While there is some reason to think that the PUMA movement is largely a product of media hype and McCain campaign, there are, apparently, still some Democrats considering John McCain. Because I believe—despite all evidence to the contrary—that, surely, people must be smarter than this, I tend to assume that a lot of people interested in McCain are falling for his “maverick” persona rather than looking at his record. A couple of recent(ish) articles should, then, be helpful to feminists thinking of voting for McCain.
In The Nation, Katha Pollitt analyzes McCain’s position on reproductive choice and decides that, “to vote for McCain, a feminist would have to be insane.” She ends her piece with a quick civics lesson reminding us just how bad a McCain presidency might be for women:
As the Bush years have shown, the President has a tremendous amount of power; Supreme Court nominations don’t begin to describe it. He nominates all the federal judges (302 since Bush took office). He appoints the heads of dozens of regulatory agencies, many of which (HHS, FDA, National Institutes of Health) directly affect women’s lives. He submits legislation and the budget to Congress. He has a veto. Bush, we all know, has filled the government with right-wing Christian hacks and family-values fanatics, with room left over for incompetent cronies. He has done just about nothing good for women. McCain’s record suggests he would not be any different. His opposition to the Ledbetter Act, which would have overturned the Supreme Court’s restrictions on women’s right to sue for paycheck discrimination, tells you everything you need to know about where he stands on economic justice for women.
Kate Sheppard does something similar in an article for In These Times. As she looks at his record on abortion, pay equity, and civil rights, she finds a consistent pattern of votes and quotes that only a GOP loyalist could love.
Spreading the word about McCain’s record is vital, because his campaign is actively courting the moderate women who will be crucial swing-voters. As Sheppard reports, Planned Parenthood conducted a poll of women voters in battleground states and found that 50 percent of women voters don’t know McCain’s position on abortion, and that 49 percent of women who supported McCain were pro-choice. When they were informed of McCain’s position on Roe v. Wade, more than a third of the women who self-identified as pro-choice McCain supporters said that they would reconsider their vote.
In their assessment of this poll,
Planned Parenthood concludes that these findings suggest “that just filling in McCain’s actual voting record and his publicly stated positions on a handful of key issues has the potential to diminish his total vote share among battleground women voters by about 17 to 20 percentage points.”
And, lest we forget: McCain once called his wife a cunt in public.
July 30, 2008 | Permalink
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