When in Doubt, Blame a Republican

Imagine you survived a bitter loss and a brutal campaign that involved negative advertising and personal attacks.

Like always, you dusted yourself off, pulled up the ol’ bootstraps and started anew.

Imagine you found a new job, where you were in a position to help others without the red tape of legislative entanglements and political vendettas.

Imagine, if you will, the happiness, the inner joy of a fresh start.

Now imagine that in just a year’s time, you find yourself again in the cross-hairs of the vicious, politically-motivated press for a decision your foundation made, based on solely on the fact that you are a Republican and have pro-life beliefs.

Never mind the inconvenient facts.

Never mind foundation made the decision, not you individually. In fact, have you ever heard of a large, multi-million dollar enterprise being swayed by one vice-president’s opinion? Any, at all?

Never mind that the mission of your organization is the world-wide irradiation of a horrible disease that kills thousands of women each year.

Never mind that the media would rather smear one person than admit that the Susan G. Komen Foundation has every right to spend their money where they want to advance their mission.

In 2008, it was called Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome. The world watched (some in horror, at least) as the media went on a feeding frenzy over a conservative woman who wasn’t afraid to stand up for her strong beliefs. In 2012, it’s just plain stupid. America (most of it, at least) sees the attack as what it is: a decision was made that went against the liberal agenda, and like clockwork, a target needs to be found and blamed. Loudly.

Karen Handel is a fellow Georgian and a wonderful human being. No one deserves this kind of treatment. She deserves our respect and our prayers, whether or not you share her particular views.


    • Toxic Avenger says:

      And let’s be clear about something. Nobody here is suggesting that Karen Handel singlehandedly made this decision. But if your question is “Does a Vice President of an organization have sway over what the organization does?” the answer is unequivocally yes, and to think otherwise makes you jaded at best.

      And I’m not exactly sure, but nationally, as well as locally, I implore you to find me a single iota of data suggesting that the real person we’re mad at is Karen Handel, and not Komen itself. Because you know what? I could give two craps less about Karen Handel. Komen is and will always be a terrible organization whose mission is far less about actually helping communities than it should be. That’s why my money always goes elsewhere. You are the one suggesting that it’s Karen Handel “us liberals” are mad at. If you think this incident is what made us not her biggest fans, I suggest you get your head out of the delusions potion, and come back to reality.

      And, for the record, last time I checked, just because someone is a Georgian, doesn’t mean they “deserve” our respect or prayers. I have a relatively high degree of confidence y’all aren’t praying for and respecting such illustrious Georgians as Ralph Reed or Troy Davis just by virtue of their association with our state. And, to be sure, it’s not as if anyone is wishing death on Handel or calling her “worse than Hitler”– those would be steps too far. We disagree with her politically, and we express that openly. So, sorry if your panties are up in a bunch, but if you’ve got a problem with our disagreement, I’m not sure politics is the place for you.

      Y’all are ignoring some inconvenient facts, too. Like the fact that many higher-ups have resigned from the foundation because of this decision. Makes me think they didn’t have a say in this decision, either. Or that Handel does actually hold some sway within Komen.

      So yeah, cry me a river.

      • David C says:

        Totally agree. Planned Parenthood is 97% women’s health and contraception, 3% abortion. Before 2010-2011, it wasn’t a hot button issue or anything else. And you know what? No one in the broad spectrum of the American public outside of the right to life activist corridor knew or cared that Komen gave grants to Planned Parenthood to help in breast screening for low income women. Now, with this ham-fisted decision, they’ve waded neck deep into probably the most divisive social issue in the country. Even worse, they seem unable to explain why the heck they did it, changing their story over and over, and essentially lying about it in their explanations. No matter what happens, they seem to have lost a big chunk of goodwill with people who would otherwise be incredibly supportive of their mission. Moreover, because of the whiff of controversy and partisan politics, I wouldn’t be surprised if they start having trouble with big corporate sponsorships and other groups that don’t want to risk their brand where they don’t have to. I could give two figs about Handel, who has never struck me as a particularly dynamic figure. But this organization, which wants to be THE national breast cancer charity, just failed utterly in its mission.

  1. Cassandra says:

    Coalition partners are judged by the company that they keep. Planned Parenthood has some powerful enemies as they are judged as one of the largest providers of abortions in the US.

    I hate it that some of the good work Planned Parenthood provides, like breast examinations, is jeopardized by this action, and yet, cannot help to realize that part of their mission is hated by so many.

    This nice puff piece on Ms. Handel garners no sympathy here. The lady manages to find herself in the center of major firestorms, and would have done the same thing here in Georgia.

    What Toxic Avenger said holds truth; tough lady, tough situation, comes with the pay grade.

  2. Andre says:

    Glad to see some conservative push back against this liberal lynching of Karen Handel.

    As the Los Angeles Times reported, “There’s no proof that Handel had a role in the foundation’s decision to end a relationship between two major women’s health organizations that’s paid for some 170,000 breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals since the groups began their partnership in 2005.”

    But liberals aren’t letting facts get in the way of a good lynching.

    • David C says:

      A lynching? Give me a break. As someone once said “politics ain’t beanbag.” People have been criticizing Karen Handel for a poor decision she made for an organization where she has a decision making role. It also seems likely that yes, Karen Handel had a role in that decision.


      “But three sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process told me that the rule was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut off Planned Parenthood. (Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations, and the new “no investigations” rule applies to only one so far.) The decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, according to these sources, was driven by the organization’s new senior vice president for public policy, Karen Handel, a former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia who is staunchly anti-abortion and who has said that since she is “pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.” (The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood did not pay for abortion or contraception services, only cancer detection, according to all parties involved.) I’ve tried to reach Handel for comment, and will update this post if I speak with her.”

      Seriously, a lynching? Do you know what actual lynching was? Here’s a hint: It wasn’t about criticizing someone in the media. Karen Handel isn’t going to end up hanging from a tree in the middle of the night; she’s not even going to lose her job, or suffer any personal damage whatsoever. Comparing political criticism to lynching should really be a Godwin’s Law style offense.

      If you want to talk about vicious, brutal, political attacks, look no further than what Georgia Right to Life actually did to her during the runoff in 2010. They said she wanted to abort babies with Down Syndrome like Trig Palin. Even worse because she supports IV Fertilization, and because she and her husband wanted and tried so hard to bring life into this world for their family. What did GRTL do? They called her barren and infertile. They turned a deeply personal family trauma of hers into grist of the mill of vicious political attacks. Find anything in the response to this even close to that level of vitriol and slander.

          • Andre says:

            Yeah, 4,630 published blog entries means that a person is bound to be burned by a few unnamed sources every once in a while.

            But hey, grift, if you want to lecture me on ethics, that is your prerogative. After all, piety in the blogosphere is what you do best.

                  • Calypso says:

                    I’m just saying don’t let your comments about your piety turn around and bite you in the ass someday, that’s all.

                    I’m unfamiliar with your ongoing spat with Andre other than what I read on your blog linked above.

              • Andre says:

                Yes, grift, how are fortunate are we to have you rapping us on the knuckles whenever we break those sanctimonious blogging rules that you live by.

                I think it is probably time for you to castigate the media once more for rewarding the so-called bad behavior of Matthew Cardinale and myself.

        • David C says:

          If you, you know, read the article as opposed to the excerpt, you find names with inside knowledge:

          “But John Hammarley, who until recently served as Komen’s senior communications adviser and who was charged with managing the public-relations aspects of Komen’s Planned Parenthood grant, said that Williams believed she could not honorably serve in her position once Komen had caved to pressure from the anti-abortion right. “Mollie is one of the most highly respected and ethical people inside the organization, and she felt she couldn’t continue under these conditions,” Hammarley said. “The Komen board of directors are very politically savvy folks, and I think over time they thought if they gave in to the very aggressive propaganda machine of the anti-abortion groups, that the issue would go away. It seemed very shortsighted to me.”

          Hammarley explained that the Planned Parenthood issue had vexed Komen for some time. “About a year ago, a small group of people got together inside the organization to talk about what the options were, what would be the ramifications of staying the course, or of telling our affiliates they can’t fund Planned Parenthood, or something in between.” He went on, “As we looked at the ramifications of ceasing all funding, we felt it would be worse from a practical standpoint, from a public-relations standpoint, and from a mission standpoint. The mission standpoint is, ‘How could we abandon our commitment to the screening work done by Planned Parenthood?'” But the Komen board made the decision despite the recommendation of the organization’s professional staff to keep funding Planned Parenthood.

          Hammarley was laid off by Komen last year as part of a reorganization of the group’s media division, but he says he has no bitter feelings toward the group: “This organization has saved lives and raised consciousness all over the world. It’s an extraordinarily successful story, and I couldn’t find a single bad word to say about its work. But it has had some growing pains in its politics, and we see that with the Planned Parenthood story.”

          He called the controversy over Planned Parenthood funding “a burr in the saddle of Komen, but it withstood the issue for years and years.” Hammarley said the issue became newly urgent after Handel was brought on last year. “The internal debate on a senior level rose in the past eight months or so, coinciding with her hiring.””

  3. bgsmallz says:

    I think you are living in your own bubble if you don’t see the shenanigans involved here by the left and mainstream media. They have every right to disassociate with 16 Planned Parenthood affiliates that are under investigation. Of course, the fact that they haven’t dissociated with 3 PP affiliates that are not under investigation doesn’t matter to the left or the mainstream media. And they haven’t mentioned that the Foundation is going to try to partner with providers that will be able to provide mammograms instead of just breast screenings (which is all that PP offers). But of course, this is going to be a huge blow to women’s health because how dare they try to help fund procedures for women that are more affective at detecting breast cancer instead of funding PP.


    I’ll tell you what I just did. Donated $$ to Komen for the Cure.

      • Engineer says:

        An investigation into Planned Parenthood was launched last year by Rep. Cliff Stearns, chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. They have been so busy with the Solyndra stuff that they haven’t gotten to the stuff on Planned Parenthood yet.

        Also, “Cutting funds to Planned Parenthood is the result of a newly adopted policy to block grants to organizations currently under investigation by any local, state, or federal authorities, Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun told the Associated Press. “

        • David C says:

          Yeah, the Stearns investigation is thought by pretty much everyone to be a witch hunt that’s not going to actually find any information, because it isn’t there. Moreover, Komen can’t seem to figure out whether or not this decision has anything to do with that investigation.


          “Executives of the Susan G. Komen Foundation gave a new explanation Thursday of their decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, but their contradictory statements failed to quell a rising controversy that led several of the organization’s affiliates to openly rebel.

          Komen had said the decision was the result of newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations under investigation — affecting Planned Parenthood because of an inquiry by a Republican congressman.

          On Thursday, Komen President Elizabeth Thompson told reporters that the funding decision was unrelated to the investigation into whether Planned Parenthood was illegally using federal funds to pay for abortions.

          Komen founder Nancy Brinker said the organization wants to support groups that directly provide breast health services, such as mammograms. She noted that Planned Parenthood was providing only mammogram referrals.”

    • apsmith76 says:

      Good lord, this is NOT about taking away the rights of SGK to choose which institutions they affiliate themselves with. It’s about being transparent and not misguiding the public as to your decisions on these matters. If it’s about a stance against funding institutions that counsel pregnant women on abortions or perform abortions, fine. I disagree with that stance, but whatever. But they shouldn’t say it’s about some new policy not to fund institutions under govt investigation when it is clearly not. If it was, why wasn’t its funding to Penn State pulled?

      As I said in the other SGK/PP related thread, the reality is, SGK knew it would be too risky to give the true reasons for pulling the funding, so they lied. Come to find out, though, women of all political stripes will fight for their right to make decisions about their own bodies, and they will fight like hell when they see a trusted, well-respected organization like SGK cave to those who want to take these rights away.

      • Calypso says:

        And since they’ve reversed their decision, it is making it extremely difficult for them to remove their foot from their mouth regarding their given reason to pull funding.

  4. ricstewart says:

    Liberal feminists want you to think for yourself, unless you’re pro-life.
    The villification of Karen Handel by liberal so-called “feminists” has been shocking. According to many commenters on Facebook and Twitter, she’s a C-word because she’s a woman who thinks for herself.

    • Toxic Avenger says:

      Seriously, are you so deluded to think that people are criticizing her for being a “woman who thinks for herself?” There are plenty of pro-life women out there, and “liberal feminists” were well aware she was one of them for quite some time. The reason people are angry is because of the perception that she’s allowing her political beliefs to get in the way of public policy, and therefore that she’s been angling to cut ties between Komen and PP for purely political and ideological reasons. Nobody gives a damn about her personal beliefs.

      • Engineer says:

        Toxic, obviously somebody must care about her personal beliefs or it wouldn’t be an issue, now would it?

        • David C says:

          I would say people give a damn about her personal beliefs insofar as they’ve had an impact on this decision. They aren’t however, slamming her for “not thinking for herself” or because she’s a “pro-life feminist” or whatever other persecution complex is being dreamed up here.

          • Engineer says:

            I personally don’t care one way or the other regarding her stance on the issue, but some people do and apparently care quite strongly.

        • Toxic Avenger says:

          I’d suggest you read what I said. I don’t care her personal views. I care when her personal views politicize a non-profit’s activities. Politics over women’s health is a problem.

          • Engineer says:

            I think you missed the point. Your statement came off sounding like a blanket statement, “Nobody gives a damn about her personal beliefs.” All I did was point out that apparently somebody cared.

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    “Never mind foundation made the decision, not you individually. In fact, have you ever heard of a large, multi-million dollar enterprise being swayed by one vice-president’s opinion? Any, at all?”

    Ever heard of Dick Cheney?

  6. Dave Bearse says:

    Handel is taking it on the chin for Fulton County support of Planned Parenthood, and her seeking the support of teh gays, when she was a Fulton County elected official.

    Handel running for Governor in 2010 is a microcosm of what Romney faces. The GOP base will hue to the imperative of Obama being a one-term President no matter the nominee however, the nominee if elected can’t or won’t even try to deliver (Deal may be an example), and the base will pull the party even more to the right.

  7. David C says:

    And now, the climb down, even as they’re still talking out of their ass:


    “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.

    The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

    Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

    Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

    It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.

    Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.

    We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.”

  8. SallyForth says:

    Sounds like this dust-up generated a bunch of contributions for both organizations. Another case of “say anything, but spell my name right” in action…..

  9. Rick Day says:

    This shift of donation from KFC to PP is the free market at work. The market reacts to news and shifts their buying power based on market shifts. The market spanks those who are evil doers in the eye of the market.

    So why do you hate capitalism again?

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