Nancy Keenan, head of the national NARAL group (and most obedient of the obedient losers) was apparently personally promised before the health care battle by the Obama administration that they would look after the organization's constituency interests in the health care bill and preserve the status quo. In return, NARAL was asked to stand down its activism.
They did. So with all their colleagues, they got caught with their pants down when a floor vote on the Stupak amendment was imminent.
Today, I got a press release from the DNC, and their Organizing For America project, on their plan to drum up more support for the health care reform bill: targeting Republicans.
It says nothing about women's healthcare. Nothing. Like it isn't even at issue. OFA is still watching NARAL's back, women's backs, as well as they always have.
OFA is crowing about the 500,000 phone calls they've prompted on the health care issue. Were any of them centered around preserving reproductive health care when it mattered? Ha! As Femlaw says at the link, "The idea is to build organizational capacity, so when really critical moments in the campaign happened, OFA could deliver huge numbers."
Targeting Republicans is critical. Encouraging Democrats to stand together for women's health and rights, not critical.
Whee, Joseph Cao voted for the House bill! Too bad it contains the worst blow to women's rights in a generation, while Obama and his pet DNC's reactions continue to be tepid.
The DNC's women's page has, at this time, nothing on it about reproductive care issues. It's latest post is a brief endorsement of the health reform bill from the League of Women Voters, which also says nothing about the odious Stupak language, nothing about the lack of contraception and basic ob-gyn checkups.
(Psst - Did you know that women are supposed to not only get a yearly physical through their family doctor, but have a separate ob-gyn well woman checkup every year from puberty onwards? That's where they check for cervical cancer, look for signs of domestic or sexual abuse, etc. You know, little stuff, but we're supposed to get it checked. Well, neither Obama, nor Congress, nor the DNC seems to know that nor cares. Medical care that all adult women are supposed to get every year won't be going in the required benefits package and there has been no organizing around it.)
The WhiteHouse.gov homepage says nothing about any of this right now. Their women's page says only this:
(More in the extended entry)
President Obama has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and believes in preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade. At the same time, he respects those who disagree with him. The President believes we must all come together to help reduce unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.
Total disjoint from reality. Our champion couldn't even spare a Tweet for women's health last Saturday. Here, let me fix that statement for you:
President Obama has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice on the campaign trail when he needed women to vote for him. At the same time, he respects those who disapprove of reproductive health care even more. The President believes we must all come together to help reduce unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion, which is why he'd like women's health advocates to stop insisting that there's a need for abortion. Because there isn't a women's America and a men's America, there's just the United States of America. And men don't get pregnant unintentionally or need abortions, so we should stop dividing the country over this narrow, silly issue.
I hate our stupid politics. Friends are proud of each other and they stand up for one another. I've said it before and I'll say it again; in politics, a secret friend might as well be an imaginary friend. Particularly for women.
Not only are women raised to always think of others first, whenever there's something to be sacrificed women are always the first ones asked to be good sports and give something up for the good of the team. It plays out again and again. For women, secret friends are really just the people most likely to ask for an uncompensated and costly favor.
And indeed, if the Obama administration is a friend to NARAL, or any other reproductive justice group, it would be hard to tell. National NARAL secured no promises from Obama, received no press conference for their endorsement in the primary, and as far as anyone can tell, didn't even have him fill out an issue questionnaire with which to mollify their enraged constituent base.
I hope the money, support and access groups like national NARAL got from Obama was worth the epic betrayal women are facing now at the hands of our alleged allies. Maybe they'll use all those resources to negotiate a better deal for us. Or, you know, they could just keep gawping at how lucky they are that they get meetings at the White House.
Full text of the DNC press release (sans the sample constituent letter) follows:
Washington, DC - Following passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday, Organizing for America (OFA), a project of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), announced today that its volunteers would be called on to drop by the offices of the 32 House Republicans who voted against reform and represent districts won by President Obama in 2008. OFA volunteers are being asked to drop by these offices beginning as early as tomorrow through the middle of next week to remind these members that voters in their districts voted for change last year and urge them to reconsider their position when the House votes again on a final bill later this year. The office visits are being organized online through an email sent to OFA supporters in the 32 Congressional Districts from OFA Director Mitch Stewart. The email can be found at the bottom of this release.
Volunteers and supporters of health insurance reform in these districts will join together in a show of support by visiting member offices to ensure Representatives know their constituents support President Obama's plan for reform that would achieve three goals; provide more security and stability to people who have insurance; provide more quality, affordable options to those who don't; and lower the cost of care for American families, businesses, and government.
"Just one year ago, Americans in these congressional districts voted to send President Obama to the White House and these Republican Representatives to Congress. The message was clear in these districts: Americans want change, and they expect their Representatives to work with President Obama and reach across the aisle to help deliver it," said OFA Director Mitch Stewart.
"Last weekend's vote on health reform offered a clear choice to these members: Stand with your constituents and support a bill which draws upon ideas from both parties to guarantee Americans secure, affordable health coverage, or stand with the insurance companies and right wing pundits to put politics above doing the right thing. Unfortunately, these Representatives made the wrong choice."
Organizing for America, a grassroots project of the Democratic National Committee, is committed to supporting President Obama's agenda for change. Over 2 million people have taken action as part of OFA's health reform campaign. Since June 6, OFA has held 20,000 events in all 50 states and every congressional district encouraging support for President Obama's health insurance reform plan. On October 20, OFA helped to generate more than 315,000 calls to Congress in a single day, more than three times the initial goal.
The full list of congressional districts and members can be found below;
Reps. Dan Lungren (CA-3), Elton Gallegly (CA-24), Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (CA-25), David Dreier (CA-26), Ken Calvert (CA-44), Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), John Campbell (CA-48), Brian P. Bilbray (CA-50), Michael N. Castle (DE-AL), C.W. Bill Young (FL-10), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18), Peter Roskam (IL-6), Mark Steven Kirk (IL-10), Judy Biggert (IL-13), Donald Manzullo (IL-16), Tom Latham (IA-4), Dave Camp (MI-4), Fred Upton (MI-6), Mike Rogers (MI-8), Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11), Erik Paulsen (MN-3), Lee Terry (NE-2), Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-2), Leonard Lance (NJ-7), Pat Tiberi (OH-12), Jim Gerlach (PA-6), Charlie Dent (PA-15), J. Randy Forbes (VA-4), Frank R. Wolf (VA-10), Dave Reichert (WA-8), Paul D. Ryan (WI-1), Tom Petri (WI-6).