Rachel Maddow is becoming post-rational

Sunday, November 8th, 2009 · 109 Comments »

Today on Meet the Press, Rachel Maddow said that Democratic women “may revolt” over the Stupak amendment, which renders the healthcare reform bill a kind of backdoor ban on abortion.

Interestingly, last year Maddow described PUMAs as “post-rational” for attempting the same thing. It was insane, Maddow said, for feminists to buck the Democratic Party. Pundit-wannabes in the blogosphere went further, asserting that PUMAs were “faux-feminists” or even GOP ratfuckers. Ironic, isn’t it?

109 Responses to “Rachel Maddow is becoming post-rational”

  1. bygones says:

    I admit to having gone back to watching Rachel on a semi regular basis even though she broke my heart when she shilled for Obama last year. Lately what I have noticed is a fissure of separation between herself and the policies of non enactment that Obama has pulled away from.

    As a gay woman, I think she has shown her displeasure at his unwillingness to tackle the DADT measures that he promised and it is interesting to watch how she frames her arguments without fully holding him responsible. This latest fiasco involving women’s rights may pull her entirely away from the meme practiced on that cheerleading network. Only time will tell.

    She is a brilliant woman and I am hoping that her voice resonates outside that spectrum as I believe she can act in a “leadership” role if she so chooses.

  2. yttik says:

    Being rational is highly over rated. What we need is a whole lot of women to go post rational and put some fear in this nation.

    Maddow is a smart woman and as such I expected so much better of her during the election. Ah well, better late then never.It’s just unfortunate that now that we’re all stuck in a barrel about to go over the falls people are starting to sit up and look around.

  3. bygones says:

    I hate to repeat “I told you so” but it is well worth mentioning once again.

    Too bad that having a “historic president” trumped experience and know how last year. A Hillary Clinton presidency, first woman to achieve that office, would have been historic as well.

    Look at what we must settle for instead. Another klutz.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for any of the Kool-aid kidz to say “The PUMAs were right” even when they agree with everything we said.

  5. Honora says:

    What Rachel said in the first 15 seconds was fine, but if you noticed the men just gave the comment 5 seconds of dead air and then started talking about the important stuff in the bill. Women are just not respected and I wish I knew how we changed that.

  6. RKMK says:

    What Rachel said in the first 15 seconds was fine, but if you noticed the men just gave the comment 5 seconds of dead air and then started talking about the important stuff in the bill.

    Yeah, wasn’t that cute of them? I predict sitting Dems will react similarly… until every woman in the party de-registers and becomes an Independent instead. And right now, that’s probably what every woman should do, if they haven’t already. Tell your friends. Archimedes Lever. Scare the fuck out of them.

  7. angie says:

    Not.Gonna.Happen.

    Sure, some of us old dried-up, post-menopausal peruvio-lesbian crones will rave (while we knit) & put our votes where are mouths are, but most women (including Maddow) will go into that voting booth & pull the lever for the guy with the “D” behind his name. In fact, those women (including Maddow) will try to shame & ridicule us again when 2010 & 2012 roll for believing our lying eyes, just like they did in 2008.

    Book it.

  8. Violet says:

    What angie said. Nailed it.

  9. janicen says:

    And let’s not forget that Maddow works for GE. She won’t bite the hand that feeds her.

  10. Sameol says:

    I have some sympathy for her position, though. She’s not stupid, she knows why she’s tolerated, and she knows that she has to continue to play this role. Step out of line and they’re just waiting to pounce on her. And sitting on the couch yukking it up with KO, no one knows better than she how uncomfortable it must be to be the hate object.

  11. Cyn says:

    What yttik and angie said.

  12. angie says:

    Don’t worry Sameol, all that money Maddow gets (although I’m sure it is less than her male counterparts get) helps to ease the pain. That’s why its called being a “sell-out.”

  13. RKMK says:

    I know youse guys are probably right, but I’m seeing a lot of anger from ex-Obots. I think different people will have different tipping points. The 64 Dems could be one tipping point; the failure to get rid of Stupak’s amendment could send more over; Obama’s ultimate failure to kill it at the exec level could help the last of the scales to fall from the eyes. We’re never going to convert the completely delusional, but people who previously smoked a hell of a lot of Hopium are coming out of the haze – I think we need to steadily keep pounding the drums on this.

  14. angie says:

    RKMK — from your lips to Goddess’s ears & I promise to keep beating the drum. But I honestly felt that we had one shot at stopping this shameless sexism by the Dems. & that was for Obama to lose the election. That was the only way for the DNC to learn to not take our votes for granted. BUT, the sexism of the Obama campaign was rewarded because, just like he promised, the majority of us believed we “had nowhere else to go.” No matter what anger is felt now, that mindset will take hold again in 2010 & 2012 because voting Republican or 3rd party is worse/futile (respectively). I will be very, very happy to be wrong.

  15. Adrienne in CA says:

    Forget that shill Maddow.

    Now here (via Shakesville) is something we can really celebrate.

    Emma Thompson retracts Polanski support

    *****A

  16. Violet says:

    RKMK, it’s an interesting question. I think it comes down to how much of last year’s disaster was due to Hopium.

    Democrats/feminists/women have already had plenty of betrayals. Last year should have been the last straw. But it’s one thing to threaten to walk away, and another thing to follow through.

    Follow-through is a problem.

    If you say you’re not going to vote Democrat unless they shape up, then you have to actually not vote Democrat. Or at least make a credible threat, which means making huge noise and causing massive grief. And yet when it comes down to doing that, suddenly women are appalled. Not vote Democrat? Shock! Horror! Anybody who doesn’t vote Democrat is a faux feminist! A GOP ratfucker!

    I probably don’t need to remind you that last year it was other feminists who were loudly chastising us for daring to complain, daring to make demands. Basically, feminists last year split between those of us who knew not to trust the Dems and were ready to put our money where our mouth was, and those (mostly younger) women who were still full of trust and hope.

    My question, I guess, is whether that’s an inevitable pattern, or whether last year’s Hopium played a special role in basically rotting people’s brains.

  17. It’s fun to read old blog posts « Donna Darko says:

    [...] Rachel Maddow is becoming post-rational: [...]

  18. RKMK says:

    Adrienne – I saw that early, and nearly wept with joy. I love Emma Thompson, and seeing her name on that list broke my heart. I’m so glad my faith was renewed.

    Violet, angie – I don’t disagree with you, but as someone who’s in the age demographic of the typical third-wave Obot, I both lost a lot of respect for people I had previously idolized (Marcotte, Jill F, the Feministing bloggers), all of whom had been my gateway feminist blogs.

    During those years (2003-2007), there was a constant trench-warfare mentality – the Bush Republicans were teaching abstinence-only and passing parental-consent laws and mandatory waiting periods and universities weren’t covering birth control in their health plans and we had to DEFEAT THE DAMNED REPUBLICANS because they HATED WOMEN. And when it came to 2008, they dropped the ball huge. HUGE. Whether it was mommy-issues or generational rivalry (“We’ll be more progressive than those Boomer sellouts!”) or simply unrecognized internal sexism, they chose the wrong candidate, and stubbornly told themselves that he would save them from the Republican agenda. Even though he talked about women getting abortions just because they were “feeling blue”, and couldn’t talk about abortion with reciting a list of who the woman had to get permission from. It was just 10-dimensional chess! He’s just trying to get elected! He’s young, and has experienced life as an oppressed identity! He’s totally on our side!

    Yeah, they were wrong. Monumentally wrong. They were desperate enough to believe in a false prophet. But even though I lost a lot of respect for those women, I do not feel all (or even most of them) are lost causes. If we stay strong, and calm, and on point, and point out every single time the Democrats have betrayed women and taken them for granted, and how continued support for them is simply not in the best interests of women, it’s going to sink in. It already is, with a lot of people.

  19. RKMK says:

    (Seriously, I’m reading comments on blogs that I’d abandoned in early 2008, and man, women are PISSED. My ultimately being proven right was cold comfort to me… but nothing warms my heart than righteous feminist rage bloom across the progressive blogosphere. Ah, bliss!)

  20. Violet says:

    But even though I lost a lot of respect for those women, I do not feel all (or even most of them) are lost causes.

    I don’t think they’re lost causes; I just think they’re young. I have no doubt that by the time they’re in their 40s they will have acquired several clues. By which time their daughters will be doing exactly what they did, repeating history.

    That topic is really worthy of a post or two or twenty of its own. As long as patriarchy pits women against each other and teaches young women to fear and dread their mothers, then feminism is doomed to have to hit the reset button every generation.

    However, your posts give me hope. Perhaps we won’t have to wait until Jill F. is in menopause.

  21. angie says:

    Well, it looks like some of the Dem. women in the House had the “decency” to pretend to be upset before selling the rest of us out:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29305.html

    The Dem. women Representatives should have defeated this entire bill on principle — and they could have. The bill only passed by 2 votes.

    What I want to know is what is this mania to get any POS bill with the label “Health Care Reform” passed so that Obama/Pelosi/Reid can preen & dance in front of the cameras & pretend they actually did something good?

  22. Alison says:

    I went to the Feministing blog today and I noticed they posted something about this anti-choice health care bill. But they did it in a post that was a potpourri of here’s what’s happening in the news! They gave the story one line and a link and then they go on to add other links – about men’s rights groups, Penelope Trunk tweeting her miscarriage, bisephenol A and etc.

    That’s what these women do when the democrats screw them over. They will indeed acknowledge the screw over (very quickly) and then they move on to other things to worry about. Because where would their identities be without the democrats? They don’t really have a very strong identity as women just yet.

  23. RKMK says:

    Alison, they did a whole post about it.

  24. Grace says:

    The Dems selected Obama on 5/31/2008 at the Rules & ByLaws Committee. NARAL endorsed him.
    Right then all women should have realized we would go under the bus.
    The women who decided to back Health Care w/o reproductive care are past reproductive issues for themselves and..they do not remember. Better not to vote at all than vote for betrayers.

  25. madamab says:

    Well, NOW seems to have a clue.

    The House of Representatives has dealt the worst blow to women’s fundamental right to self-determination in order to buy a few votes for reform of the profit-driven health insurance industry. We must protect the rights we fought for in Roe v. Wade. We cannot and will not support a health care bill that strips millions of women of their existing access to abortion.

    Birth control and abortion are integral aspects of women’s health care needs. Health care reform should not be a vehicle to obliterate a woman’s fundamental right to choose.

    They seem to have grasped the significance of this POS legislation quite nicely.

    As for our punditry, I don’t respect a d*mn one of them. I have been pundit-free since KO said he wanted Hillary and a delegate to go in a room and only one should come out. That really opened my eyes.

    They say what they’re paid to say. They work for the patriarchy. That’s all there is to it from my point of view.

    I agree with angie and yttik. La Maddow is just pretending to be on our side. She’s going to be catapulting the propaganda again in 2010, or she’ll be out on her butt.

  26. quixote says:

    angie: What I want to know is what is this mania to get any POS bill with the label “Health Care Reform” passed?

    Yeah. Me too. Why? Why, why. why? Those turkeys are going to be out of a job in Nov 2010 because they buffed this turd for BO. What are they thinking??

  27. Jane says:

    I took a good look at who Obama is in part on the basis of his books — the indexes were enlightening with the respective emphasis on fathers and mothers — and voted for McCain. Pro-choice was going to fair far better with Democrats fighting McCain than with Democrats cooperating with Obama. My prediction was that Obama would betray everything I cared about and that on the issue of global climate change McCain would get something done in time and Obama would not — Obama would propose something that I would like much better and settle for something that would not ever get the job done. So far I have seen no reason to regret my vote.

    I am a life long Democratic activist hitherto but I have promised myself to vote against and oppose any one who votes for any HCR bill which includes the Stupak Amendment.

  28. Aspen says:

    What are you all thinking in terms of strategies for putting our money where our mouths are? Should we list our options?

    1. Don’t vote
    2. Vote third party
    3. ?
    etc.

    I wonder if anyone here has opinions about fusion politics, and how a proposed feminist party could use them to our advantage? NY and CT have the Working Families Party. They largely use a strategy of cross-endorsement or fusion, although they occasionally run local candidates of their own.

    It would be hard to see how something like this could be pulled off on the national level. Take 2008, for example. If the Feminist Party said during the primaries that they would only endorse and support HRC, and if BO took the nomination, they would endorse Cynthia McKinney, there could be some pull to that. But again, we would have to actually commit to, AND follow through on this for it to work. This means taking the chance a Republican could win, at least at the beginning. But maybe the Dems could get the message we mean business. After what we’ve seen yesterday, and the anger that’s out there, who knows — maybe it could work?

    So, it would be very hard to pull off for national elections, but I’m thinking now, what about 2010 elections for US reps who either voted for this Stupak amendment, or reps who voted for the bill. Could our Feminist Party try to take them at the primary level?

    I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud. Does anyone else have ideas about this?

  29. Sameol says:

    anyone read the Politico article about the confrontation between Rosa Delauro and Miller? Apparently, when female reps were upset, Miller was sent to put them in their places, and he told her that there are more anti-choice than pro-choice votes in the House, and she needs to come to grips with it.

    Wow.

  30. tinfoil hattie says:

    This means taking the chance a Republican could win, at least at the beginning.

    So what is the difference between a Republican winning and what we have right now?

  31. Sasha, CA says:

    This means taking the chance a Republican could win, at least at the beginning.

    Unfortunately this is where you’re going to lose a lot of people. Today’s Republican Party is so batshit insane (not to mention dangerous) that a lot of people won’t be willing to vote third party if it means the Republicans might win. For instance, I know a number of women who planned to vote for Cynthia McKinney last year. These are progressive feminists who had supported HRC in the primary and were outraged by the way she was treated, the sexism of the Obama campaign, the caucus fraud, Obama’s rhetoric on women’s issues, the whole nine yards. No way were they going to vote for Obama. They were all set to send the Dems a message by voting for McKinney. Then they started hearing that there was this supposedly huge group of formerly Hillary-supporting Dems who were going to vote for McCain/Palin, and they got scared that the Republicans might win this thing. That was a risk they weren’t willing to take. In the end, the vast majority of them voted for Obama. While I was still hoping that McKinney might get close to 5%, I can’t say the dismal results came as a shock after what I witnessed in my own circle of friends.

  32. Violet says:

    Today’s Republican Party is so batshit insane (not to mention dangerous) that a lot of people won’t be willing to vote third party if it means the Republicans might win.

    And now we’re in Bush’s third term, as even the former Koolaid Kids are calling it. There is really not that much daylight between the parties. They’re both corporate-owned thugocracies.

    They also don’t actually believe in anything, not the elites, not the people running the show. Everybody in DC is the same. They all basically believe the same stuff, have the same social attitudes. They differ mostly just in how to organize the revenue stream that keeps them on top and with nice townhouses in Georgetown.

    People need to remember — or learn, if they’re not old enough to remember — that the Republicans have become the party of batshit fundies only in the past 30, 40 years. They’ve only become the party of southern whites in the past 30, 40 years.

    And the Democrats have only become the party of African-Americans and women in the past 40 years.

    The political parties are like fast food restaurants. They’ll sell you whatever hamburger you want; just give ‘em the money and the votes.

    Amy Siskind has an op-ed in the HuffPo today about how women need to understand that politics is business. Women need to negotiate and barter and play hardball the way the other guys do, including the batshit crazy anti-choicers. (How do people think the anti-choicers got so much power, anyway? How do people think the anti-choicers made so many inroads into the Democratic Party that they can pass Stupak without breaking a sweat?)

    And yet the comments on Amy’s post are all, BUT NOOOO!!!!! REPUBLICANS ARE EEEEVIILLLL!!! WE MUSTN’T EVEN TALK TO THEM!!!!!

  33. Sameol says:

    The House of Representatives with its Democratic supermajority just passed an amendment that in practice will basically prohibit just about any insurance plan, public or private, from covering abortions. Because some states would still permit legalized abortion, this will very likely limit access to abortion more than the outright appeal of Roe vs. Wade. What’s supposed to scare me into voting Democratic now?

  34. Sameol says:

    Yes, appeal! I meant repeal obviously.

  35. Sasha, CA says:

    How do people think the anti-choicers got so much power, anyway? How do people think the anti-choicers made so many inroads into the Democratic Party that they can pass Stupak without breaking a sweat?

    I know and believe me, I tried to convince my friends that the Dems have no reason not to keep moving right if we stick with them no matter what, but sadly fear of the Republicans trumped everything else. Ironically our one hope may be that the Dems move so far to the right that a significant percentage of liberals and progressives decide that whatever infinitesimal difference remains between the two major parties is not worth sticking around for. It seems that as long as those on the left perceive the Dems as being even 2% less evil, they’re not going anywhere. We’re so fucked.

  36. Violet says:

    Here’s a link to the Politico article Sameol mentioned:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29305.html

    I just read it. Very interesting.

  37. Violet says:

    I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud. Does anyone else have ideas about this?

    Aspen, I have a lot of ideas about this. But I keep running into blind alleys and brick walls. I personally think we need to smash through with a third party (and a fourth party and whatever else), but the obstacles are enormous.

    I think I’ll start a post soon so we can have a kind of working session on this whole issue. There are many frustrated people on the left who are asking these questions. I hear it all the time, from all quarters.

  38. Sameol says:

    If things continue the way they’re going, Obama may not have much of a chance of winning reelection. If he’s so far behind that it’s obviously hopeless, maybe enough liberals will decide to vote Green that it will send a message so loud it can’t be ignored.

  39. Violet says:

    I also recommend Jane Hamsher’s op-ed on this:

    NARAL and Planned Parenthood: Ineffectiveness Anti-Choice Democrats Can Rely On

    Why? Because helping the Democrats stay in power by giving them the Official Good Gyno Seal of Approval is what NARAL and Planned Parenthood do — even when those Democrats do things like voting for Samuel Alito and tell rape victims to take a cab to another hospital if they want to get Plan B contraception.

  40. datechguy says:

    Forgetting for a moment my strong opposition to Abortion, Violet raises an important point.

    It is axiomatic that particular industries support particular administrations due to financial favors for the industry in general or for high ups in said industry in general.

    Planned Parenthood and NARAL will get advantages from a democratic administration in the same way that ACORN will. The leaders will get their rewards quietly slipped into other bills, as long as said reward comes they will quietly go along even if the goals of said organizations are compromised.

    And those who hold their position due to principle (such as yourselves) are going to be left holding the bag in the same way that fiscal conservatives were left holding the bag during republican control.

    I actually think we need a 4 party system. Two conservative parties and two liberal ones (Social & Fiscal) That way we can see where people actually fall and vote accordingly.

  41. bygones says:

    datechguy: Interesting. Assuming that your bname suggests a male, have you ever had to make a choice regarding an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy that would effect your whole life? Didn’t think so.

    And just which of the 4 parties you alluded to would you be willing to join? My guess would be the one where “no abortion” under any circumstances would be allowed.

    A medical procedure should not be displayed as a piece or armor in any political party or policy; however this is where we are. A privacy issue being challenged by intrusion.

    No one is forcing abortion onto anyone yet we are forced to listen to those who feel otherwise. Don’t want an abortion, don’t have one. But withholding that right from those who believe otherwise is criminal IMHO.

  42. yttik says:

    More political parties to chose from would certainly break the power of rhetoric that grips this country. No more would Dems be viewed as the shining knights in armor who rescue us from the evil troglodyte Republicans. They’d actually have to work for people’s votes.

    Unfortunately we’re in the grips of this two party system and it’s rigged against us. In reality there are already dozens of other parties it’s just that the rules (written by D’s and R’s) make it virtually impossible for any of them to gain power.

    Obama didn’t really win because of a Dem surge or because of those annoying third wave girls, he won because Republicans stayed home, unable to cough up enough enthusiasm for McCain and the Republican brand. They won’t be staying home in 2010 or 2012. I suspect we’ll see a conservative backlash like we’ve never seen before.

  43. Shannon Drury says:

    I’ll say it: THE PUMAS WERE RIGHT! And somewhere out there, Kim Gandy is enjoying a fresh new DNC speaking engagement while Terry O’Neill at NOW is left to clean up her mess.

    Believe me, the new NOW is not going to roll over and take this. They’re going to be on the streets of DC today, and I expect more to come.

  44. Monday Morning News and Views « The Confluence says:

    [...] Reclusive Leftist: Rachel Maddow is becoming post-rational [...]

  45. RKMK says:

    Forgetting for a moment my strong opposition to Abortion, Violet raises an important point.

    Yes, Ceiling Cat forbid a thread go by on the subject without you reminding us about your Morally Superior Position From the Cheap Seats.

  46. Kookaburra says:

    I wonder if the liberal blogosphere would be as supportive of the bill if the same restrictions for abortion were put on treatment for sickle cell anemia?

    Would they insist that those most at risk for the disease simply shut up and support a bill “for the greater good” and that “you could get diabetes and asthma too!” even though the amendment clearly singles their health out as not important?

  47. SarahG says:

    Thank you, Violet, for the historical perspective. My only quibble would be that the batshit fundies really didn’t have any significant influence in the GOP until Reagan. Parties are constantly shifting and realigning, which is why it’s so counter-productive to buy into the propaganda. Politics isn’t a religion, and the parties aren’t churches. You won’t go to Hell if you pull the lever for the other guys. As someone who grew up in DC, I can tell you for sure: they’re all the same.

  48. songster says:

    NOW may be on the rise over this. I followed madamab’s link to their press release, entitled NOW Opposes Health Care Bill That Strips Millions of Women of Abortion Access. I thought I’d call and leave a message of thanks, so dialed the contact number given for Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116. I was surprised when she picked up the phone herself, listened attentively, engaged me in an intelligent conversation and asked me for my ideas on what to do next, and audibly took notes on her computer as we spoke. She thanked me for calling and really seemed to want my opinion. After dealing with Congresscritter phone-answering customs, I was unready for this.

    If you’re at all up for it, it might be a good idea to jot down some ideas about what NOW should do next on this issue, and give her a call. I think her email address is press@now.org (but it might be news@now.org, I didn’t have a pen handy).

  49. yttik says:

    I think one mistake women keep making is viewing politics as a a numbers game, as if electing enough people from one party is going to tip the scales and get us what we want. That’s one reason women on the Left are afraid to vote for R women who don’t share their values. They think it’s all about the voting numbers and that one Republican woman is going to vote against something and tip the scales. But as has been proven over and over again, having a majority from the correct party never changes the dynamic for the better. Misogyny always trumps political ideals. Having such a huge gender imbalance in DC always eventually takes precedent over any campaign promises.

    If the House had been filled with Republican women, I mean 35%, the Stupak amendment would not have stood a chance, even though many of those R women may have been pro-life. They would not vote with the Dem boyz, they would have called them out on their hypocrisy. They would have gleefully forced them to go on record as being pro-life. Stupak would never have been able to hide his amendment as some sort of capitulation to the right wing even though that’s crap because only one R voted for the thing anyway. The power and arrogance of the Dem party would be turned on it’s head if we had more women in congress, even women we don’t agree with ideologically. The power of the Republican party would be rattled if we had more women in congress. Women change the whole dynamic and they don’t even have to be women you agree with.

    We need to reach that critical mass of 30% if we ever want any power. We need gender representation, instead of simply voting for whatever sweet talking politician makes us the most eloquent campaign promises.

  50. angie says:

    Sasha:

    Unfortunately this is where you’re going to lose a lot of people. Today’s Republican Party is so batshit insane (not to mention dangerous) that a lot of people won’t be willing to vote third party if it means the Republicans might win.

    Yep, that is why one of the tenants of the Art of War is “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” It is difficult to follow through, but if you can master that tactic knowing that once the “common” enemy is defeated you can cut your temporary “friend” loose, you will always win in the end. The reason people cannot master that tactic is because they are too short-sighted & too selfish to think long-term. But it is the only way imo that we can make those people we are electing listen to us and respect us, because right now. And really we have absolutely nothing to lose because the Dem. party is not listening to us & certainly not respecting us. We are little more than “battered wives” to the Dems. — they can kick us, ignore us, ridicule us etc because they know we will not leave them.

    And, frankly, as tinfoil hattie asked, how exactly are we better off now with a Dem. majority in Congress & in the WH than we were under the GOP? The Dem. party in the House just voted to kill Roe v. Wade legislatively & told all women that our “health issues” involving pelvic exams, etc. are not “basic.”

  51. gxm17 says:

    tinfoil hattie said: So what is the difference between a Republican winning and what we have right now?

    I understand your point, but unfortunately we’re even worse off with Obama. I agree with the commenters that we would have been in a better position with Dems fighting McCain.

    I’m a Gynocrat and will no longer vote for any man just because he has a D by his name. And I’m going to let my two senators know that if they pass this mess of a bill, they will NOT get my vote.

    No Incumbents 2010!

  52. octogalore says:

    “So what is the difference between a Republican winning and what we have right now?”

    If Stupak wound up in the final bill, over half (and possibly much more) women with private plans, plus all women with the public option, would need $500-1000 for an abortion. For many of these, this would be undoable.

    If a Republican won, we would be faced with the following odds concerning abortion. 11 of the last 14 Supreme Court justices were appointed by Repubs, and we still have Roe v Wade. If, however, Roe got overturned, the states who had legal abortion prior to Roe would still have legal abortion. About 1/3 of the population of women in America would need to commute to one of those states to get one. This would be a tough hurdle but could likely be accomplished for much less than $500-1000.

  53. Sasha, CA says:

    11 of the last 14 Supreme Court justices were appointed by Repubs, and we still have Roe v Wade.

    Yeah, but the Republicans learned from their mistakes. Never again will the fundie nutjob base allow a Republican president to appoint someone to the Supreme Court who does not have a clearly defined anti-choice record. See what they did when Bush nominated Harriet Miers.

  54. slythwolf says:

    Being right: not worth it when nobody listens to you until it’s too late. “I told you so” turns to ash in my mouth.

  55. Sasha, CA says:

    41 House Dems have signed a letter to Pelosi promising to vote against the final bill in the event that it still contains the Stupak amendment when it emerges from the conference committee. Let’s keep calling and e-mailing our representatives to let them know that they better not throw women under the bus on this one!

  56. angie says:

    Sasha — those 41 Dems are going to fold like cheap suits when push comes to shove.

    Nonetheless, even if the Stupak amendment gets stripped, that doesn’t change the fact that all those Dems. in the House voted for it with the Stupak amendment. That means those Dems. don’t think women count. Clair McCaskill, an alleged pro-choice Dem from Missouri, was on Morning Joe today and she is just fine with the Stupak amendment because she says abortion doesn’t effect the “majority” of Americans. Read about it here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/09/mccaskill-senate-could-li_n_350625.html

    Out of curiosity, even if the Stupak amendment is gone, do you actually want this so-called health care reform? I ask because the entire “health care reform” bill (with or without the Stupak amendment) is a bunch of cr*p (despite its title) because it doesn’t actually have a public option & all it does is put more $$ in the hands of the insurance industry by requiring everyone to buy it (or face $3500 fine) but without capping premiums the industry can charge.

  57. Carmonn says:

    The wingnut base will never allow another Souter, because they actually demand results in exchange for their support. Unfortunately, John Roberts’ biggest fan is just as likely to appoint at the very least someone who will move the Court further to the right. And in that case, far, far too many people who are horrified by the wingnuts will be inexplicably clapping their hands, jumping up and down, and explaining that war is peace, freedom is slavery, 75th dimensional chess is where it’s at, and allowing Democrats to sacrifice our rights is a logical strategy to protect us from Republicans and their evil plan to–do the exact same thing.

    The difference between the second Bush Administration and the third Bush Administration is that those who opposed Bush on principle have now been completely co-opted and cheer as Barack W. finishes George W.’s work for him. There are now no voices on the left that have any chance of being listened to as both parties rush headlong further and further right and we lose more and more ground.

  58. Honora says:

    I am committed to working for achieve the 30% solution even if it means voting for Republican women (who are not completely off-the-wall), but it makes me angry that women’s equality is not championed by men, simply because it is the right thing to do. AAs have made racial discrimination taboo, Gays are finally moving ahead on equal treatment, altho painstakingly slowly. Neither of these groups can accomplish anything if they rely solely on members of their group. When do women’s rights get to be mainstream. When will it be taboo to treat the majority of the nation’s people like chattel. Its great that Democratic women are standing up (kinda late) to voice opposition, but where are the Democratic white men, where is the CBC?

  59. Adrienne in CA says:

    When do women’s rights get to be mainstream.

    When we demand it. When we stop diluting women’s concerns with those of every other disadvantaged group. When we are selfish enough because we value ourselves enough not only to put our goals first, but to ONLY focus on what benefits us. Until we help ourselves, we help no one.

    *****A

  60. Aspen says:

    @yttik, I wish you were right, but I don’t see why you believe that Republican women would not have voted for the Stupak Amendment if there were more women in congress. Every Republican woman in the house voted for the Stupak Amdt. Most of the Dem women didn’t.

    @Octogalore, your premise assumes that overturing Roe would not be swiftly followed by a federal ban on abortion. These are the people who want to equate abortion with murder. They are not going to allow anyone to go to another state and commit “murder”.

    Look All, I’ve voted 3rd party before, and I’ll do it again. That’s pretty much my plan for 2010; that and working to primary out crap Dems. But I don’t buy some of the claims being put forth about how relatively benign a Republican-run government would continue to be, even with more women. I, like many of the Americans I hope to bring to this movement, are part of the prolonged exposure to an anyone-but-Bush-itis pandemic that resulted from the the PTSD-like state we developed under the W years. A Democrat could probably walk out on stage naked and have make out with a goat and still look like a lesser evil than the Repubs. The Repubs really did stink up the joint that bad.

  61. Aspen says:

    Out of curiosity, even if the Stupak amendment is gone, do you actually want this so-called health care reform?

    Excellent point, I thought exactly the same thing when I heard Pelosi and others say they had to give in on the Stupid Amdt in order to get their bill. I was like, gee, you act like you got HR676 out of the deal or something. But no, you bargained us away for a complete POS bill no one wants in the first place. Well done.

  62. Adrienne in CA says:

    NY and CT have the Working Families Party.

    In line with my previous comment, here is an example on NOT putting us first. Why “Working Families Party” and not “Women’s Party?”

    Supporting the working poor, supporting children, supporting families are lovely, laudible goals. But for those concerns to get a hearing in city and state and federal decision-making bodies, we need WOMEN’S bodies and minds present. All the downstream charitable and remedial support in the world can’t make up for not being in the room where policy is made.

    *****A

  63. Sasha, CA says:

    Out of curiosity, even if the Stupak amendment is gone, do you actually want this so-called health care reform? I ask because the entire “health care reform” bill (with or without the Stupak amendment) is a bunch of cr*p

    It’s not all crap, but yeah, parts of it are very problematic. OTOH, I have friends who are desperate to see this bill pass, because as things stand now, their pre-existing conditions are making it impossible for them to purchase health insurance. So while I continue to have strong reservations about many aspects of the bill — particularly its punitive nature and the fact that there’s virtually nothing to reign in out-of-control health care costs — and I’m not convinced that purchasing coverage will actually be affordable for lower income folks who are barely getting by, I can also see how other parts of this bill have the potential to improve the lives of a great many people, including several who are near and dear to me.

  64. Aspen says:

    Adrienne, I brought up the Working Families Party as an example of Fusion Politics. Not that the WFP in particular should be our party. I’m thinking more along the lines of strategy here. What strategy could we use to actually win.

  65. Sameol says:

    It’s not that a Republican government will be relatively benign, it’s that once you’ve been stabbed, set on fire, and run over three times by the Democrats, you’re already dead, whether or not the Republicans had additional plans to shoot your eyes out with a BB gun after they did the stabbing, setting on fire, and running over. I suppose in some sense, avoiding the BB gun is a victory (it can always get worse!), but it feels more like we’re being held hostage in a cycle of bad and worse, and we need to find a way to break free.

  66. Adrienne in CA says:

    If, however, Roe got overturned, the states who had legal abortion prior to Roe would still have legal abortion. About 1/3 of the population of women in America would need to commute to one of those states to get one.

    @Octogalore, your premise assumes that overturing Roe would not be swiftly followed by a federal ban on abortion.

    All this focus on Roe. Meanwhile, 87% of counties have no abortion access anyway. Decades of protests, and everything from stalking employees to opposing building permits (not to mention tacit support for violence) have driven providers out. Women are already having to travel long distances, and those who can’t go without.

    As heinous as the actions of anti-choice groups are, we can learn something from their multi-faceted, offensive, and relentless approach. Compare that to the wimpily polite defensive posture of elected Democrats. They haven’t needed to fight the battle because we’ve given them nothing to lose for losing.

    *****A

  67. Sasha, CA says:

    I don’t buy some of the claims being put forth about how relatively benign a Republican-run government would continue to be, even with more women.

    Me neither, and I think the response to Amy’s op-ed in the HuffPo would have been far more positive, if she had focused more on approaching progressive third parties and less on approaching Republicans. Expecting help on pro-choice matters from the RNC is just a tad silly. I mean, this is the party whose platform calls for banning all abortions — no exceptions.

  68. RKMK says:

    I suppose in some sense, avoiding the BB gun is a victory (it can always get worse!), but it feels more like we’re being held hostage in a cycle of bad and worse, and we need to find a way to break free.

    I’ve been trying to think up Gandhi-esque protests that could help get the point across in 2010. I’m imagining something like women en masse going to your local voting station, spoiling the ballot, and then parking yourself in front of the media trucks in a giant, silent sit-in/vigil, with candles, and signs that say things like “I AM A WOMAN, AND NEITHER PARTY REPRESENTS ME” or “I AM WORKING CLASS, AND BOTH PARTIES HAVE FORGOTTEN ME” and any number of variations on the theme. Silent vigils at all voting stations, and a massive sit-in across from the White House, and at the Washington Monument. No shouting, no screaming, just grim silence. That’s the sort of thing the media has trouble ignoring.

    Or maybe I should just write a movie, because that kind of thing could take some massive organization. ;)

  69. lambert strether says:

    Violet writes:

    Aspen, I have a lot of ideas about this. But I keep running into blind alleys and brick walls. I personally think we need to smash through with a third party (and a fourth party and whatever else), but the obstacles are enormous.

    +100. I was down in DC this weekend with some folks who were quite congenial, including some I wouldn’t have expected to be quite so congenial, and “third party” had an awful lot of traction.

    So, since your analytical toolkit is more sophisticated than just about anyone’s, I look forward to the post. We were hesitating between a second NWP and a single issue party, like a National Health Care Party, FWIW.

    Although maybe we don’t want to frame this as a third party. How about a second party?

  70. lambert strether says:

    One assumption to make for the short run — and, contra Keynes, in the short run, we’re all possibly dead — is that the Dems can’t run as economic populists in 2010 or 2012; and certainly not Obama. The Republicans may not be smart enough, but they’re certainly feral enough, to figure out how to run as right wing populists (say, Huckabee). They could win. Whatever “second party” strategy is devised has to take account of that.

  71. lambert strether says:

    Sasha:

    OTOH, I have friends who are desperate to see this bill pass, because as things stand now, their pre-existing conditions are making it impossible for them to purchase health insurance.

    Which is why the Dems and the “progressives” who forced that devil’s bargain on them are worthy of great disapprobation.

  72. Adrienne in CA says:

    @Aspen, yes, I’m totally with you on the fusion politics strategy. As satisfying as it would be to register with a distinct Women’s Party, though, I’m not sure that much overhead would be needed for women to wield electoral leverage. I’m a believer in working with what’s there before inventing wheels.

    An organization like NOW could support existing pro-women candidates from either party, or fund challengers in any primary — if they made it their mission to do so. Their members could belong to any or no party as their consciences dictate. I’ve seen it mentioned that NOW is top heavy. As a new member (inspired by some recent principled stances by Terry O’Neill, but ready to exit if disappointed), I don’t know the inner workings. Could more participation by people like us at the chapter level change this? Local chapters of any organization should be in close and relentless contact with their local legislators of any party. If they are not, well of course they are impotent.

    *****A

  73. RKMK says:

    Peeps is pissed @ DKos, of all places. It’s like they’re in a year-and-a-half timewarp behind us.

  74. madamab says:

    I agree with Adrienne.

    My idea is this: get all the women’s organizations together in one room, teleconference if necessary. Then, say we will concentrate on one issue: the ERA.

    No support of either Party, no donations, no volunteering, no NOTHING until our demands are met. We want the ERA now. All we need is three states to ratify and it will be ready for passage.

    The only time women have been successful in advancing their agenda was when they focused on one single issue. First it was “Votes for Women.” Then it was the ERA, but we allowed ourselves to be overrun by the anti-feminists like Phyllis Schlafly & Co. We almost made it then. It’s time to finish the fight and make it illegal for any of this 3rd-century burka-wearing crap to ever, ever happen in America again.

    As for this:

    (How do people think the anti-choicers got so much power, anyway? How do people think the anti-choicers made so many inroads into the Democratic Party that they can pass Stupak without breaking a sweat?)

    1) Oodles and oodles of money.
    2) Relentless determination.
    3) Excellent marketing skills, which is why we lost the framing argument and allowed the anti-choicers to claim they were “pro-life” while we were “murderers.”

    Democratic/liberal women have all that in spades. We just need to use it.

    :-D

  75. madamab says:

    P.S. For the next phase in the fight to outlaw all abortion and turn America into Saudi Arabia,
    check this out.

    http://personhood.net

    We’ve gotta do something NOW NOW NOW.

  76. angie says:

    Sasha:

    This is what I’m talking about with being short-sighted. You wrote that not all of the bill is “cr*p” although “parts” of this bill are “problematic”:

    particularly its punitive nature and the fact that there’s virtually nothing to reign in out-of-control health care costs — and I’m not convinced that purchasing coverage will actually be affordable for lower income folks who are barely getting by, I can also see how other parts of this bill have the potential to improve the lives of a great many people, including several who are near and dear to me.

    Do you actually see what you have written here? Everyone in the entire country is going to get screwed with out-of-control health care costs & the punitive nature of the bill, plus as an added bonus poor people can’t afford it anyway (so its mainly those poor folk who will have to worry about the fines, so who really cares) because *maybe* it is going to help a few people that you know. {*face palm*) First, don’t kid yourself, if your friends have pre-existing conditions, they are going to be paying through the teeth for coverage. Second, all that means the bill is all cr*p, as I originally wrote. The status quo, as bad as it is, is much better then the bill we have. But don’t just take it from me, take it from Dr. Angell, who actually has a plan for “Medicare for All.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-angell-md/is-the-house-health-care_b_350190.html

  77. angie says:

    Sorry, messed up blockquote! Mea culpa, mea culpa.

  78. Sameol says:

    There’s also the matter of age. The House and Senate are wrangling on whether they’ll allow insurance companies to charge older people 2 or 4 times as much as younger people. Either way, that’s a pretty significant burden on people who are trying to save for retirement. And if deductables aren’t significantly lowered, and if the insurance companies are still allowed to overrule doctors’ recommendations and refuse to pay for procedures, treatments, hospitalizations and follow-up care that are medically indicated, then they’re not getting anything in proportion to the burden that’s being put on them. $6000-$8000 a year for insurance is a lot.

  79. Sasha, CA says:

    Angie, I’ve always been in favor of a single-payer system, and I don’t support this bill (though I understand why some people do as it is not all crap as you say), but sadly I think the chances of us ending up with “Medicare For All” are slim to none. This bill, on the other hand, actually has a chance of becoming law and when/if it does, I don’t want the Stupak amendment attached to it.

  80. madamab says:

    Sasha – I think the chances of this particular bill becoming law are exactly zero. Whatever mountain of crapulence comes out of the Senate will not have even the small benefits that the House bill may have accidentally accorded to people instead of insurance companies.

  81. angie says:

    Sasha — sorry, we are just going to have to agree to disagree, because I want actual, real health care reform and I’m not going to accept less than that, nor should I considering there is a majority of Dems. in Congress and a Dem. in the WH all of whom have been promising that for years. This bill, even without the Stupak amendment, is not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination &, in fact, is worse than what we have now. According to the WSJ, this bill will have seniors paying premiums of upwards of $8000 for “junk insurance” (i.e., pays less than 60% of total bill). This bill will increase premiums and taxes on the middle class. Sibler nails it here:

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2009/11/fuck-you-act.html

    I’m done discussing this with you, because you obviously are content to allow the Dems to pee on your leg & tell you it is raining. I’m not.

  82. Sasha, CA says:

    Even if you believe that this bill is an unmitigated disaster without a single redeeming characteristic (and by the time the Senate is through with it, it very well may be), I believe it’s still important to contact our reps and voice our opposition to the Stupak amendment in order to let the Dems know that using women’s bodily autonomy as a bargaining chip is not acceptable.

  83. octogalore says:

    Aspen said: “@Octogalore, your premise assumes that overturing Roe would not be swiftly followed by a federal ban on abortion. These are the people who want to equate abortion with murder.”

    Pre-Roe, there was no federal ban. This is highly unlikely. I think it would be quite difficult to get rid of Roe, for a number of reasons. I see it as possible, though. But even the most extreme right-wing politicians say their desired result is to have it be the states’ decision. And any judge who wanted something more extreme could be blocked fairly easily given where Congress sits on the issues. I fully support Roe, but what you’ve suggested is highly speculative and unlikely. The results of Stupak, on the other hand, are dead certain.

  84. myiq2xu says:

    This bill, even without the Stupak amendment, is not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination &, in fact, is worse than what we have now.

    Don’t be surprised if the Stupak amendment is stripped from the final version so the Kool-aid bloggers can declare a victory.

    “Thanks to us, it’s only a horrible bill!”

  85. jj says:

    FYI this just came in on the NY Times

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/health/policy/10health.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

    WASHINGTON — President Obama suggested Monday that he was not comfortable with abortion restrictions inserted into the House version of major health care legislation, and he prodded Congress to revise them.

    “There needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo” on abortion, Mr. Obama said in an interview with ABC News. “And that’s the goal.”

    On the one hand, Mr. Obama said, “we’re not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions.”

    On the other hand, he said, he wanted to make sure “we’re not restricting women’s insurance choices,” because he had promised that “if you’re happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, it’s not going to change.”

    I’d be happier with abortion being as covered as any other procedure, but it looks like either he’s got some principles, or someone explained to him that this bill would be held up by pro choice democrats if push came to shove.

  86. Adrienne in CA says:

    MadamaB, I love your idea @ 74 and shudder at the urgency @ 75.

    There’s a Facebook campaign called ERA NOW that needs to hear from you.

    *****A

    P.S. When, oh when will we have personhood for women?

  87. Adrienne in CA says:

    …it looks like either he’s got some principles, or someone explained to him …

    Maybe the same person who had to explain to him why voting yes on John Roberts wasn’t such a great idea.

    *****A

  88. Nadai says:

    …but it looks like either he’s got some principles, or someone explained to him that this bill would be held up by pro choice democrats if push came to shove.

    Or he’s just mouthing soothing lies as he’s done a thousand times before. At this point Obama could tell me the sun rises in the east and I’d wonder if the Earth had somehow managed to reverse direction.

  89. Gayle says:

    “There needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo” on abortion, Mr. Obama said in an interview with ABC News. “And that’s the goal.”

    Status quo we can believe in!

  90. sam says:

    Gayle, I adore you for many reasons and that quip is one more.

  91. Dave says:

    OK, PUMAs, you win. Obamabots were, it turns out, incapable of supporting Obama and feminism at the same time. The Stupak thing has woken them up to the truth, and we’re all on the same page now. They’ve even been slamming Stupak on Daily Kos of all Obamabot places, for the last few days. So are we cool now?

  92. janicen says:

    Late to the party as usual, but I want to thank all of the commenters here for some really interesting and enlightening comments.

    “Status quo we can believe in” is pure genius.

  93. octogalore says:

    jj at #85: “it looks like either he’s got some principles, or someone explained to him that this bill would be held up by pro choice democrats if push came to shove.”

    Um, is there really any doubt about where the truth lies here? Obama, who kept briefed about the House deliberations, didn’t know that Stupak was going to be used to seal the deal? It was probably his idea. Remember, he said it was “tradition” not to fund abortion.

    The *only* reason he is stepping up now (in a minor, halfhearted way) for women is the only reason he has ever stood up for women: political exigency.

  94. Linden says:

    Check out Campaign Trail Obama’s views on reproductive health. Quite a bit different from President Obama.

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2007/12/21/sen-barack-obamas-reproductive-health-questionnaire

  95. Gayle says:

    Thanks Sam,

    The feeling’s mutual!

  96. Nadai says:

    OK, PUMAs, you win. Obamabots were, it turns out, incapable of supporting Obama and feminism at the same time.

    Wow, no kidding? What was your first clue – when they started driving Clinton supporters off their blogs by calling us cunts and hags? Or maybe when they referred to Clinton as the “Joan of Arc of the dry pussy demographic”?

    The Stupak thing has woken them up to the truth, and we’re all on the same page now. They’ve even been slamming Stupak on Daily Kos of all Obamabot places, for the last few days. So are we cool now?

    Sure. Just as soon as I get a groveling apology for the year-plus misogyny fest from all the major Obama blog owners, published on their front pages; a direct admission that the PUMAs were right and they were wrong, with no weaseling; and a followed-through promise to stomp out misogyny in their posts and comments henceforth.

    I won’t be holding my breath. Blue really isn’t my color.

  97. RKMK says:

    So are we cool now?

    Not nearly.

  98. How bad is the healthcare reform bill? | Reclusive Leftist says:

    [...] compiling the post I promised here (the online working session on general feminist/leftist strategy), but in the meantime, I’m [...]

  99. lambert strether says:

    Dave writes:

    So are we cool now?

    This is irony, right?

  100. Nadai says:

    This is irony, right?

    Who can tell anymore?

  101. Sameol says:

    “the Stupak amendment has woken them up to the truth, and we’re all on the same page now”

    Dave owes me a new keyboard.

  102. Honora says:

    Sure Dave, just as long as life is like football and we get to put time back on the clock and go back to the primaries.

  103. teresainpa says:

    Oh dear dave…..
    all I can really think to say is..bite me.

    Maybe after an apology for all the cheating, ignoring “bros before hos”, the misogyny, etc etc… a real apology dave. Then maybe we will see.

  104. teresainpa says:

    last night I was driving around trying to get a prescription filled and listening to local talk radio. The host is a guy who was a Hillary dude and left the party because of the primaries. He described himself as PUMA for awhile.
    Anyway, he had both congressman Chris Carny from my district and congressman Paul Kanjorski from the next district that includes Scranton.
    They both said they would not support the final bill with out the sepsis amendment. They both mentioned how pleased they were that the Catholic Bishops endorsed the bill and Kanjorski said “Diana Degett (sp?) was being “EMOTIONAL” when she said she would stop the bill with stupaks amendment in it.
    Now please some one have the damn nerve to tell me why I shouldn’t vote for pro-life republican women?
    If our congress people are that freaking full of hate for women why not just go for parity in politics for women? And damn right I think things will be better then.

    ps.. the RC bishops club can sit and spin.

  105. madamab says:

    Adrienne @86 -

    I will check it out! Thank you.

  106. Dave says:

    all I can really think to say is..bite me.

    I will submit this request to Dear Leader, and if He permits it, I shall grant your request.

    Half-seriously, I wondered if wide-spread liberal outrage at Stupak would bring Obamabots and PUMAs together. Maybe not. But even third wave Obamabots hate it, just like you!

  107. About that non-vacuum in which Stupak happened… | Reclusive Leftist says:

    [...] Kate Harding has a good piece in Salon that captures the PUMA-a-year-later zeitgeist we’ve been talking about here (to recap: A year later, world suddenly gets what PUMAs were talking about, House Democrats pass healthcare reform for men, and Rachel Maddow is becoming post-rational). [...]

  108. Mar says:

    I remember a post of Violet’s from last year and it concerned the notion of leverage. I believe that it still applies. The Republican candidate for Governor in 2006 recently announced that she would run again next year. She is a social moderate, especially on abortion, and she is someone who deserves support from Democratic women. I voted for her then and I will take a Republican ballot in the primary to vote for her.

    I also believe that the feminist movement was something that drew more of its membership from women in cities who were experiencing more discrimination and sexual harassment.

    I work in Chicago, but I live in Geneva, which is in very Republican Kane Co. (which is directly west of the city). There are still many stay at home moms, little girls go to ballet classes on Saturdays and women will make catty comments to other women who may not look or act differently.

    So I think that many women never considered themselves feminists and did not see how it would benefit them. And now younger women think the battles have been won and no more work is needed.

    We do need to make more intelligent choices whether it is for candidates or shoes. I frequently wonder how we can be taken seriously if we wear stilletos that we can barely walk in to work.

  109. Dreaming of Diocletian | Reclusive Leftist says:

    [...] need to find away around the existing two major parties. That’s what we were talking about in this thread, and it’s why I decided to put up this [...]