Monday, January 28, 2008

This is my 900th post!!!! But that's NOT why I am writing.

As Sean Braisted has noted, the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women has attacked Senator Edward Kennedy for his endorsement of Barack Obama as a betrayal of women.

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.

Flame away.

UPDATE: Kim Gandy, the NATIONAL President of NOW, issues her OWN press release:

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.

All righty then!


GoldnI said...

I refuse to take this crap anymore. As a result of this whole thing, Edwards is now my second choice over Hillary.

Jim Maynard said...

The TN Guerilla Women keep digging themselves deeper and deeper into the clinton gutter! And the NY NOW are why most women don't want to call themselves "feminists." They are a bunch of snobby white upper class women, dare I say they may be "racist"?? (I guess Toni Morrison has betrayed women too since she endorsed Obama :)

LeftWingCracker said...

You two are just woman-haters, you know that, don't you?


GoldnI said...

I'm a self-hating woman AND a self-hating Jew. Ask me about Joe Lieberman :)

midtowner said...

I read TGW every day. I appreciate all they do to inform TN'ers. I cannot help but think they are too quick off the mark to accept NOW-NY's statement as valid. Feministe and Feministing has the correct take on it, I believe. Jim Maynard's petty goading notwithstanding, I say wait and let the comments sort things out. I have noticed a lamentable trend of "attack first" comments from regulars there. I don't think anyone "wins" from attacking, nor do I think that discussion is furthered by such. TGW is a living, evolving blog and I wouldn't want it any other way.

PeskyFly said...

Things that are just funny:

"I don't think anyone "wins" from attacking"

Quick, somebody "tell" the Huns!

Tom Guleff said...

One can't be surprised over this stuff. It's the same craziness that we saw with Emily's List, Steve Cohen, and Nikki Tinker in 2006. This would never happen with the GOP. :)

alexis said...

Steve - FYI, Shirley Chisholm was the THIRD woman to run for President, but the first black woman. And, yes, NOW was around when Shirley ran - it was formed in 1966 in NYC.

alexis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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