Yes, you read that correctly. Ted Kennedy, the iconic progressive in the United States Senate for nearly half a century, has betrayed women. Right.
As a progressive, I am disappointed that he chose Senator Obama rather than John Edwards, because I believe Edwards' positions are more reflective of his own, but after a lifetime of service, I'm sure as hell not going to attack him as a betrayer.
Since he joined the Senate in 1962, Ted Kennedy has been a stalwart and a statesman for progressive causes, especially with regard to women's issues like reproductive rights, protection of battered women, the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay, among hundreds of issues. I can think of no one who has given more of his life in a legislative capacity, and this is how he is repaid?
What is even more aggravating is that, among Democrats, race and gender are supposed to be far less important when choosing a candidate. I know women of all colors supporting Edwards or Obama and not Clinton, men of all colors supporting Clinton and not Obama or Edwards, and African-Americans who are supporting Clinton or Edwards and not Obama. That's why this strikes me as being a remnant of the past, and, frankly, it's just sad.
I ask this question because, frankly, I don't know: When the FIRST female candidate for President (also from New York State), Shirley Chisholm, ran for President in 1972, how did the NY chapter of NOW (which I presume was around then) react to her defeat? Did they attack Senator Kennedy for not supporting her? I really would like to know.
As I have said and will say, one's skin color or gender does not guarantee or disqualify one from public office; that's why the NY NOW reaction to Kennedy's endorsement of Obama is so deeply disappointing on all levels.
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.