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wFriday, June 06, 2003

Women in Politics
"Remember also when women started canvassing and picketing to get the right to vote in the women’s suffrage movement. Remember how many of those were arrested and kicked and dragged off to jail. For what? For wanting to have the right to vote. It wasn’t just men. Some men who were opposed to this. It was the liquor industry, and it was the industrial corporations who didn’t like women at that time organizing to end the brutalized child labor in those dungeon factories because the women believe those children belonged in school."
- Ralph Nader, stump speech in 2000
The idea of electing women and minorities to high office is often advanced on notions of equality or fairness. The prevailing idea in most circles being "if a man can do it, a woman can do it; or if a white can do it, a black can do it". Sometimes this is a correct assessment. I really can't see much in Hillary Clinton's congressional record to show a special area of concern that is much different from John Kerry's record. I think they're both decent Senators, but I don't see what extra viewpoint and concern Hillary brings to the job. And one can't even compare Clarence Thomas with Thurgood Marshall.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, on the other hand, appears to be just as much a woman and a mother as Thurgood Marshall was a black lawyer. From David Broder:
Lincoln was furious. "Almost 60 percent of the families in my state make under $26,000," she told me. "People say these families don't pay income tax. But they pay a lot of other taxes -- Social Security, sales tax, excise taxes. And those taxes just keep going up. And they buy the same things for their kids -- soap powder, blue jeans -- as I buy for the twins. And pay the same prices."

So she mobilized. With Snowe again her partner, she quickly rounded up more than half the Senate as co-sponsors of a bill to restore the full $1,000 refundability, paying the $3.5 billion cost by closing several Enron-style corporate loopholes.


In a rare victory for children and common sense, a bipartisan agreement was reached late yesterday to do what was right. Maybe the women should speak up more often.

posted by Matthew Carroll-Schmidt at 10:52 AM

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