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: bfra on 10/19/12 at 7:58

Loner - Raspy doesn't add anything but his "pie-n-the-sky" dreams like he thinks everyone believes. Blanket & Nemo have him pegged! He can't keep his stories straight. Phoney

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 8:00

bfra, the "private club" he refers to is a lounge area in his building and the "dress code" means you can't wander around in your robe and Depends.

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 8:00

Tell me, B2, what plans has Barry issued? He's had four years and doesn't seem to be able to come up with one yet. The only thing I can see is to borrow more money.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 8:02

Blanket - When a fake can't even remember from one comment to the next what he has posted, that is a dead giveaway.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 8:02


By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 8:02

Yeah, he's not even good at faking. LOL

By: Loner on 10/19/12 at 8:04

That's right, Bn...and now John McCain is asking veterans to vote for the Vietnam War draft-dodger....McCain has forgiven Romney...but he still hates Jane Fonda and those Americans who fled to Canada to avoid the draft....and he still hates the anti-war protesters...but he HAS forgiven Mitt Romney, the Mormon chickenshit.

Mitt's father and grandfather never served and none of his five sons have served....but Senator McCain still thinks that Mitt is Commander-In-Chief material....McCain will do anything to see that black guy thrown out of office.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 8:06

I'm really disappointed with McCain. Years ago I respected the guy but not these days.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 8:07

See, Mitt doesn't mind sending "the little people" to war. He and his ilk will never serve so the loss of life means nothing to them. It's simply a global chess game and rearranging of wealth.

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 8:10


In your 0715 post you stated Obama inherited Bush's debt. To remind you, Loner, all Presidents inherit the prior president's responsibilities when they enter office.

But Barry was an exception on that issue. He's put us deeper into debt than all presidents before him combined... in one term. Great start, huh? If he's allowed to stay in office, how deep will your great-great-grandchildren be in debt?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 8:11

Bush inherited a surplus from Clinton's two terms.

By: yogiman on 10/19/12 at 8:12


You state Romney's front runner is Adelson. Is he worse than Barry front runner Soro?

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 8:15

Mittens absolutely nailed it at the Al Smith dinner. Looked like Reagan up there.


By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 8:15

(click) (flush)

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 8:20

Ben - Well that should be a slap in the face for Mitt.

By: Ummm... on 10/19/12 at 8:28

Little Bennie is soooo obsessed with his idol, Ronnie Raygun (the grade-B actor who traded arms for hostages). I bet even Ronnie could have pronounced "Clinton" like a normal human being instead of "Clin-ton" the way the Romneybot did.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 8:32

Ummm - So true & I won't mention what Nancy was.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:00

Lets us get something straight Stephenll , the good people on this sites does not (click) ( Flush) or (fail) to everyone they disagree with. It i only trolls that we have found the off switch the most effected measure to dealing with stupid and ignorant babel for four very lonely people; yogiman, budlight, parnell3 and the self important Rasputin (who lives at the Mission nut shelter.

Now I hope this clears thing up for you. Ask BenDover, gov. or BigPapa.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 9:04

At the top of the list is yogi. He adds nothing to the topic discussion! He has been repeating the same thing 24/7 ever since he started on this board. Nemo, why ask Ben, he is yogi's twin?

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:06

btw (Flush)for all of the troll I've missed. :-)

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:09

Ben and I have interesting conversations. I thinks he is a very nice guy, even if he his fickle. lol

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 9:13

Having been the first (click)er I approve Stephnll's assessment of Burch's yammering on again about Mittens. It's getting as tedious as a cut-and-paste birther rant ever has been; and no doubt is an act of self-aggrandizing among largely an audience of fellow Romney bashers who wished they had someone to vote FOR instead of having to hype up a boogie man to vote against.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:13

I am taking a break on the island Rest Area coming back from Atlanta. The leave are starting to turn here and I am going to look about for a nice photo-op.

By: brrrrk on 10/19/12 at 9:14

For me the most telling line in the debate regarding Mitt's attitude towards women is this.....

"But number two, because I recognized that if you're going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible."

The operative word in this sentence is IF...... this is a man who clearly still questions women in the workplace.

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 9:14

Thanks Nemo... love you too brother.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:15

(oh click ) Ben. :-P

By: slacker on 10/19/12 at 9:15

Good morning ladies & geraniums.
Who knew the word binder was insulting to the womenfolk?

Poor Mitt is taking it on the chin from you guys this morning.
I can understand how the new Gallup poll would upset an Obama supporter.

I'm thinking Romneys gonna win this election, and drive Burch to craft a poem containing the words ''binder'' and ''Nantucket.''

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 9:17

Nemo - I was in Atlanta last week end, around Red Top Mt., it was beautiful. Do you ever stop at the Outlet Mall on the rt. coming back? They have some teriffic stores & prices. Can't remember the exit #.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:17

Any time Ben and be good to the CRV of yours.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 9:21

slacker - Polls are as superficial as Romney!

By: slacker on 10/19/12 at 9:31

bfra, I agree its not over. Were you offended when Romney said binder instead of resume?

By: Rasputin72 on 10/19/12 at 9:31

NEMO, Were it not for you and the other five members of the "SIMPLE SIX" this board would be exempt of "trolls"

This is very sad because as you know I am a humanitarian of the highest order. I go to Goodwill about once a month either in Florida or in Nashville and drop off some things that Obama does not furnish the people like you or almost like you.

By: slacker on 10/19/12 at 9:35

May I look at your binders Ms Smith?
Ms Smith.. your large binders are outstanding, you have the job.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 9:35

Raspy - I must say, you are good for a laugh!

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 9:37

slacker - Everything Romney says offends me. He is as I said, so superficial, I don't understand why anyone can't see thru his hype

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:46

Rasputin; when you scream my name in print, it only show me that I have pushed another one of the truth nerves. I'm sure you do go to the Goodwill to get clothes and other hand outs.

As for you being a humanitarian...It is hard for me to take you at your word since your song and dance routine the other day. You can't seem to keep your word or your lies straight.

As for the trolls on this sight, there are only four, which puts you in the same category with yogi. Now go boast about that.

By: slacker on 10/19/12 at 9:47

Rasp was at Goodwill this morning, looking for a heavy coat, and one of those Rockey The Squirrel hats, with the ear flaps.
These Nashville nights & mornings, are getting chilly for Rasp.

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 9:48

"I'm thinking Romneys gonna win this election, and drive Burch to craft a poem containing the words ''binder'' and ''Nantucket.''

funny slack... did you watch the Al Smith video?

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 9:50

"Everything Romney says offends me. He is as I said, so superficial, I don't understand why anyone can't see thru his hype"

A clinical explanation might conclude that this has more to do with you than what Romney says, bfra.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:50

Are you one of the simple 6 slacker? It so you can't be one of lair four.

By: slacker on 10/19/12 at 9:51

Ben I did. I'm thinking Dennis Miller & Jon Stewart, wrote their material.
Funny stuff.

By: slacker on 10/19/12 at 9:55

Nemo, I'm one of the ''Magnificent Seven'' I miss Yul & Steve.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:57

Back on the road for me. I'll see if I can find some used cloths for Rasputin on the roadside big enough to cover his inflated ego.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 9:59

Ben - It has to do with Romney's flip flopping. Depends on what choir (voters) he is playing to at the time. He offers NO plans for anything he says he is going to do.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 9:59

Me too and that is still one of my favorite movies. Wish I was home so I could pull up the sound tract.

By: Captain Nemo on 10/19/12 at 10:01

That sounds a lot like Rasputin you are talking about brfa. Not Romney.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 10/19/12 at 10:03

The polls are meaningless. It depends on who wins the swing states. I saw on the news this morning that if Obama wins IA, WI and OH, he can lose all the other swing states and still win.

By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 10:03

Nemo - Romney, unlike Raspy has money, so he doesn't have to pretend about that.

By: BenDover on 10/19/12 at 10:03

Here's a little deficit information to help contribute to everyone's level of excitement about pulling that lever FOR Obama.


By: bfra on 10/19/12 at 10:04

slacker - Can you ride a horse & shoot at the same time? LOL