Russell Shaw calls for progressives to unite around whatever Democratic Party nominee for president:
I look at this past week's 5-4 Supreme Court vote against "partial birth abortion." Then I hold up the ages of liberal Justices John Paul Stevens (87), and an increasingly feeble Ruth Bader Ginsburg (74) against the actuarial tables.
I just pray these two are able to serve on the Court until that hopefully blessed morning of January 20, 2009. At Noon on that day, a Democrat will- from my mouse to the Goddess' ears- take the Oath.I'd love for the oath-taker to be Al Gore, or John Edwards, or Bill Richardson. But if it comes down to saving Roe, I'd settle for Hillary. With more campaign funds than her Democratic opponents, her nomination is likely. I can see where Obama will fade, Edwards may need to drop out, and Gore will stay out.At this point in time, though, I can see a scenario that causes ideological purists on our side of the fence to do something stupid that will cause Hillary to fall short, and thus, pave the path for another anti-choice, Justice-appointng [sic] Republican to get into the White House.
Despite the fact that Russell Shaw is echoing radical right-wing (as well as Markos Moulitsas) talking points about "ideological purity" -- a Rovian expression if I ever heard one -- I can see his point. Just this morning, I was thinking about how any of the top four -- Obama, Edwards, Richardson or even Clinton -- would get my vote. And while I know not nearly enough to choose any one above the others, at this point, my sense is that one of them would suffice for me come November next year.
Making that decision so much easier is the fact that the Republicans have so far offered up boobs, bigots and bobbies. Given the radical and, yes, misogynist and, yes again, racist and, yes, obviously, homophobic values at the core of the right wing, I don't see myself voting for any Republican for president any time soon. Add in their modern penchant for fascistic governmental control over individuals -- making the phrase "the party of Goldwater" an oxymoronic joke -- and I don't see myself voting Republican in my lifetime.
However, Congress is a different matter. Do we continue to vote for pro-forced-pregnancy Democrats? How do we, as progressives, in good conscience cast our lot with men (yes once more, I'm afraid) who consider women's right to privacy to be non-existent, women's medical choices to be controlled by politicians, women's health to be a distraction, women's lives to be important only when not distracting from other interests, and women's bodies to be, ultimately, Property of the U.S. Government?
I wonder how many Democratic and independent voters even realize that their Democratic Senator(s) and/or Representative is an advocate of forced pregnancy.
The question is pertinent right now, pre-primaries, while we look at what kind of future we want to forge in the can't-come-soon-enough post-Bush America. Now is the time to ask the questions. Now is the time to choose. Now is the time to push for the progressives that will defend privacy and equal rights and civil rights and human rights for everyone, not just the ruling men who look upon the rest of us as "peasants."
It's not an easy thing, when the Democratic Party, whose vague favoring of progressive values stands out like a monument to all things noble and just when compared with the venal depravity that describes the power centers of the GOP, has such a slim and weak hold upon Congress.
It's all the more difficult when you consider that men claiming progressive values have historically dismissed our alarms about the Handmaid trends happening in our politics -- our politics. And it sure as heck doesn't help that ignorance and willful ignorance on the part of ostensibly well-intentioned men when it comes to issues women face continue.
The demographics are with us, though. More GOP seats in the Senate are up for election next year. Americans in general are suspicious of an overly invasive Government. And, while meaningful statistics are lacking (at least from what I can tell), based on anecdotal evidence there are quite a number of so-called "pro-life" Americans who oppose abortion until the issue comes home to roost in their own families, in their own lives.
So what's it going to be, boys? When you throw women's lives into the mix, does women's equality count as "important shit"?