Saturday, September 19, 2015

Special interest

Proposed design for the Harriet Tubman sawbuck via Kos.
Zandar points out the irony of Carly Fiorina using a "feminist" argument to weigh in against putting a woman's portrait on the ten-dollar bill:
Each candidate was asked who he or she would put on the $10 bill. President Obama's administration announced that a woman would appear on the $10 bill, currently the note of Alexander Hamilton. 
"I wouldn't change the $10 bill or the $20 bill. I think honestly it's a gesture. Don't think it helps to change our history. What I would think is we ought to recognize that women are not a special interest group," Fiorina said. "Women are the majority of this nation. We are half the potential of this nation. And this nation will be better off when every woman has the opportunity to live the life she chooses."

That's a nice sentiment.  Too bad that Fiorina wants to take a number of choices away from women involving their own bodies, their careers, and their families, and has to lie about it in order to try to get there, as Vox's Sarah Kliff points out.

In a comment, I added that it was worse than just ironic:

Nobody to the left of Mitt Romney ever referred to women as a "special interest group". Or nonmajorities such as black people, or union members, or people with school-age children either. A special interest group is a tiny bunch of people who want something that conflicts with the needs of the people as a whole: from sugar barons in the 1890s calling for a rise in the sugar tariff, to raise their profits at the price of making people pay more for sugar; to pure wealth barons right now calling for a permanent end to the inheritance tax, at the price of cutting government's ability to serve the population as a whole or else getting more revenue from the huge majority who have to earn their living. The point of putting the face of a woman on the $10-dollar bill is specifically to emphasize that women are not a special interest group but an integral part of society, whose interests coincide with those of society as a whole. This is why people of color should be represented on the currency as well. So people don't think that (white male) bankers like Hamilton and (white male) slavers like Jackson are the real nation and everybody else is a parasite.

Movement conservatives turn that around, referring to ordinary people as "special interests" and then whining that you shouldn't talk at all about bankers or slavers, or you're fomenting class war. People like Fiorina add another twist when they argue that asking to see the face of Sojourner Truth or Jeannette Rankin on the ten is creating and reinforcing the "special interest group" they're complaining about.

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