NOW Attacks Obama

Crossposted at The Motley Moose

I suppose it had to happen eventually. All the interest groups that think they had a hand in Obama's win, no matter how significant, are lining up to get the post-election handouts- and aren't going to be subtle about going after 'em. I mean, I expect it from people like Karl Rove, who today credited himself with Obama's win. But NOW- the National Organization for Women? Really?

"There's definitely been a reaction to the few groups that have been named so far," said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. "I agree with those who are concerned that it would have been nice to see more women."

And:

"I have been struck by how few women have been mentioned for high-level positions," said former Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin, who worked on the Clinton transition. "It's still very early, so I don't want to reach conclusions yet. But the rumors are a flashing yellow light."

It's early, but you're still talking about "flashing" warning lights? For God's sake, there've been, what? Two appointments to cabinet positions in the Obama administration, and already we're bellyaching and firing up the manufactured outrage machine?

It took me a whole thirty seconds to find out that, besides Hillary Clinton, Obama is also considering Susan Crawford, a well-known net neutrality advocate, to lead the Obama administration's FCC review team. That's a hire, like Rahm Emmanuel and John Podesta. And it's ignoring the speculation around other Cabinet positions for people like Governor Janet Napolitano, FDIC Chair Shelia Blair, Senator Susan Collins, Penny Pritzker, Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Senator Olympia Snowe, Linda Darling, Linda Chavez-Thompson, Tammy Duckworth, Caroline, Kennedy, Susan Rice, Shirley Franklin, Mary Nichols... I guess I don't get where NOW is coming from.

This is, of course, besides the fact I'd rather have President Obama pick people who can get the job done, regardless of what's between their legs, what their skin color is, etc, etc. I thought that was the biggest thing we could take away from this election season, that it doesn't matter who you are- if you're good enough, you can get the job!

Maybe this grates on me more than it should. I used to respect NOW as an organization- but that was before they started railing against joint custody laws that would have, y'know, put the best interests of children in custody disputes before the narrow interests of either mother or father. And it seems like more and more they've been employing a "fire, ready, aim" approach to advocacy. I see that represented in this case- especially considering that

Manufactured outrage like this insults the validity of the issue that outrage is about. By using sexism as a tool to craft a narrative about Obama for political purposes, you're dismissing the impact and relevance of actual sexism in all its forms. It's like when Dick Morris suddenly became a feminist when Sarah Palin joined the McCain ticket, despite mocking Hillary Clinton's "strident shrillness" and accusing her of "retreating behind the apron strings" throughout the primaries.

We've had a President for the last eight years that prided himself on the most egregious displays of nepotism and cronyism in staffing his administration, and at what cost to the country? I think our President-Elect said it right:

Tags: cabinet, clinton, National Organization for Women, NOW, obama, Women (all tags)

Comments

91 Comments

Re: NOW Attacks Obama

You don't suppose this has anything to do with the recent news that Obama is considering Hillary as secretary of state, do you?  I think we might be best served by letting the new administration get on with their business for now, they seem to have aptly demonstrated that they know what they're doing.

And outside of the unions and endorsers who backed him early I'm not sure what claims on 'patronage' some of these left progressive movements actually have, given their often tardy and arguably expedient support which emerged only after it was pretty clear he would at least win the Democratic nomination.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-11-15 04:37PM | 0 recs
Agreed

And what bugs me the most about this is that he actually asked them- ASKED them- to give him ideas for qualified people and positions, and they turn around and rail on his "lack" of women to the media.

by ragekage 2008-11-15 04:42PM | 0 recs
NOW has more important things to do.

Attacking the president-elect is a waste of time.  He's freaking talking to Hillary Clinton right now!  If that's not a sign that he will be inclusive, I don't know what is!

by psychodrew 2008-11-15 04:55PM | 0 recs
Exactly n/t

by ragekage 2008-11-15 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW has more important things to do.

And he's meeting with McCain today!

You know, what NOW is doing, is the quickest way to lose relevance!

by xodus1914 2008-11-17 10:00AM | 0 recs
Great. Just great.

The circular firing squad is lining up already.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-15 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

NOW "attacks" Obama

And you bring a few qiuotes from some women that said that it would have been nice to see more women in the Obama WhiteHouse.
Do you disagree?

by rolnitzky 2008-11-15 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Yup, I disagree.

Talking about Obama sending "warning" lights because he hasn't picked enough women... immediately following Obama asking them for advice... I'd call that irresponsible and callous, at best.

by ragekage 2008-11-15 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

rolnitsky is correct.  I popped up this diary expecting to see quotes from some of the top spokespeople at NOW ripping the transition team a new one.  Instead, we have a quote that the rumors, if they are true, are disturbing.  That's not an attack.  It's a way of telling a professional politician that you have your eye on him.

Guess what...if we don't keep an eye on a President, we get what he wants, not what we want.

When you were in school and your parents looked at your homework, did you scream at them to quit attacking you?

by SuperCameron 2008-11-15 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

If I asked you for your thoughts on a paper I was writing, then told the professor what a dick you were for not helping me...?

by ragekage 2008-11-15 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

So what if you did?  I get paid the same either way.

by SuperCameron 2008-11-15 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

:-(

by xodus1914 2008-11-17 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

I have feeling this thread is going to unravel shortly.

by jsfox 2008-11-15 05:09PM | 0 recs
Oh boy!

I'll get the popcorn!

by ragekage 2008-11-15 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Definitely likely to draw the Nancy Ketchicuckoo crowd.

by fogiv 2008-11-15 05:56PM | 0 recs
I think it is way too early to judge

But perhaps NOW is simply sending a "shot across the bow" to be sure that getting some strong women in should be a priority?

Personally, I do believe that as Democrats we should be always working towards making our government look more like our population... in regards to gender, race, religion, ethnicity etc. Not at the expense of being qualified, but I do think there is a place for tapping (and then grooming) talented, smart people for certain mid-tier positions as well.

Perhaps this is unfair, perhaps it is solely when compared to the Clinton candidacy (so I am biased)... but Obama's campaign has always felt quite male to me, in its makeup and its focus. Maybe it is my own personal perspective since almost all the women I know supported Hillary... and all the women I know who work in education, healthcare, child-focused careers, women focused careers etc... all avid Hillary supporters. Sure, Obama has some women on-staff, but all the key players are men (except Valerie Jarrett... who I find incredibly impressive as a spokesperson... I saw her on the Newshour the other night and she blew me away).

by twinmom 2008-11-15 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: I think it is way too early to judge

I think he's going after the best people. I don't think it's any inherent sexism. I think if he found a woman, and she was better qualified, he'd hire her in an instant. But I grew up without having to experience blatant sexism, and have always never given a damn what was between someone's legs. So I understand some people are concerned.

by ragekage 2008-11-15 05:23PM | 0 recs
Well, in general

I have to admit... I've been surprised at how narrow and insular the lists coming out have been. Hardly a re-shuffling of the deck? It truly is the same old cast of characters... and mainly the white boys club at that.

There comes a point when I think it is worth taking a small leap of faith with someone who doesn't have the MOST experience and is simply smart, committed, talented, convincing etc.

Isn't that what we did in choosing Obama in the first place? This shouldn't solely be about the longest resume, most time in DC or experience doing the precise thing you're being considered for.

by twinmom 2008-11-15 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, in general

I think he decided to lean more heavily on Clinton Administration officials to begin with because they Knew What The Hell They Were Doing (tm), which is important considering the precipice we find our nation on. Change is important, but making sure we don't fall into the abyss is more important.

by ragekage 2008-11-15 05:31PM | 0 recs
Maybe that is just for the transition?

Maybe once things get rolling we'll see new faces?

Like I said... it is early days. The guy's not even President yet. I'll cut him mega-slack.

by twinmom 2008-11-15 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, in general

yep - experience really is important after all.

by swissffun 2008-11-16 09:28AM | 0 recs
thank god we elected the person with the right...

kind of experience for the 21st century!

by bored now 2008-11-17 03:23AM | 0 recs
Just adding

I'd actually never accuse Obama of sexism perse... but I am a person who feels that trying to move towards a more accurate representation of the population's makeup is an acceptable reason (or at least one factor) for choosing certain people... maybe not for the highest posts, but for second tier posts. I think we've got to start grooming a whole new generation of leaders. Pick well-educated, promising, talented, super-smart, super-motivated people and give them the launching platform.

I'm not just talking women... I'm saying ANY minority... or any under-represented group.

Women in leadership positions still shows a huge gap... which will hopefully get narrower and narrower. There is no reason why it cannot.

by twinmom 2008-11-15 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

NOW's emphatic statement of concern seems to me to be a premature ejaculation. They should try thinking of baseball statistics or something, and not worry so much.

by QTG 2008-11-15 05:39PM | 0 recs
Can you point me to the NOW statement

of concern? Who actually is suffering from premature ejaculation here?

by louisprandtl 2008-11-15 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Can you point me to the NOW statement

Here you go:

"There's definitely been a reaction to the few groups that have been named so far," said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. "I agree with those who are concerned that it would have been nice to see more women."

You shot your load without even doing the foreplay of actually reading the original diary, Louis.

by QTG 2008-11-16 10:52AM | 0 recs
Yes, I read the diary..read it carefully..it is

not an official statement from NOW. It is statement of Kim Gandy. Nowhere on NOW's website or Press release has this statement. NOW is a women advocacy organization, so they'll put pressure on Obama transition team to include more women. There is nothing new about it. This diary is a manufactured outrage and your comments are totally stupid. I'm tired of seeing progressive organizations who are lifelong Democrats getting slammed by ex-Republicans and neo-moderates on progressive blogs like MyDD.

As far rest of your less dignified comments go, get a brain first, we can talk after that..

by louisprandtl 2008-11-16 02:03PM | 0 recs
Get a sense of humor and chill out.

It's a blog, for cryin' out loud!

That's an official statement from ME. Big whoop.

by QTG 2008-11-16 02:45PM | 0 recs
Your humor is fine with me.

The diary is over the top over-reaction to some comments...

by louisprandtl 2008-11-16 02:48PM | 0 recs
Kill two birds with one stone.

Obama should appoint Republican women Congressional seats.  Olympia Snowe, for instance.  It would probably make her breathe a little easier to be out of the more hostile (to Republican) environment of the new congress, and it would allow the governor to appoint a replacement.

And thinking along the same line, hey, why not appoint Joe Lieberman?  Put him in charge of something that we can ignore, like Department of Real Americans.  The Republican governor of Connecticut would appoint a Republican to replace him, but big deal.  And there would be a special election to replace him, during which we could put a real Democrat into the Senate.

by Dumbo 2008-11-15 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

On the one hand, I'm giving Obama the benefit of the doubt like you would expect from someone who supported him all year.  Also as someone who found the New York chapter's reaction to Ted Kennedy's endorsement - and the lack of a sufficient rebuke from the national organization - to be fairly disturbing.  Gang rape?  Really??

On the other hand, this is sort of NOW's job.  This is what they do.  An environmental organization is going to put out a release that they're "concerned" if Obama appoints too many people from, say, Detroit; you can discuss whether they're right or wrong in the particular case, but they're going to do it.  Otherwise they don't really have a purpose.  NOW is going to try to get the incoming President-Elect to appoint as many women as they can.

by Jess81 2008-11-15 06:20PM | 0 recs
There you go again

..being the lone voice of reason on this thread.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-15 08:38PM | 0 recs
who was Obama's #1 choice to fill

his Senate seat?

Valerie Jarrett.

Who are #2 and #3?

Emil Jones and Tammy Duckworth.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-15 06:35PM | 0 recs
Valerie Jarrett was not his choice to fill Senate

seat.

That was another TM rumor.

by NeciVelez 2008-11-16 01:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Valerie Jarrett was not his choice 4 Senate

Who do you think was floating Jarrett's name? Blagojevich's people? Daley's people?

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-16 07:40AM | 0 recs
really????

damn, i should have spent less time at 233 and more time on this blog.  i'm so glad you set me straight...

by bored now 2008-11-17 03:23AM | 0 recs
am I the only one who thinks

We're on track to have Congress be about 60% women? Most of these women will be people who went on directly for advanced degrees (JD, MBA, MPP, etc) and married men about 10 years older.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-15 06:39PM | 0 recs
sorry?

what does married men 10 years older mean?

by canadian gal 2008-11-15 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: sorry?

If one's spouse is a professional about ten years ahead s/he can provide financial resources to play in politics and is networked with the kind of people needed for fundraising.

Of professionals with advanced degrees that marry between 24 and 32 who marry other professionals about ten years older, most of them are women.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-16 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

There is one quote in the article from a NOW leader, who says that it would be nice to see more women being considered for positions.  And this means that "NOW attacks Obama"?  Puhlease.

by markjay 2008-11-15 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

exactly, this diary seems to me more of an 'attack' than the NOW statement was. and frankly there better not be any of this stamping on long-term democratic/equal rights organisations in order to get them all to tow the line. sorry. this is the Democratic Party.

by swissffun 2008-11-16 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Uprated, to counter ratings abuse.

by markjay 2008-11-17 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

thanks!

by swissffun 2008-11-17 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

The National Organization for Women is advocating for women? The nerve! Pretty soon you'll have all sorts of groups pressuring Obama and advocating for their constituencies. Oh wait, they already are!

At least we can call this thread what it is instead of pretending, as in the primaries, that the antipathy to Hillary Clinton was just CDS.

by souvarine 2008-11-15 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Yeah, opposition to the AUMF was totally craven.

by Jess81 2008-11-15 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Sorry, what does NOW have to do with the AUMF? Hillary Clinton's vote for the AUMF justifies attacking NOW for their advocacy? The knee-jerk reaction here is somehow related to Hillary Clinton's vote? You think I'm claiming that all opposition to Hillary Clinton was sexist?

I'm not really getting it.

by souvarine 2008-11-15 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

See this sentence?

"At least we can call this thread what it is instead of pretending, as in the primaries, that the antipathy to Hillary Clinton was just CDS."

I totally read it wrong - throwing a "not" in there were there wasn't one, flipping words around, or whatever else.  Pretend I didn't say anything.  Sorry about that.

by Jess81 2008-11-16 07:57AM | 0 recs
Wow ragekage....

for someone claiming to be gender neutral in your views, you seem to be making a concerted effort to make this a women vs men issue, and trash the women for daring to speak out.  

Again, how the hell does this rate the word "attack" when it is clearly NOT an attack. I am beginning to see a hidden agenda on your part......one that is not good for women.

by Jjc2008 2008-11-15 07:24PM | 0 recs
It's MY turn.

The new administration is certainly going to be hearing from us dark-haired men around 6 feet in height. We demand inclusion in the new cabinet in statistically-conforming ratios, or there will shortly be a statement to the press putting him on notice.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-15 10:17PM | 0 recs
I'm not sure what is the purpose of this kind of

diaries excepting pre-emptive strikes to silence voices of differing opinions..

by louisprandtl 2008-11-16 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

NOW "attacks"

"There's definitely been a reaction to the few groups that have been named so far," said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women. "I agree with those who are concerned that it would have been nice to see more women."

Maybe they should be concerned, here is from Politico

"The early teams released by the Obama administration have tended to be male-dominated. On Wednesday, four women and eight men were named to Obama's transition advisory board. His agency review team is headed by seven women and thirteen men. And last week, Obama met with his key economic advisers -- four women and 13 men.

So far, Obama has named four members of his top White House staff. Three are men - chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, press secretary Robert Gibbs and chief congressional liaison Phil Schiliro. And one is a woman - senior adviser Valerie Jarrett."

And then we have this

"The mention of Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers is seen as particularly problematic. As president of Harvard University, Summers said that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers. The controversial comment led to his ousting as president"

by rolnitzky 2008-11-15 07:50PM | 0 recs
We need the best people at the helm right now.

With a much larger and more representative sampling pool, you might have a valid gripe. With the extremely limited choices available at the cabinet level, nitpicking his selections because they don't conform to the gender-specific statistics of your liking is extremely counter productive. This kind of tunnel vision is precisely why democratic administrations have trouble getting anything done.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-15 08:34PM | 0 recs
Your argument hinges

on an unsupported conclusion- that there are extremely limited choices.  On what do you base this conclusion?  Also, although I assume you do not intend this, your statement could be read as- if there weren't so few qualified women...

by orestes 2008-11-15 09:09PM | 0 recs
The comment above

was intended as a response to Summa Vita, not the diarist.

by orestes 2008-11-15 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Your argument hinges

My argument hinges on the premise that I don't care what race, sex, orientation, height, weight, insole size, etc. they are. I do care that he appoints the most qualified people to his cabinet.

CNN reports:

A source close to transition team said Obama is trying to build a diverse Cabinet that includes women and minorities and that works as a team.

We really, really need to stop this lame second-guessing and allow him to do the job he was elected to do, for pete's sake.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-15 09:24PM | 0 recs
Actually Bush did that too

And so did Clinton. What is the novelty in that?

by ann0nymous 2008-11-16 04:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually Bush did that too

Bush was a president who had the 2nd largest number of Women in his cabinet (8), but Clinton was number one with 14.

With some groups calling for the closure of Guantanamo on Jan. 20, others pushing for health care reform, why shouldn't we allow NOW to do their job, pushing for more women in public office.

by rolnitzky 2008-11-16 05:34AM | 0 recs
First, you didn't answer my question

Second, you fail to acknoledge that Obama can select qualified people while also considering sex, race, insole size.  The two don't have to be exclusive- and you provide no evidence to the contrary.  Your argument boils down to- don't question Obama.  Not questioning is always a dangerous position to take in my view.  You may not be old enough to know that the primary way that women and other minorities rose to positions of power is because employers, educational institutions, etc. took diversity into account in hiring.  All things being equal, people will tend to choose the most familiar person (white men are captains of industry, therefore we would prefer the qulified white man to the qualified black man).  That is a natural impulse.  The only way to continue to change the playing field (ie, make it more diverse) is to get past that impulse.  Furthermore, many of us believe a more diverse cabinet/work force is a net good in that it can potentially bring a greater range of views to the table and it is a basic societal good.  I am surprised you don't see this.  Do you think universities should not consider diversity in their admissions policies?  All NOW is doing is trying to ensure that women are not overlooked, which is part of their mandate.  What do you find so wrong about that?

by orestes 2008-11-16 10:37AM | 0 recs
On the contrary: yes I did.

Note the title of the earlier comments you took issue with:

We need the best people at the helm right now.

File that away for a second. Next, note the statement in my response to you:
I do care that he appoints the most qualified people to his cabinet.

The terms "best" and "most qualified" typically tend to enumerate to 1, or occasionally to 2. I'd say 1 or 2 would legitimately be described as "extremely limited", wouldn't you?

One more:

Second, you fail to acknoledge that Obama can select qualified people while also considering sex, race, insole size.

Wrong again - "qualified" is your term - "most qualified" was mine.

The rest of your narrative gets into essentially an argument in favor of affirmative action, which works nicely with your "qualified" qualification but fails when the superlative is used.

Sorry, it's never a good time to be battling straw men. Good night!

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-16 09:56PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

NOWs time has come and gone.

Sorry, but it's true.

by Bush Bites 2008-11-15 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Wow, sexist schmuck.
This is NOW's official mission.
"Our purpose is to take action to bring women into full participation in society -- sharing equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities with men, while living free from discrimination."

If you think gender equality has come and gone, I suggest you join that Grand Very Old Party.

by rolnitzky 2008-11-16 05:38AM | 0 recs
their actual mission

is fundraising.

by JJE 2008-11-16 06:56AM | 0 recs
When I wake up tomorrow this diary...

... will have more than 100 comments and shit would have hit the fan.

Hope I'm proved wrong.

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-15 09:22PM | 0 recs
First, I want the best PEOPLE for the job....

Second, we already have rumors about Hillary for SOS, along with Janet for AG and hasn't Carolyn Kennedy been rumored for a position?

What the fuck do these females expect?  Ladies, stop falling into stereotypical gender roles -- your acting like a bunch of little girls.

by zoopnfunk 2008-11-16 01:04AM | 0 recs
Caroline Kennedy?

i hope not. I do not see her in any govt role, frankly. Would smell like Mike Brown appointment.

by ann0nymous 2008-11-16 04:04AM | 0 recs
Well, I do not think that NOW thinks that Obama

won because of them. My guess is that they ae still pissed off at Clinton not being picked VP and the rather appaling lack of leadership  by the Congessional leadership when the Mediapersons like Chris Mathews were attacking Clinto for just being a woman. So they are just taking their frustation out somewhere.

by ann0nymous 2008-11-16 04:02AM | 0 recs
You really are determined

to make sure that people ONLY speak well of Obama on any occasion, aren't you?

The statement from NOW isn't, for Christ's sake, an "attack". It isn't even criticism. It's, at most, an expression of pre-emptive concern over a possible direction the Obama administration might take. Taking this as an "attack" indicates a threshold of intolerance for criticism that is just, well, abnormal.

At some point, you have to step back from your frankly unhealthy attachment to Obama and ask yourself what you really believe by yourself, when you are not in the presence of Obama or an Obama talking point. You will never find yourself if you can't.

by frankly0 2008-11-16 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: You really are determined
I agree with this, there has been much concern from many people questioning Obama's every move.
There's always going to be people within our party that will be "concerned" (in this case I'm talking about NOW), but we can't jump up and start screaming "Stop attacking Obama!!" every time it happens.
Let's save our energies for the real attacks.
by skohayes 2008-11-16 01:34PM | 0 recs
maybe you should stick to

the racism, and leave the thinking to the grown-ups.

by JJE 2008-11-16 04:07PM | 0 recs
Wow, if this is what he considers an attack....

... we can expect 4 years of screaming hysteria from handwringers like ragekage.  

by KathleenM1 2008-11-16 05:14AM | 0 recs
Can we also expect

an influx of newbie trolls like you?

by JJE 2008-11-16 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Can we also expect

More newbie Democrats would be a good thing here, maybe they can trigger another exodus of the sexist bigots.

by souvarine 2008-11-16 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Can we also expect

Sexist bigots?

You got all that from this diary?

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-16 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Can we also expect

we must remember that sexism can go either way.  

by selfevident 2008-11-16 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Can we also expect

that's wouldn't be sexism, it would be reverse-sexism - and there is no such thing.

by QTG 2008-11-16 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Can we also expect

 I got that and more: Sexist bigot astronauts!

by QTG 2008-11-16 11:28AM | 0 recs
ragekage isn't a handwringer.

And this isn't "screaming hysteria". It's just.. very frustrating. Jess said it best - NOW should be expected to press for more women appointments. I get that. Now, those of you leaping to NOW's defense, get this:

We didn't elect Obama to micromanage him to death. This country cannot be run by committee. And we have a heck of a lot more important things to do than take a microscope to his appointments with this kind of tunnel vision about gender.

NOW can lobby all they want for their local firefighters' union to have greater representation by women, for example. But when your house is on fire, I wager that none of you would be checking for equal gender representation before allowing yourselves to be represented.

Our house, our country is on fire. Our walls are crumbling around us as we speak. This is no time for your kind of tunnel vision. Get some perspective, for heaven's sake.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-16 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: ragekage isn't a handwringer.

I wager that none of you would be checking for equal gender representation before allowing yourselves to be represented
before allowing yourselves to be rescued, I meant.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-16 07:50AM | 0 recs
This country cannot be run by committee?

Interesting perspective, you looking for the trains to run on time?

This country is a democracy, the first and most powerful branch of government, Congress, is a committee. The slow and imperfect progress toward equal representation and opportunity is what makes America what it is and what makes Obama's presidency so thrilling.

You think denying that fundamental principle will help solve our problems? You think equality for women is "your kind of tunnel vision?" You would be more persuasive if you avoided sounding like a Jim Crow advocate.

by souvarine 2008-11-16 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: This country cannot be run by committee?

Godwin's Law says, 'You're out.'  Or does a correlation need to be cited in cases referencing Mussolini's National Fascist Party?  I need some Usenet legal advice here or at least an informed ruling by a memitician.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-11-16 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: This country cannot be run by committee?

Yeah, you're taking a few too many steps there. My gentle train taunt was hyperbolic, Sumo is not advocating dictatorial power, but his line of argument is anti-democratic on a number of levels.

"our country is on fire. Our walls are crumbling around us as we speak. This is no time for your kind of tunnel vision." So chill out with your demands for equal rights, Obama's got this and he doesn't have time to indulge "rights". And this whole congress thing? We don't have time for rule by committee.

Good democrat that you are you know our system was designed to prevent that kind of monopoly of power, and that we are run by committee especially in times of crisis, since crisis is when leaders tend to over-reach. One would think that post-9/11 Bush people would think twice before handing that much power even to as fine a person as Barack Obama.

by souvarine 2008-11-16 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: This country cannot be run by committee?

And I hope my comment fell into the self-effacing, gently kidding category too.  And I do agree, though some of the single-issue politics, for all it's sensible efficacy, does seem to miss the broader point somehow.  I imagine if our politicians and appointees weren't already so ancient AARP would be pushing for more old people, and fair enough.

But the arguments among advocates for affirmative action, strict proportional representation and pure meritocracy will never end, will they?  Seems we're all pretty much on the same page here.  It just seems a bit counter-productive to be shouting for too much attention when our champion is considering his trickiest moves, but if not now, when?  It was ever thus.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-11-16 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: This country cannot be run by committee?

Congress was elected to run the country. You weren't. Your tributes to equal opportunity are stirring, but irrelevant. And your hilariously distorted projections are, well, just plain pathetic.

Keep shadow boxing with your little straw men till the cows come home. I have better things to do.  

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-16 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: This country cannot be run by committee?

Actually it's "We the people", including you and I, who determine how this country is run. We permit Congress and the President to represent us, but it is completely within our rights to hold them accountable. Even for such irrelevant things as the equal representation of women within government.

by souvarine 2008-11-16 09:00PM | 0 recs
Listen to yourself.

Look, the idea that it's "micromanaging" Obama to demand women be well represented in his administration is just another way to try to exempt Obama from even the possibility of criticism.

Really, people like you and ragekage sound to my ear exactly like the Bush devotees who shouted down any criticism of Bush after 9/11 as being damaging to the country.

Obviously, I should think, if women's organizations are going to advocate in favor of getting more women represented in the Obama administration, it has to be now, before the appointments are made, and not after they are made, right? And yet you are presuming to tell these women just to shut their mouths and go along with whatever Obama chooses, because he's doing so much important work, and can't have anyone uttering a single word that might be interpreted as negative.

Honestly, this kind of behavior is the thing I find scariest about the Obama movement, and what it has done to the Democratic Party -- that the movement begins and ends in the idea that Obama is unique among men in his abilities and potential for good, that he is deserving only of our praise, and that no criticism of him can be brooked.

by frankly0 2008-11-16 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Listen to yourself.

Since you've made a comparatively honest attempt to engage this argument, unlike the other respondent - I'll respond in good faith.

Look, the idea that it's "micromanaging" Obama to demand women be well represented in his administration is just another way to try to exempt Obama from even the possibility of criticism.

I disagree. These suggestions that anyone wants Obama to be "exempt from criticism" is a tired old perception carried over from the primary battles. It wasn't true then, and it isn't true now - as will shortly be revealed.

Really, people like you and ragekage sound to my ear exactly like the Bush devotees who shouted down any criticism of Bush after 9/11 as being damaging to the country.

That's more than a tad exaggerated, wouldn't you say? You're comparing rumors about cabinet appointments to calculated actions that resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties; you're comparing a president-elect who's yet to be inaugurated to a president more than two years into his disastrous administration.  

Obviously, I should think, if women's organizations are going to advocate in favor of getting more women represented in the Obama administration, it has to be now, before the appointments are made, and not after they are made, right?

Obama asked for NOW's input on appointments, so they've had the opportunity to directly advocate with his transition team for greater representation by women. Has there been a single comment on this thread criticizing said advocacy? No, there has not. What this diarist and others have had an issue with was but with those pointless public complaints and insinuations despite having a direct channel for commmunicating their preferences; and for doing so when these appointments have yet to be finalized, for crying out loud.

Yet this straw man has been merrily bandied about the length and breadth of this thread:

And yet you are presuming to tell these women just to shut their mouths and go along with whatever Obama chooses, because he's doing so much important work, and can't have anyone uttering a single word that might be interpreted as negative.

Honestly, this kind of behavior is the thing I find scariest about the Obama movement, and what it has done to the Democratic Party -- that the movement begins and ends in the idea that Obama is unique among men in his abilities and potential for good, that he is deserving only of our praise, and that no criticism of him can be brooked.

Please clarify where in this diary these women were told:
(1) To shut their mouths
(2) To go along with whatever Obama chooses

Or,
(3) That he's doing so much important word, and
(4) Can't have anyone uttering a single word that might be interpreted as negative.

Or,  
(5) That Obama is unique among men in his abilities and potential for good
(6) That he is deserving only of our praise, and
(7) That no criticism of him can be brooked.

A more than generous helping of hyperbole, wouldn't you say? Nevertheless, you get credit for not giving vent to frothing-at-the-mouth references to Jim Crowe, unlike your unfortunate co-responder. Have a nice day.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-16 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Some people are really missing the point of this diary.

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-16 08:03AM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Why don't you explain it to us in terms a third grader can understand.

by souvarine 2008-11-16 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

Because then it would totally fly over your head.

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-16 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: NOW Attacks Obama

maybe because the author is clueless if he/she doesn't see the TITLE as offensive to all that NOW has done and continues trying to do for women in government.

by swissffun 2008-11-16 09:40AM | 0 recs
yeah a manufactured outrage for sure...

by louisprandtl 2008-11-16 02:06PM | 0 recs

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