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The writing was on the wall last summer, Amanda

On Salon’s Broadsheet today is a post about NOW’s recent election.  It was the HOPEY/CHANGEY! candidate represented by Latifa Lyles versus the old, stolid and presumably boring,uneducated, working class sino-peruvian lesbian, Terry O’Neill (she’s actually not a lesbian, not that there’s anything wrong with that).  The old crone won by 8 votes.  Dr. Violet Socks celebrated with virtual fireworks and although I haven’t followed NOW for awhile, as I understand it, the organization is returning to its roots.  The grassroots.  With demonstrations and sit-ins and lobbying and stuff that actually used to, you know, work!

All I’ve heard about Lyles, other than that she was Kim Gandy’s hand-picked successor, a dubious distinction given Gandy’s recent track record, is that Lyles was a prodigy of Facebook and Twitter.  Yeah!  That made her young, cool and groovy.  And wouldn’t everyone prefer a young, cool and groovy woman to an old Roseanne clone?  Well, sure you would.  That’s what the whole patriarchy thing is all about.  Youth and beauty vs age and saggy tits.

Of course, what Lyles supporters seem to forget is it was *us*, the decrepit old farts that were doing system administration, writing web pages in HTML without an editor and knew how to configure an apache server while most of them were learning to read.  The new generation has it easy.  Twitter and Facebook are pre-written, attractively packaged applications.  Take them all away and would any of the Latifa Lyles out there know how to ftp, finger and ping?  Well, sure, some of them would.  But it’s not like we lost our abilities to adapt to new technologies as we got older.  We’d stand a better chance of getting our message through in the event of a crackdown than someone who just knows how to re-tweet.

No, what the fourth wave is bringing to the table is a generation of women who went from High School to college to the work place, taking up careers only men had easy access to before.  We’re the ones who fought our way up the career ladder, sacrificed and learn to negotiate the gender politics.  We’re still doing it. We bring experience, nollij and strategy to the table.   And the last thing we are willing to do is step aside so that some pipsqueak who knows how to download an app to an iPhone can tell us we’re irrelevent because Barack Obama and his ilk have made the country so post-feminist.

Amanda Marcotte wrote a revealing comment to the Salon piece:

When will liberals stop letting conservatives guilt trip us into self-destruction? If a bunch of anti-choicers claim to be feminists, that means, “We are trying to infiltrate your organization and movement to make it irrelevant. We’re pretending to be your friends to stab you in the back.” “Pro-life” is misogyny, and has no place in any feminist organization.

You really don’t get it, do you, Amanda?  Last summer while we were researching a slate of Democratic down ticket candidates to endorse, we were hard pressed to find more than a handful on Act Blue that actually had reproductive and abortion rights on their issues pages.  That topic was conspicuously scrubbed.  The ones who did have it, like Linda Stender and Dennis Schulman, didn’t get warm fuzzies from their party last year.  There was a reason why these sensitive subjects were erased.  It’s because the Democrats, the party that was taken over by young, cool and groovy Barack Obama and his organization, were trying to appeal to the anti-choice crowd to get them to vote for Democrats.  And those people turned out in droves to vote for proposition 8 in California too.

Please, Amanda, don’t lecture the rest of us about the anti-choice crowd.  The president and the party he stands for already sold their souls to them.  If NOW finally has a president who will stop cozying up to the Obama administration and will stand her ground with them, be very, very grateful.  Go back to your iPhone and let the grown ups take it from here.

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Anti-Single Payer Trolling



The astroturfing of the blogosphere continues.  From “No Thank You” in the comments to my earlier post:

Universal Health Care = Rationed Health Care

Waiting lists are for dinner reservations, not doctor referrals.

No, thank you.


I used to be a citizen of Canada. My wife died of IBC 15 months ago. She was referred by our doctor to an IBC specialist. After waiting for an appointment for 4 weeks, her breast had swollen to nearly two times it’s normal size. We took her to the hospital, and she died two days later.

I am not in need of a lecture on universal health care. I know exactly what it means. Cheaper/Free insurance, and lots of pain.

What a tragic story. Only a heartless monster would dare to challenge it.  A heartless monster like me.

First of all, “rationed health care” is a wingnut talking point.  The catchy little line about dinner reservations was a nice touch – professional quality.  But the comeback in the second comment was a classic troll move designed to squish any challenge with guilt and shame.  Too bad for our visitor that I’m shameless.

A total stranger drops by to share a heartbreaking story of the evils of socialized medicine.  Proof?


Sorry, but I don’t believe it.

But even if the story was true it would be anecdotal and not necessarily typical.  We’re not even provided with causation – an explanation of how the alleged delay caused death.  Unfortunately when he discovered we aren’t sheeple our visitor skeedaddled without providing answers.

Canada has had single payer health insurance for over 30 years.  They seem pretty happy with it.  From “Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths” by Rhonda Hackett:

There are no waits for urgent or primary care in Canada. There are reasonable waits for most specialists’ care, and much longer waits for elective surgery. Yes, there are those instances where a patient can wait up to a month for radiation therapy for breast cancer or prostate cancer, for example. However, the wait has nothing to do with money per se, but everything to do with the lack of radiation therapists. Despite such waits, however, it is noteworthy that Canada boasts lower incident and mortality rates than the U.S. for all cancers combined, according to the U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group and the Canadian Cancer Society. Moreover, fewer Canadians (11.3 percent) than Americans (14.4 percent) admit unmet health care needs.

Reality has a well known liberal bias.

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Real Ponies Don’t Oink

Not ponies

Not ponies

Paul Krugman:

America’s political scene has changed immensely since the last time a Democratic president tried to reform health care. So has the health care picture: with costs soaring and insurance dwindling, nobody can now say with a straight face that the U.S. health care system is O.K. And if surveys like  the New York Times/CBS News poll released last weekend are any indication, voters are ready for major change.

The question now is whether we will nonetheless fail to get that change, because a handful of Democratic senators are still determined to party like it’s 1993.


The real risk is that health care reform will be undermined by “centrist” Democratic senators who either prevent the passage of a bill or insist on watering down key elements of reform. I use scare quotes around “centrist,” by the way, because if the center means the position held by most Americans, the self-proclaimed centrists are in fact way out in right field.

What the balking Democrats seem most determined to do is to kill the public option, either by eliminating it or by carrying out a bait-and-switch, replacing a true public option with something meaningless. For the record, neither regional health cooperatives nor state-level public plans, both of which have been proposed as alternatives, would have the financial stability and bargaining power needed to bring down health care costs.


Honestly, I don’t know what these Democrats are trying to achieve. Yes, some of the balking senators receive large campaign contributions from the medical-industrial complex — but who in politics doesn’t? If I had to guess, I’d say that what’s really going on is that relatively conservative Democrats still cling to the old dream of becoming kingmakers, of recreating the bipartisan center that used to run America.

Gee Paul, for a really smart guy you can be kinda dumb sometimes. Your thesis is based on a false premise.  The Democratic leadership (Obama, Pelosi and Reid et al.) have no intention of enacting any real health care reform.  They never did.  Their goal is and always was to preserve the status quo while giving the illusion of reform.

If they tried and failed that would be one thing, but they aren’t trying.  There has never been a better time in our history to make single-payer a reality, but the Democrats took it off the table before discussions began.

What we are seeing now is just Kabuki – when the final curtain drops all we’ll have is some new lipstick on the same old pig.

Blame Obama, Pelosi and Reid – it’s their fault.

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