…this time, from Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, in her capacity as DNC Chair. Here’s the pitch:
If Congress votes against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, all of these programs could grind to a halt, and the hundreds of thousands of women who rely on them will once again be left on their own.
Unfortunately, the GOP’s resistance is just another example of putting women’s health and well-being on the line in order to score a few cheap, political points with their base.
Yes, god DAMN those awful Republicans, always against women’s rights, women’s equality, women’s contraceptive and reproductive freedom. Troglodytes!!
Only…there’s a little problem with all of that righteous anger. Namely, it reeks of hypocrisy:
The DCCC always– not sometimes, always– tries clearing the field in favor of the more conservative contender in Democratic primaries. In Michigan’s third CD, we have a perfect example. Trevor Thomas is a grassroots progressive who embodies classic FDR values and principles. His opponent, Steve Pestka, is an anti-Choice zealot who is eager to join the Republican Party’s war against women. So, of course, DCCC chair Steve Israel loves him (Pestka). Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm endorsed Thomas, in large part because he is the pro-Choice candidate and because Pestka is the anti-Choice candidate. He’s also a self-funding multimillionaire, which trumps ideology in Israel-Wasserman Schultz world.
In western North Carolina we have two races where the DCCC is waging war against women by recruiting conservative anti-Choice fanatics, Blue Dog Hayden Rogers in NC-11, against Cecil Bothwell and primitive religionist Terry Bellamy against Rep. Patsy Keever…
The DCCC and the DC Democrats in general are appealing to save our sisters and fight back against the Republican War On Women– while they beat down progressives like Gary Latanich in Arkansas in favor of bigoted right-winger Clark Hall or while they screw up the campaign against David Rivera by recruiting an anti-Choice candidate so conservative (and so incredibly lame) that he wound up pulling out of the race– and leaving the Democratic Party. Of course only people as inherently stupid and self-serving as Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel wouldn’t have guessed in advance that something like this was bound to happen when they recruited the former head of Democrats for Bush!
War on women? Yeah, the GOP is actually doing that. Yes, they would like to re-legislate the contraception debate which was settled in the 1950s and 60s. Yes, they would like to see “personhood” amendments flower in all 50 states. Yes, A Handmaid’s Tale is a vision they’d like to make real.
But here’s the thing: “we suck LESS (than the other guys)” has never been a particularly motivating or energizing appeal, no matter who’s saying it, not for Democratic voters (or any voters, for that matter). Harry Truman once said, long ago, that “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican every time.” That wisdom remains true to this day; true-blue progressives will probably always vote Democrat (if they’re not sitting it out in disgust), but the average low-information, “swing” voter who hears a DNC apparatchik like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz calling for support for women out of one side of her mouth, while simultaneously working assiduously to block genuinely pro-women progressive candidates in favor of anti-choice, Blue-Dog troglodytes out of the other, will always choose the REAL Republican. After all, if both the Democrat and the Republican agree on most things, but the Republican’s just more clear and up-front about his (and yeah, it’s usually a “he”) endorsement of anti-women ideas….well, why vote for the pale shadow?
Let me be clear: Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel and the rest of the “wise old heads” of the Democratic party are unquestionably sounding the right notes when they issue the call to man the barricades in defense of women and against the forces who would strip their equality and return us to an age of explicit patriarchy.
The question is: are THEY – Wasserman Schultz, Israel and the rest of the DC-insider Democratic leadership – actually with us in the trenches of that fight…or not?