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Please begin with an informative title:

The Susan G. Komen Foundation's problem didn't just start this week;
criticisms have been growing for some time.
 
Well, that didn't take long. For years there has been a coordinated campaign among the right to defund Planned Parenthood, to subject it to as many spurious new "requirements" and "investigations" as it possibly can, and to attack any group that associated itself with it, even in the most marginal ways. This included the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which gave Planned Parenthood money and was therefore deemed unclean.

But it took only about two days for those very same conservative figures to declare that the blistering public outrage against the Komen Foundation for caving in to those demands (mind you, there was precious little pressure involved with the "cave," as the shift appears to be mostly due to the group's own ideological stances) was itself "gangsterism" and the like. In other words, and as usual, it's conservatives who are the real victims here.

A multi-year concerted effort to shut down a nonprofit for ideological reasons, one even pursued in the halls of Congress: not just fine, but applauded. A pushback against said partisan efforts? Tyranny! Villainy! Oppression!

It's not a made-up sentiment: I'm quite convinced they genuinely feel that way. Their larger premise is, after all, that all non-conservative positions are inherently invalid, therefore any actions you might take to sabotage something non-conservative are inherently legitimate. Merely criticizing those conservative moves, however, are not. It's entirely directional, you see.

More below the fold.

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Nobody is arguing that the Komen Foundation doesn't have the right to turn themselves into an anti-stem-cell-research, anti-environmentalism, anti-Planned-Parenthood outfit. We may think it a poor fit with the whole supposed "fighting cancer" premise, but what the hell: The landscape is dotted with prominent nonprofits that actually do very little in support of their supposed core mission, so one more hardly makes a dent.

But people absolutely have the right to judge those nonprofits. You know, like Planned Parenthood is continually judged, because they help even low-income women get birth control and yes, on occasion, abortions. Komen picked sides in a very vicious ongoing fight; now, in a move that should surprise nobody but is apparently surprising an entire half of the political spectrum, their own past supporters are picking sides too. That's hardly victimization, and to paint people withdrawing from funding Komen in order to fund other groups as being some sort of thuggery, while at the very same time praising efforts to shutdown other nonprofit groups entirely—now that's just idiotic.

Yes, if you turn a nonprofit endeavor into a ideological fight, you're going to get an ideological fight in return. Yes, when you spend a decade or more trying to defund nonprofit groups whose goals you disagree with, it may (shockingly!) turn out that other people also have an interest in supporting only groups that better match their own beliefs. There are plenty of groups that raise money to fight cancer; what Komen has going for it is a branding juggernaut, but no actual expertise or infrastructure that isn't perhaps done better elsewhere. They are their brand. If they foul up their brand by turning it political, that's their decision—and their problem.

This victimization routine, however, is so commonplace as to have become rote. Pointing out the vastly increased gap between the welfare of the very rich and very poor over the last 40 years couldn't possibly be valid criticism: No, it's class warfare against the rich. Maintaining the same balance between church and state as the founders themselves wrote about as essential; that's an attack on religion. And let's not even get started on how oppressed conservative white guys are. According to deep thinkers like Rush Limbaugh and the Fox brain trust, conservative white guys are the most discriminated-against people on the planet.

Goal Thermometer
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Note how hardcoded these conservatives are towards the presumption of victimization. Any pushback at all is immediately considered thuggery, no matter how it might pale in scope to the original thing it was pushing back against. It's just wired in, somehow: If you are a conservative, then part and parcel of that is believing that the whole world is out to oppress you. It might be Agenda 21, or climate scientists, or atheists, or gay people, or black people, but the common thread is abject fear over the possibility of someone out there treating conservatives exactly like conservatives treat them.

I'll agree: In this case, the widespread public blowback against the Komen Foundation has been severe, and will likely continue to be severe. They have irreparably associated their well-honed brand with angoing, bitter ideological fight, and they have chosen sides on that fight. They may not be able to recover. But it's hardly thuggery for people to take their money elsewhere as a result. We're not demanding Congress shut them down, or vowing to have public hearings on Capitol Hill, or any of those other now-commonplace tactics. People are just vowing to donate to other groups instead. It's a free country, right?

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