Will NOW fire its California president?
posted at 12:15 pm on October 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
National NOW President Terry O’Neill tried offering a Monty Python-esque closure to the controversy over the use of the word “whore” in Jerry Brown’s strategy sessions, captured by Brown’s ineptitude in hanging up a phone after leaving a message with an official from the police union. O’Neill said that from now on, anyone using the word “whore” in connection to a female politician should get fired immediately. That stance allowed NOW to continue its hypocritical endorsements of Brown and Alan Grayson, the latter of whom explicitly used the term himself to describe an aide to Ben Bernanke.
Fortunately, O’Neill has a perfect opportunity to put her plan into action:
Last week, the National Organization for Women and the PAC of the California NOW chapter took heat for their endorsement of state Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) over Meg Whitman (R) in the gubernatorial race in the wake of comments by a Brown aide that Whitman was a “whore.” At the time, national NOW President Terry O’Neill said that anyone who “from here on” calls a woman a “whore” should be fired.
She might want to have a talk with California NOW President Parry [sic] Bellasalma, who today told TPM in response to a question that “Meg Whitman could be described as ‘a political whore.’ Yes, that’s an accurate statement.”
TPM Muckraker just confirmed what the Daily Caller had already reported:
Bellasalma said that while calling Whitman a “whore” was a poor choice of words, the description was accurate. “The very troubling issue that is embedded in that call is what prompted the description of Meg as a ‘whore’ is basically that she sold out Californians for an endorsement and a $450,000 independent expenditure campaign,” she said.
Honestly, as I wrote the first time, it’s not a great idea for Whitman to play a victim card in an election. This, however, is different. NOW routinely plays victim cards, and has done so explicitly on this kind of rhetoric. Now they have been “hoist with their own petard,” and should be held accountable to their own standards. Even with O’Neill’s laughable construction, Bellasalma should have her walking papers in hand by the end of the day today.
Will O’Neill fire Bellasalma? Not a chance. Expect NOW to suddenly embrace the “whore” insult as an asexual description of a lack of honor and ethics, which is exactly how it has been meant when used in the political context by all of the people NOW attacked over the years for using the term. And in doing so, they will have completed their performance-art meltdown and the exposure of their own lack of integrity and honesty.
Pass the popcorn, and recall this scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian ( mildly NSFW):
Update: TPM Muckraker has Bellasalma’s first name wrong; it’s Patty, not Parry. It’s a typo, obviously, and they’ll undoubtedly correct it soon, but I appended the [sic] in the excerpt to note the issue.
Update II: The CA NOW presidency is an elected position, so O’Neill can’t fire Bellasalma — but she could call for her to resign. Will she? (via Tammy Bruce)