Gov. Tim Kaine is a leopard, an anti-choice leopard for that matter, and Obamaâ€™s pick to head the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a position that Kaine will assume in 2010.
Heading the DNC is not a small job, as Howard Dean will attest. A key component of the position is that the Chair represents the Party and what it stands forâ€”its platformâ€”a vital element of which is abortion rights.
How can Kaine be the DNC Chair?
Very honestly, he canâ€™t be the DNC Chair as it has always been defined, and he proved that this week.
Tim Kaine, in his capacity as Virginiaâ€™s governor, has decided to sign legislation that allows the sale of â€œChoose Lifeâ€ specialty license plates.
The revenue of these sales will go to funding anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)â€“the same type of centers that NYâ€™s attorney general investigated in 2002 for deceptive advertising and/or practicing medicine without a license. A so-called pregnancy resource center will get $15 of the $25 annual fee for each license plate after the first 1,000 are sold and will then distribute those funds to 40 CPCs.
Shock and Awe
Some pro-choice groups responded with surprise and outrage.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL saying, “It is unfortunate that, â€¦ Gov. Kaine has opted to sign a bill that advances a divisive political ideology at the expense of women’s health.” Paulette McElwain, president of the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, said, “It is surprising that Gov. Kaine would do this, but it’s all the more surprising that he would do it as chair of the DNC.â€
Silence is NOT Golden
Why are groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood objecting now when they stood silently by as Kaine received the DNC job? They knew Kaineâ€™s position on Choice. Naral Pro-Choice Virginia refused to endorse him in his gubernatorial race in 2005 because of his anti-choice record. When Kaine was being considered for the VP slot, Choice Matters and others worked fervently to oppose him because of his anti-abortion rights position.
Since Obama has taken office it is as though a silence has fallen across our nation. No one wants to speak out. You canâ€™t be in issue-based politics and be quiet.
History has taught us that silence leads to genocide, corruption, and a full-scale destruction of our civil liberties.
Obama has a track record of responding to push-backs, so to speak. When it looked as if anti-choice anti-healthcare Tennessee Governor Bredesen was to be the Health and Human Services nominee, we really pushed back. Now we have Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, as we have Biden, not Kaine, for VP.
We elected Obama and now we must help him govern. That means speaking up loudly in criticism as well as praise.