Thursday, July 07, 2005

Chuck Pennacchio?!

Well my readers--thank god some of you are out there!--I have been encouraged to keep on keeping on with my writing. I have no idea how this ends up. I redesigned some sections yesterday and its full speed ahead.

Now, on another note: Yes, its political commentary blog day!

I returned from my DFA meeting last night feeling rather disappointed with my local group. It wasn't the content of the meeting that frustrated me, it was the utter realization last night that this group is not going to back a progressive candidate for the Senate 2006 race. God knows that I want to see Rick Santorum gone.

[Btw, my colleague sent me this link that gives some excerpts of Santorum's forthcoming book It Takes a Family.]

However, I do not see how I can possibly support Bob Casey Jr. as my democratic candidate. And, it seems a done deal at DFA. Bob Casey Jr. is anti-choice, opposes stem cell research and opposes gun control (just to mention a few problems here). I can't do it. I can't even hold my nose and vote for him. And, I don't want to attend the fundraiser.

What really irked me today (and I am somewhat responsible for this) is that there is another candidate out there, that I didn't know about, nor hear about from DFA. I heard about this candidate from the Harrisburg NOW chapter. His name is Chuck Pennacchio and he is pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, etc. This guy truly does represent the progressive values that DFA supposedly endorses. I am sure that many DFA members will argue that he cannot win, and we need Santorum gone. But, C'MON! Its a long shot, it seems, for whomever runs against Santorum. He has power and money. So, why back a candidate that doesn't uphold all of our values, unless, of course, DFA doesn't really care about women's rights (among others . . .)

I am going to my first area NOW chapter meeting tonight. I am a bit nervous, but convinced that this organization deserves my attention and time. I want to just note that getting invovled in grass roots organizing and activism has made me more committed than ever to women's rights. In particular, I have been astounded at how easily other left-wing groups are ignoring the utter importance of protecting Roe v. Wade, of ensuring women's access to family planning, or protecting families, by ensuring that they will be covered by Medicare/Medicaid as extensively as possible. Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement is the first of the appointments that Bush will get to make to the Supreme court. The rumors in Washington D.C. suggest that Rehnquist is soon to follow.

We are with a tiny thread holding the constitutional rights that women have won. And, when I attend DFA meetings, its as if this fact is a taboo! If you do not respect women and trust women to be able to make their own best decisions, then you should not be able to claim yourself as progressive!