Out of 100 senators, there are just 17 women, of whom five are Republicans and 12 are Democrats. A regular, bipartisan dinner meeting has helped create a spirit that transcends party lines. For female senators, there’s more to politics than scoring points.
Among the 17 female senators, it amounts to an informal nonaggression pact. In the male-dominated, tradition-bound Senate chamber, their desire to recapture a long lost sense of civility trumps the constant pressure to score partisan points. It’s a bond forged by their common experience as women in the highest level of American politics, reinforced during a regular dinner meeting led by the longest-serving female senator, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md). Mikulski set the rules for the dinner group when she launched it years ago: no staff, no memos, no leaks and no men. Many of the regular diners are at polar opposite ends of the political spectrum, yet it’s unheard of for the female senators to publicly criticize one another.
Would this bipartisanship work for the other 83 Senators? Would constituents accept bipartisanship and teaming up on key legislation, or do they expect Senators to not compromise and hold the ‘party’ line?
8 responses to “Civil Senate Women”
I hope this thread doesn’t turn into an attempt to promote one gender over the other, but shows an example of flying in the face of a culture so accepting of violent, brutish behavior. I think as we’ve seen by anti-government protesters in Egypt and in the example set by these Senators, civil discourse is a supreme act of courage and true rebellion.
I hear more often than I wish to that there is nothing greater to strive for than the total and utter defeat of the opposition. I don’t think that attitude and the behavior it spawns does anything good in any place and certainly doesn’t add to ‘governing.’
Civility is not agreeing, it is not being a push over, it is not a sign of weakness. It is simply not being nasty to or demeaning or trivializing someone because you disagree. When you do that nothing can happen. Civility isn’t wrought from a swagger, packing a gun, cursing, lying, cheating, or lacking any semblance of caring for those less fortunate.
I am sure that calm discussion and negotiation can bring about results that anger, arguments and war never will. Lest we forget, Jesus set an example of being civil and forgiving.
In my opinion – alot of this uncompromising attitude came into full swing when Reagan brought in the Religious Right to the political table.
These are people with strong beliefs that their God – and only their God – is the path to salvation from eternal damnation.
The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, used the word Creator. And these same men also guaranteed freedom of religion.
But how many times have we seen Evangelical Christians being the ones driving this mantra of the country being a Christian nation?
When dealing with people who carry such black and white views, then there is no possibility of compromise.
And to make matters worse – these same fine folks have often said that God chose them to run for elected office. How can anyone possibly fight that sense of entitlement? Who wants to be known as the God hater?
I worked with a Betty Bible who happened to be the office manager. At a staff meeting, she informed everyone that ‘this is a Christian office and if you don’t like it, then there’s the door’. I immediately told her that she did not have the right to give that ultimatum.
After the meeting, she calls me in to her office and asked me why I hated Jesus. I then asked her why she was willing to put our employer’s business o the line because there were federal laws against discrimination.
This Betty Bible looked completely stunned – like I had just hit her with a cold fish. She had no thought of anyone even being offended – let alone our employer being sued.
This is the attitude that will never allow compromise of any sort.
BTW – I handed in my resignation later that week and I told the employer my reasons. Ms Betty Bible was fired immediately thereafter.
Think about the countries where women are oppressed. Are they the more violent countries? Can there be a connection? Perhaps people of both genders sharing the responsibility, the power, the consequences works best? People. Of all color, ethnicity, religion, gender…
What I find laughable is when I get emails from my devout Tea Party Republican about the terrible Muslim oppression of women but then isn’t the Tea Party the ones that want to go back to the Constitution days?
And in those days – slaves were 3/5 a person but women did not even have that much worth.
How much more oppressive can a group of men get than to rank women beneath the slave’s value of 3/5 personhood?
Well, Indy, at least they allowed you to keep your ears. In those days gone by, a bounty was placed on Indians. Bounty Hunters would “remove” the ears of Indians that they had killed as proof to collect their rewards. These came to be known as “skins” hence the term “redskins.” *
My two favorite pro-football teams are the New England Patriots and whoever is playing Washington.
In truth, the Founders wrote that all men were created equal, but in the “culture” of the times, that meant only white men. What is particularly noteworthy is that they didn’t see the need to specify what they meant by “all men.”
* Wiki claims this is unproven, but I have heard it from multiple sources.
Such language indeed appears in the Declaration of Independence, WSC, and “contextually”, applies to white male property owners only.
The Constitution clarifies a bit with the 3/5ths being established within the language. Clearly, non-slaves were the only “one for one” allowed in counting for the census, apportionment of representatives, etc.
But, but…….Michele Bachmann stated the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly throughout their lives to get rid of slavery.
Like I’ve said before – if these fine men wanted to get rid of slavery – alot of them could have just yelled out their back door ‘You’re Free’ to their own slaves.
Slavery was about economics – pure and simple. Wealthy white men owned slaves and made the money – so hence, they ran the show.
We still have some form of slavery in today’s corporate world. Wealthy white men (for the large majority) are still running the show.