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Feminist Bloggers Continue to Take Over the World

Big congrats are in order for Amanda, who is heading up the website for the Edwards for President campaign. As regular readers know, I am a huge Amanda enthusiast, and I think she’s a brilliant person and a fabulous blogger. The Edwards campaign is lucky to have her.

The only negative is that she’ll be cutting down her blog time at Pandagon. Luckily, though, she’s enrolled an all-star cast to fill in: Roxanne, Auguste, Sheezlebub, Chris Clarke, and Ilyka. I can’t wait to read their posts.

Amanda’s first post over at her new digs is here. Check it out.

Maybe it’s not Giuliani time, after all

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy: someone got hold of a campaign dossier for Rudy Giuliani outlining his strengths and weaknesses as a Presidential candidate. Whoops. The Giuliani camp smells a rat:

Advisers to former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday that someone infiltrated the Giuliani camp last fall and stole a document about his presidential prospects and political liabilities. It was then leaked, they said, as a “dirty trick” to embarrass Mr. Giuliani and highlight such headaches as his controversial former aide, Bernard Kerik, and one of his ex-wives, Donna Hanover.

The Daily News was given the 140-page document recently by someone “sympathetic to one of Giuliani’s rivals for the White House,” The News said in an article published yesterday. According to the article, the document proposes a $100 million fund-raising effort for 2007, names an array of potential donors, and warns that Mr. Giuliani might face “insurmountable” problems, including questions about Mr. Kerik and Ms. Hanover.

Oh, yeah. Donna Hanover. The people who worship at the feet of “America’s Mayor” didn’t hear much about that, since it happened pre-9/11. Long story short, Giuliani announced his divorce from the mother of his children by holding a press conference in which he announced the separation and his relationship with his mistress (now his third wife).

On Mother’s Day.

Oh, and he hadn’t told his wife about the press conference. So she got to field questions from the press about the divorce she didn’t know she was having on Mother’s Day.

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Elf for President!

Dennis Kucinich is in the running for President. Again. I love the little guy, and I’m glad to see him throwing his hat in the ring. As Auguste says,

A truly anti-war candidate, pro-health insurance, pro-education, pro-environment, pro-privacy* – the guy had it all.

Except, of course, a chance in hell.

That’s pretty surely the case this year too, but I’m always glad to see a true progressive challenging the other folks.

And Auguste, if Mariska does show up at your house, I’d better be invited.

In other election news, it looks like the current favored candidates from each party might just be Giuliani and Clinton. Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton’s blog advisor, sends on this CNN poll, pasted below the fold because I can’t find a link on the CNN website:

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“Progressive” McCain


Bipartisan favorite John McCain has officially come out and said that he thinks Roe v. Wade should be overturned and that there should be a Constitutional amendment banning abortion — except in the case of rape, incest or life of the pregnant mother.

Because if a woman is raped, then it’s not her “fault” that she’s pregnant, and she should be allowed access to a medical procedure. But women who have the audacity to have sex by choice should be punished. And carrying a pregnancy to term should be a punishment.

What other medical procedure do we suggest should be offered only on the basis of our personal moral judgments against one class of people for doing something that is inherent to the human condition?

That aside, McCain’s federalist defense of overturning Roe is complete bunk, as Scott points out. Overturning Roe would not bring the decision back to the states — and indeed, McCain himself would like to see a federal amendment banning the procedure. Further, issues of equality and basic human rights should not be left up to individual state governments. Those rights should be protected for all citizens, regardless of where they live — a woman in Mississippi should have no less a right to reproductive freedom than I do.

It’s notable that McCain’s position is an about-face from where he was in 1999, back when he was still considering something of a renegade in the Republican party for his refusal to bow to the religious right. It looks like those days are long gone, as McCain is willing to sell his integrity down the river to capture votes from the radical right. Of course, McCain has never been much of a friend to women’s freedom — he has a 0 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and consistently votes to support anti-choice legislation.

This man is no moderate, and his election would be no boon for progressives — and it would be devastating for women.

Their Worst Nightmare

I was away during the elections, so let me first say: THANK FUCKING GOD, MAN.

I found the whole campaign just fascinating, particularly the Othering and anxious White Manhood on display by the GOP. Take, for instance, the whole “Macaca” thing with George Allen: in front of a group of good ol’ boys, he singled out a dark-skinned Webb campaign operative for abuse — not only with an obscure racial epithet, but with an Othering “Welcome to America.” ‘Cept, you know, S.R. Sidarth, native Virginian, was every bit as American as Confederacy-lovin’ California native George Allen. And then he flipped out when someone brought up his mother’s Jewishness.

The RNC (or was it the RSCC?) got into the act, with the less-than-subtle jungle drums and he’s-coming-for-the-white-women anti-Harold Ford ads in Tennessee. Which they didn’t pull for a long time after the Republican candidate asked them to. While Ford lost, he only lost by three points in a state that hasn’t elected a black Senator since Reconstruction. Plus, he’s a bit oily.

Anxious masculinity? Hell, yes. How many times did you hear about some GOP pundit or candidate muttering darkly about Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House? George Bush, acting like a whipped dog after the election, made a crack about picking out new drapes for the Speaker’s office. Because she couldn’t possibly have any kind of substantive agenda or anything. Bush’s demeanor sure changed after his party had its ass handed to it, though. Here’s Paul Krugman the day before the election:

At this point, nobody should have any illusions about Mr. Bush’s character. To put it bluntly, he’s an insecure bully who believes that owning up to a mistake, any mistake, would undermine his manhood — and who therefore lives in a dream world in which all of his policies are succeeding and all of his officials are doing a heckuva job. Just last week he declared himself “pleased with the progress we’re making” in Iraq.

Mind you, even though he said he was willing to work with the Democrats, in the same breath, he called on the lame-duck Congress to ram through his radical right-wing agenda in the last weeks of their term, everything from approving John Bolton as the ambassador to the UN now that his recess appointment is ending to retroactively approving his program of warrantless spying on Americans. Bolton’s finished, though — Lincoln Chaffee, who was voted out of his Senate seat, is doing the right thing and switching his committee vote so that Bolton’s nomination will never reach the floor before the end of the term. And as for those warrantless wiretaps? Many Republicans don’t like them, either.

Lord knows the Democrats aren’t willing to let them be given ratification by act of Congress. Here’s what Frank Rich has to say about why Allen’s “Macaca” moment resonated with voters:

The macaca incident had resonance beyond Virginia not just because it was a hit on YouTube. It came to stand for 2006 as a whole because it was synergistic with a national Republican campaign that made a fetish of warning that a Congress run by Democrats would have committee chairmen who are black (Charles Rangel) or gay (Barney Frank), and a middle-aged woman not in the Stepford mold of Laura Bush as speaker. In this context, Mr. Allen’s defeat was poetic justice: the perfect epitaph for an era in which Mr. Rove systematically exploited the narrowest prejudices of the Republican base, pitting Americans of differing identities in cockfights for power and profit, all in the name of “faith.”

Oh, those black committee chairmen-to-be? Other than Rangel (Ways and Means), there’s John Conyers (Judiciary) and Bennie Thompson (Homeland Security). All of whom were active in civil rights, all of whom well remember segregation and the targeting of civil rights leaders by the government. Which targeting included, it should be noted, warrantless electronic surveillance (something another civil rights activist, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, shot down this year — for which she was derided as intellectually suspect by someone who hadn’t even bothered to read the opinion, among others).

And now they’ve got their worst nightmare — women, black people and gays are in charge of Congress, and despite their warnings, the base didn’t really care enough to turn out to vote (well, except to help pass homophobic ballot initiatives in six states). Oh, and the emperor has no clothes.

The Baby Jesus is laughing.


I know, I know, making fun of crying little girls isn’t very nice. But it’s kind of funny, isn’t it?

via Chicklet in the comments.

The Old Boys’ TV Club

This election was a major milestone for women. But where were the female faces on TV?

I watched the election coverage with Jessica and Vanessa from Feministing, and Deanna from Alternet, and we all noticed the overwhelming maleness and whiteness of almost every TV commentator. Looks like the New York Times caught on, too:

On a night that crowned Nancy Pelosi as the first female speaker of the House and Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic front-runner for the 2008 presidential race, the tableau of men talking to men all across prime time was oddly atavistic — a men’s club from around 1962.

On NBC Brian Williams, Tim Russert and the emeritus anchor Tom Brokaw formed a triumvirate of pinstripes and percipience. Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos of ABC were so cozy and old-school across their giant, donut-shaped desk that they only perfunctorily turned, via satellite, to the network’s veteran Congressional correspondent, Cokie Roberts.

The panel of commentators that Fox News assembled to back up Brit Hume looked like a funereal barbershop quartet: Bill Kristol, Juan Williams, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke. (Even at 6 o’clock this morning, Fox reporters still seemed to be in denial: Steve Doocy, a “Fox and Friends” anchor, asked a guest what a Pelosi-led House of Representatives would look like “if” she became speaker.)

CNN’s Anderson Cooper did turn for help to Candy Crowley, who was sandwiched between John King and Marcus Mabry of Newsweek, but the panel behind them, CNN’s so-called “brain trust” (Bill Bennett, J. C. Watts, James Carville and Paul Begala) looked like a police lineup on Mount Athos.

And the group that MSNBC chose to play backup to Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann was only a little more coed: the NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell was wedged in alongside Joe Scarborough, Eugene Robinson and Howard Fineman.

Too bad the article is pretty sexist in and of itself. It refers to the only TV “hissy fit” as happening between men — because we all know that the term “hissy fit” automatically assumes that a woman is the one throwing the fit. It describes Katie Couric’s blog as “chatty” (can anyone imagine, say, Matthew Yglesias being described that way?). It refers to Katie behaving “coyly.”

If only lipstick and pearls made one a better journalist.

Post-Election Thoughts

We done good. The Dems took the House, big time — we won with a larger margin than the GOP ever did in their “revolution” heyday from 1994 to 2001. Republicans picked up exactly zero seats — nothing in the House, nothing in the Senate, and no Gubernatorial seats. We won some important senate seats, with Claire McCaskill narrowly taking Missouri. We ousted some of the worst conservative senators, including Rick Santorum. Prospects look decent on Montana, and I would really love to see Conrad Burns go away. Even Virginia is looking like it may go with the good guys. Lieberman’s win in Connecticut wasn’t surprising, but was disappointing nonetheless — but we have to give it to Ned Lamont for putting up a damn good fight, and for shaking things up a bit. Nancy Pelosi will be the first female — and feminist — Speaker of the House. Phil Kline — the Kansas attorney general who demanded records of women who had second-trimester abortions and then leaked those records to Bill O’Reilly — lost his re-election bid. The same-sex marriage ban failed in Arizona. The parental notification measures in Oregon and California were both defeated. Perhaps best of all, voters in South Dakota rejected their state’s abortion ban. And if that wasn’t enough, Rumsfeld is resigning. Plus, Britney finally divorced K-Fed.

Best. Day. Ever.

Around the world, this election is being seen of a rejection of George Bush, of unnecessary war, of corruption, and of infringement on our civil and human rights. There’s no question that American voters were sending a very clear and direct message: It’s time for change.

All in all, an excellent day’s work.

But you aren’t under the impression that we’re done, are you?

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