What’s the Hullabaloo about?

In this case, the reference is to the very popular blog by Digby, aka Heather Parton. On April, 16, 2012, Democratic Perspective was pleased to host the author who has a following of more than 166,000 clicks a week.

When asked about the origins of her success, Heather responded that she created Hullabaloo at “a fertile time for writing on the Internet. It followed the 2000 election that had a dubious outcome and 9/11,” she said. “I had been writing on some very liberal blogs and was encouraged to start my own.”

Heather said she thinks her interest in politics began early. “I grew up in a very political family that was extremely conservative,” she stated. “Obviously, I went the other direction.”

Turning to current events, we asked if she feels there really is a War on Women. Parton responded, “Yes, but I don’t know how it came about. The term is pretty organic in origin. It comes from the wide range of activities to restrict women’s freedom.  I think it’s a designed plan. There are more than 1,000 bills in the works to deny abortion, contraception, even to repeal the Lily Ledbetter Act guaranteeing equal pay for women.”

In discussing Republican attempts to restrict contraception, Parton said, “It goes back to the Griswold v. Connecticut decision that the right calls the ‘original sin.’ The right is very strategic. They work in increments and play the long game.”

“In 2010, it began with the election of Tea Partiers. The first thing they did is to put forward social conservative bills to restrict the rights of women. It seems that extreme social conservatives rebranded themselves as the Tea Party,” she said. “Arizona has gone further than anyone else. They have labeled abortion illegal before conception!”

“The Tea Party is hypocritical,” said Parton. “They ran on anti-government economic issues then went after contraception and abortion. But I think they dramatically overstepped. Most people are saying ‘What are they doing with this contraception stuff?’”

“They rushed contraception out of the blue,” she continued. “They didn’t realize how it would play. But they’re willing to lose a lot before they win. It legitimizes the debate and keeps it on the table. Contraception makes the abortion debate a place where compromise might happen.”

This strategy works because, as Heather commented, “The Left is willing to compromise anything.” At the same time, “The right wing is at a peak of crazy and power,” said Parton.

“Handing the contraception issue to employers has strange tinges of slavery,” Parton alleged. “Women can’t have freedom without reproductive rights. We can’t have a first class economy. We couldn’t have careers. We couldn’t go to college.” She went on to say that restricting contraception it would affect the whole family. “With the way the world is, men can’t support a family on their own anymore.”

When asked about CNN contributor Hillary Rosen’s recent statement criticizing Ann Romney as “having never worked a day in her life,” Parton responded, “Her quote was taken out of context. It wasn’t a smart way to put things. It happens every time. Someone foolishly puts things and it’s turned against us.”

“Ann Romney is a political wife. She cannot relate to average American women,” said Parton. “If Mitt needs his wife to interpret (them) for him, he should not be President of the United States. If you’re a rich person and you’re talking about cutting capital gains, increasing inheritance and cutting corporate taxes, you can’t relate to most people. These are not things that will help most people.”

We ended by asking Parton about Romney’s off-the-record comments at a recent fundraiser, in which he was overheard saying “I’m going to say a lot of things that aren’t true. I’m going to eliminate (all of these departments, etc.).  But I can’t run on that.”
She simply responded, “It’s on my blog this morning.”

You can find her blog at http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/. Also, Heather Parton recommended reading “The Reactionary Mind” by Corey Robbins.

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