Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, April 13, 2007

Progressives, Liberal Feminists and The Pill

A little over a week ago, COLAB's Andy Caldwell published an opinion piece in the Santa Maria Times about the Building Blocks of a Moral Society. he made a few assertions but this one might have been the most provocative:

...many progressive organizations and communities are dominated by liberal feminists.

He goes on to talk about the emasculation of men which many of us feminists don't think possible considering that men still make more money than women and hold more power -- despite the incredible gains made over the last 20 years. If that didn't turn feminists off to his message, the following probably did:

My impression of progressives is to categorize them as liberals who think the ‘60s revolution was the greatest thing created since the pill. But since the pill was created in the 1960s, that may not be the best analogy, but hey, you get the picture!

The Santa Maria Times, to their credit, allowed a retort to their weekly columnist from Deborah Brasket. She's one of those feminists with SBCAN that are a bit too uppity for Caldwell's North County. Here's part of what she had to say:

Yet look at the example this “male leader” is setting for our young men - marking his territory, the North County, and challenging those who dare enter his turf, personally attacking those who are not part of his conservative group, continually harassing a woman - me - to debate him in public when I have politely and firmly told him I'm not interested, unwillingness to take “no” as an answer, going after his opponents' funders when he can't get what he wants, resorting to insults, name-calling and divisive words when he doesn't get his way.

I think there is plenty of room under the tent for both conservatives and liberals in Santa Barbara County. If Caldwell wanted to grow his organization at all -- he might have considered that. Brasket, for her part, did much to create new members for SBCAN in North County. Good for her for seeing the opportunity and running with it. Why are conservatives so afraid of people that aren't afraid to use the L-word?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for Brasket for standing up to Caldwell's sexist, mean-spirited tirades....about time someone put him in his place.

4/13/2007 10:32 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

Sara I beleive that it is a stretch in your first sentence of your last paragraph. I can always appreciate a conciliatory tone, however, if it isn't Caldwell's intent to keep women barefoot and pregnant, then I don't know what his intent is. Perhaps it is simply to keep women from taking to the bench or the podium.

4/13/2007 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

Santa Maria Times did not "allow" a retort. Brasket and allies have a regular column entitled Looking Forward, which has been running for nearly three years in Santa Maria Times and its clone, Lompoc Record.

Those newspapers practice a concept called fair and balanced opining....

North County is becoming more politically moderate and the Liberal Progressives are gaining traction. Andy the COLAB accordingly is freaking out about it, and it shows.

4/13/2007 11:13 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

valerio -- you are right. My intention was to show the balanced opined...

donaldo -- I knew this would come up! Caldwell is clearly an extremist -- and there is room.

4/14/2007 12:09 AM  
Anonymous observing said...

"I think there is plenty of room under the tent for both conservatives and liberals in Santa Barbara County."

Unfortunately this has not been the case lately for conservatives in southern SB County. However,a groundswell is building quietly. SB City currently has a very mean-spirited and ugly tone. But it will be changing.

4/14/2007 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to hear both sides have a say in the north county. Brasket's opine was encouraging. Does anyone know what is happening with Planned Parenthood here?

4/14/2007 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Bobby Joe said...

I totally agree with Andy. Progressive women are punks! If the 60s hadn’t happened, women would know their places.
None of this women’s lib stuff would be anywheres!
Up her in the north county, we like our women barefoot and pregnant. Me and my sister are gonna have a baby..we’re soooo happy!
And we don’t take no hippie type drugs..we just stick to beer. After two six packs I swear I can see God! We need to put God back in our lives, especially these liberal types..all they do is sin..they’re immoral! But God will get them..Hey Andy..say “hey” to Willie for me!

4/14/2007 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Liberal observing said...

Just what is a "conservative" groundwell going to be in southern SB County?

Private gain with the external costs then born by the public, such as urban development that increases traffic and pollution and spoils the views, among other impacts?

Insults based on ethnicity and gender, with women best kept barefoot and pregnant?

Deficit spending by government?

Condoning an addiction to a desperate work force of illegal aliens to boost personal profit?

Slavery to the automobile?

Are these the "conservative" values that are building quietly in this groundswell?

4/14/2007 10:44 AM  
Anonymous North County Progressive said...

"North County is being invaded and infiltrated by a group of progressive activists" AC commentary


I have heard of this Caldwell fellow, but only recently read some of his opinions. He seems to have a screw loose somewhere & certainly an axe to grind (a bitter & paranoid one at that) which seems to overpower his ability to write a coherent argument.

4/14/2007 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Andy Caldwell had a brief career in the agricultural products processing industry. When his company went out of business, he lost his job. Ever since he has blamed the foreshortening of his career on government regulations and he has not held a job in a real wealth producing business since then. He has spent the balance of his productive years as a paid political lobbiest and in that role has become notorious for his shrill and hyperbolic rhetoric, his mean-spirited barbs, and his wry, sardonic, and sarcastic wit. Despite the fact that the majority of the Board of Supervisors has been aligned with his political ideology for a long time now, he continues to rise to podium like Jeremiah to warn of the impending collapse of the market economy and the erosion of the moral fiber of our society. It is necessary for him to continually manufacture the illusion of imminent danger in order for him to show the dues-paying members of COLAB that he continues to provide value to them by protecting them from the depredations of government. He appears to be chronically unhappy, dissatisfied, angry, and resentful. It must be sad to be him.

4/14/2007 12:07 PM  
Anonymous fieldworker (yabbadabba'd) said...

Caldwell built his whole career by picking on women and funneling misogyny into his political causes. He's not universally admired up here. One of these days he's going to hurt someone too much, step too far and get some blowback, a taste of his own medicine so-to-speak. And the fact is, COLAB is a very small group of people who keep their identities hidden for good reason. When the public gets a look behind the curtain at the dubious characteristics of these people, drunken swervedrivers like YABBADABBA will fit into a much uglier pattern. Once the worm turns for Andy, it will be very entertaining to "follow the money" and see who he really has been representing.

4/14/2007 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are being very unfair in the way you spun the excerpts from Andy Caldwell's column!

Caldwell's main point was the effect of the 60's revolution upon our society and how progressives, who so value that revolution, will never be able to come to grips with the effect of fatherlessness as it serves to create gang bangers and other societal ills.

Why were you so dishonest in how you summarized his column in your blog? You took the most offensive things he wrote out of context to marginilize him. Isn't that what you accuse Travis of doing?

4/15/2007 4:49 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

My post was't about the content of the opinion piece -- that is his opinion, which he is entitled to, even though I believe concern about fatherhless is not solely the purview of conservatives at all and has little to do with the 60s.

The post, much like my concerns with Armstrong, has to do with how the opinion was expressed. That isn't being dishonest -- especially when there is a clear link from which anyone can read the article for themselves.

4/15/2007 6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why does the link to Andy's column take me to Deborah's retort? is it my computer?

4/15/2007 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 449: perhaps YOU need to go back and reread Caldwell's column. it was NOT an idealistic paen to the conservative longing for pre-sixties fantasies--- it was VERY MUCH AN ATTACK on specific groups and their leaders.......put that in the context of Caldwell's radio shows, and public statements at Board meetings over the past two months, and his attacks are crystal clear.

4/15/2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

My fault -- had a typo I didn't know about earlier, or would that be a cut and pasto...thanks for letting me know. It's fixed now.

4/15/2007 9:32 AM  
Anonymous nomdecrayola said...

There is definitely an Imus effect here and I would encourage Andy to choose his words more carefully when lambasting a protected class. We should also be keenly aware of his close relationship with Travis Armstrong who regularly has Andy as a guest on his radio show.

4/15/2007 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on anon!

Sara not only spun the article, she conveniently did not post a link to Caldwell's piece but only to Braskett's retort to it.

Why is that Sara?

I think our blogoshere ought to have the opportunity to make up our minds based on all the facts not just those that you want considered.

I found Caldwell's article and though I don't agree with much of what he said, you definitely took and printed what you did out of context.

Also, you give Baskett a free ride. She accuses Caldwell of being VIOLENT for asking her to debate him?

Talk about hysterical hyperbole and personal attacks!

4/15/2007 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy is just another stalwart representative of fewer and fewer people, kind of like Don Imus in a way. The world continues to evolve around folks like that but they are so close-minded that they can't change with it.

In Andy's case, I think it's time for COLAB members to do one of two things:

1. Realize Andy's view's are outmoded and leave the organization; or

2. More progressive members need to join COLAB, and amplify their voices so the organization board of directors holds Andy accountable.

4/15/2007 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree that you are suspect here Sara!

I went on line to search for Caldwell's original column that Braskett responded to.

I don't agree with much of what he said, but because you didn't link the story we were simply left with your spin and Braskett's ridiculous response.

Why not use your blog to reiterate what Caldwell posed and that is the progressive community's reliance upon the foundation of the 1960's and the resultant impact and relation to youth today- vis a vis Westmont, UCSB and gang-bangers?

There is a lot to discuss here but you have chosen to take an excerpt- spin it and congratulate Braskett for doing the same.

That is VERY TRAVIS of you!

4/15/2007 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have now read what both Caldwell and Braskett have had to say.

I agree with most of the criticisms against Caldwell, however, Braskett does not deserve a free pass here.

For her to liken Caldwell's challenge to debate her to violent behavior is irresponsible and proves she is guilty of everything she accuses Caldwell of being and doing.

4/15/2007 12:45 PM  
Anonymous UCSB grad said...

Anonymous 4/15/2007 4:49 AM -

Caldwell hardly needs help in marginalizing himself as his articles do that quite easily. After reading his recent rant, I agree that Sara accurately quoted what he himself says are his main points.

Here is another strange one-

"UCSB is a shrine to progressive ideologies. It is where the next generation of progressive activists are being indoctrinated and trained"

What a paranoid & uneducated point of view.

4/15/2007 1:55 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

You guys are overreacting a bit to my misplaced link....thanks for the self-policing though!

4/15/2007 2:23 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Some posters here seem a little confused as to what has actually been written. Let's review the actual columns (thanks, Sara, for fixing the link...):

Caldwell begins with his usual claim that North SB County is overrun with South County progressives who are mucking things up. We just had an election, and it's still all one County, so he may just have to learn to live with it.

Next Caldwell claims progressives are to blame for Westmont's difficulty in getting approval for its expansion program -- approval which was in fact granted. In fact the major opponents to the Westmont project were Montecito residents.

He then claims that UCSB's "growth, crime, and...debauchery in the community" are obvious for everyone to see, but that only he has ever spoken about these problems. UCSB, he claims, gets a pass from progressives because it serves as an indoctrination and training camp for them. Wow!

From this claim (completely unsubstantiated) he moves on to his main thesis: progressive organizations, because they are dominated by feminists, are unable to cope with gang violence. It's all due to the 60's and the pill. And "I don't think we are going to make progress listening to much of anything they have to say."

Braskett, on the other hand refutes each of these points handily, and comments that his behaviour is hardly representative of the kind of "responsible, law-abiding, God-fearing," manly role-model our youth need. It's true, Caldwell is basically a bully for whom the truth is anything he says it is, and who attacks anyone who disagrees with him.

She concludes that she refuses to debate someone "for whom we have so little respect and who seems to have so little respect for the truth." Nonetheless, we did have a mini-debate right here, as these two columns are posted side by side, so you can be the judge.

4/15/2007 4:09 PM  
Anonymous nomdecrayola said...

Cut Sara some slack, she did good work in exposing this guy.

4/15/2007 5:13 PM  
Anonymous baloc said...

Frankly, I wonder why anyone even listens to Caldwell. He has clearly descended into self-parody with his Archie Bunker act. It's a joke, folks; time to move on.

4/15/2007 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara didn't expose anyone. Andy doesn't say these things in a phone booth...he stands on the roof and shouts them because he and many other people believe them to be true. Get over yourselves...there are many and varied political points of view out there beside the knee-jerk views shared by the local Democrat cabal of reactionary know-nothings.

4/16/2007 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Deborah Brasket said...

I appreciate the comments posted here, but I'd like to clarify one point.

Caldwell's challenging me (or anyone) to a debate is not the problem. What's a problem is his refusing to take "no" for an answer when I've told him I'm not interested. To keep asking the question in person and in public and on every radio broadcast at every opportunity begins to feel like harassment after awhile. Readers may disagree with me on this point, but they should at least know that his "challenge" is on ongoing assault, not just a one time ask.

Another point that I was not able to make in my original column, was that Caldwell's blaming gang violence on the lack of male leadership in the home is also insulting to all the single women who for whatever reason have had to raise their children on their own and have done a wonderful job. And it's insulting to young men who have been raised by these wonderful mothers and never became gang members. It also makes us wonder what happened to those gang members who do have fathers in their homes, and perhaps even "God-fearing" fathers. The reasons for gang violence are not so simplistic as Caldwell would have us believe. Even good families can have troubled children.

This does not mean that I do not see the value in having a father in the home as a role model for young men. I've been married for 37 years to a man I both love and respect and value tremendously.

Contrary to what Calwell would have us believe, even liberal feminists can be devoted wifes and have strong, long-lasting marriages.

Deborah Brasket

4/16/2007 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

I find the use of the term "cabal" to describe active and outspoken progressives in Santa Barbara County an interesting word choice. A cabal is actually a group of persons secretly united to usurp power. While the progressives may indeed wish for a change in the balance of political ideology on the County Board of Supervisors, there is nothing secret about either the union of their voices or the focus of their intent. Perhaps the word is simply used for its conotation of black-clad and unshaven anarchists conspiring in dark basements to plunge society into chaotic conflagration. This is a romantic, albeit inaccurate, characterization of how local progressives work to influence social and political change. Ah, but how fun the practice of hyperbole is.

4/16/2007 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Reactionary Know-Something said...

Is our latest Anonymous trying to justify that "varied political points of view" includes sexism, the opposite of Feminism?

4/16/2007 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you truly feel that it is reactionary "know-nothings" here Anon 8:31, you should have no problem agreeing to a full debate on these issues.

How could a "know-nothing" ever be more persuasive than an erudite individual like yourself who is far more educated and well read on such subjects as these that we "know-nothings" can barely comprehend?

Be prepared to put your mouth where your foot has been placed.

4/16/2007 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now we have once again witnessed the favorite tactic of Travis, Andy, Laura and folks like Imus.

1. Say something outrageous or insulting.

2. Goad good people to respond, or to be silent so others think they agree.

3. However civil the response, accuse the responder of being intolerant, uncivil, thin skinned or afraid of freedom of speech.

4. Repeat.

We can best marginalize Andy and his like by shunning them.

Just my opinion.

4/16/2007 4:17 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

The Deborah Brasket comment above is unverified but certainly makes sense within the context...

4/16/2007 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Ok Sara, this is off the subject of this string, but it is important. What happened in Viginia today is important. Mass shootings only happen in the United States. They do not happen in Russia, they do not happen in China, they do not happen in Europe. Mass shootings happen here because of our love affair with the gun. We love the gun. The gun is sacred. No politician can get elected if he or she does not bow down in obeisance to the gun. When are we going to join the rest of civilized society and ensure that any nut without a criminal record and a couple of hundred bucks cannot obtain a gun and ammunition and kill dozens of people in the span of a few minutes? Why do people like Andy Caldwell and those who fund him insist on the right of every wingnut in the United States to own a gun. Don't get me wrong. I have owned guns. I have slaughtered animals for pleasure. I have been paranoid enough to carry a concealed gun down the streets of a city that I considered dangerous. I understand the power that a gun on your hip (especially under a jacket)imbues. I have feared police power. I know why people worship the gun. But for sake of our children, can't we get over it? Can't we grow up? Must we worship the gun forever and suffer the consequences of such worship? Sorry, I'm ranting; but it is so sad.

4/16/2007 7:01 PM  

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