Wednesday, September 5, 2012

When is an Interest Group Not an Interest Group?

    The Twitter feed of the Democratic Convention tweeted this item this week, recalling a quote by Barack Obama from an April speech at the ironically titled "White House Forum on Women in the Economy":
At the forum, surrounded by women, the president went on to say (via The Hill):
“I want to make sure that every agency across my administration considers the needs of women and girls in every decision they make,” Obama said. “There’s been a lot of talk about women and women’s issues lately, as there should be, but I think the conversation has been oversimplified. Women are not some monolithic voting bloc, women are not an interest group, you shouldn’t be treated that way. Women are over half of this country and this workforce.”
As if those words and actions were not self-contradictory enough, clicking "Groups" on the website of the Obama campaign brings up the following:

Let's see: "Supporters organizing around the issues they care about" versus the Answers.com definition of an "interest group": "A group of persons working on behalf of or strongly supporting a particular cause, such as an item of legislation, an industry, or a special segment of society."  So women aren't an interest group, yet the Obama campaign strongly suggests women join... an interest group for women!  I wonder if the Obama campaign sees its other groups as "oversimplified" and "monolithic voting blocs", or if they aren't interest groups either?

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