Play it as it lays

Generally speaking I could give a fuck about which rich assholes are allowed to join other rich assholes’ clubs, but this is pretty ridiculous:

Augusta has maintained an all-male membership policy during its 80-year history, and Chairman Billy Payne declined to answer a question about the policy during a news conference Wednesday.

The issue flared up again after Ginni Rometty was named Chief Executive Officer of IBM, a longtime sponsor of the tournament whose previous chief executives have been admitted to Augusta National.

It’s a good issue for Democrats (Obama is coming out in support of having Augusta admit women), especially if they can bait Republicans into mounting an over-the-top impassioned defense of sexism (again) here.

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160 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    Good luck with that.

  2. 2
    Culture of Truth says:

    So if I read this correctly, Obama is threatening and intimidating some poor old white men with health problems.

  3. 3
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    Never trust the words or intentions of a grown man named Billy.

  4. 4
    Mike P says:

    They’ll leave the sexism out of it. My bet is that they go all in on some sort of freedom to associate/local issue/”WHY IS OBAMA WORRIED ABOUT THE INNER WORKINGS OF A PRIVATE ESTABLISMENT?!” tack.

  5. 5
    dr. bloor says:

    Eh, I think pressuring a private club about their membership policies is a double-edged sword.

    Martha Burk has the better tactic–keep asking IBM why they’re sponsoring a club that’s telling their CEO to FOAD?

  6. 6
    Steve says:

    I have to wonder why anyone would want to be the one and only female member of a club like this. It’s not like the CEO of IBM is particularly desperate to make connections in the business world, or to find a place to play golf for that matter.

  7. 7
    dr. bloor says:

    @Kathy in St. Louis:

    Heh. Last time this issue came up, the Chair’s first name was “Hootie.”

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    @Mike P: “They” won’t say anything.

  9. 9
    Corbin Dallas Multipass says:

    Is there a list anywhere of organizations that don’t admit specific minority groups? That would be a fun list.

  10. 10
    dr. bloor says:

    @Steve:

    Your right on both counts–apparently, she’s an occasional golfer whose real passion is scuba diving–although Augusta is one of the premium places on the entire planet to network. The past/present membership list is pretty staggering.

  11. 11
    Raven says:

    @dr. bloor: Yea and tell us how that great demonstration worked out.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    I’m sure the guys at Augusta are fully lawyered and PR’d. Not much chance of a ‘gaffe’.

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Martha Burk has the better tactic—keep asking IBM why they’re sponsoring a club that’s telling their CEO to FOAD?

    I think that is a good question for all the sponsors. I hate golf and I hate private clubs like this even more. Think I’ll look up the sponsors of this stupid event and send off some emails and letters asking them why they’d want to sponsor something at a place that has such contempt for 51% of the population. Like those nasty Republicans that all my women friends dislike.

  14. 14
    Corbin Dallas Multipass says:

    Just so we’re clear it is worth some places millions of dollars to discriminate:

    And while Augusta’s actions may be unprecedented, it is not the only private club that has chosen to forgo millions of dollars rather than let women in. When a court ruled that Burning Tree Golf Club in Maryland must admit women or lose $1.2 million in tax breaks, the club chose the latter.

    via ABC

  15. 15
    MattR says:

    @dr. bloor: Martha Burk’s tactic is getting Martha Burk’s name in the media.

  16. 16
    fasteddie9318 says:

    zOMG WHY IS TEH ZULU MUSLIM BONE THROUGH NOSE OOGA BOOGA FAKE PRESIDENT OPPRESSING THE POOR REAL AMERICAN MEMBERS OF A PRIVATE AMERICAN GOLF CLUB IN AMERICA?

    There. I’ve just synthesized two weeks of phony right wing outrage over this, so now everybody can just move on to the next thing.

  17. 17
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Steve: I can’t speak for any women, but she’s the CEO and IBM is a sponsor, and Augusta won’t accept or doesn’t get that much advertising, so it would a minimal amount of respect for the office she holds to make the offer. Perhaps Augusta should not accept IBM’s money if its got girl cooties which are unacceptable.

  18. 18
    dr. bloor says:

    @MattR:

    Who cares? She has the better plan here. Going after a bunch of old white guys because they don’t want to let girls in their tree house is a political loser. At least last time she tilted at this particular windmill, the demonstration was a bust but the club had to release Coca Cola, Buick and other sponsors from their commitments to the tourney.

  19. 19
    Steve says:

    @Culture of Truth: That doesn’t really have anything to do with my question.

  20. 20
    Culture of Truth says:

    Obama really stepped in it this time. And he was THIS close to getting rich old golf-playing white men to switch their votes from Mitt Romney.

  21. 21
    shortstop says:

    @dr. bloor: Exactly. In all these cases, it’s about the networking and the deals that go down in the clubhouse.

    Tiger Woods lost me forever when he said Augusta should certainly be able to bar women if it wanted to. His inability to draw lines between the experience of women and African American men in this exact instance–Augusta didn’t admit its first black member until 1990, although black men had played there–showed a staggering lack of self-awareness and callousness.

  22. 22
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @MattR:

    Well, she’s got her name in the news. Now is the perfect time to yank their sponsorship. It will keep her name in the news, and give those poor, poor wealthy white men the opportunity to bemoan their oppressed victimhood.

  23. 23
    MattR says:

    @dr. bloor: No. She has a terrible plan. Her attempt last time accomplished absolutely nothing but a minor inconvenience for the club. They have been clear that they will admit a woman when they decide it is time. This could have been that moment and there were news reports indicating that, but then Martha had to jump on the bandwagon and go public with new threats aganst Augusta. All that accomplishes is entrenching those who were resistant or on the fence.

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: If IBM yanks their sponsorship do you think that will make Augusta more likely to admit a woman?

  24. 24
    Zandar says:

    Bonus points for the first enterprising Villager to ask Michelle, Malia, and Sasha Obama what they think about Augusta’s membership policy. On the record.

    Kaboom.

  25. 25
    dr. bloor says:

    @MattR: @MattR:

    This could have been that moment and there were news reports indicating that

    Sucker.

  26. 26
    MattR says:

    @dr. bloor: We’ll never know now, will we.

  27. 27
    Culture of Truth says:

    If Tiger showed staggering callousness then they all do since I don’t see any player boycotting the Masters.

  28. 28
    Raven says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: You assume she gives a shit.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    @MattR:

    All that accomplishes is entrenching those who were resistant or on the fence.

    So they can look and act like even bigger dicks than they did the last time. Fuck them. I’m with Martha. Keep showing people (at least those whose minds can still be pried open) exactly what pigs these rich white men are. Make them poisonous to any sort of sponsorships. Choke them to death. Hell, CBS should be called to account for why they show this piggish tournament held at a piggish place by piggish people. I think Martha is thinking too small.

  30. 30
    dr. bloor says:

    @MattR:

    If you think these guys were going to extend a membership to her and then changed their minds just because the issue attracted the attention it was inevitably going to attract, then they really didn’t think much of the idea to begin with now, did they?

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Perhaps Augusta should not accept IBM’s money if its got girl cooties which are unacceptable.

    That’s more what I was thinking — seems Augusta is pretty happy to spend IBM’s money while shutting out their CEO, so I wouldn’t see any reason for IBM to keep giving money to them.

  32. 32
    dr. bloor says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Shocker. The political make-up of the PGA membership is about three micrometers to the left of the Arizona state legislature.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    @MattR:

    If IBM yanks their sponsorship do you think that will make Augusta more likely to admit a woman?

    I don’t care if they ever do. I just want their tournament to die from lack of cash. They can keep their fat, white boys’ club for all I care. It’s the fact that its so “prestigious” as a club that sticks in my craw. I want sponsors to consider Augusta to be poison. I’m sure no self-respecting woman would even want to be a member of that stupid club.

  34. 34
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Steve: Well to answer it specfically, Augusta is wonderful golf course and I’m many women would love to join, even if they are the only one, since someone has to be first. In any case I’m sure there are many male members who do not need the business connections or a nice place to play golf either.

    As to Ms. Rometty, you would have to ask her, assuming she does want to join at all.

  35. 35
    MattR says:

    @geg6: Ha. If you think you are going to kill the Masters golf tournament, you are delusional. Making the members look like bigger dicks might make you feel better, but it doesn’t get you any closer to the goal of getting a woman admitted as a member.

    @dr. bloor: That was not my point. They were considering giving her membership with some members reluctant but agreeing and others still needing to be convinced. Publically trying to force their hand guarantees those others won’t change their mind and that some of the reluctant ones will flip back to opposing the decision.

  36. 36
    Raven says:

    @geg6: You have no idea what you are talking about.

  37. 37
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @MattR:

    In the short run, absolutely not. However, it is bad for Augusta for this to be in the news. Women make most of the household financial decisions. Advertisers do well to keep them happy. Having their brand affiliated with a bunch of sexist old dinosaurs doesn’t keep female customers happy. At some point, the Augusta club will come to the conclusion it isn’t worth it. While that is still years away, I’m inclined to think it would take even longer without occasional high profile pressure.

  38. 38
    bogdan says:

    This would be a nice wedge issue for Dems indeed.

  39. 39
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @Raven:

    I do. Successful women don’t get where they are without deciding they are going to defy sexist expectations.

  40. 40
    dr. bloor says:

    @MattR: You could cut and paste that decision-making dynamic from the last time it was a high profile issue. If they’re going to respond like two-year-olds every time someone outside the club tries to exert pressure on them to accept a woman, it’s never going to happen, and it’s bizarre to blame those exerting the pressure.

  41. 41
    Culture of Truth says:

    One problem is that Augusta does not need money so they are less influenced by, though not entirely immune to, financial pressure.

    Nothing wrong, though, with the President calling them, so we call enjoy our mint juleps with some whine.

  42. 42
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @MattR:

    They SAID “They were considering giving her membership with some members reluctant but agreeing and others still needing to be convinced.” That doesn’t sound like they were anywhere close to admitting women. That sounds like these guys saying that they think its unfair to be called dicks, just because most of them are acting like dicks.

  43. 43
    ruemara says:

    @shortstop: Tiger has always separated his black identity out. I’ve never understood why blacks are all over supporting him, he’s made great pains to state that he is not black and does not identify as black and has no connection to being black. It’s like Jessica Alba and her latino heritage. Want to get her mad, ask about being hispanic.

  44. 44
    cathyx says:

    This private club has every right to exclude women. But IBM also has every right to no longer sponsor their event.

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: Women like her also get ahead by conveniently ignoring sexist comments and acts when it’s necessary in order to achieve their goals.

  45. 45
    shortstop says:

    @Culture of Truth: Of course they are. And do you seriously not understand the special irony of a black player saying Augusta should be able to exclude whomever it wishes? Really?

  46. 46
    LanceThruster says:

    I hope they’re held to the rules of religious hospitals and such if it applies in that if they discriminate, they get no government dollars or subsidies whatsoever.

    What a bunch of barbarian twits (Neanderthals were actually rather advanced for they day).

  47. 47
    geg6 says:

    @Raven:

    So, please, tell me, oh wise one, what is it that I’m talking about?

    Gawd. The male condescension and privilege in this thread is enough to make me think I’m actually IN Augusta.

  48. 48
    Raven says:

    @Culture of Truth: And there is nothing wrong with people getting all fucking upset and issuing a bunch of ultimatums. If that’s what they want to do go right ahead but it doesn’t mean shit.

  49. 49
    MattR says:

    @dr. bloor: It is not bizarre to blame those placing public outside pressure on the club when they are making progress on their own in the right direction. It is quite telling that neither Rometty nor IBM have made a single public comment about this. Instead, they have been working behind the scenes to see if a resolution can be reached. If the club or IBM had announced that Rometty has been rejected for membership, then I could see Burk taking up the cause. But when they are still in the decision making stage, Burk should have known that her comments would only hurt, not help, Rometty’s membership chances.

  50. 50
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I frankly don’t see the problem here as the club; if a bunch of wealthy old men want to enact a high-dollar version of the He-Man Woman Haters Club, fine by me.

    The problem is that the PGA keeps playing there, and IBM keeps giving the PGA money. That’s where the problem lies right there.

  51. 51
    shortstop says:

    @ruemara: And yet, no matter how he self-identified, Augusta would have had nothing to do with him until relatively recently. Funny how that works.

    Just want to clarify that I’m not suggesting this phenomenon is limited to black people. As I have said here many times, I really don’t get members of marginalized (to varying degrees) groups who are too obtuse to make the connection between their own experiences and other demographics’. That includes racist white women, sexist gay men, homophobic people of color, etc., etc.

  52. 52
    Raven says:

    @geg6: They don’t care about the money, they don’t need it.

  53. 53
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @cathyx:

    Actively ignoring sexist comments and acts implies they are beneath your notice. That IS an act of defiance.

    Augusta can do what it wants. However, there are always consequences, and I have the right to hope those consequences are painful.

  54. 54
    geg6 says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Funny, that’s exactly what I keep saying in this thread. But all the big strong men are telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about and pat me on my pretty head as they do it.

  55. 55
    Raven says:

    @MattR: Oh you sexist motherfucker how DARE you!

  56. 56
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    This is not a government matter, there is this thing called the first amandment. On the other hand, this fits perfectly into Rush Limbaugh/Komen “find out why the sponsors are supporting this” territory.

  57. 57
    geg6 says:

    @Raven:

    Oh, okay. The PGA has no need for money. Got it.

    Then why do they have so many sponsors, oh wise male filled with wisdom I can never hope to acquire?

  58. 58
    jl says:

    So, some dinosaur white male codger club has another pathetic wet paper bag dilemma? Oh, what to do, how to get out? Laughable and sad.

    Here is an idea: quit being discriminatory Aholes. Probably too radical for them to consider.

    Since the President mentioned it, I will watch for Preibus and the GOP making themselves noxious and ridiculous about it soon.

  59. 59
    MattR says:

    @geg6: You are getting patted on the head for thinking the PGA is ever going to abandon it’s most prestigious tournament. I don’t disagree with what Forum Transmitted Disease said. But it is also pretty naive to think that the PGA is going to do anything about their problem or that Augusta will care too much if IBM withdraws their sponsorship. You are not going to get a scalp by killing the Masters tournament so you might want to adjust your attempts to modify their behavior to take that into account.

  60. 60
    jl says:

    @Raven: That kind of people always needs more money. Lots more.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s more what I was thinking—seems Augusta is pretty happy to spend IBM’s money while shutting out their CEO, so I wouldn’t see any reason for IBM to keep giving money to them.

    Because she isn’t supposed to treat the company like an extension of herself; it’s supposed to be the property of the shareholders. If the sponsorship is good for IBM, she’s supposed to keep it going whether Augusta National insults her or not. Contrariwise, if the sponsorship is bad for the company, she should drop it even if the club offers her a membership. I realize this goes against the current practice of CEOs treating their companies as if their personal playthings, but it’s the way responsible executives are supposed to behave.

  62. 62
    Raven says:

    @geg6: bullshit, how the fuck does anyone know what gender you are. You are as guilty of trying to bully people with your shit as anyone else.

  63. 63
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    In 2005 Michelle Wie came close to forcing another Tiger Woods moment on Augusta National. She lost in the quarterfinals of the US Amateur Public Links tournament. By tradition, the winner of that tournament gets invited to the Masters. If only…

  64. 64
    jl says:

    @MattR: But we are allowed to call them what they are, retro jackasses, right?

  65. 65
    Raven says:

    @geg6: If you had an ounce of a clue you’d know this is not about the PGA.

  66. 66
    Culture of Truth says:

    @shortstop: Sorry when you said Tiger Woods lost you forever I thought you were an avid golf fan and wonder who you can root for now since they all play the Masters.

    “I think there should be women members,” Woods told reporters.

    Maybe he should boycott. Maybe IBM should too.

  67. 67
    MattR says:

    @jl: Absoultely. If the shoe fits.

    Just don’t expect that will change anything.

  68. 68
    Raven says:

    @Culture of Truth: he’s 2 under at 15

  69. 69
    pragmatism says:

    hey doug,
    play it as it lays = novel by joan didion
    play it as it lies = golf rule

  70. 70
    xian says:

    Augusta should extend a membership to IBM’s highest ranking male executive.

  71. 71
    kc says:

    It’s a good issue for Democrats.

    Eh, I dunno, I can hear the whining now. “It’s a PRIVATE club.” “Waahh, more government intrusion.”

    What I’d really like to see is some corporate sponsors and some goddamned pro golfers standing up for women, but since pro golfers are as big a bunch of douchebags as any in sports, I’m not holding my breath.

  72. 72
    geg6 says:

    @Raven:

    Well, I’m pretty sure most people here know I’m a woman. If you didn’t, that’s your fault. I’ve certainly talked about it in enough threads over the years.

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    Do I detect a reference to Patti Scialfa’s third album?

    On topic, I think Obama is right to speak out against Augusta National’s sexist policy of exclusion, especially since the club has not fully learned the lesson that the elite it likes to invite in now includes not just men of color but also women.

    IBM should definitely not stand for a sexist insult to its chief executive, which is also an insult to IBM itself. IBM needs Augusta National a lot less than Augusta National needs IBM. There are other companies that can sponsor the US Open. There are other events as prestigious, and as popular with rich businessmen, where IBM can put its sponsorship money.

  74. 74
    geg6 says:

    @Raven:

    If you had a clue, you’d know that Augusta would change its tune real fast if the PGA decided that their stupid club wasn’t worth all the bad publicity.

    But I don’t watch golf and don’t consider it a sport, so I really don’t care all that much. I just like poking old, rich, fat white men as often and as hard in the eye as I can. So if writing a few emails and letters furthers any poking in the eye of those people, I’m all for it and all in.

  75. 75
    Raven says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    “Those watching the Masters Tournament are the reason why International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) (IBM) isn’t speaking out about its new chief executive officer possibly breaking the gender barrier at the Augusta National Golf Club.

    The tournament draws an audience that includes “every CEO in America,” said Scott O’Neil, president of Madison Square Garden (MSG) (MSG) Sports, who added IBM won’t jeopardize its much-desired sponsorship in a battle over membership for Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, the company’s chief since January.”

  76. 76
    Raven says:

    @geg6: Yea, Augusta National is on the verge of a nervous breakdown over this.

  77. 77
    rikryah says:

    sorta funny to me.

    they’re gonna say that the CEO of IBM isn’t qualified to join their ranks.

    hee hee hee

  78. 78
    MattR says:

    @geg6:

    The Masters is listed as a “non-PGA Tour co-sponsored” event. So are the other three majors – the U.S. Open (sponsored by the USGA), the British Open (R&A) and the PGA Championship (PGA of America) – which means that the PGA Tour does not have a commercial interest in or control over the event.

  79. 79
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Stupid sexist men and their stupid clubs. I wonder what they are so afraid of?

  80. 80
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I don’t get golf at all. Why is it even interesting to watch on TV. I have no idea. Watching paint dry would be more exciting to me.

  81. 81
    Raven says:

    @MattR: Stop it you sexist pig!

  82. 82
    JWL says:

    Oh, Christ, here we go. Every year, like clockwork, the Augusta Neanderthals are the hot topic du jour.

  83. 83
    jibeaux says:

    So there was this whole Reince Priebus thing about comparing women to caterpillars or whatever, and it seemed to cause a reaction about how women are not comparable to caterpillars. And, ok, right, they’re not. But I found it a pretty offensive thing to say for a different reason, that being that his point was that the whole controversy was manufactured by the media and was imaginary, that they hadn’t been talking about women any more than they’d been talking about caterpillars. For pete’s sake, just pat me on the head and tell me to go take my Valium and lie down since I’m just hysterical already.

  84. 84
    Raven says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Read “A Good Walk Spoiled”.

    “One week you’ve discovered the secret to the game; the next week you never want to play it again”.

  85. 85
    geg6 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Perhaps Raven and MattR could enlighten us. They seem to have their fingers on the pulse of this crowd.

  86. 86
    gwangung says:

    If you had a clue, you’d know that Augusta would change its tune real fast if the PGA decided that their stupid club wasn’t worth all the bad publicity.

    Um, no. Don’t think so.

    You yourself said you don’t watch golf. That means you’re speaking out of ignorance of the field. That generally gets flack, no matter who says it.

  87. 87
    Raven says:

    @geg6: I absolutely agree that women should be allowed to become members. I never said I didn’t. I also agree that this should be the land of the free and the home of the brave. And it isn’t.

    eta It also bums me out that I’ve lived 100 miles from Augusta for 27 years and still haven’t been able to get a ticket.

  88. 88
    Shari says:

    I don’t think Augusta has a caterpillar problem.

  89. 89
    22over7 says:

    geg6, sorry, but you’re wrong when you say that the PGA would lose the Masters if the publicity was bad enough.

    You say you don’t watch golf. If you did, you’d know that professional golfers are some of the most privileged pricks in the world, and their sponsors are even worse. For the PGA to abandon Augusta, the scandal would have to be so enormous as to defy imagination. Like discovering that Jack Nicklaus is a serial killer and buries his bodies at Amen corner. Something like that.

    Uppity women don’t even come close. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep trying.

  90. 90
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @jibeaux: Well, you know, his wife doesn’t speak up against him, so he knows women don’t get all pissy about these sorts of things. It must have been the media.

  91. 91
    Raven says:

    I caddied at Medinah when I was a kid. They had three courses back then. #1, #2 the “ladies” course with pink tee’s and ballwashers (nice ring to it) and #3 the Monster where they played the Western Open. It was quite an education.

  92. 92
    geg6 says:

    @gwangung:

    You yourself said you don’t watch golf

    Um, no. I didn’t say that. I said I hate golf. Doesn’t mean that golf is not on the teevee in my house every weekend. But I can certainly change that fact. And I think I will, starting with this year’s Master’s.

    And the PGA has this thread to thank for that. It just affirmed everything I’ve ever thought about golf and the people who like it.

  93. 93
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @geg6: May be ignorance is bliss. Don’t want to get the hard drive cluttered with junk. My friend’s family owns a golf course, I have played a couple of times, and have not talent for it whatsoever, and I see that playing at the level of Tiger Woods takes a lot of skill. But I don’t get all this snobbery that surrounds golf.

  94. 94
    Raven says:

    @Shari: We’re getting a huge Cat Plant in Athens!

  95. 95
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Raven:
    I’m well aware of this, of course. I guess that’s why I’m not a corporate CEO, because I’d put pride ahead of assuring my corporation’s prestige and visibility in all the right places.

    I figure IBM is working on Augusta National right now. Maybe the club’s not inviting Rometty to join is not per se a big loss to IBM, but it does have its prestige to think of, and people might question its own commitment to inclusiveness if it just takes this sitting down. Also too, as IBM might point out, the club would surely not want another public furore over whom it chooses to exclude — which might just conceivably embarrass the PGA somewhat.

  96. 96
    Raven says:

    @Amir Khalid: I just don’t think they see it as that big of a deal. Do you think this was something that just popped up out of nowhere? That Ms. Rometty took the job without a full understanding with Augusta National? The idea that IBM is taking something sitting down is just conjecture.

  97. 97
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    ok lets start with this.

    when they negotiate the broadcast rights to the masters tournament, the augusta blah blah blah club demands that there be only a certain number of ads, its their decision to limit the ads. its also their decision to limit the advertisers. they are selling exclusivity on every level.

    “a tradition unlike any other”

    watch the tournament, compare it to every other sporting event of its scope…its meant to be classier than everything else.

    the club itself has gigantic leverage in that it doesn’t need the broadcast or any of the sponsors.
    the good ole boys in the club love that shit and endow it furiously when they die or just wish to settle money somewhere.

    they can and will withstand the outrage. i am not saying it because i like it or give two shits about it, its just a fact.

    now consider ibm. who do they sell to? consumers? exactly . why should they give a shit.
    hey knock yourself out, but consider if resources thrown at this one could be better used elsewhere.

  98. 98
    Raven says:

    @Marcellus Shale, Public Dick: Short version “is this the hill you want to die on”?

  99. 99
    Raven says:

    I think the bigger bummer is that the azalea’s already bloomed!

  100. 100
    Raven says:

    “The Green Jacket belongs to the winner
    The Masters belongs to you”

  101. 101
    Shari says:

    MSNBC reporting that Mitt Romney supports women being allowed to join the storied Augusta National Golf Club. Evidently a question from the rope line in PA today.

    Stay tuned. It could change by dinnertime.

  102. 102
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    @MattR:
    I have just read your comment #78. Okay, the PGA is not directly involved with the Masters; and golf is largely a sport for rich white men, so vigilance against racism and sexism is not a big thing for them anyway. So Augusta National has no real motivation to change its ways even for IBM. And every reason to keep on being its bad sexist self. But even rich white male snobs must live in the 21st century, so I would hope that the club does decide to change and invite a woman in.

  103. 103
    geg6 says:

    @Marcellus Shale, Public Dick:

    hey knock yourself out, but consider if resources thrown at this one could be better used elsewhere.

    Women are good multi-taskers. I can protest this and Komen and Rush and the entire GOP, bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a pan. All at the same time.

  104. 104
    MikeJ says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I figure IBM is working on Augusta National right now. Maybe the club’s not inviting Rometty to join is not per se a big loss to IBM, but it does have its prestige to think of

    Every ten years or so, IBM needs to pick up some small crappy little country club and throw it against the wall, just to show the world they mean business.

  105. 105
    Gex says:

    @jl: Exactly. Do they have all the money? Not quite? Time to go get more.

  106. 106
    Vince says:

    Didn’t NOW get bashed for doing that several years back? If I remember correctly, everyone got pissed off at them for being out of touch and trying to get a equal access to country clubs for rich women instead of helping average women.

  107. 107

    I read Jong to my inner sexist pig, and have quieted that little fucker into not enjoying girls on trampolines as much as I did . But I still lurves my jammers on the Bay City Bombers, nobody bleeds the oppo like they do. and nobody ever will.

  108. 108
    urlhix says:

    @ruemara: And yet, so many white folks call him “Tigger.”

    I guess the money makes it all feel better.

  109. 109
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MikeJ:
    Truly, Tom Friedman is a great and wise man. I repeat this to myself every six months.

  110. 110
    Raven says:

    @urlhix: He’s even at the end of the 1st round.

  111. 111
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    @Raven:

    exactly,this is not a case where the conventional weapons of controversy will win. in fact it flatters them. they were willing to tell cbs where to go. from that perspective you almost wish more institutions had their chutzpah.

  112. 112
    Gex says:

    @urlhix: Ugh. I didn’t know that. I’m not surprised, but… Now I have to know this. Blech.

  113. 113
    urlhix says:

    @Gex: Yeah, the things you learn when you are around the enemy. Born, raised and living in the deep south I’m still amazed at the shit people say out loud.

  114. 114
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    @geg6:

    i’m going to conserve my energy to go after corbett once his role in delaying the nambly lion investigation is in the court record.

  115. 115

    Why is no one decrying this WAR ON EASTER! All of these CINO’s who take offense at the slightest thing, seem to be ok with the tournament being held during Easter Week. Or is it being held now to celebrate the resurrection of Tiger Woods’ career? :-)

  116. 116
    geg6 says:

    @Marcellus Shale, Public Dick:

    Oh, believe me, that’s on my to-do list, too.

  117. 117
    Raven says:

    “Elizabeth Walters of Wilmington, North Carolina, who was at Thursday’s first round with her two children and mother, was fine with that approach.

    Walters said she sees no need for Augusta to open membership to women and would not let the controversy detract from the tournament.

    “It’s a wonderful tradition, and I’m happy to be here,” she said.

    “She also said her husband is from Augusta, making her familiar with the area.

    “I’ve never had anyone that I’ve met here who has a problem with the way things are,” she said.

    Her mother, Nancy Mengelt, is from Madison, Wisconsin, a liberal area where “we usually have a problem with something,” she said.

    But she said she had no problem with male-only Augusta National.

    “I like all the traditions. I support that,” she said.

  118. 118

    OT

    Gotta love the Walkerites and Wisconsin Wingnuts

    Wisconsin Republicans have lined up six fake Democrats to run in upcoming recall elections targeting Gov. Scott Walker (R) and five other Republicans, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

    A GOP spokesman admitted that running “recall protest candidates” guarantees a primary date and ensures no Republicans will face a general election that same day, when Democrats likely will turn out in huge numbers to select a challenger to Walker.

    Underhanded and sleazy to the very end.

  119. 119
    Roger Moore says:

    @MikeJ:

    Every ten years or so, IBM needs to pick up some small crappy little country club and throw it against the wall, just to show the world they mean business.

    Where would you like your internet delivered?

  120. 120
    David Koch says:

    This is a religious freedom issue.

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I have just read your comment #78. Okay, the PGA is not directly involved with the Masters; and golf is largely a sport for rich white men, so vigilance against racism and sexism is not a big thing for them anyway. So Augusta National has no real motivation to change its ways even for IBM.

    A few things. It’s not that golf is a sport for rich white men, it’s that rich white men (and other elites elsewhere) always like to establish their playgrounds and watering holes to keep others away.

    But deals would also be made at these playgrounds, and the perniciousness of racism and sexism put a lot of people at a disadvantage when they were trying to make their way to the top. And here it’s not just about being rich, it’s about being successful.

    So, on this level, the Masters people are just being their old hide bound tradition over reality despicable selves.

    But there’s more. I googled the top women in technology for 2010. In keeping out the head of IBM and women like these, the Augusta people may be signing their own death warrants. To keep out the top women of say, google, Facebook, Apple, is a frank refusal to admit that while you may pretend to cater to the elite, to the movers and shakers, the stark reality is that your “tradition” is killing you, since some of the most important movers and shakers don’t need you to become successful or to promote the next generation.

    And you also have to wonder what the Masters folks’ opinions of gays might be.

    None of this makes the exclusion less reprehensible, but it does make it a pathetic relic of a former age many have rejected and others don’t care about.

    If the Masters people had a brain in their sexist little heads, they would offer memberships not only to the CEO of IBM, but also to Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. And Oprah. Just to start off with.

  122. 122
    David Koch says:

    The media needs to follow this up an ask Mitten if he agrees with the president that women should be allowed to play at Ausgusta.

    Being a complete tin-ear and a coward, Mittens will say, “that’s not the words I would have used”.

  123. 123
    aimai says:

    Right before Susan G. Komen took a swan dive into the cement people were telling us that it was such a wonderful institution, and had such broad based support, and it didn’t need no stinking feminist money that…what what it they were saying again?

    Look, I could give a fuck about golf or golfers but there’s no way any of these places can last, long term, unless they can sell tickets for charity events. The middle class can barely afford golf anymore and the golf course can be supported by a few billionaires but apparently they need some kind of institutional funding from corporations to really make it in this cruel world. When enough women are running places like IBM they are going to ask what the ROI on giving money to a fucking golf course is when they are treated like second class citizens with two heads by the boys in the club.

    This is probably the turning point, but it may take a few years to realize it, and sponsored golf events will go the way of the dodo. I think Obama’s statement was great. I might have pointed it up a bit, if I’d been him, and had him say “I make it a practice in my own life never to join an organization that would bar my wife and children from full participation. Its a personal preference.”

    aimai

  124. 124
    Barry says:

    @Steve: “I have to wonder why anyone would want to be the one and only female member of a club like this. It’s not like the CEO of IBM is particularly desperate to make connections in the business world, or to find a place to play golf for that matter.”

    Respect. At the level of CEO’s of major megacorps.

    As I said before, if I was her, I’d have instructed the appropriate IBM office to ‘forget’ to pay their sponsorship until I was invited to the club.

  125. 125
    Barry says:

    @MattR: “@Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: If IBM yanks their sponsorship do you think that will make Augusta more likely to admit a woman?”

    And vice versa. If IBM sponsors under these circumstances, why would Augusta switch?

  126. 126
    Raven says:

    @aimai: Ha, try to get a ticket to the Masters.

  127. 127
    Barry says:

    @Vince: “Didn’t NOW get bashed for doing that several years back? If I remember correctly, everyone got pissed off at them for being out of touch and trying to get a equal access to country clubs for rich women instead of helping average women.”

    Yes, it was everybody. Or just maybe, it was a bunch of people who have/do/will always find a reason to bash feminism.

  128. 128
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    If you had a clue, you’d know that Augusta would change its tune real fast if the PGA decided that their stupid club wasn’t worth all the bad publicity.

    @geg6: Hate to pop your bubble on this issue. They wouldn’t. They have floated the idea before of removing the club from the PGA tour list precisely because they – as they’ve said repeatedly – will not be told what to do or how to run their club by anyone save the members. And they certainly have more than enough money to make that stick.

    You may ask why the PGA sticks with them in spite of Augusta repeatedly telling the PGA and everyone else in the world to fuck themselves. Simply put, they have the best golf course in the world. Period.

    Stalemate. For now. I suspect in the long haul, the PGA will leave Augusta and Augusta will continue on as they always have.

  129. 129
    efgoldman says:

    @dr. bloor:

    I think pressuring a private club about their membership policies is a double-edged sword.

    I dunno’. Baiting dinosaurs into trying to defend their position is great sport.

  130. 130
    urlhix says:

    There is a reason it’s called Disgusta. And it ain’t golf.

  131. 131
    Some Loser says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I never understood the fascination with golf.

  132. 132
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    I’m surprised at how many golf fans are (sorta, grudgingly in their own way) defending Augusta.

  133. 133
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    I’m surprised at how many golf fans are (sorta, grudgingly in their own way) defending Augusta.

  134. 134
    shortstop says:

    @Culture of Truth: Nah, I’m not looking for someone to root for. He said this shortly after donning the green jacket, when “Black man breaks down final frontier in golf” was still the ubiquitous headline. Apparently three female ghosts visited him in the night and he’s changed his mind, which is good, but he’s still a self-centered asshole and I don’t take his calls any more.

    @General Stuck:

    I read Jong to my inner sexist pig

    And we appreciate it, but let us know if you’d like to borrow any feminist literature that’s less than 40 years old. ;)

  135. 135
    shortstop says:

    @Raven: Similarly, Herman Cain produced several women who swore that he’d never harassed them. Also, Rick Santorum’s daughter says some of her gay friends are just fine with her daddy’s stance on marriage.

    geg6 was wrong in her assessment of how the PGA, Augusta and corporate sponsorships of same work, but you are really going out of your way to be a gleeful jerk in this thread.

  136. 136
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I never understood the fascination with golf.

    @Some Loser: I do. The game is kind of irrelevant. It’s all about being part of the club with money.

    The average golf mentality is this – a bunch of proles who wish to transition from being the slaves of those with money, to having money and owning slaves.

    The Augusta mentality would simply be slaveowners, all hanging out.

  137. 137
    aimai says:

    When they say its not the money–its the money. Have all you “they’re so rich they don’t need us proles” people not noticed that the majority of really, really, rich people in this country got there by nickle and diming and cheating people? They really hate to spend their own money. Corporate sponsorships are precisely all about a small number of executives using corporate money to get to have fun with people wealthier than they are. There’s no benefit to the corporation or its shareholders at all. Its just another perk for the in crowd. And if corporations stopped sponsoring this stuff–or politicians stopped holding these fake “charity” golf tournaments the money would stop flowing and that would be that.

    aimai

  138. 138
    Raven says:

    @shortstop: So the fuck what? I never defended their stance I just think all this sound and fury is just so much bullshit. It generated hits so it’s a big success.

  139. 139
    Raven says:

    @aimai: And if a bullfrog had wings it wouldn’t bump it’s ass when it hops.

  140. 140
    different-church-lady says:

    You could give a fuck?

  141. 141
    RalfW says:

    @shortstop:
    Awww, c’mon. Tiger just needed one place where women couldn’t throw themselves at him and wreck his marriage.

  142. 142

    @Roger Moore:

    Because she isn’t supposed to treat the company like an extension of herself; it’s supposed to be the property of the shareholders. If the sponsorship is good for IBM, she’s supposed to keep it going whether Augusta National insults her or not. Contrariwise, if the sponsorship is bad for the company, she should drop it even if the club offers her a membership. I realize this goes against the current practice of CEOs treating their companies as if their personal playthings, but it’s the way responsible executives are supposed to behave.

    The thing is, it’s the fact that CEOs use their corporations’ money to buy themselves access to exclusive events like the Master’s that constitutes treating them as their personal playthings. There’s little evidence that the *corporations* benefit from these sponsorships commensurate with the costs. The executives, on the other hand, have a great time and make all sorts of personal connections.

    If a boycott would get these companies to drop their sponsorships over this, the shareholders would be at the front of the line of those who would be better off.

  143. 143
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    If a boycott would get these companies to drop their sponsorships over this, the shareholders would be at the front of the line of those who would be better off.

    This.

  144. 144
    Steve in DC says:

    I’m fine with that policy. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s a private club. There are women only clubs as well! But of course, nobody would get upset about that and if they did people would demand their heads. There are also Chinese clubs, African clubs, Latin clubs, Christian clubs, Jewish clubs, Muslim clubs! Oh my, those horrible people.

    I’ve always found it hilarious that several of my female friends and former girlfriends went to “women only” clubs and events and yet threw the worlds biggest scream fest if they found out I was going to a place that was men only. Screams of sexism, but of course, it’s not sexist if it’s women only!

  145. 145

    @Steve in DC: It depends upon where you are going. The problem is that, while these are private clubs, a lot of business gets done at them and even more connections are made. In theory, I agree with you entirely but at the moment, there are certain mens’ clubs, like Augusta National, for which the exclusion of women has significant outside consequences. The same either isn’t true at the womens’ clubs or others that you mention or is true at such a smaller scale that it hardly compensates.

  146. 146
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Because she isn’t supposed to treat the company like an extension of herself; it’s supposed to be the property of the shareholders. If the sponsorship is good for IBM, she’s supposed to keep it going whether Augusta National insults her or not

    Lack of membership in the club might be perceived by other corporate lackeys as diminshing her effectiveness. The lack of the ability to discuss business with other CEOs could also be problematic.

    There ain’t nuthin’ personal about this. The Masters people assume that offering membership to the corporate elite has value. They also obviously presumed that corporate titans, or at least the ones that mattered, would always be men. It is not just about rich people, it is about movers and shakers.

    The Masters boneheads are on the wrong side of history.

    It was noted on a local radio program here in Southern California that the mayor of Los Angeles was always offered a membership to the two exclusive Southern California country clubs. The assumption was that the mayor deserved access to the princes of the city in an informal environment.

    Until Tom Bradley was elected the first African American mayor.

    The Masters’ policy is just as stupid.

  147. 147
    Steve in DC says:

    @Neal

    Yes it is, people still make business connections at women’s only places and do a ton of networking. In some fields, like global health and NGOs there, it’s a disadvantage for men getting in. Which is why those areas are dominated by women who only promote women in several places.

    So it cuts both ways. But as always, it’s OK if women do it, not OK if men do it. Which is bullshit, and why things like “zomg the golf courses” should be laughed at and the people dislike it should be mocked.

  148. 148
    Nerull says:

    @Marcellus Shale, Public Dick: You’re using up a lot of energy typing these comments. Are you sure you can manage? You’re only allowed like one thing a year you can get angry about, you know.

    Why is it that concern trolls are always so stupid?

  149. 149

    This is an interesting item. See, there’s two issues.

    Should Augusta *have* to admit women? Absolutely not; I think there are rules to make sure it’s not de facto discriminatory, but if they follow those rules, they should absolutely not be forced to admit anyone they don’t want to.

    Should they nevertheless stop being such schmucks and admit women, even though no one would ever contemplate *forcing* them to do so? Absolutely. What kind of neanderthal makes a fuss over admitting women in the fucking twenty-first century?

    Republicans do like to play this game, by pretending that it’s all about the first (being forced to comply). If they make it that, they win. But it’s not about force.

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in DC: By any chance, do you disapprove of affirmative action?

  151. 151
    Some Loser says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yes. We had a whole conversation about a while back. He considers it reverse-racism, whatever that is.

  152. 152
    MCA1 says:

    I fear a lot of folks in this thread are exposing how little understanding of the business world, of golf, and of private clubs, they have here. I don’t want to sound like an apologist for those three things, because, yes, there are a higher than normal percentage of obnoxious, arrogant and out of touch people associated with each of them, but I think people are seeing this as a bigger outrage than it in reality is. So, allow me to put on my poncho here first. …

    Golf doesn’t tend to be a rich person’s sport because rich people simply enjoy it more or it appeals to some love of being pampered and having someone else carry shit for them. Golf is the most expensive recreational sport in existence; ergo, most of its serious players have some money. Private clubs exist for a number of reasons, but the biggest is simple pooling of resources for access. Playing public courses blows. It costs $100 for a decent course not in awful condition, you can’t get a tee time unless you plan a month in advance, the course is littered with douchebags and idiots who don’t understand the basic etiquette of the game and want to have six beers on the front nine, and it takes 5+ hours to play a round that should take less than 4. If you’re serious about the pastime, have $100K to blow and it could make all those problems go away, you might consider it, regardless of whether you like the kind of people who join country clubs.

    People don’t actually cut deals on country club golf courses. They form a network of trust, yes. But it’s no different than any other social network, and it’s far from the exclusive network used by those who become members. Some of you folks seem to think the poor CEO of IBM can’t get in front of the right people without being in their foursome in Georgia. They don’t actually live in the Bobby Jones cottage or whatever. Golf’s incidental to all of this. It just so happens that it’s expensive as hell, and so it acts as a part of the reference process; i.e., there’s a greater chance anyone looking to join a country club is competent at some profession if they have that kind of money. Those people, shockingly, like to hang out together.

    Yes, Augusta National has a lot of extremely high up executives at a lot of very large, prestigious companies. But the membership is less than 300 people out of 320 million. You don’t have access there or any other place to make business deals. Also, Warren Buffett, well-loved by many around here, has now been called a fat, racist pig by a lot of you. Likewise Bill Gates, and I’m pretty sure Melinda’s not thinking he’s a disgusting neanderthal. Augusta National is not evil incarnate, full of evil, misogynistic jackasses. Does it have a somewhat regrettable past? Sure. Would it be nice if they opened it up to a female member? I suppose, although I have a hard time getting all that razzed about men’s, or women’s, for that matter, clubs. There are lots of them around. Men and women do, to this day, like to occasionally be free from the behavioral checks and annoyances the other sex, god love them both, sometimes represent. This club just happens to have the most beautiful course in the world, and an historically important tournament started when times were a lot different.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Some Loser: I figured as much. I won’t bother with argument then. No point.

  154. 154
    Eric k says:

    Since Romney came out with a statement basically identical to Obama’s the public opinion must be overwhelmingly against Augusta on this. Normally if Obama said the sky was blue Romney would be calling him a liar and saying it is overcast today so if he doesn’t see an advantage in defending them they are toast.

    Women CEOs are still rare but getting more common all the time, IBM won’t be the only long time Masters oartner to have one, when it gets to them excluding 3 or 4 CEOs of companies who normally get memberships they will probably find it untenable to maintain the restriction.

  155. 155
    Vince says:

    @Barry: I don’t remember it being people who normally bash feminism; I remember it being mostly women, including my feminist Mother who were pissed off.

  156. 156
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @MCA1:

    Augusta National is not evil incarnate, full of evil, misogynistic jackasses. Does it have a somewhat regrettable past? Sure. Would it be nice if they opened it up to a female member? I suppose, although I have a hard time getting all that razzed about men’s, or women’s, for that matter, clubs.

    Shorter: Rich Cracker Golf Club still full of crackers.

    The issue here is that CBS and the rest of the US media is cowed into treating the Rich Cracker Golf Club like it’s the fucking Vatican, because the Rich Cracker Golf Club will pull press credentials from media that aren’t appropriately respectful of the sanctity of the Rich Cracker Golf Club and its unique traditions and horticulture, just as it rations spectator access like it’s the chance to have an audience with Jesus.

    Elsewhere: the Royal and Ancient Club is a public park on Sundays. You can have a fucking picnic on the Old Course.

  157. 157
    Peter A says:

    @J. Michael Neal: This is hardly true anymore. Now that there are many women, and powerful women, in the corporate ranks, we are certainly fast approaching the point where “women only clubs” should be considered discriminatory.

    On the other hand, in reality, in my experience women seem to try to undermine each other in the business world more than they help each other, but that is a separate cultural issue that goes way beyond clubs.

  158. 158
    Chet says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Both of my parents are avid golfers, and avid viewers of televised golf. Both could, I guess, be characterized as “proles” (a term I frankly dislike, thanks to its use by elitist racist pricks like this one).

    Neither, to my knowledge, has any aspirations of owning plantations or slaves. They enjoy the game because they enjoy the game.

  159. 159
    bjacques says:

    Bushwood sucks!

  160. 160
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    @Nerull:

    and i am flattered that you chose me for your allotment.

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