1. In general, the idea behind democracies is not that candidates get to determine what voters are allowed to care about in casting their ballots. It is beyond ridiculous for someone to announce their candidacy for a position in a professional organization and then say, "Respect for other people's opinions, in my mind, also includes not inquiring into these opinions and allowing such information to be volunteered (or not)."Sometimes I feel like the academic life is about dancing on a rug that has maybe ten square inches of carpet surrounded by yards of lunatic fringe.
2. If other constituencies within ASA wanted to mobilize and poll ASA candidates about issues of central concern to them, there is nothing stopping them from doing so. It's not SWS's fault that others lack their initiative.
3. It's weird to express dismay that SWS would send out a survey that focuses on the issues central to the mission of SWS.
4. Gender scholars are not some loony gang of gynoconformists. Each member of SWS has, in fact, her/his own mind. I would only have a problem with SWS providing information to members about candidates if that information was willfully misleading somehow. The SWS practice--presenting verbatim the responses provided by the candidates themselves--seems about as close to non-misleading-by-definition as one can get. If individual SWS members want to be single-issue "gender" voters--whatever exactly that might mean--this is their prerogative.
5. As a different example of single-issue voting, I want to announce that I will never myself vote for a candidate for ASA office who regards analogies to Nazi Germany as appropriate descriptions for ASA procedures or elections.
Update, next day: Drek offers his own take on the posts in question, which he follows by offering the opportunity for rebuttal. I will have to admit to uncertainty about how exactly one would go about rebutting a drinking game.
Update to update: According to my Bloglines feed, Deflem has updated his post a couple times after I wrote this, so it might be better/differently articulated than before.