NOW Endorses Obama-Biden

"NOW supported Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primary, and now we join with her in saying 'NO'—No Way, No How, No McCain! And we proudly stand arm-in-arm with her in putting our hopes and our dreams, our hard work and our hard-earned money, behind the next President of the United States—Barack Obama, and his running mate, longtime friend and ally of women, Sen. Joe Biden."Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women and Chair of NOWPAC, endorsing the Obama-Biden ticket on behalf of NOW. Though NOW rarely endorses in general election, "the addition of Sarah Palin gave us a new sense of urgency," according to Gandy.

I'm not thrilled. Any male running mate McCain could have selected would have condoned anti-choice and anti-woman policies as deeply mired in retrofuckery as Palin's are; that NOW is only explicitly rejecting the ticket because of Palin whiffs strongly of a double standard.

Mind you, I'm keenly aware it was the McCain campaign who's created the double standard, shielding his anti-choice and anti-woman policies behind a woman. And Gandy does try to make that point: "She is being portrayed as a supporter of women's rights ... as a feminist when in fact her positions on so many of the issues are really anathema to ours." But I don't like the implicit suggestion, then, that women aren't smart enough to figure out that Palin's an imposter without NOW's help. Some aren't—but those women are willfully obtuse, and don't give a fuck about NOW.

So I'm left feeling like NOW's done something exceptional for the express purpose of advocating against a female candidate, when they wouldn't have done so for a male candidate with the exact same positions. Giving up their neutrality effectively signals they're holding Palin to a different standard—and even though it can be argued the McCain campaign provoked it, it's a complete betrayal of what NOW ought to be about.

I would have preferred to see NOW stay neutral.


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