Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Margaret Thatcher And EMILY's List


While we didn't cheer, nor take part in the wailing and the rending of garments,  at the announcement of Margaret Thatcher's death-- she's been all but dead for several years-- yesterday, we did recognize her passing. I hope you read Ken's fair and balanced obit last night. And, regardless what you thought of her reactionary brand of politics, there is certainly no denying her a hard-earned place in history-- England's first women prime minister. When a similarly senile British Consul General assigned to the L.A. garden party and high tea post, viciously anti-union Dame Barbara Hay, went on KPCC to eulogize her idol yesterday, she seemed stumped when asked to name a Thatcher contribution. So she went right to Thatcher breaking the unions, the real bond that she and Reagan had in common.

When her Conservative Party cabinet colleagues kicked her out of office, she was embittered and said, even years later, "I shall never forget; I shall never forgive." What a dreadful old monster she was! And no less so for being a woman. In politics, as in all things, there are good women, great women, horrible women, flawed women and women who are good on some things and bad on others. Sounds a lot like men, doesn't it? Morrissey doesn't have fond memories of Thatcher in any way, shape or form and he wasn't shy in pointing out that she was even a monster when it came to women's issues, even beyond wrecking the social system women often depend on for themselves and their children.
Iron? No. Barbaric? Yes. She hated feminists even though it was largely due to the progression of the women's movement that the British people allowed themselves to accept that a prime minister could actually be female. But because of Thatcher, there will never again be another woman in power in British politics, and rather than opening that particular door for other women, she closed it.

Thatcher will only be fondly remembered by sentimentalists who did not suffer under her leadership, but the majority of British working people have forgotten her already, and the people of Argentina will be celebrating her death. As a matter of recorded fact, Thatcher was a terror without an atom of humanity.
I don't want to go into my whole schpiel about how special interest groups like EMILY's List and, say, Victory Fund make grievous strategic errors when they support a conservative woman or a conservative gay over a progressive man or a progressive straight ally. I watched Barbara Boxer, clearly senile now and past her due date, crowing about how she persuaded an ex-progressive champion, Nancy Pelosi, to support conservative (proto-Republican Wendy Greuel for mayor of L.A. over a far smarter, far more progressive and far better qualified Eric Garcetti for one reason and one reason only: Wendy has a vagina and Eric has a penis. Each of them is a lot more than plumbing. The National Organization for Women (NOW) gets that even if EMILY's List, which predictably, is backing Greuel, doesn't. The California state branch of NOW endorsed Garcetti as did, yesterday, one of California's foremost advocates for women and children in Congress, Rep. Karen Bass, the former state Assembly Speaker. (Sadly, Boxer and Pelosi are in their dotage. Who's going to help them ease out of public life though? It was hard enough for U.K. Conservatives to unceremoniously throw Thatcher out in time.)

There are a number of races EMILY's List is getting involved in that pit conservative women against progressive men and one of their keystone races is for the governor of the Keystone State. Their candidate is great on one issue: Choice. On economic justice issues, she's a backward conservative and a danger to working families. Her record in Congress is disgraceful for anyone calling themselves a Democrat, let alone a Democrat from a safe, solidly blue district like hers. A vice chair of the repulsively corrupt, corporately-owned New Dems, her lifetime ProgressivePunch score on crucial roll calls is a wretched 76.68. But for the current session-- where nothing is in her mind except her lust to become Pennsylvania's first woman governor-- her voting record has really gone into the toilet as she endeavors to prove how conservative she is by voting with Boehner and Cantor whenever she can. Her score for the current session has sunk to an abysmal 52.4, Blue Dog territory.

Allyson Schwartz isn't a terrible candidate because she's a woman. She's a terrible candidate because she's a conservative serving the interests of Big Business and Wall Street rather than of working families of Pennsylvania. EMILY's List is terrible for supporting her just because she's a woman. They should be supporting women-- we need lots more in public office-- but not women like Margaret Thatcher... or Allyson Schwartz. Oh come on, Howie... how can you compare Allyson Schwartz to Margaret Thatcher? Here's how:

• Allyson Did the Dirty Work for America’s Credit Card Industry Against the Middle-Class

She came under heavy fire from liberals in Philadelphia for her vote in favor of the credit card industry-written Bankruptcy Bill of 2005 that the GOP was pushing. The bill allowed the credit card companies to ruin the finances of middle-class Americans and then prevent those same Americans from filing for bankruptcy and getting rid of their credit card debts. The bill also specifically removed protections to prevent identity theft.

• Allyson Gave Cover to House Republicans to Overturn Obamacare

Allyson Schwartz has been accused of siding with health care interests-- one of her biggest bloc of contributors-- and giving House Republicans cover on dismantling important parts of ObamaCare. Schwartz’s actions would result in increased profits for health care providers.

• Allyson Supported Keeping the Bush Tax Cuts For the Wealthy

When President Obama was forced by House Republicans to move the cut-off for the Bush tax cuts to $400,000 from $250,000, Politico reported that Schwartz cheered the move as beneficial to her wealthy district. “It makes a difference for some in my district,” she said. Previously, in 2010, Schwartz proposed extending the Bush tax cuts for those who making up to half a million ($500,000) a year. And in December 2010, Allyson Schwartz voted to extend all of the Bush tax cuts for two more years.

• Allyson Sided With George W. Bush on Iraq

During her first campaign for Congress in 2004, Schwartz said she supported Bush’s War in Iraq and then repeatedly voted to give him blank checks to keep it going. Then, in May 2007, she voted against the bipartisan progressive/Libertarian resolution that sought to safely redeploy U.S. troops out of Iraq. Four years later (March, 2011) she helped defeat another bipartisan plan to end another war, this one in Afghanistan. All the while, she has been voting to renew the Patriot Act without protections for civil liberties.

Is she better than Corbett? Sure... but what a low standard. Pennsylvania Democrats can do a lot better-- and there's more than one good choice. OK, I hope you've paid attention. How about, as a reward of sorts, a couple of songs by Elvis Costello, one he wrote about Margaret Thatcher ruining human existence and one about Alison? Enjoy!

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At 4:08 PM, Blogger Dennis Jernberg said...

Just more proof of what I've become convinced of over the years, that identity politics always skews conservative as it matures. Hence it eventually works to put the worst (i.e. Thatcher-level) conservatives in power as long as they are categorically correct.

Identity politics has had its day — and that was back in the '70s and '80s. It's time liberals leave it behind. Me, I already have.


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