Before I get back to my life (go for a ride by the beach, read a book, watching every episode of The West Wing: a show I had never seen one episode of until this past Monday) I want to hopefully conclude Komen Fail Week.
It’s probably because liberals win so few victories that they don’t know how to act when they actually achieve one.
As Greg Sargent writes:
As you may have heard, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation just announced that it was reversing its decision to ban Planned Parenthood from applying for grants to cover breast cancer screenings — after a massive outcry that spread from women’s groups to social media to Capitol Hill.
The question now is what its announcement actually means.
I just got off the phone with a Komen board member, and he confirmed that the announcement does not mean that Planned Parenthood is guaranteed future grants — a demand he said would be “unfair” to impose on Komen. He also said the job of the group’s controversial director, Nancy Brinker, is safe, as far as the board is concerned.
As some were quick to point out, the statement put out by Komen doesn’t really clarify whether Planned Parenthood will actually continue to get money from the group. The original rationale for barring Planned Parenthood was that it was under investigation (a witch-hunt probe undertaken by GOP Rep Cliff Stearns). Komen said today that the group would “amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.”
Which, some are pointing out, means that they didn’t exactly fold like a lawn chair under Chris Chistie, so much as they punted to buy themselves some time. But the fact remains that by making an unforced error in denying Planned Parenthood funding (in the grand scheme of things, a paltry $680,000) the Komen Foundation exposed themselves as a rats nest of wingnuts, irreparably damaged their brand, lost countless supporters (and therefore millions of dollars), and gave Planned Parenthood an enormous boost at a time when they really needed it. Corporations who have been pink-mailed by the Komen Foundation now have the ability to gracefully withdraw and focus their attentions elsewhere. Other corporations who have been threatened by the forced birthers to withdraw any funding of Planned Parenthood got a glimpse of the type of whirlwind they might reap for making such a move.
This wasn’t a war that would be won and done with a formal surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri. But it is a big battle and the bad guys lost big. As Atrios put it:
Yea, I bet all the wingnuts who (supposedly) gave money to Komen because they punched some girly hippies are going to be thrilled now.
Having worked in the women’s health industry (yes, I’ve done that too) I can tell you that the women for whom breast cancer (their own, friends or family) is an issue don’t consider it a flavor of the month preoccupation like pilates or the South Beach diet. They are consumed, and rightly so, with it. And now that the pink veneer has been pulled off of the Komen Foundation, nothing will ever be the same. When it comes to the Komen Foundation’s betrayal, these women are not going to forgive and they’re not going to forget. The continuing employment of Karen Handel is actually a godsend because she is a symbol of the betrayal.
I’d remind the Komen Foundation of an old (and sexist, but nonetheless true) joke about why we didn’t used to send women to war.
Because they don’t know when to quit.
These women have already fought off and survived cancer. What do you think they’ll do to a weakened and panicked Susan G. Komen Foundation?