Here's my guess at what happened at Komen last year.
Nancy Brinker is a country-club Republican, Texas style. She likes big money, big people, big corporations. She doesn't have a lot invested in the culture wars, but pays lips service where she needs to. She likes a nice wool suit and a set of pearls. She's a nice lady ... a little ambitious.
Now, the Susan G. Komen organization starts to bring her in touch with a lot of high-powered people. Corporate executives. Politicians. Mostly of the Republican kind. After all, that is where the big corporate money is. And this is what Ms. Brinker wants to raise. She really believes in this cause -- and after all, it takes a lot of money to raise a lot of money.
Meanwhile, things are really heating up for the Komen foundation. Interest from women remains high for years on end. It becomes a prestigious -- even exalted -- organization. Everyone wants to climb on board. Yogurt manufacturers, frozen vegetable distributors, even gun-makers(!) want a piece of the action.
And the bigger Susan G. Komen becomes, the more there is at stake. Everything is swelling up to a huge size. Staff, salaries, consultants, egos. It's like a huge beast ... and it's a hungry one ... and it needs to be fed. Constantly.
So now the organization is a behemoth.
And Nancy Brinker finds herself sitting on corporate boards, serving as a U.S. Ambassador, regularly socializing and working with some of the nation's richest and most powerful people, many of whom are Republicans. Sure -- some of the same old country club set -- but she's at the top of the mountain now. This is the Koch Brothers, the Bush family, the Cheneys ...
So, this is it. Her charity is a huge success. She's got everything she wants, right?
But there is a problem ...
Just like Faust making his deal with the devil ...
The devil came back to get his due from Ms. Brinker.
The great success she had with Susan G. Komen came largely because she was able to get powerful and well-connected people to come aboard. Politicians to spread the word. Corporations to brand their products and give donations.
This doesn't come without a price.
So, last year ...
Some people came to Nancy Brinker and told her that it was time for her to turn the Komen group into an asset for the Conservative movement.
Oh, it wasn't as simple as that.
And the people who were to benefit have nothing invested in Conservatism per se. It's just a cover they use to get what they want from the government. You think the Koch brothers really care about gay marriage? They care about it as far as they can use it to get what they want in terms of wealth out of the system.
But some people came to Nancy Brinker last year and very nicely said:
"Nancy, your group sends money to Planned Parenthood and this has to stop. In fact, a lot of things are going to have to change. For one, you're hiring a new #2 at Susan G. Komen. She's going to be a Conservative, and we're going to help you find her."
And, sure enough, Ari Fleischer appeared at the door to do just that.
You see -- Susan G. Komen got to be a piece on the chessboard that was big enough that it was going to be valuable to somebody. And that somebody was, naturally, the people who helped it grow to the size it attained.
So some powerful folks stepped in and tried to make it an asset for their side.
Yes, I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but:
What the Hell is Ari Fleischer, a former presidential press secretary, doing appearing on the scene at a breast cancer charity, trying to force through a hit on Planned Parenthood and overseeing hiring policy for executives?
So -- there you have it. We mock and ridicule Ms. Brinker, but I bet she's pretty sad right now. After all, it's likely that has little invested in abortion issues. And her life work just got pulled right out from under her. And it was immolated completely in the outrage that followed.