Friday, June 13, 2008

He Hearts You Not: Another McMyth

Last week, I wrote about Republican efforts to capitalize on divisions in the Democratic Party, created in the wake of Senator Hillary Clinton's defeat. The McCain campaign has announced that Senator McCain will hold a virtual town hall to reach out to independent and Democratic voters. Participating in the conference is former Hewlett-Packard CEO and John McCain supporter Carly Fiorina.

A few days ago, Fiorina cut a web ad for Women For Fair Politics:

The title of the ad is Carly Fiorina on Why She Supports John McCain, but she spends 1:30 out of a 5:30 ad praising Hillary Clinton, expressing admiration for her campaign, and empathy for the unfair treatment she received. Around 2:30, she finally starts talking about why she supporters John McCain, at which point you see images of Senator McCain with his wife and talking to older women. Meanwhile, Fiorina talks about how Senator McCain is an authentic leader who seeks her counsel and takes it seriously.

While Senator McCain tries to convince women that he really does heart them, groups such as Emily's List, which endorsed Senator Clinton the day she announced and spent $1 million on her campaign, have been pushing back. On Wednesday, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a report on McCain's history on women's issues.

According to this report, although women only make 77 cents for each dollar a man earns, John McCain opposed legislation to make it easier for women to file equal pay lawsuits:

But earlier this year, McCain opposed critical legislation needed to advance women’s right to equal pay. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act responded to last year’s Supreme Court decision preventing Ledbetter from recovering damages for years of discriminatory pay. The Court required lawsuits to be filed within 180 days of the day the discrimination began, rather than within 180 days of the most recent discriminatory act—even if the victims of discrimination had no way to know they were being paid less at the time the discrimination began.

When asked about his opposition by a teenage girl, he said that the bill was too friendly for trial lawyers. He proposes to address the unfair pay issue by encouraging women to pursue more education and training. He also opposes increasing the minimum wage and nearly 60 percent of minimum wage earners are women.

Although John McCain claims to be pro-family--don't they all--he doesn't offer any legislation to help families with two working parents. He offers no proposals on expanding family leave, sick leave, or childcare. However, he will appoint plenty of strict constructionist justices to the United States Supreme Court to ensure that Roe v. Wade is overturned. And according to this report, these justices could do even more damage:

McCain is likely to appoint justices who oppose a woman’s right to choose. McCain says, “I happen to view life to begin at conception, and that is a moral belief I have. And, therefore, I think that Roe v. Wade was not only a bad decision but a flawed decision.” He has publicly taken the position that he “believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.”

But the effect of a conservative judiciary is not limited to choice and privacy. Over the past two decades, there have been a large number of 5-to-4 decisions limiting the reach of civil rights statutes. In 1989, the Court’s 5-to-4 holding in Wards Cove made it more difficult for employees to challenge discriminatory treatment, a holding that Congress overturned in its last civil rights legislation in 1991.

In another 5-to-4 ruling in Alexander v. Sandoval, the Court ruled that victims of discrimination could only enforce the law through a private lawsuit if they suffered intentional discrimination, but not if they were victims of disparate treatment. And in Buckhannon, the Court ruled 5-to-4 to limit a victims’ right to recover attorney’s fees when their rights were vindicated voluntarily, not by court judgment or consent decree.

Unfortunately, at the same time organizations are pushing back on the McCain "charm" offensive, liberal commentators and mainstream media types have been vehemently pushing back against accusations of sexism in the media. After Katie Couric gave a speech denouncing the unfair treatment Senator Clinton faced in the campaign, Keith Olbermann denounced her as the Worst Person in the World:

I submit that John McCain's concern for women began during the contentious primary and that it will end the morning after the general election. A vote for John McCain is not a vote against sexism. It's a vote against women. It's a vote against families. It's a vote against America.


citizen shelly said...

I can't believe Olbermann did that!
We really have some work to do on the media.

DCDemocrat said...

Keith used to seem to me to have two of the clearest eyes in the news business, but his blindness about sexism in the race suggested he isn't always a keen perceiver.

Post a Comment