1e2184d7-5b80-4afd-892c-676bec5948f1.jpg Today at high noon Jane declared war… on behalf of every progressive in America. And the enemy: NARAL.

And what did they do with all that cash? They sat on it and didn't do a damn thing, didn't lift a finger to fight Samuel Alito. Worse yet, when the Gang of 14 decided to vote in favor of cloture, they said that they did not consider cloture votes "significant" and would not be considering them in their scorecard. They then went on to add insult to injury by asking their membership to thank Lincoln Chafee and Joe Lieberman for the beatings they delivered with their "aye" cloture vote by pretending that their "nay" floor votes were significant. They then poured salt into the wound by endorsing both "short ride" Lieberman and Chafee over their opponents who made it clear that they would not have voted for cloture for Alito, which gave us the 5-4 decision we have today.

Don't reward failure. Tell your friends. Don't give money to NARAL when they come knocking on your door to tell you that choice is going down the crapper unless you give them a lot of money, because what you'll be giving money for is Nancy Keenan's ability to point her little pinky over tea at Washington cocktail parties and tut-tut over the state of choice in this country at the hands of the fundamentalists. She'll take no responsibility for the fact that NARAL will not fight, will not back those that fight, and worse yet, that NARAL sucks up all the pro-choice money so nobody else can mount a meaningful fight, either.

While Jane was contemplating NARAL's response to the Supreme Court travesty– a travesty that could easily should be laid at NARAL's feet– I was on the phone with Congressman John Hall, preparing for Saturday's live blog session. He had just come out of the first meeting of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and he was brimming over with enthusiasm and excitement. He talked for 10 minutes about the committee before I could get in a word. (Come back Saturday at 2pm EST for the global warming stuff.) I asked him what he thought of today's Supreme Court decision upholding the ban on partial birth abortion. He had just walked out of the committee room when he called me so he didn't know it had happened and he said he had to read the ruling but… and he was off on a tear: "That phrase is a complete misnomer deliberately attached to this procedure to make it seem more unpalatable and more abhorrent. I don't know any woman who is excited about having an abortion at any time during her term." He had ideas about the availability of emergency contraception and about eduction, not just for women but for men as well.

John Hall just happened to be on the phone with me today when this came down. But he's the kind of informed and progressive candidate that Blue America supports. We don't support reactionaries who are a threat to women's rights or gay people's rights or who support illegitimate wars. NARAL is an insider political clique that has lost its way. There are state offices, like the one in New York, that are fine and effective organizations. The national Inside the Beltway NARAL is not one of us. It's one of them. Joe Lieberman? Lincoln Chafee ANY Republican? Republicans– whether an extremist wingnut like Sessions or Cornyn or a supposed moderate like Collins or Chafee votes to organize the Senate in a way that can only be utter disaster for women's rights and tends to vote– with the connivance of NARAL– on procedural matters with the GOP.

NARAL, Chafee and Lieberman brought you Sammy Alito– and made you pay for it— and today Alito was the fifth vote in the religionist right's effort to chip away further at Roe v Wade. NARAL is either naive or incompetent or both. When they ask you for money– based on today's Supreme Court ruling, no less– tell them you're donating to the Blue America PAC instead. The first question we ask a candidate is how they stand on women's right to choice. If they waffle we tell them "good luck" and recommend they go talk to the DCCC or DSCC. And don't just tell them you are, how about $5 today for our PAC. We'll be using it to support candidates like John Hall and the ones you see listed with a grassroots campaign like the one we did for Victoria Wulsin last year in her first– and nearly successful– bid to unseat Mean Jean Schmidt. Think about what John Edwards said today when the decision was handed down: "I could not disagree more strongly with today's Supreme Court decision. The ban upheld by the Court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women. This hard right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election. Too much is at stake — starting with, as the Court made all too clear today, a woman's right to choose." And then think about what John McCain– a variation on the theme of what all the wingnut candidates had to say– "Today's Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary. The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children. It also clearly speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written, and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures. As we move forward, it is critically important that our party continues to stand on the side of life."

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Howie Klein

Howie Klein

Howie Klein spent much of his life wandering around the world living in places like Afghanistan, Nepal, Holland and Morocco. He moved backed to America when Richard Nixon resigned and promptly helped start the first punk rock radio show in the country and then a DIY punk rock record label. His adventures in the music business ended a couple of years ago when he retired as president of Reprise Records. He began blogging almost immediately, starting Down With Tyranny. Jane taught him html while he held one of her dogs at a party. He is a raw foodist, lives in L.A., swims and hikes every day, thinks Howard Dean could be a president as great as FDR and will never be completely happy until Bush and Cheney are behind bars.