What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
We already know that Susan G. Komen Foundation CEO Nancy Brinker is a conservative right-wing society lady who burbles business babble while, judging by the look on her face when she is talking, seemingly exerting emormous force upon a lump of coal with her sphincter in an effort to create home-made diamonds. Yes, it is a talent. But for a woman who is reputed to be fairly intelligent, one has to wonder how Brinker arrived at her decision to defund Planned Parenthood and thereby suicide-bomb her entire organization. We already know about wingnut Karen Handel whom, we assume, is probably being treated by the marketing and PR people at Komen like the employee who decided to take a big crap in the middle of the lunchroom table just before break time.
But wait, there’s more where that came from.
According to the Washington Post, conservative crotch-sniffer Charmaine Yoest (whom I once referred to as “a pair of sensible shoes in a world full of fuck me pumps” because I’m colorful that way) had her wingnut-welfare clutching hand in it too:
But there’s another woman who deserves equal credit: Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest. It’s her group that issued a report last fall, “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood,” that led to a probe by the Energy and Commerce Committee. And it’s that investigation that puts Planned Parenthood in violation of Komen’s new policy that bars funding of groups under investigation.
Yoest has run Americans United for Life for three years. She came to the group from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign, and before that, served as the Family Research Council’s vice president for communications. She moved to Washington in the 1980s to work in the Reagan administration. But she counts this as perhaps her biggest victory.
“I have to say, it was some of the best news of my entire life,” Yoest told me in an interview this morning about the Komen decision. She saw the news yesterday afternoon, sitting in her driveway and checking Twitter.
Yoest hopes that the Komen decision is the beginning of a similar push, on the private side, to curtail Planned Parenthood’s funding, although she does not expect other funders to get on board overnight.
“We’ll be looking at their other supporters,” she said. “Let’s be honest, they’ve been very fashionable amongst a certain philanthropic set. I hope that this is a beginning of people re-looking at associations with the nation’s largest abortion provider.”
As those critical of the decision have shown their support of Planned Parenthood — it raised $400,000 in the 24 hours after the Komen decision — Yoest says the anti-abortion community is exploring ways to support the group. Her group will, for the first time, have a team in the District of Columbia Race for the Cure, called “Team Life.” Yoest, a marathoner, ran the race about a decade ago, but stopped after learning of Komen’s affiliation with Planned Parenthood.
“Yesterday we were looking at Komen’s Web site and how we can interact with them,” she says. “I want them to get as much of the benefit as possible. We’ll have T-shirts and a pasta dinner. I’ve run in a couple of marathons. That’s why I always wanted to be a part of their great work.”
I can’t imagine other funders not wanting to jump on this cavalcade of great press that the Komen Foundation is going to get. Hey look! They even got mentioned on the New York Times editorial page. Cool beans! What’s it say?
With its roster of corporate sponsors and the pink ribbons that lend a halo to almost any kind of product you can think of, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has a longstanding reputation as a staunch protector of women’s health. That reputation suffered a grievous, perhaps mortal, wound this week from the news that Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, decided to betray that mission. It threw itself into the middle of one of America’s nastiest political battles, on the side of hard-right forces working to demonize Planned Parenthood and undermine women’s health and freedom.
To try to justify its move, the foundation cited a new policy against making grants to groups under federal or state investigation — in Planned Parenthood’s case, an inquiry into how it spends its taxpayer money by Representative Cliff Stearns, a Republican of Florida. That is just a flimsy fig leaf.
Mr. Stearns’s “investigation” is nothing more than a political witch hunt, stirred up by Republican leaders and by a right-wing antichoice group, Americans United for Life, which now displays the pink ribbon on its Web site as part of a fund-raising campaign for Komen. The inquiry is part of the Republican campaign to stigmatize Planned Parenthood and end financial support for its invaluable network of clinics. Abortions make up only about 3 percent of its work, but most of this crowd also objects to its leading role in providing access to contraceptives.
The Komen foundation should be speaking out against this abuse of Congressional power. At the least, the foundation’s leaders should have the decency and good sense not to do or say anything that even implies an endorsement.
Well yeah, but that’s in elitist baby-killing New York City. It’s not like there is any big philanthropic money (fashionable or not) to be found in that podunk burg. Let’s look at the hinterlands:
The seven Komen affiliates in California issued a statement Thursday saying they were “strongly opposed to Komen National’s new grant-making policy,” which prevents affiliates from funding organizations under investigation at the regional, state or federal level. The California collaborative called the national decision “a misstep.”
Komen’s San Diego affiliate increased its security after receiving threatening e-mails about the new funding policy, even though it does not fund its local Planned Parenthood. Executive director Laura Farmer Sherman said she personally received nearly 400 e-mails on the subject — two in favor of the new policy and 386 against it.
She said she has lost two sponsors for its Race for the Cure next fall.
“The sad thing about this is it’s detracted from what our real mission is, which is the same as Planned Parenthood, which is to save women’s lives,” she said.
The decision has prompted some groups to reconsider or drop their affiliation with Komen, while others are praising Komen for their stance.
A Yale University spokesman said the School of Public Health is reviewing its decision to have Brinker speak at this year’s commencement.
The District-based American Association of University Women, a national women’s advocacy group with 1,000 branches across the country, said Thursday that it would no longer collaborate with Komen. The AAUW said it would not list Komen among the community service opportunities available to the 600 college women expected to attend the AAUW’s annual leadership conference in June. The headquarters office will also no longer sponsor Washington teams in the Race for the Cure and expects its branches to follow suit, said Lisa Maatz, the AAUW’s director of public policy and government relations.
“This whole thing is quite regrettable, and we would really like to see a different outcome,” Maatz said.
But Charmaine Yoest is going to run in a race and get a t-shirt with a pink ribbon on it and there will be pasta, so it’s all good.
Yoest is like the girlfriend you once had who got drunk with you that one night and then encouraged you to shave your head because you would look “sooooo cute” and then ran and got the clippers.
Yeah. Brinker is sooo going to unfriend her…