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Tarnished Gillibrand

by on August 28, 2012

Oh, right: Kirsten Gillibrand. If you remember New York’s less camera-addicted senator without pondering, please remember that being in a body cast constitutes a perfectly acceptable reason to ask someone to turn off C-SPAN. You may have forgotten that she was a politician or that she existed, either of which is entirely excusable based on her accomplishments. What accomplishments? Exactly.

What scintillation is she up to now? Gillibrand has rolled out a suitably dull site that purportedly encourages females to become involved in politics. In terms of being at an issue’s vanguard, she may as well come out in favor of letting women get driver’s licenses.

Such a prosaic online document distracts from her tendency to conflate “women’s rights” with unlimited subsidized birth control and abortion. Even worse, she demonstrates how little she thinks of her fellow ladies by trying to disguise a campaign donation page as a site encouraging them to care about politics. She must think her fellow gals are pretty boring to find her pitch exciting:

On an MSNBC program yesterday, Democratic senator Kirsten Gillbrand promoted her website OffTheSidelines.org as a bipartisan pro-women-in-politics campaign, even though the website looks to be nothing more than a front for her own reelection campaign in New York. This isn’t the first time, however, that Gillibrand has represented the site as something innocuous and nonpartisan rather than a fundraising effort.

Last year, in fact, the Buffalo News first reported that OffTheSidelines “blended” women’s rights activism with campaign cash.

There’s apparently no better way to further the cause of women in politics than by donating to this particular woman in politics. Perhaps her campaign staff concluded that the best way to get her gender interested would be with a sports reference. Get in the game, girls! Or perhaps they’re just not very good. Either way, give them credit for being sneaky frauds:

Then there’s the “contribute” button — where every dollar women contribute goes not to any independent organization called OffTheSidelines.org, but to Gillibrand’s 2012 re-election campaign.

That last fact leaves advocates of good government thinking that Gillibrand has taken what her supporters call a noble and necessary cause — women’s rights — and converted it into yet another political fundraising opportunity.

Well, what could be more important to women’s rights than re-electing a wholly unremarkable and entirely predictable junior senator? She could be replaced at votes by an intern who is capable of remembering to obey Barack Obama’s wishes. She’s Chuck Schumer without the obnoxiousness, although her positions are identically woeful.

Gillibrand is most memorable for having done nothing memorable. Casual observers must check to see if her name is “Kirsten,” “Kristen,” or “Kristin.” For such an allegedly ambitious leader, the real-life Tracy Flick has no goal other than re-election.

A cushy government job is its own reward. Her uninspiring work record indicates that she isn’t out to lead so much as she is to stay out of the private sector for six more years.

Can’t we get a race here? The desire for a competitive Senate contest goes beyond being a conservative or liberal: everyone should want a clear choice. New York Republicans could hope to perform as well as they did in 2010’s House elections and increase their share from virtually nothing to slightly more than virtually nothing, although they didn’t have as much luck replacing Gillibrand in the upper chamber.

This time, Wendy Long will hopefully offer a genuine alternative to the incumbent’s bland standard. The challenger should start her own site encouraging those sick of Gillibrand’s paint-by-numbers liberalism to get “off the sidelines,” to borrow a recently-used phrase.

The recent inability to offer a credible challenge to the New York Democratic Senate lock is a shame, as being putzes offers evidence that Republicans wouldn’t bother anyone after being elected. Incompetence beats focused meddling in the sole case of politics.

But at least Gillibrand’s chicanery is a nice change of pace from her usual invisibility. The devious site is also the only time she’s supported a policy that raises money. Just remember to enter your credit card number with no spaces or dashes. And, as tempting as it is, click the submit button on her sad “Yay for women!”/campaign donation page only once.

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