John McCain and the Women

Kristin Teigen

Mccaintotallysuck

This is for Karol Collymore, who rightly believes we should be sending more criticism John McCain's way. Happy to do it.

A new Rasmussen poll out recently found that 36% of voters could change their minds between now and November. Of that 36%, nearly 70% are women. So, that means that a significant portion of women voters have not yet definitively decided.

Well, can I help? I’m figuring perhaps some of the, as my three year old says, ”yucky stuff” about John McCain has not hit the full light of day. Perhaps that’s why some women have yet to decide.

First, let’s look at the recent Supreme Court decision, Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire Company. The Court decided that women had but 180 days to sue their employers if an incident of pay discrimination became evident. Considering that discrimination often becomes evident only as a pattern over time, the decision effectively squelched redress for pay discrimination cases. In her strongly worded dissent, Justice Ginsburg called on Congress to correct the law, which it attempted to do with the Fair Pay Restoration Act. McCain voted against it, saying that business should be able to take care of matters like these themselves. Right.

On to abortion rights. As National Public Radio reported early in February, 2008, “Many Republican voters seem to believe, incorrectly, that …McCain supports abortion rights.” Jeebus. Let’s talk. John McCain has a zero percent voting rating from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL, and has opposed the most innocuous family planning programs. The only “family planning” programs he supports are abstinence only, which, according to reams of research, have failed abysmally. He’s not just on the Right when it comes to women’s health, but the Far Right.

And here’s a real joy - when asked whether he supports public funding for contraception as a means of fighting AIDS in Africa, he said, “Whether I support government funding for them, I don’t know.” Seriously?

Now, McCain also runs as a "man of character," so, well, he walked right into this one. Do men of character turn to their wife and say, “I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c***.” Do men of character fail to correct a supporter who asks how “we beat the b****?” I’m thinking that they don’t.

As for Obama - 100 percent voting record for women’s health and abortion rights. Voted for the Fair Pay Restoration Act. Supports public funding for international women’s health programs. Has not, as far as anyone can tell, been personally abhorrent to women (”sweetie” is not the same).

Perhaps all of that will help some woman decide. Let's all go with Obama, ok?

Comments

  • verasoie (unverified)
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    The anti-woman comments from McCain are so fast and furious, it's hard to keep up with them, but don't forget his latest gaffe from yesterday when he denied having any knowledge of or position on whether oral contraception should be required to be covered by insurance companies when they cover viagra.

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/7/11/11452/0897/524/549691

  • (Show?)

    Good column Kristin. Thanks.

    NARAL has been circulating information about how McCain's hostility not just to abortion but to birth control dovetails with an effort within the anti-abortion movement to redefine the beginning of pregnancy, from the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, to the fertilization of the egg before implantation. The effect of this redefinition would be to redefine also the most widely used hormonal - chemical forms of birth control as "abortion." In the short term the focus of this probably is "Plan B," but there is a longer-term anti-birth control agenda.

    The fact that McCain is not only anti-choice when it comes to women's control of their own bodies on abortion, but opposes birth control too, needs to be something we focus on I think, and work out clear, powerful ways to articulate. We need to do it to defend the rights of women and families to control their own fertility; controlling women's fertility has been both a central purpose and central mode of dominating women across history and cultures.

    And we need to do it politically, because huge majorities of people support that right. McCain's views are quite extreme, and give the lie to claims to conservatism, especially his brand being "libertarian".

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    I can't believe this guy is a serious candidate for President of the United States.

    He can't answer simple questions about where he stands on issues he's voted on many times in the Senate.

    He can't even answer simple, fundamental questions about legislation he sponsored that has his name on it.

    He leaves everything to "his people". His people are guys like Phil Gramm.

    If this guy gets elected after 8 years of George W. Bush this country will be in freefall.

  • Agrado (unverified)
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    Yea McCain's record on a lot of things, such as abortion, equal pay, insurance coverage for birth control, the economy, foreign policy, and umm...basically everything is terrible. And I hope that the Dems make this clear (jebus, this should be really easy). But we should also remember that just because Obama is our presumptive nominee, doesn't mean he is off the hook and can say whatever he wants. He did vote for the FISA bill granting telecom immunity ::head hits table:: and he did make some statements about late-term abortions that, I think, are troubling regarding mental distress not being considered as 'health of the mother'. And he made a statement about the "promising trend in the reduction of teen pregnancies, through education and abstinence education giving good information to teenagers." Ummm where exactly has abstinence education been proven to reduce teen pregnancies? Definitely not in America.

    I think McCain is a horrible candidate and would be an even worse president (though I just can't imagine one worse than Bush). I just hope that Obama doesn't start using Republican rhetoric and framing in an effort to gain some right-of-center voters. Obama made it through the primaries on his message of 'hope' and on doing things differently in politics and I just hope he sees it through. I don't want a candidate that is just "better than the Republican". I want one that I'm proud of as a strong Democrat and progressive.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I can't believe this guy is a serious candidate for President of the United States.

    Mencken has a corollary that explains this: No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public. That certainly applies in politics on the right.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Given the Republican brand is in trouble and McCain is so gaffe-prone it should be a wipe-out for Obama in November, but it doesn't look like it now.

    Greg Kafoury has an article in Counterpunch on the Obama betrayal. He would like to see a debate that would include Ralph Nader. Obama should avoid this as Nader will get the better of him and ruin his declining chances.

    Ten more McCain gaffes this week.

    Poll: National Race Tightens; Majority Says Obama Flip-Flopped On Key Issues

    Obama Helps Give Bush a Victory

  • Jim Et Al (unverified)
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    Speaking of McWorse's women problem, you won't find this story covered by our "straight shooting" American media.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Then again, Obama is still only the presumptive nominee, and as Bill Clinton recently said his family "isn't big on quitting."

    A preview of coming events in Denver?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Jim Et Al's link above leads to a story of McCain's betrayal of his first wife and a habit of thinking only of his own immediate interest. Like father like son. More on McCain, Sr. and the USS Liberty.

  • genop (unverified)
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    Where does all the mysterious McCain support come from?? Those who will continue to benefit under the Bush tax policies. Those who benefit from lax regulation of various industries (along with their employees). Those who fear withdrawing our occupying forces from Iraq. (influenced by fear propaganda) Those who feel all taxes are bad except those which fund protection. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say there are many who will not espouse support for McCain but will vote for him anyway because they are mostly satisfied with their lives. There are some negativists out there who will vote against Obama because of ethnicity, the primary losers, too liberal, left his church, stayed too long in his church, etc. etc. Bottom line McCain represents conservatism and Obama - change. The ebbing of excitement might influence voter turnout, or interest. Don't let it. We need change and it won't come soon enough.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Bottom line McCain represents conservatism and Obama - change. The ebbing of excitement might influence voter turnout, or interest. Don't let it. We need change and it won't come soon enough.

    McCain represents a corruption of conservatism, the kind that was espoused by Barry Goldwater and still believed in by Republicans disillusioned with the current role of the Republican party. There is absolutely nothing conservative in the truest sense of the word about autocrats and promoters of militarism.

    As for Obama, change looks less and less likely with him. It is now obvious he is obeisant to the same powers that have been the dominant factors for decades - corporations and party oligarchs.

  • genop (unverified)
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    Sorry, I should have defined my terms. "Conservatism" in the sense of maintaining the status quo. Despite his vote on FISA and some leavening of his positions, I still trust Obama to move on Iraq, healthcare, national service, global warming, international relations, leveling the tax burden, etc. His Administration will improve with agency heads promoting policies responsive to agency missions. These moves all represent change and vast improvement over our current plight.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Bill Bodden said, "No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public. That certainly applies in politics on the right."

    It's the professional managing class with elite educations, such as those who post regularly to BO, who are responsible for "politics on the right", including Obama's rightward-lurching (and rapidly failing) campaign.

    The fact that more than 75% of eligible voters failed to vote for Bush in either of his non-elections should tell you something. The people know overwhelmingly that our "democracy" is rigged in favor of those with wealth and power.

    I see this supposed 1967 Israeli attack on an American spy ship the same way I see "911 truth/false flag" claims:

    It doesn't matter.

    Israel, like its imperial master, continues to commit crimes against humanity every day with the full aid and justification of Obama and the rest of the DP establishment, and you want to talk about 1967. When you refuse to support the endorsers of present-day U.S.-Israel crimes, I'll start to take you seriously about the Liberty.

    Those of us to the left of the duopoly always saw the horror of John McCain. But you "liberals", including your rightward-lurching candidate of four years ago, need to explain why you thought McCain was such a wonderful choice for Kerry's running mate then. The hypocrisy is palpable.

    The polls demonstrate that you once again are in danger of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, this time against a candidate even more flawed than Bush. Who will you blame this time? When will you stop repeating the same mistakes over and over again?

    It's time for a real second party to emerge from "...a thing of rowdy beauty" in Denver. Will you learn this time what you didn't learn in 1968?

  • Greg Kelly (unverified)
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    Do you people ever think that by reading only things with which you agree that you've completely missed the point of diversity?

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    As for Obama, change looks less and less likely with him. It is now obvious he is obeisant to the same powers that have been the dominant factors for decades - corporations and party oligarchs.

    I was just listening to Air America and heard an interview with the editor of The Nation who didn't think Obama would have a chance to win unless he moved more to the center and not as progressive as many would like him to be. That's the freaking Nation saying that.

    Personally I think the last 12 years of fighting with Republicans is despicable. I don't care if they started it or not. We nominated a candidate who vowed to end this party bickering and you don't do that by telling them to stick their issues up their ass and go home.

  • avwrobel (unverified)
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    Have you Blue Oregonians started coming around yet? Obambi's nomination will be an absolute disaster!! He lies CONSTANTLY! If he's not on a teleprompter he's a walking gaffe machine. Check out formerobamasupporters.com and noquarterusa.net for the real stories

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    Harry, you're smearing. I'd wager as substantial amount that the number of BlueOregon columnists or regular commenters who wanted McCain as Kerry's running mate is vanishingly small, quite possibly zero. (The blog itself started only shortly before the 2004 D convention and it doesn't seem to have been an actual topic of discussion here.)

    Garrett, I don't think that the things he did that matter to me moved him much to the center, he was already there. Voting no on FISA would have cost him nada and gained him nada in that respect. Saying he didn't really mean it about being against NAFTA probably costs him more in "centrist" grass-roots votes than he gains by convincing the corporate media and the big money donors he does want, in addition to the millions of small donors, that he's "safe," though obviously his calculation of that is different. But pro-NAFTA isn't a "centrist" position, and anti-NAFTA isn't a "leftist" one. The breakdown isn't ideological.

    I wonder what makes you think the Republicans will stop "the partisan bickering"?

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    Chris, as usual, you rock. I should say it after every comment you make. Seriously. Yous gots a big brain in there.

    Greg, you're just funny. We disagree so much on BlueOregon -- every single word is grounds for a verbal duel. Maybe on posts like these, when we are talking about something truly horrendous, we'll agree, but otherwise.....

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Personally I think the last 12 years of fighting with Republicans is despicable.

    Somehow 12 years of bullying spineless Democrats by the Republicans doesn't seem to qualify as a fight. Come to think of it that should be more like 13.5 years after Gingrich and DeLay took over and Clinton began caving in.

    As for Obama if his support has dropped off after "moving to the center" maybe moving there isn't such a good idea. It seems that all those young and not so young people that he inspired were looking for something other than what Obama has given them lately.

  • Rafael (unverified)
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    Hi All!

    First of all, I am an Obama supporter and I live in New York. I read about your concerns with Obama and his "shift" to the center which quite frankly has raised concerns in me as well. However, I feel that voting for anyone else this time around would be a wasted opportunity given the other choices. For one thing, MCAAIN is just another Bush or worse and no matter how far left/right or center Obama goes, this fact does not change. The Green party, well, that's a dream that won't come close to being a reality anytime soon. That's just a fact of where we are politically in this country. It is not going to change in 4 months. Perhaps in the next 4 years, I hope.

    The last point I want to make and urge you to ponder upon, is the fact that this shifting in position is innate to political processes and the fact that Obama is guilty of some is both irritating and reassuring to some extent. I say this because it shows that Mr. Obama is not as naive as people like to think. He knows politics and he knows it well. It's very hard if not impossilbe to win an election with a single group in this country. The difference between all the different groups are too great and they leave politicians scrambling around to try and please everyone.

    I know you will choose well Oregon whatever that choice happens to be. My best wishes are with you and your great city.

    Rafael - NY

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    However, I feel that voting for anyone else this time around would be a wasted opportunity given the other choices

    The realistic choices at this time are limited to two men: One looks more and more like he will prove to be another naked emperor while the other should be of greater concern. He looks like he could be a 21st century version of Rome's infamous emperor who fiddled while his capital burned.

    If it's close in Oregon I'll vote for Obama to help make sure the latter would-be emperor doesn't get anywhere near the red phone in the White House. If Obama is safe in Oregon, I'll vote for someone about whom I could have a clear conscience.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    On this and other threads there have been references to voting for candidates and parties outside the Democratic and Republican duopoly. This seems to be a worthwhile topic for a new thread. Open Left has an interesting article on third parties for a starter.

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    Oh John McCain...the saddest part is he is not first or the last of his kind. Thanks, Kristin! I knew you'd come through with something juicy!

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    I wish Kershner would dispense with the strawman arguments. Now I'm supposed to disown John Kerry because he allegedly talked to McCain about the VP slot? Who else am I supposed to disown in order to render myself ideologically acceptable? And by the way, what exactly is Kershner planning to do in Denver to assure that his vision of an alternative political party rises from the ashes? Is it something to do with this?

    The Open Left article noted above is indeed worth reading. It makes the entirely reasonable point that minor parties put very little effort into local organizing and contesting elections in a general way, but nonetheless every four years run presidential candidates. And by the way, Ralph Nader should NOT be thought of as "minor party" or "third party". He's not affiliated with a political party at all. And he is most definitely uninterested in bottom-up organizing of a political party that can offer meaningful challenges to Democrats and Republicans.

  • Helys (unverified)
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    John McCain's reputation for independence and integrity hung on his campaign finance advocacy. Harpers magazine has a great article in its April edition on the hypocrisy behind his "reform" agenda.

    <h2>www.harpers.org/archive/2008/05/0082024</h2>

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