For Chavez, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Lisa De Pasquale
Featured Rightgrrl February 1999
Program Director, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute
January 18, 2001

For Linda Chavez, President-elect Bush's former Secretary of Labor pick, the famous quote ("No good deed goes unpunished") by Clare Boothe Luce couldn't ring more true. The hypocrisy of leftist groups like the National Organization for Women is truly astounding. In a recent "Action List" e-mail, NOW listed Linda Chavez among those who will propose "the most regressive social policies on the ultraconservatives' agenda." NOW's President Patricia Ireland also noted that Bush's cabinet picks are inconsistent with his message of compassion.

The bogus half-truths swirling around Chavez illustrate how the Ultra-Left and NOW operate -- when you can't go after the policies, go after the person.

The story of Marta Mercado, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, was an attempt to torpedo Chavez's nomination (`a la ZoŽ Baird). The Ultra-Left and their media allies "reported" that in 1991 Mercado worked as a maid and nanny in Chavez's home for little or no money. Liberal gadfly Jesse Jackson referred to Mercado as an "indentured servant."

Further investigation found that Chavez was not employing Mercado, but providing safety from her abusive boyfriend and from turmoil in her native Guatemala. While Mercado stayed with Chavez she had a regular job in Washington, DC and only did normal chores that any long-term guest would do out of appreciation for her host. As to the nanny accusation, Chavez's children ranged in age from 13 to 22 at the time and surely were not in need of a nanny.

When Mercado was living with Chavez and her family, thousands of Guatemalans were being killed during a 30-year civil war. In late 1991, The Los Angeles Times reported, "Day after day, year after year, Guatemala is awash in murder, torture, kidnapping and fear."

For Marta Mercado, Linda Chavez was a savior and her home was a haven.

The problem for feminists and the Left is that this isn't the only episode of Linda Chavezís compassionate conservatism -- she has a history of helping those in need. In college Chavez tutored disadvantaged children in a Denver barrio, in the 1970s she supported two Vietnamese brothers who were refugees and in the 1990s she paid for two Puerto Rican children to attend a private school in order to receive a better education. Some of these people spoke on her behalf at her January 9 press conference.

With astounding consistency, the National Organization for Women continue to expose themselves as an organization that seeks not to help every woman, but only those who steadfastly parrot their Ultra-Left positions.

Other conservative women who stood apart from NOW also paid the price. In the Maryland gubernatorial election, feminists shunned Ellen Sauerbrey and supported her leftist, male opponent. In Texas, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was called a "woman impersonator" by feminist icon Gloria Steinem. Steinem said, "Having someone who looks like us, but thinks like them is worse than having no one at all."

These are not isolated examples. Even on todayís college campuses, once a haven for free thought and debate, students are intimidated by the dominance of leftist and feminists professors and students. Sadly, NOW and the Ultra-Left will continue to trash and punish free-market conservatives like Linda Chavez until those women disappear into silence.

Copyright 2001 by Bonnie Lisa De Pasquale. Not to be reproduced in any fashion, in whole or in part, without written consent from the author. All rights reserved.