Via Raw Story:
WASHINGTON — As Democrats weigh options for health reform following a major setback in the Massachusetts election, the nation’s leading womens’ rights group blasted the legislation as “beyond outrageous.”
The National Organization for Women (NOW) harbors deep concerns with the Senate health legislation, and exclaims that “women will be better off with no bill whatsoever.”
“The Senate bill contains such fierce anti-abortion language, and there are other problems from the point of view of women,” NOW’s President Terry O’Neill told Raw Story in an interview.
O’Neill said NOW “will not support candidates in 2010 if they vote for it.”
O’Neill said the Republican Scott Brown’s victory over Democrat Martha Coakley in Tuesday’s Massachusetts election was “a referendum on business as usual in Washington” and “voter disappointment about change that has not happened.”
“It’s a lot about health care,” she added. “The Senate bill is a giveaway to the insurance companies, and reminiscent of the bank bailout. People voted against that in 2008, they voted for change.”
O’Neill ripped the “the closed door negotiations” that many believe took place in the shaping of the bill, saying that “people want transparency.”
She said the Democratic leadership’s actions on health care have been similar to the Bush administration’s tendency to write legislation secretively and “jam it down the throats of Congress.”
O’Neill had high praise for Coakley, calling her a “true friend of women.”
“We strongly endorsed Coakley. She is a great leader, she is a good candidate. “We need more women like Martha Coakley to run for office. More women run, more women will win.”
The NOW president said the “male-dominated Democratic Party” is not doing women any favors by bringing in anti-abortion zealots,” slamming Nelson and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), whose amendment to restrict abortion coverage in the House health bill passed minutes before the final vote.
“Women are clearly harmed” by these lawmakers, O’Neill said. “Shame on the male-dominated Democratic Party for supporting them. They hold themselves out as the party that is women-friendly; well they’re not acting like it.”
“And that has a lot to do with why Martha Coakley lost this election,” O’Neill alleged, explaining the Democrats’ loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat with an argument that few others have made.
But um, um, didn’t Coakley actually say she’d vote for the “anti-woman” healthcare “reform” bill O’Neill so petulantly spoke out against? Ah – yeah, explains Ed Morrissey:
Let’s walk through the logic of this for a moment. O’Neill says that the bill damages the standing of women and that her organization will not support any Congressional incumbent who votes for it. Scott Brown campaigned explicitly to kill the bill, even calling himself the 41st vote and signing autographs with the number ‘41? alongside. Coakley, on the other hand, campaigned explicitly on supporting the bill that O’Neill opposes, which means that according to O’Neill, Coakley wouldn’t have gotten her vote in 2010.
In this case, if one attempts to follow this logic, then Brown should have gotten the NOW endorsement (especially since he’s moderately pro-choice) — and O’Neill should be thrilled that the candidate who best represents NOW’s position on the biggest domestic policy issue won the election.
Oh, right, I forgot. Brown has that pesky Y chromosome, which is apparently all O’Neill really opposes.
And that, my dear readers, is a brilliant deconstruction of liberal feminist “logic,” to which I’ll only add one more thing: It’s not just that Brown was missing that Y chromosome, but he also doesn’t march lock step with abortion supporters (then again, he doesn’t exactly march lock step with abortion opponents, either). But Martha Coakley was a pro-choice Democrat who also happened to be a woman, so in NOW’s eyes, she was the perfect choice to take Ted Kennedy’s place in the US Senate – even though she supported a deeply flawed healthcare “reform” bill that NOW believed was anti-woman enough to announce that they would not endorse any candidate who supported it.
Got it, now?
Update – 10:34 AM: And speaking of liberal feminist “logic,” ST reader Anthony points to recent diappointing comments made by GOP Senate candidate hopeful Carly Fiorina, who hopes challenge Senator Babs Boxer in the fall election. Click on the link to listen closely to what Fiorina had to say in front of a women’s group in California about the representation of women by women in government. The San Jose Mercury News has a mini-recap of her remarks:
WASHINGTON — Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina found herself in political hot water Friday after speaking warmly of Jesse Jackson and saying democracy won’t be “truly representative” until “at least” half of elected officials are women.
In a speech that became public Friday, Fiorina fondly recalled the Rev. Jesse Jackson — a controversial figure across the political spectrum but anathema to many on the right — “very graciously” visiting her at HP years ago, when the two worked together to boost diversity among Silicon Valley’s work force.
“I like to remind people that women are not a constituency — women are a majority,” Fiorina said during her Wednesday night speech in Sacramento, hosted by California Women Lead, a nonpartisan group that encourages women to seek public office. “Women are the majority of voters and we will never have a truly representative democracy unless women make up half, at least, of our elected representatives.”
At a time Fiorina is seeking to appeal to conservatives, the most reliable voters in Republican primaries, her remarks could prove costly. Critics on the right, including one of her opponents in the GOP Senate primary, argued that her speech smacked of identity politics and bristled at her ties to Jackson.
“To equate representative democracy with group power is a very dangerous and wrongheaded way of thinking,” said conservative Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, who is running against Fiorina. “It’s the kind of gender and racial identity politics we fight with the left over, and it’s the kind of thinking that leads to quotas.”
Spot-on response, but they should have quoted Anthony, too:
In other words, it’s more important that half or more of the elected officials of our government be women, rather than the most qualified person or the person preferred by the electorate regardless of gender. To Carly Fiorina, who has presented herself as a conservative for the Republican nomination for US senator from California, it is more important to represent demographic groups than individual citizens. This is nothing less than identity politics, and it is disturbing to say the least that someone who positions herself as a conservative running for office in a nation founded on the worth of the individual would advocate this. It is the fool’s path to a quota system and corporatism, something I would expect from Obama and the progressives who dominate the Democratic Party, not a Republican.
Tell me, Carly, since California is more than 30% Catholic, will our government be truly representative only when one-third of the legislature is Catholic? If it climbs to 40%, is our government no longer representative, even though those assemblymen and senators were duly elected by the people? And what about overlap between groups? If a legislator is a Black Catholic lesbian, in which group do you put them to determine “true representation?” Or is this the ultimate in efficiency, three groups for one seat?
How about we treat people as individuals, judging them by their deeds and the content of their character, and not by the meaningless accidents of biology?
- 11/23/09 – Fiorina: White Men Can’t Beat Boxer