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NOW THEY SPEAK

Back in another century, critics wondered why the National Organization for Women (NOW) never took sides during the Monica Lewinsky matter. They still ponder the group’s silence on other issues - the plight of women in Third World countries or Shariah laws, for example. There are moments when NOW springs to action, however.

Terry O’Neill, president of the group, said the membership is “outraged by the ignorant, homophobic comments Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, made on Friday at a conservative church rally, saying gay people and unwed sexually active women should not be teaching in public schools.”

She continues, “Sexist bigots like Sen. DeMint don’t belong in Congress. He thinks gay women and men and sexually active single women should be banned from teaching, but he said nothing about sexually active, single straight men. NOW is redoubling its efforts to stop Sen. DeMint and his crowd from taking control of Congress. We don’t need people like him who lead from a place of ignorance and hate.”

POLL DU JOUR

- 77 percent of Americans say the Republicans and Democrats in Washington have been “bickering more.”

- 8 percent say they have been “working together more”; 15 percent say “the same” or “do not know.”

- 80 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats say the parties are bickering more.

- 6 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats say they are working together more.

- 30 percent overall approve of Democratic congressional leaders; 24 percent approve of Republican leaders.

- 20 percent say the current Congress has accomplished “more than most.”

Source: A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey of 1,002 adults conducted Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.

- Rants, raves, the pitter-patter of applause to jharper@washingtontimes.com.