Late Nite FDL: A Short Ride For Holy Joe
Our own Connecticut Bob Adams, who created the helpful maps for rape victims to follow when Joe Lieberman makes them climb off the gurney and hitchhike to a hospital where such frivolities as emergency contraception might be offered, was kind enough to lend his camera and his talents to putting up a video of Ned Lamont at the announcement of the NOW endorsement today. From Ned’s speech:
I’m particularly pleased to have this endorsement. It’s the first national endorsement I’ve gotten. I meet people who say "I’m with you in my heart. I really want to support you. I’m there. You’re on the right side of the issues. But national won’t let me go forward. We have to wait and see." Look, you guys are showing guts. You showed guts in 1966 when Betty Friedan came forward. You’re the first ones to speak up about child abuse and family violence and a lot of issues that society would like to sweep under the rug. It’s so important that we have courageous people like yourselves standing up and still standing up today. And I so appreciate that. I believe that respect for women should be the hallmark of everything we do as a country and that we’d be a better society for it, a better world. And I believe that respect for women starts in the family. I look a my home… I grew up, my Dad respected and worshipped my Mom. She was a stay at home mom and the respect he showed for her we knew and felt and appreciated as kids.  I look at the intrusions into our private lives with the illegal wiretaps. I look at science in politics and the blending of what’s going on there. Be it Creationism in the classroom, be it stem cell research, be it emergency contraception for women. Look, the FDA, this scientific group, they looked at this, they found the safety of it, the scientists opined on it. And then the politicians stepped in. The politicians said "We’re going to step all over the scientists again. And we’re not gonna let emergency contraception be available over the counter." And I look at the callousness, the callousness of the response when it comes to rape victims going to — any hospital. We talk about universal health care in this country. We ought to have a basic level of health care that’s available for everybody. My God, how can you deny that basic level of health care to rape victims when they go to a hospital? They don’t choose the hospital they’re going to. That’s a basic right that ought to be there and you’re going to have a Senator who’s going to stand up and say "You’re going to be required to provide emergency contraception to every rape victim, wherever they may go. We’re going to make this available over the counter. We’re not going to put women into this impossible situation where they’re forced to make these terrible choices." And what will happen, we’ll reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and there’ll be less need for abortion. And with universal health care for everybody, including pre-natal, post-natal… you know, that to me is a real pro-life agenda. That’s what we’re standing for as Democrats, that’s what we’re [drowned out by applause] I’ll just say one last thing. As I look at the war and I look at our priorities as a country, and I look at the middle class who feel that their dreams are slipping away a little bit right now, let’s talk about the moral authority of our country and what we stand for right now. This is… around the world there’s a war of ideas and a war on terror and we’ve got to be true to what America believes. We’ve got to be true to the Statue of Liberty. We’ve got to be true to the values we hold dear. Not Abu Ghraib, not Guantanamo. We can’t forsake the values that have carried us so far. And right now I just sense that the United States has forsaken some of our key values, our core values, what we stand for. And America starts winning again and Americans start winning again when we stand for what we believe. When we say it proud and clear. And I’ve got to tell you that I think NOW is at the forefront of that. Because the way we treat our women, the way we treat our girls says so much about who we are as a country. And the way we go out and fight around the world for those same values I think says a lot about who we are to the rest of the world. I think we’ve got to capture what makes America America again and that’s why I’m in this race and thank you so much for your support. I needed it.
When Ned first started out he was considered a "one issue" candidate. We contacted the campaign and said we really wanted to help out any way we could by promoting choice as an issue for Ned. During the course of a phone interview, Ned happened to mention that NOW had written a press release condemning Lieberman for his vote on Alito, even as NARAL and Planned Parenthood were telling their memberships to thank him for it. We put up this post asking people to thank NOW and Kos, Atrios, C&L and others picked it up. When I later spoke on the phone to Kathleen Sloan of NOW, she said she was thrilled — the only response she’d gotten to the initial press release was a cranky phonecall from the Lieberman people saying how ill-treated poor whiny Joe had been. She said she’d never gotten such an overflow of support for anything, and I have every reason to believe that this played a big role in NOW’s decision to endorse Ned today, something it normally wouldn’t do at this point in a race. If you took the time to call, to fax, to express your support for NOW’s courage, pat yourself on the back for this one. It’s Ned’s first national endorsement, and your willingness to take action played a big part in that.