"I know not everyone here likes it when I talk this way, but the truth is that fear and intimidation are an important part of the American political process. The right understands this, but the left is inclined to bring tote-bags to gun fights. If Komen can be completely and utterly destroyed or humiliated here, the next right-wing group that wants to fuck with women’s health will think twice."

DougJarvus@BalloonJuice, discussing ways to boycott and/or encourage others to drop support for Komen.  

I don’t know that “utterly destroying” Komen is the optimal choice here, but the fact remains that Doug’s broader point is right.  The same thing happened during the Gore-Bush campaign.  The Gore campaign tried to keep it clean, and Gore got creamed in the media.  His predecessor, Clinton, understood this dynamic, and it’s part of the reason he was (and is) a successful politician that ended his Presidency still relatively popular; even despite impeachment proceedings and perjury accusations.  It’s also the reason why prior to Clinton, Democrats lost 5 out of 6 presidential elections.

There’s a strong case to be made that Obama’s 2008 campaign disproves the notion that fear and intimidation are necessary to affect political change.  But from a historical standpoint, Obama’s campaign was exceptional.  He was also running against a very unpopular GOP ex-incumbent, and McCain’s almost comically mismanaged presidential campaign, both of which may have helped his victory.  

As uncomfortable as it may be, there are situations in American politics where it doesn’t pay to be nice.  Recognizing those situations for what they are can mean the difference between protecting someone’s (or some group’s) rights and being made to suffer the absence thereof.  That doesn’t mean we need to run commercials accusing adversaries of denying kosher food to holocaust survivors.  But shaming a large institution and applying economic pressure on them to send a message is something right-leaning groups are very familiar with (see the American Muslim/Lowe’s controversy).

(via letterstomycountry)

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