Ah, petitions! Such a wondrous part of a lively and engaged public discourse! So useful, in terms of registering dissent. Why, I like petitions so very much that I have one up right here on Tiger Beatdown.
You know who else has one up, though. The DCCC, which has partnered with lovely progressive site Change.org. To bring us this:
Okay. Quick question. Can anyone see what’s wrong with this picture?
You are correct, little Timmy! The thing that is wrong with this picture is that it is totally fucking hypocritical and wrong! Somehow, it miraculously manages to mention bringing pressure against this bill, and the necessity for that, but also manages to frame it entirely in terms of bringing pressure against Republicans. What’s wrong with the picture is that it is missing any mention of the following:
Dan Boren [D-OK2]
Jerry Costello [D-IL12]
Mark Critz [D-PA12]
Joe Donnelly [D-IN2]
Daniel Lipinski [D-IL3]
Collin Peterson [D-MN7]
Nick Rahall [D-WV3]
Mike Ross [D-AR4]
Heath Shuler [D-NC11]
These are the Democrats who co-sponsored HR3. The DCCC has a $3.3 million investment in those Democrats. The worst attack on the right to choose in recent history, the bill that brought us a legal codification of “rape-rape,” the bill that will result in more poverty, more abuse, less freedom, and a huge and terrifying attack focused on making abortion impossible for the most vulnerable women and trans men in society, and Democrats are backing it.
You want to know why we keep losing our battles, on the front for legal and accessible abortion? Those names. Those men. Those Democrats, and the people who think like them, and the people who don’t call them out. That’s why.
Let us be extremely, excruciatingly clear on this: People’s lives, bodies, and health are not acceptable subjects for “bipartisan compromise.” We depend on the Democrats to have our backs on this; we depend on them to fucking get it, to know that this bill will harm or kill people in need of abortion. We depend on them to notice shit like the “forcible rape” clause — oh, yay, they took that out! Now let’s focus on what kind of callous asshole you have to be to include it in the first place, and how that attitude is evident on every single page of this bill — and to object to it before we have to spend a week protesting it. We depend on them to know the difference between right and wrong, and to represent the interests of their constituents — constituents who are or may be survivors, constituents who need or may need abortions — instead of sacrificing them to an extremist, discriminatory, bigoted anti-choice agenda when it serves their purposes to do so. And when they fail?
When they fail, kids, we call them the fuck out. Because to do anything else is to aid and abet them, as they use women, survivors, and people who need abortions as a political football. To do anything else is to participate in one of the worst habits of the left wing: Caring about certain constituents only until it becomes inconvenient, or they just don’t feel like it. At which point, we are sacrificed to “compromise.” Our health. Our lives. Our physical and psychological well-being. Our humanity. Sacrificed, again and again and again. It’s how Stupak-Pitts happened. It’s how Hyde happened. It’s why we keep losing. It’s why we still have to deal with so much crap, in 2011: They care about us to get our votes, then forget about us once they’re in office, and organizations like the DCCC — which is apparently just committed to electing and supporting “Democrats,” no matter whether they succeed at the job of pushing and standing up for Democratic values, no matter how often they cave to the people who want to hurt us — will give them a pass on that.
I’m really not clear on what Change.org was thinking, putting up this petition. But I know for damn sure what the DCCC was thinking. They were thinking that they could exploit HR3, and our concerns — our justifiable and eminently merited concerns, for our basic physical well-being — to rally opposition to “Republicans,” and gain a few points, and that they could do so without calling out the Democrats who betrayed us and backed this bill. Ahhhh, just get the chicks who are always yellin’ about rape a little angrier, we can use those chicks, they’re vocal and they get a lot of people all riled up, we can ride that whole “rape outrage” thing, it’ll be good for the polls, is what they were thinking. They were thinking that the substance of the battle doesn’t matter as much as gaining a few points against the GOP. They were thinking they could use us and neglect our core concerns. And they were thinking no-one would call them out on it.
They thought wrong. Let the DCCC know that we need a united front against HR3, and that united front includes, of necessity, calling out and condemning the Democrats who betrayed us by co-sponsoring this bill, as well as any Democrat who supports it. We vote Democrat because we rely on Democrats to support us and protect our interests. If they don’t do that, there’s no reason to keep giving them support which they evidently don’t value. And they will be surprised about what happens once our support is gone.