KEITH OLBERMANN: And now, as promised, a brief Special Comment on the resignation of Karen Handel from Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
There is no avoiding the simple fact that a week had passed since Ms. Handel decided that the Komen organization should collaborate with the witch hunt that the nation’s right wing has directed against Planned Parenthood. In the time until Ms. Handel’s exit this morning, Komen’s only real actions had been a mealymouthed partial reversal about a rule change it had first denied, a new-new policy to replace the new policy – a spineless convenience by which Komen has still not really committed to continuing its funding of Planned Parenthood and, perhaps more importantly, by which it has not committed to staying out of this dangerous, ideological game which will kill some freedoms and which could kill some women.
Komen could not do that by itself, of course.
If it never gave another dollar to Planned Parenthood, it would be doing the latter organization a fundraising favor, because it has raised the consciousness of many to whom the reality was not yet clear, that one of vote-getting machines in this country was zeroing in on Planned Parenthood as the scapegoat for all the evils which that vote-getting machine exaggerates – to whip up paranoia and political power among the easily led of this nation. Those who were thus awakened will find – or rather, fund – Planned Parenthood in ways Komen never has, and never could.
But the real issue here is the Komen organization’s attempt to hide its new partnership with that most base of political advocacy groups – the guttersnipe purveyors of hate, and fear and revenge fantasies – by couching as apolitical the most intense kind of political involvement; the willingness to participate in guilt by association; to echo the infamous call of investigation; to shun affiliation with a group or an individual purely to amplify suspicion and doubt and paranoia about that group or individual.
All of the dark periods of American history have begun with acts like Komen’s and excuses like Komen’s.
Planned Parenthood’s extraordinary services for men and women – 97 percent of which have had nothing to do with abortion – were to Komen’s advantage, until one Florida congressman decided to try to get himself re-elected by launching a specious investigation of Planned Parenthood.
And recall what we’re dealing with. Planned Parenthood’s opponents will believe anything and say anything. Remember well that tragic, comical story from yesterday about the Louisiana congressman who posted to Facebook, with horrified comments accompanying it, the story of an $8 billion Planned Parenthood “Abortion-Plex” being built in Kansas, without ever noting – perhaps without even caring – that the story was, in fact, from the satirical website The Onion. These are the people with whom Susan G. Komen for the Cure got into bed.
Ms. Handel’s resignation changes nothing of this. Komen’s statement today continues to lie about its own motives, to insist its attack on Planned Parenthood was, “Not based on anyone’s political beliefs or ideology,” and to speak only of, “Mistakes in how we have handled recent decisions.”
Komen – specifically its president, Susan Komen’s own sister Nancy Brinker – has still not told the truth nor explained how she will again make this organization worthy of the donations from, and participation in and by, the women and men of this country who had put women’s health and valuable organizations like Komen and Planned Parenthood above politics.
Mrs. Brinker has dishonored both her sister’s memory and this essential cause. Until she acts, either by correcting what she acquiesced to, or by leaving the organization to somebody who truly cares, until she does one or the other – since are a thousand generous organizations which perform what Komen performs – Komen does not deserve a dollar in donations from a shocked public. Karen Handel is gone. Komen’s corruption remains.