on what constitutes an ally

from Penny L Richards:

“Vice-president Cheney, by all accounts, loves his daughter Mary–but it doesn’t make the administration in which he serves any friendlier to gay marriage or same-sex parents. And Sarah Palin, by all accounts, loves her little son–but that doesn’t mean the administration in which she’d serve would set any priorities for the equality of people with developmental disabilities.”

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “on what constitutes an ally

  1. And isn’t that too bad?

  2. I don’t think the two situations are equal, for a number of reasons. First of all, Palin had a fetal diagnosis and chose to go through with the pregnancy. That is not the most common decision, and you and I know it. Second, how parents react to threats to their teenage and adult children is very different from how they react to issues involving babies and young children. And third, anti-gay stuff is part of the republican platform, while anti-disability stuff is not (or at least not explicitly). It would damage Cheney’s career to be pro-gay; it is unlikely to damage Palin’s if she makes some moves that are pro-disability.

  3. Jonah, great points!! Definitely goes back to what analogies work and what don’t. I still think the analogy here is relevant but you brought a lot of things to think about.

  4. pennylrichardsca

    Jonah, you may be underestimating the lobbying efforts against issues important to the disability community. There’s strong pressure from the nursing home industry and others against the Community Choice Act; there’s strong pressure from Chambers of Commerce and others against enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act. And on and on. It *would* be a risk for Palin to “make some moves that are pro-disability,” at least if those moves were more than empty rhetoric.

  5. Penny,
    there are some pro-disability moves that would be a minor threat to Palin’s career. There a lot of pro-disability moves that would not be a threat to Palin’s career.
    There are 0 pro-gay moves that would not be a threat to Cheney’s career.

  6. Cheney has a career to worry about?

  7. sanabituranima

    He used to.

  8. Exactly, sanabituranima. So, he’s not going to run for office again–NOW what’s stopping him from at least endorsing a bit of equal rights legislation? Plenty of Republicans are endorsing the No on Prop 8 campaign in Calfornia, for example–including the Governor.

    Palin, on the other hand, has possibly (cough) decades of campaigns and offices ahead. She’s not going to move a muscle against the Republicans on CCA, or anything else.

  9. I see Cheney as more of a gays in the military man — he does like dead gay people, right?

    But with all this White House proximity, there’s always the possibility of a Sarah Palin-Mary Cheney affair, and that might be even scarier than the McCain-Palin ticket!

  10. FeFe

    What is scary is regret. Palin may well change McCain’s view on the CCA. I hope she will get the chance, as we all hope disability issues get on any White House agenda with results.

  11. FeFe,

    What makes you think Palin shares our view on CCA? I haven’t heard her mention anything on Medicaid reform, community inclusion, or de-institutionalization at all.

    I think the real disanalogy here is that crip politics don’t get the same media coverage as Queer issues. I am not trying to set up an oppression pissing contest here, but just observing that crip politics are very much outside of the mainstream when it comes to the topics folks talk about. We are not part of the culture war, we don’t impact the economy in an obvious way, and we don’t have any cash value when it comes to the “scandal” factor. The only way mainstream media will start reporting on ADAPT and CCA is if Bob Kafka somehow found a way to claim that he was having an affair with Sarah Palin.

    In this media environment, Palin can make generalized, vacuous claims about supporting “special needs” kids and not be held accountable to anyone because no one has any idea what such support would even look like! She can get all the political benefit of a charitable sound byte without taking ANY of the risk Cheney would expose himself to if he was a friend to the Queer community (assuming supporting CCA and other policy would involve some degree of political risk). That is, only a small handful of us are even aware enough of these issues to have the ability to call her out.

    Anyway, if (heaven forbid) McCain-Palin find themselves in the White House in January, I hope the very next action ADAPT takes is on Sarah Palin’s doorstep. I will be the first in line to block that door. I wish there was a way we could have tested the strength of her commitment to our community prior to November. At least then, we’d know what we were dealing with.

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