Tales from the Trail

Simpson gets delivery from NOW

September 29, 2010

High drama at President Barack Obama’s deficit commission meeting.

Members of the bipartisan panel were about to settle in at the Senate Budget CommitUSA/tee hearing room to discuss the weighty issues of performance objectives and the merit of one-year vs. two-year budgeting, when the unscheduled happened.

National Organization of Women President Terry O’Neill swooped in with a delivery and proceeded to lecture commission Republican co-chairman Alan Simpson.

“Stop using the deficit as an excuse to cut Social Security,” she said. “The real message we have is don’t throw people out of the middle class by undermining Social Security.”

Then she handed the former senator a bag of baby bottle nipples tied with a bright purple bow to show the group’s anger over remarks Simpson had made comparing the government retirement program to “a milk cow with 310 million tits.”

The comment made in an email to a group that represents older women sparked a howl of protests from liberal groups and NOW called for his removal from the commission.

Simpson ended up apologizing for his comments, but NOW began a “Tits for an Ass” campaign. The group says it delivered 1,500 baby bottle nipples to him. He told O’Neill he would donate them to a children’s hospital.

Simpson, who has a biting sense of humor and is not normally one at a loss for words, was later asked by a reporter about the gift from NOW. His reply:  “I’ve got nothing to say.” 

It appears the commission also will have nothing to say before the November 2 congressional elections. The 18-member panel is to present its recommendations on reducing the $1.3 trillion deficit in December.

Commission member Andy Stern said that’s “absolutely true” when asked whether the panel will wait until after the election to begin drafting its report, which is likely to include spending cuts for Social Security.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill  delivers  baby bottle nipples to Alan Simpson, co-chair of the National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform)

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