail is signed by her as "NOW president" and the e-mail has the official NOW letterhead (the graph and "NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN") across the top. That's a NOW e-mail and one, again, sent out to NOW's entire membership. That's an abuse and the sort that gets your tax status pulled. Throughout the e-mail, Gandy attacks Palin (funny, we didn't know Palin was the top of her party's ticket but apparently Gandy was just spoiling for a catfight) and begs for money so that Palin can be defeated "in November" ("Election Day," "Nov. 4," . . .) and "Obama/Biden" can be elected.

Again, that's an abuse and it is not allowed. Gandy could have sent the e-mail out -- with a NOW PAC letter head -- to all members of NOW PAC. She cannot, however, send the e-mail to NOW members.

Possibly Kim's too busy violating tax law to call out the Barack campaign for their "values" tour featuring an anti-choice, homophobe bigot?

Exactly whom does Gandy think her actions are helping?

She's far from the only one staying silent.

In four years, there will be another election. By refusing to call out Barack's repeated use of homophobia (including his debate 'joke'), the feminist 'leaders' have endorsed it. Their silence has stated it is fine and dandy to use homophobia if it gets you into office. 'Leadership' has failed and instead of instructing people whom to vote for, they should try doing the damn jobs they currently have.

They also better damn well grasp that their silence has hurt the LGBT community and it has hurt reproductive rights. Should NOW lose its tax status, that would be the perfect time to walk away from partisan politics and start standing up for women.

[See also Elaine's "Kim, pack up your office."]
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