No Friend to Fathers Among the Presidential & Vice-Presidential Candidates

Los Angeles, CA–All four of the candidates for president and vice-president this year have displayed hostility to fathers in one way or another. Here’s the line-up:

Barack Obama

Obama decided to mark Father’s Day by bashing fathers, particularly black fathers, saying fathers have “have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men.”

It wasn’t a one-time thing but a common theme echoed many times by Obama over the past couple years. In his Father’s Day speech Obama put all blame for family breakdown squarely on men. I detailed my criticisms of this here.

Joe Biden

Biden calls the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 “What I’m most proud of in my entire career.’ Biden, who has long been the principle architect of federal domestic violence policy, spearheaded VAWA”s two subsequent re-authorizations.

Biden has consistently misunderstood the domestic violence issue. VAWA has harmed many innocent men, providing an easy avenue for disgruntled women to kick decent, loving fathers out of their homes and exclude them from their children”s lives via false allegations of domestic violence.

These problems are explained in greater detail in my co-authored column Biden Selection is Bad News for America’s Fathers (New York Daily News, San Jose Mercury-News, 9/2/08).

John McCain

McCain contemptuously dismissed fathers’ concerns over family law at a mid-day town hall meeting in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 2007. Shared parenting activist Tony Taylor asked McCain if he “would be bold enough to address the issue of equal access to children for fathers that have gone through divorce.” McCain testily replied:

I’m sorry to disappoint you, I am not going to overturn divorce court decisions. That’s why we have courts and that’s why people go to court and get a divorce. If I as President of the United States said this decision has to be overturned without the proper appeals process then I would be disturbing our entire system of government…

But for me to stand here before all these people and say that I’m going declare divorces invalid because someone feels that they weren’t treated fairly in court, we are getting into a, uh, uh, tar baby of enormous proportions.

To learn more, click here.

[Late note: Iowa reader Ken Richards writes in to remind me that “John McCain later apologized to Tony Taylor in person at the Iowa Republican Party Lincoln dinner.” I had forgotten that, and it does take some of the sting out of McCain’s words.–GS]
Sarah Palin

In a blog post titled Sarah Palin Waged Alienation Campaign Against Sister’s Ex-Husband, Court Records Show, Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Executive Director of Fathers & Families, recently wrote:

A new story in Newsweek sheds unfavorable light on the actions of Governor Palin.

Court records show that Judge John Suddock was concerned about persistent attacks on [Sarah Palin’s sister’s ex-husband] Trooper Mike Wooten by Palin and members of her family. The Judge told them in October, 2005 (when Palin was still a private citizen), “Disparaging will not be tolerated–it is a form of child abuse.’

According to Newsweek, Judge Suddock “continued to express concern about attacks by Palin”s family on Wooten’ in an order signed January 31, 2006. The Judge was sufficiently concerned about the on-going attacks that he warned of a possible change in custody from mother to father if the attacks continued. He wrote, “if the court finds it is necessary due to disparagement…it [the court] will not hesitate to order custody to the father…’ The Judge”s order also said that he would pay special attention to “the disparagement of the father by the mother and her family members.’

Governor Palin and her husband Todd continued to attack Wooten”s character even after she became Governor. Court tapes have Judge Suddock saying, “It appears for the world that Ms. McCann and her family have decided to take off for the guy”s livelihood–that the bitterness of whatever who did what to whom has overridden good judgment…

[I]t is clear that Palin and her family persistently attacked the Trooper”s reputation over a period of at least three years, during which the Alaska State Troopers, the Alaska Public Safety Employee”s Association, and the Court had all found that most of the accusations were unsupported.

Read more here.  Last week an Alaska legislative report found that Governor Palin had “abused her power by violating…the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act” in her efforts to pressure a state employee to fire Wooten.

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