Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NY NOW Trashes Kennedy over Endorsement

Well, here we go again. Apparently, the race-baiting didn't work out too well in SC, so the NY chapter of NOW is attempting to play the gender card against Obama; divide and conquer. This letter appeared after Ted Kennedy stunningly endorsed Obama yesterday. It is so far over the top - offensive, even - that the national organization felt compelled to release a statement distancing themselves from the NY statement. Interestingly, though, neither mentions Obama's excellent record on gender and sexuality issues. I guess I will simply ask: Is this the kind of politic you want? Is this the way to a better and different future? Is this the way to overcome our historic divides? Is this the politics of change and transformation? Is this feminism in the 21st century?

Here is the NY NOW screed:
“Women have just experienced the ultimate betrayal. Senator Kennedy’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the Democratic presidential primary campaign has really hit women hard. Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few. Women have buried their anger that his support for the compromises in No Child Left Behind and the Medicare bogus drug benefit brought us the passage of these flawed bills. We have thanked him for his ardent support of many civil rights bills, BUT women are always waiting in the wings.

“And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment! He’s picked the new guy over us. He’s joined the list of progressive white men who can’t or won’t handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not “this” one). ‘They’ are Howard Dean and Jim Dean (Yup! That’s Howard’s brother) who run DFA (that’s the group and list from the Dean campaign that we women helped start and grow). They are Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America, democrats.com, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take women’s money, say they’ll do feminist and women’s rights issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or America’s future or whatever.

“This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and respect for women’s rights, women’s voices, women’s equality, women’s authority and our ability – indeed, our obligation - to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries of men who ‘know what’s best for us.’”

Here is the national NOW conciliatory statement:

Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy
January 28, 2008

The National Organization for Women has enormous respect and admiration for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D- Mass.). For decades Sen. Kennedy has been a friend of NOW, and a leader and fighter for women's civil and reproductive rights, and his record shows that.

Though the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee has proudly endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president, we respect Sen. Kennedy's endorsement. We continue to encourage women everywhere to express their opinions and exercise their right to vote.

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