Saturday, May 17

:: My baloney has a first name; it's N-A-R-A-L

This was so amazingly lame I felt it deserved it's own blogpost and not just a comment on ciccina's. Here's the transcript from the web chat NARAL held yesterday in response to the tremendous backlash that followed their endorsement of Barack Obama for president. Some of the questions seem pretty clearly planted by members of the NARAL staff. But most questioners really tried to get NARAL to be straightforward about why they were jumping on the Obama bandwagon at this late date.

Was it really necessary to endorse Sen. Obama before the primary ended when both candidates are pro-choice? Can't NARAL criticize Sen. McCain's record on choice without having to simultaneously support only one Democrat?

Elizabeth Shipp:
The vast majority of voters still don’t know just how pro-choice Barack Obama is and how anti-choice John McCain has been during the quarter-century he has been in Washington, DC. Many voters who may be inclined to support McCain don’t know his positions on specific issues, particularly his consistent opposition to a woman’s right to choose. They believe instead that John McCain is a “moderate” and a “maverick” so assume he must be pro-choice.

Senator Obama needs an organization like ours to help close the identification gap with key voting constituencies before the fall campaign begins in earnest and people’s opinions are already formed about the two candidates. We can help ensure a pro-choice victory in November, but only if we act now.

Without a clear Democratic nominee, Sen. John McCain has been getting a free ride with the media, and a critical voting bloc that could very well swing the election: pro-choice Independent and Republican women. These women could very well make the difference between a pro-choice president in the White House and another four years of anti-choice policies from John McCain.

With our endorsement, John McCain’s free ride ends.
Sadly, no matter how many different ways the questions was asked, Shipp and Keenan stuck to their unsatisfying talking points. The comments on the chat reflect that readers found it as unsatisfying as I did:

Wow...that chat was just...scary. I don't know if you are just rationalizing, naive, or downright stupid. And I don't believe for a minute that you thought carefully enough about the potential for backlash in your decision.

I just read the transcript of your contrived web talk. That was rediculous. Your organization and Nancy made no sense and continue to make no sense. Why can't you confess that you made a huge mistake? I think the many people who have expressed their anger at your endorsement should join together and protest in front of your headquarters until you accept your mistake and acknowledge our feelings in a more real and less paranizing manar. I want one of you talking heads to really address our disgust and anger!

A number of the commenters were appropriately ticked by Keenan's response to POLITICO, basically telling angry Clinton supporters (and even Obama supporters) to get over themselves. "In response to the current controversy, Keenan says people will get over their 'broken hearts.'" Oh, yeah. That'll bring 'em back to you, Nancy! The article is a fine read. NARAL may have been trying to ensure their place in the new administration, but they have succeeded in pissing off a number of women leaders on the Hill. Good job! That should help the movement!


RS said...

Sorry you feel this way.

Nina Miller said...

Thank you, RS.

Okay, maybe Nancy will last longer than 10 days, and I will lose my $5 bet, but I still think she's out on her ass.