'm sure Nancy Keenan is licking her sweet chops over the latest SCOTUS decision.  It is, after all, probably going to be the biggest fundraising opportunity she's had during her tenure at NARAL.  Bigger even than Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement.  Remember that one?

"NARAL Pro-Choice America surpassed its fundraising goals in the hours following Justice O'Connor's announcement," said President Nancy Keenan. Donors "are deeply concerned that President Bush will choose to further divide this nation by nominating a radical right-wing conservative."

Moderation is not the tone of fundraising appeals in the nomination contest. "This is big, people. Huge," NARAL wrote to supporters. "It's true, there is no freedom without choice. Without choice, we are not free."

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.

May I humbly suggest that if you're looking for a place to put your fighting dollars today, you consider the Blue America PAC.  All the money goes to support candidates who are carefully scrutinized by Howie Klein for their pro-choice stance.  We were really successful last November in backing a slate of progressive pro-choice, anti-war candidates and will continue to do so, because politicians are not going to back choice unless they think there is support for doing so, and danger if they don't. 

Keenan has told many people she thinks she does not have to address these complaints because eventually we will just shut up and go away. Not going to happen, because we actually care about choice and we do know how to fight.

She can wear this one around her neck.  Nancy Keenan had all the money, and she did nothing. 

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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