Cutting Off Nose to Spite Face


At times, when my sons were teenagers doing what teenage boys do—mainly, driving their parents crazy—I would threaten to ground them. “For a month!” I’d mutter. “School and home, That’s it! That should teach them a lesson.” To which my patient husband would respond by asking me just who I thought I was punishing. He was right, of course. On those rare occasions when I made good my threat, the grounding was much harder on me than on the misbehaving teen.

I thought about that recently, after reading a poll in which only 35% of voters who’d supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries reported unequivocal support for Barack Obama. I’d like to ask the other 65%–especially the women who are threatening to express their bitterness over real and perceived misogyny by voting for John McCain—just who they think they’re punishing?

If you are a voter for whom women’s issues are not particularly important, or an anti-choice advocate, I certainly understand a vote for John McCain. But if you care about women’s rights, a McCain vote is incomprehensible.

John McCain voted against legislation that would require insurance companies covering Viagra to cover prescription birth control. He’s voted against family planning services, against implementing teen-pregnancy programs, against programs to increase awareness about emergency contraception, and against programs to provide more women with prenatal health care. In fact, he’s voted at least 20 times against women’s access to family-planning services, including birth control.

McCain boasts a 0% pro-choice rating from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Since 1983, in the House and the Senate, McCain has cast 130 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues. Of those, 125 were anti-choice. He even voted against legislation that established criminal and civil penalties for people who use threats and violence to keep women from gaining access to reproductive health facilities.

McCain voted to shut down the Title X family-planning program that provides millions of low-income women with health care services ranging from birth control to cancer screenings, and he’s pledged to fill Supreme Court vacancies with justices who will overturn Roe. v. Wade. (He also voted to confirm both Roberts and Alito.)

It isn’t only issues of reproductive choice that women care about, of course. Senator McCain also voted against reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). His health care plan provides $2 billion in tax cuts to the nation’s largest health insurance companies, but doesn’t require them to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions. He opposes the Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would insure a woman’s right to sue when her employer violates equal pay laws. And in 1993, McCain voted to suspend the Family and Medical Leave Act unless the federal government certified that compliance wouldn’t increase business expenses.

Yep–those pro-Hillary "feminists" will "show Obama"—who has reliably been on their side on these issues—by voting for the candidate who opposes everything they claim to care about!

Remind me again—who are they punishing?