We just revile them for seeking it.
I can’t be the only one who’s noticed how dramatically the narrative about Nancy Pelosi has changed in the past month. While she was doing the caucus-building necessary to regain the speaker’s gavel, all we heard was:
“She’s too old! It’s time for new blood!”
“The Republicans hate her.”
“She’s too liberal. We’ll never regain the white working class voters who left us when we passed civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s with someone from San Francisco leadind the House Dems!” (Spoiler alert: It’s been 55 years. They ain’t coming back.)
“She’s not liberal enough!”
“She’s a drag on the party!” (Who led the efforts to get a 40-seat #BlueTsunami in a House whose districts have been so rigged by partisan gerrymandering that the Dems haven’t even had a realistic shot at regaining power in eight long years, but whatever, don’t let facts get the way of your sexist narrative.)
She REALLY IS playing nine-dimensional chest against a group of idiots who have yet to master the strategy behind tic-tac-toe.
The first bill introduced in the House, immediately after the 116th Congress went into session, was a massive package of voting reforms, trying to replace by law what the Supreme Court destroyed by fiat in Shelby County v. Holder.
The second bill introduced in the House, H.R. 51, is intended to rectify the largest, longest standing, most egregious voter disenfranchisement in the US. More than 700,000 of our fellow citizens have no voice in the laws that govern them merely because they live in Washington, DC, and this has been the case nearly since the city was founded in 1800. Know why? Racism. (For more on the background of this, check out Derek Musgrove’s excellent Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital).
TrumPutin set the trap for himself on his asinine government shutdown (credit where credit is due), but she sprung it, masterfully. And she continues to play him like a goddamn fiddle, all without mussing her Hermes scarf.
You still gonna tell me that the Dems should have handed that gavel to one of the interchangeable milquetoast white boys who wanted it? Or someone who’s in her first term in Congress and, while she’s smart and telegenic and highly skilled at using social media is still, bless her heart, getting basic facts about how the government works wrong? (Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure she’ll pick it up, see above RE: smart – but maybe she shouldn’t be in charge just yet.)
Yeah, we LOVE women IN power, we just don’t love them WANTING it or WORKING to get it.
Look at the entire history of Hillary Clinton in politics. When she’s campaigning (whether for senator, a cabinet position, or president) she’s a shrill, neo-liberal, corporate-owned, ethically-compromised bitch. When she actually wins office and gets to work? One of America’s most admired women, approval ratings above 60%, colleagues love her, efficient and effective.
We’re going to have to get over this in a hurry, folks, and by “we” I mostly mean the men (and some of the women) in the media. And liberal men in general.
The Democrats already have an excellent slate of women candidates running for president in 2020 who are both qualified (unlike Sarah Palin and Carly Fiorina) and have a real shot at winning (unlike Shirley Chisholm, trail blazer and icon, may she rest in power). So far Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren have thrown their hats into the ring, and Kamala Harris is going to announce any second now, and she may not be the last. (No, I’m not forgetting Tulsi Gabbard, but hard pass on that dictator-loving psycho. I’d like a CHANGE from Trump in 2020, please.) Hillary may have been robbed of the presidency by TrumPutin and his minions working hand-in-glove with the Russians to laser target their campaign to steal the office for him, but her historic and unprecedented campaign fundamentally altered the realm of possibility for women in politics.
And we’re already getting the BS.
“People are asking if she’s likeable enough.” (Of course, men in the media are thinking: “Notice, I’M not asking, because I now know that that’s a sexist question, and I’m woke-wokeity-woke enough not to ask it directly myself. But I’m totally cool with incessantly reporting that OTHER PEOPLE are asking it. Those ‘other people’ might be Fox News, the Proud Boys, and QAnon, but hey, they’re people, right?”) (Debatable.)
“Elizabeth Warren is shrill. And too old.” (Somehow, shouty, ancient Bernie Sanders and older than dirt – and multi-time POTUS candidate failure – Joe Biden aren’t, of course.)
“Kirsten Gillibrand was mean to poor, poor Al Franken.” (Look, I still think what went down with Al was more than a little fishy, but here’s the thing – no one is indispensable, and we can’t be caught living in a glass house in this issue, which Kirsten CLEARLY understands.)
“Kamala Harris was a PROSECUTOR. Who put people IN JAIL.” (Sigh.)
Guess what? There’s significant research that women are actually better at governing than men. They sponsor more bills, they pass more laws overall and more laws that benefit women directly (which benefit families, which benefits all of us), they compromise better (tip: compromise is not a dirty word. Without it, government completely grinds to a halt, as we’ve seen ever since Newt Gingrich wrecked Congress), and they bring more money home to their own districts.
We have, obviously, no data on how this works for a woman president, but there’s no reason to think the skills women build and exercise climbing the ladder of elected office will sudden vanish when they win the top seat.
So people – and by “people” you know who I mean – pull your collective heads out of your asses, stop shitting your pants over women who seek power, and get on the bus, because these ladies are about to run your asses over if you don’t.
Image found here.
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