Identity Politics-- Yuck
It drives me crazy when so-called "progressive" organizations endorse someone because of their membership in an "identity group" rather than because of their policies. No one is worse than EMILY's List. They routinely endorse corrupt, conservative women over progressive men (or even over progressive women). It's why EMILY's List has gone from being one of the most trusted names in politics to just a clownish distaff appendage of the DCCC. At the same time, the need to get more and better women leaders into positions of power is absolutely crucial-- not women corporatists who are as bad as men but women whose perspective leads them to work tenaciously for working families and progressives values. This is a poster Darcy Burner, a progressive House candidate in Washington state, put together yesterday for a friend. It's a unique perspective-- held by about 51% of the population:
The Republican Party and their reactionary allies among Blue Dogs and other conservative Democrats have been inexorably chipping away at women's rights. It's a mania, a sickness, among conservatives. And it's part of the reason why the whole idea of a need for more women elected officials resonates so strongly. A few weeks ago I invited Kelda Helen Roys to write a guest post. I only wish my own district-- which is even bluer than WI-2, 87% of our votes going for Obama in 2008-- had the kind of choice voters in WI-2 have between Kelda and Mark Pocan, another absolutely outstanding progressive stalwart with a long record that shows what an amazing congressmember he would be. Over half the population of the country consists of women but women make up less than 20% of the House of Representatives. Shocking, isn't it? Or do you think it doesn't matter. What follows are from a letter Kelda sent Wisconsin voters this week:
As you may have heard, Susan G. Komen has signed onto the radical right's anti-woman agenda, choosing to defund Planned Parenthood's lifesaving breast cancer screening programs across the country. This move comes after the recent hiring of a Sarah Palin-endorsed, anti-gay, anti-choice former Georgia gubernatorial candidate to serve as Komen's Senior VP of Public Policy.
I have been fighting right-wing assaults on women's health my entire career. As the former executive director of a statewide reproductive rights organization, I will be one of the only women in Congress with a background in women's health. Whether it is fighting the attacks on the Healthy Youth Act, speaking out against the "personhood" amendment, or calling out anti-science policies in Washington, I have been on the front lines defending women's health and privacy from anti-choice forces.
But now I need your help. I am running for Congress because I believe that it is not enough to simply vote pro-choice. To counter these continuous assaults on women's health, we must send a strong advocate who won't just vote the right way, but will help lead the movement to forcefully confront all attacks on women's health.
...I am the only candidate in this race even discussing these issues, and I give you my promise that I will be the strongest advocate for choice in Washington.
I have no doubt that Mark Pocan will vote the right way on women's issues every single time. He's proven that by his public service. So how do you pick between these two? I wish we were so lucky in my district.