Friday, August 19, 2016

Martians might vote for Trump, but Venusians?

"Why would any woman vote for Donald Trump?"

I was asked that just today (Thursday). Coincidentally, earlier today I learned of a report that answers the question (h/t Jerry Stoops). Most of the press on Trump's supporters focuses on the angry white male. But there is a well-funded women's organization pumping for Trump.

Joan Walsh (The Nation) invites you to Meet the ‘Feminists’ Doing the Koch Brothers’ Dirty Work. The short of the story is that "The Independent Women’s Forum has leveraged its “non-partisan” brand to become an aggressive player in Republican politics."

f you watch cable news, you’ve seen someone from an outfit called the “Independent Women’s Forum” promoting a conservative take on the women’s issue of the day. It’s no secret that the group leans right; it grew out of “Women for Judge Thomas,” which formed during Anita Hill’s testimony about Clarence Thomas at his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and was formally launched in 1992 by the late Barbara Olson and Rosalie “Ricky” Silberman, along with a cadre of powerful conservative women that included former second lady Lynne Cheney. Still, it’s always billed itself as “non-partisan” and “independent.” In its early years, it promoted IWF-affiliated author Christina Hoff Sommers’s brand of “equity feminism” and opposed the “radical feminism” of the ’90s women’s movement, which it argued was pushing myths about sexual harassment, pay inequities, and discrimination in the workplace and widespread abuse on college campuses. For years it played no formal role in electoral politics.

But an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), provided exclusively to The Nation, reveals that since 2010, IWF and its political arm, Independent Women’s Voice, have become aggressive players in Republican politics, embedded in the network of organizations backed by Charles and David Koch, advocating for the Koch brothers’ myriad concerns, and playing on their “independent” label to elect GOP candidates. If this country is to elect its first woman president, Hillary Clinton will have to face down this powerful conservative women’s group to get there.

The IWF/IWV crowd is using their disingenuous brand name, "independent", to sell a very right-wing agenda.

And at a recent gathering of the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), IWF Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer similarly bragged about her group’s success bringing an “independent” message on issues like paid family leave to even “progressive” women. Once IWF provided (highly debatable) information about how such legislation hurts women, “we were able to drop support by a double-digit spread,” Schaeffer told the group, according to notes taken at the event obtained by CMD.

Using their “independent” label to help Republicans isn’t the groups’ only misrepresentation. Although it claims to be neutral on abortion—“The IWF has never taken a stance on abortion,” Sabrina Schaeffer told the pro-choice Web site Rewire last year—since 2012, all but one of the GOP congressional candidates backed by IWV have had a zero rating from NARAL Pro Choice America, or were newcomers who support strict limits on abortion (the exception was Massachusetts GOP Senator Scott Brown). And while an IWF editor blasted Donald Trump as “Todd Akin on steroids” earlier this year, IWV even spent money to help Akin’s disastrous Senate campaign in 2012.

Despite many conservative leaders’ uneasiness with Trump, [IWV president] Heather Higgins is now an enthusiastic supporter of the man her colleague labeled “Todd Akin on steroids.” Though she once mocked Trump as “the Kardashian of politics,” she’s done a full Kanye West and now supports him—passionately.

You need to read the full article; Walsh reports on a lot more about IWF/IWV.

I guess, in answer to the original question, even Venusians - some of them - can vote like Martians.

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