Burch: In a bind(er)

Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

In a tight presidential race, it’s dangerous to alienate American women, since they outnumber men and thus represent the majority of voters. But Mitt Romney has real difficulty talking about women without sticking his oversized foot in his overactive mouth. Now he’s in a real bind over his “binders full of women” blunder.

During their second debate, President Barack Obama challenged Romney on the issue of equal pay for equal work, bringing up the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act, which was the first piece of legislation he signed as president, but which Romney and the Romulans (oops, Republicans) opposed.

Romney attempted to dodge the pay equality issue by claiming that as governor of Massachusetts he proactively requested the resumes of women qualified to join his cabinet. But Romney “didn’t go out looking for those binders,” according to Carol Hardy-Fanta, the former co-chairwoman of the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project. Rather, MassGAP initiated and spearheaded the process before Romney’s election and provided an unsolicited roster of qualified female candidates when he won. In an interview with National Review, Kerry Healey, Romney’s former lieutenant governor, confirmed that the binders in question came from MassGAP.

Fact checkers were also quick to point out that Romney never made a woman a partner during his entire tenure as CEO of Bain Capital, the ultimate rich boys’ club. So it seems Romney was blissfully unaware of the existence of a single qualified executive-level female until MassGAP finally opened his eyes.

According to The Huffington Post, one of Romney’s senior advisers, Ed Gillespie, said that if Romney had been president in 2009, he would not have signed the Lilly Ledbetter bill into law. “Is that leadership?” asked Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, pointing out that if Romney was president, “We wouldn’t have equal pay. I think that’s the point. He doesn’t lift a finger to do anything for women.”

Romney is on record as saying that it’s not his job to worry about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t make enough money to pay federal income taxes. He also seems to have few concerns about the 52 percent of Americans who face rampant pay discrimination in the job market. Does he, perhaps, come off as an elitist male chauvinist oinker because that’s what he is?

Lilly Ledbetter herself hit the nail squarely on the head in her comments reported by the Wall Street Journal: “I think women have gotten the message loud and clear from the other side — how they don’t believe in equal pay for equal work and they don’t believe that we women have the right to say what we should do with our bodies.”

Ledbetter also pointed out that before Roe vs. Wade, many American women bled to death from hemorrhages caused by illegal back alley abortions. While Romney tries to give the impression of being “empathetic” by deigning to allow abortions in cases of rape, incest and a woman’s life being imperiled, where does this leave most teenagers and working mothers who have accidents? Should patriarchal men’s beliefs about invisible gods and soul-infused microscopic cells trump women’s rights over their own bodies?

Ledbetter’s remarks about being “shortchanged” (the perfect word) by Romney, made at the Democratic National Convention are also germane: “Maybe 23 cents [per hour] doesn’t sound like a lot to someone with a Swiss bank account, Cayman Island investments and an IRA worth tens of millions of dollars. But Governor Romney, when we lose 23 cents every hour every day every month, it cannot just be measured in dollars.”

She concluded with: “What began as my own, is now our fight for the fundamental American values that make our country great.” She was, of course, talking about Americans believing in fair play and a level playing field for everyone.

But as President Obama pointed out during the second debate, Romney has a one-point economic plan: let the richest Americans acquire even more of the nation’s wealth and hope that a drop here and there trickles down to burdened masses, with most of those creating the trickles being rich, entitled men and most of the masses being discriminated-against women.

Ledbetter’s speech garnered one of the highest tweets-per-minute ratios during the recent conventions. Romney’s infamous phrase quickly became the third most-searched-for term on Google. So it seems that many American women are paying close attention, and my educated guess is that they are not at all amused by Romney’s blatant alpha male chauvinism.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

157 Comments on this post:

By: MusicCity615 on 10/18/12 at 10:15

An inconvenient truth-



By: MusicCity615 on 10/18/12 at 10:23


By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 3:40

Geezzz... not the war on women crap again.

By: Rasputin72 on 10/19/12 at 3:42

I don't think Obama has as much to worry about as this communist appearing Burch thinks. The one thing I will enjoy about this election is cancelling the vote of Mike Burch with my vote.

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 3:57


By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 4:00

It's hard to turn people out to vote against someone. Burch's best hope is that he might make some people who would have voted for Romney stay home. Which won't matter anyway because Tennessee with all its electors will carry Romney by +12% regardless of his divisive propaganda.

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 4:02

To clarify... Burch's divisive propaganda...

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 4:04

Now what could be driving this?


By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 5:00

Good morning, Nashville.

Another fine missive from Nashville's own Mike Burch...thanks Mike.

I'm still waiting for somebody to ask Mitt why he believes that Israeli women have the right to choose, but American women do not....and why Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state, but the Israeli fetus has no right to life...and why the Hyde Amendment and the Mexico City policy, which prohibit US foreign aid to countries that offer state-sponsored abortion services, do NOT apply to the Jewish State.....Why the double standards, Bishop Romney?

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 5:05

Mitt hasn't given a plan to fix any problems, he just says he is gonna fix them. Also, most of his big money men have financial ties with China.

By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 5:23

Mitt is the Manchurian candidate? Brainwashed by Chinese industrialists?

What sort of a program do Mitt and his Chinese handlers have in mind for America? Will we see factories in the USA that feature razor-wire and guard towers , "to keep people out, not in"?

Are prison factories the solution? Is that where Mitt plans to relocate the 47% who he claims are too lazy to work? Is this Mitt's secret plan to restore prosperity here in America?

By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 5:26

Ben, your 5:04 cites FOX News....unfair & unbalanced reporting should always be viewed with extreme suspicion....FOX provides entertainment and hate speech...not bona fide news....take everything that you see on FOX with a large grain of Kosher salt.

By: govskeptic on 10/19/12 at 5:48

Mike does it again by attempting to over hype another issue that's as
phony as the supposedly London gaff about security for the Olympics.

The President and his partners in the press search for any issue,
worthy or not, to complain and attack Romney in order to keep any
real discussions of this President's sorry record and lack of virtually
any accomplishments out of the news.

Yes, Mrs Ledbetter had a legitimate case and one that was a true
test of unequal pay, which was absolutely wrong. The Court rejected
it because of the time factor in filling. Your source of a supposed
statement by a Romney supporter saying he wouldn't have signed
the bill, means nothing because Mr. Romney took "NO" position when
he was asked about it. If Planned Parenthood and the very left leaning
Huffington Post, a true Re-election partner, is the best you can come up
with for sources on this subject , then that alone should neuter your points.

Making the word "Binders" versus Resumes a big news story shows a
true desperation to drag in the votes of the extremely least informed voters.

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 6:08

Well, Loner,

You can ask Mitt Romney any question you wish in this Presidential race. His interests in his thoughts of Israel is no concern of mine, that's something personal and nobody's business but his.

But if you feel Mitt should be compelled to be asked such a question, may I find it acceptable to ask Barry Soetoro aka Barack Obama a personal question? No.., it isn't a personal question, it's a national question: Why do you refuse to identify yourself to prove you are an American citizen who is Constitutionally eligible to serve in that office?

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 6:12

Well, bfra,

Mitt has at least said he's going to fix them, but Barry hasn't even said he was going to fix them. All he's said is; I need more money. I guess golf and vacations and appearing on TV entertainment shows is costing too much.But he is a good comedian, don't you think?

By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 6:15

Good morning, Govskeptic. I'm disappointed in BHO's performance too; but I don't agree with your comment...you wrote, The President and his partners in the press search for any issue, worthy or not, to complain and attack Romney in order to keep any real discussions of this President's sorry record and lack of virtually
any accomplishments out of the news."

President Obama inherited the Bush Financial Meltdown of 2008...it looked like a major depression was looming....he turned things around, in spite of GOP obstructionism.....the Dow and S&P indexes are considerably higher now than they were when BHO took the oath. New housing starts have rebounded and the unemployment rate is down.

Millions of Americans can now afford health insurance, thanks to "Obamacare".

Obama nailed Osama Bin Laden...Bush & Cheney failed to do so.

Obama got the troops out of Iraq....he followed up and honored the Bush-era SOF agreements.

Obama has kept Bibi Netanyahu in check...at least for now....Obama is the first US President since JFK to reign in the militant Israelis. Bishop Romney, on the other hand is ready for more holy war at Israel's behest....under Romney, the Israeli PM would control the US military.

Considering the alternative, a vote for Obama is the right choice...a vote for Bishop Romney is a vote for more holy war.

By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 6:16


By: Ummm... on 10/19/12 at 6:23

Loner, since you already know I'm a Democratic partisan, you also undoubtedly know that I appreciate your post of 7:15- but thanks, anyway.

With regard to "govskeptic's" post- it would seem he is a victiim of what is known in psychology as "projection." After his candidate's organization tried to make "you didn't build that" the overriding theme of their campaign, based on an entirely bogus interpretation of what the president actually said, one would think he would be ashamed to assert such drivel.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 6:24

(click) (flush)

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 6:29

I doubt you Obama fans would want to read this article about him, but it's one found by the Trinity Church.


By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 6:32


By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 6:34

A man is going to give that "2016" movie Monday evening in the ag center in Smith County and it's open to the public. It's is a facts issue movie about Obama.

I voted yesterday but I'm going to watch it.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 6:37


By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 6:37


As a veteran, how can you support someone as the GIs CIC who refuses to identify himself? Would you want to be recalled to service with a stranger as your CIC?

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 6:43


By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 6:44


By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 6:50


Thanks anyway, Ummm.

By: StephenII on 10/19/12 at 6:59

Mr. Burch... as they say on this site to a poster they disagree with, I say this to your extreme partisan over the top bias speak;


By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 7:08

Stephen, we click to avoid the troll droppings....we have a racist birther trolling this site; we have attempted to reason with the troll, but to no avail....so we ignore his posts, hoping that if we do, he'll seek attention elsewhere....believe me, I personally tried to reason with the troll....it was a total waste of time & energy...his "mind" is closed...he is obsessed with the President's birth certificate....pathetic.

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 7:13

Well stated, StephenII,

They're showing their juvenile dementia. Hopefully you'll mature before November 6.

If Congress allows (which they will) him to usurp that office again, Barry's first effort will be gun control. If we let him, he take will over and we're under control.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 7:20


Numerous posters on this site have tried reasoning with the troll! Wasted words.

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 7:23


You and you fellow patsies are as full of crap as a Christmas turkey by calling me a racist because of the man in office going by the name Barack Obama. You, and your fellow backers are the racist in this group because the only reason you're backing him is simply because of his race. My God, Loner, you don't even know the man's name.

I've given you evidence galore which you ignore. I've asked you question which you can't answer. But I'm a racist?

You're getting some age on you, Loner. You should be mature by now.

And by the way, here is a list of issues that causes due impeachment on Obama:


Try it, you mind not like it.

By: Moonglow1 on 10/19/12 at 7:23

Moonglow1: As a Mormon whose polygamous grandfather fled the United States to seek asylum in Mexico, it is in Mitt Romney's DNA to believe women are good for procreation only. After all, Mormon's are a cult. Notice Mitt had to meet Billy Graham to be "vetted. ". Billy had Mormons identified on his website as a cult. After the meeting, the cult reference was removed.

Of equal importance is the idea of Mitt as a self made businessman. He and Mr Bain received 37 million from a variety of investors (European and South American) to start Bain Capital. All of us "small" business people receive that amount of start up capital: don't we????

By: Rasputin72 on 10/19/12 at 7:26

LONER.............I am surprised at you and your 8:08. Yogi is out there somewhere posting his beliefs. You are just as prolific posting your beliefs. Now here you go giving advice to STEPHEN as though YOGI does not have the same rights of "passage" as you do.

This is the first time that I have encountered a "SIMPLE SIX" cluttered amd "discombobulated" post from you.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 7:27


Moonglow1 - Billy Graham swings any which way the money is.

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 7:29


Prove me wrong and I will readily apologize and change my mind and attitude. But the only thing you have offered me is your thoughts, no facts.

I won't buy Obama until it's proven he's in that office legally... and you can't because he won't.

Excuse me, but in my way of thinking, anyone who is so willing to accept someone as their president and they have no idea who he is shows the lack of a reasonably thinking mind to me.

Got proof on him? Post it.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 7:32

Mitt has no plan. None whatsever because he cannot provide specifics and he will state opposite opinions in the same day. Who would vote for someone who is such a crap shoot? Just out of pure hatred for Obama? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 7:34

Mitt's personality type works as a greedy corporate CEO but that does not translate over to working as an elected official. The residents of Massachusetts can attest to that. Romney's specialty is corporate take overs that lay people off and move jobs to China but fills the coffers of the investors. From an investor standpoint, he's good at what he does. But that's not a good skill set for a president.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 7:37


Blanket - My opinion exactly, Mitt has not outlined 1 plan, he just says he is gonna do this & that, but offers no HOW.

By: govskeptic on 10/19/12 at 7:37

For those that didn't catch the Al Smith dinner on TV in NY last night,
you have missed the best 25 mins or so of political satire of this year!
Al Smith, Jr was the MC and President Obama, Romney, and Cardinal
Dolan all spoke about 6 mins each with some of the greatest and mostly
very funny lines. You can catch it all on C-Span and possibly some of
the cable news videos which covered it as well. Don't just catch a clip
or 1 or 2, but all 4 a must. The Cardinal as funny as the candidates.

Personal favorite from the MC went something like: The President
must be disappointed that Mr. Romney has produced more sons
than he has jobs. Check it out, Chris Matthew's, sitting by the
speaker stand, expressions are only a bonus.

By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 7:39

I read that too, Moonglow...the Billy Graham Crusade had listed Mormonism as a cult for years, but now that a Mormon is running for POTUS as a Republican, Billy Graham and his organization have experienced an epiphany...a sudden change of dogma...why, it must be another miracle! What a phony baloney Billy Graham is....his son is even worse.

I left a comment here yesterday:

It's now buried in a pile of comments.

I tried to show the hypocrisy in this...the Billy Graham organization issued a statement that said that they did not wish to participate in a politicized theological debate.

The very next day, old man Graham took out a full-page ad in the WSJ calling for US support for Zionism in Palestine....the Jewish state thing. Obviously, Billy does like to weigh in on politicized theological issues...the man bears false witness....he has been fully duped by the Israelis, he is a most useful idiot for Zionism.....and he dares to consider himself a US patriot. Putting the national interests of the Jewish state ahead of the national interests of the USA borders on sedition....Graham is a traitor.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 7:40

Mitt stated in one interview that the government doesn't create jobs. Then later he said that he would create thousands of jobs if elected. ????

He has flipped on every issue and his math doesn't add up for the very little that he has revealed of his plans. But he won't address that either!

I'm not completely happy with Obama but I sure as heck won't support a nutbag like Romney!

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 7:40

Blanket - Couldn't find a link, but you can look up Mitts biggest contributors and most have links with business in China, including Mitt. Cheap labor would be my guess.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 7:41

Yes, I saw that, bfra. And all his "charitable contributions" go the the Morman church.

By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 7:48

Rasp, as I said, I tried to reason with the troll, to no avail...he posts here to annoy people, not to find common ground or add to the discourse in a meaningful way...or to expand his horizons....the troll gets his ya-yas off by bugging us...so we (click) to avoid the fecal material....I find no pleasure in shunning the guy...it's to preserve the remaining integrity of this board....if the troll would agree to give the birther thing a rest, permanently, I would consider replying to his "challenges"....but that is never gonna happen...he's obsessed.

By: Moonglow1 on 10/19/12 at 7:50

Moonglow1: Loner-you are so right. Graham is a traitor, but so is Romney. Romney is the front guy for Adelson. Adelson is aligned with Israel and wants war. He also wants the Chinese yuan devalued to help his casinos in Macau.

The poor schmucks voting for Romney. They actually believe he will help the middle class. He is for a global world order: one controlled by the 1 percent. Anyone not Mormon or Israeli earning less that 20-30 mil is sh#t out of luck under a Romney administration.

By: Moonglow1 on 10/19/12 at 7:54

Moonglow1: P. S. And the Teas have successfully promoted the following narrative that resonates down south: anyone but a black guy in the white house. This is the way the religious right plays ball. They will hold their nose and go with a Mormon. What fakes! And Billy Graham is one of the worst.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 7:56

Romney supported the Vietnam war but evaded the draft through 4 special Mormon deferments


By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 7:58

When Mitt attended a fund-raiser in Israe this year, hosted by Sheldon Adelson, every voter in America should have smelled a rat.....or two. Apparently, Americans have lost their sense of smell.

The Republicans have no problem with a candidate for US President raising cash in a foreign state...as long as it's a Republican candidate and the foreign country is Israel...actually, the Democrats are not really screaming about that stunt...they may wish to exercise that option themselves in 2016...the filthy scumbags...like I said, Congress is completely on the take...check it out:


BTW, if a candidate for the Israeli Knesset was found to have accepted a single dime from a US lobby or PAC, it would be a major scandal in the Jewish state...they bribe us, we don't bribe them....that's the "special" part in the "special relationship".

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 7:58

I owe you an apology, StephenII. I made the comment "you'll mature". I meant They'll mature.., but I doubt it until they learn who their man is..