Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley may or may not be elected to the U.S. Senate tomorrow. I ask you: What difference will it make--one way or the other?
Badly, the Democratic guns-for-hire, Coakley's would-be colleagues, and the president want Martha Coakley elected because they, badly, want their 60th vote for a health care bill that presently renders American women unequal, second-class citizens to the men around them.
Coakley can't wait to vote for it: In thrall to Ted Kennedy's legacy and desirous of keeping the "Kennedy seat," talk about entitlement, she campaigns with Vicki Kennedy to make her case.
So, let's say Martha Coakley pulls it out of the bag. Then what?
Well, at the same time Friday that the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee was pleading with me to send money to help get Martha Coakley elected, I received a call from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar's (D-MN) fundraiser.
Now, Amy is a longtime and dear personal friend: A law school classmate of my husband's, we have sent money to Amy since her first run for office back in the 90's. So, when Amy decided to run for the U.S. Senate, I took it upon myself to introduce her to then Senator Obama's donor-world: the world of big-money, progressive Chicago Democrats. The dividends (for her) have paid off ever since.
But what about the dividends for me, for the rest of the women of Chicago, for the women of Minnesota, for the women of the rest of America?
Talk about the bag. Looks to me like we've all been left, holding the bag.
The reason for the formation of Emily's List, say, or of other women's organizations that raise money and work to elect pro-choice, Democratic women candidates, was crystal clear: It was to increase the number of Democratic women in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, so that these women electeds would do what the Democratic men had failed to do: make the American world an equal one.
We were highly motivated; we worked really hard; we had a great interest in helping the interested women among us achieve this opportunity to serve--in order to serve our interests.
Instead, we find them serving their own.
As I've previously written in these pages, in lock step with their male colleagues, the 13 Democratic women U.S. Senators voted for a health care reform bill that, tragically, takes millions of American women back to pre-Roe v. Wade days, i.e., to daily life in which they will, odds are, be unable to obtain an abortion, in their very own state.
As to the Democratic women Members of the House of Representatives, well, yes, a group is fighting very hard to beat back the Stupak Amendment (talk about pre-Roe!), but their leader, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, birthed Stupak in the first place. Talk about failing to serve the interests of women.
You're not my heroes anymore.
Your elections excited me. Your elections motivated me to (keep) helping you, because I believed that your election meant I would have representatives of me, fighting for me.
Well, as B.B. King would say: "The thrill is gone."
Don't come to me saying you represent me; don't come to me saying that I owe you my financial support; don't come to me saying that you are the defender of my rights; don't come to me saying you matter to women, or worse yet, for women.
For, right now, you don't.
So, until further notice, my phone is on voice mail; my checkbook is closed; my e-mail contact list doesn't include you; my living room chairs are empty of women donors; and my speeches for you won't get written.
B. B. continues: "The thrill is gone away for good."
That's up to you.
On this day of all days, on the day when we honor the work of a man assassinated for standing up and acting on his belief in equal rights, the least you can do is:
- Stop making deals, stand-up to the enemy, and fight like Dr. King did.
- Stop thinking that being just a little bit better than the guys next-door is enough help for those who depend on you. Dr. King didn't make this mistake, and neither should you.
- Stop thinking that being in proximity to power is sufficient (to our needs). The only thing that actually matters, on days like these, is having power, and using it to do good.
- Stop thinking that fighting to "maintain the status quo" is a win, 'cause, gee whiz, I tried really hard. It isn't, not when women's very lives are at-stake.
- Stop thinking "half a loaf is better than none." Sometimes, some days, these days, this day, it's not. We know that, and so should you.
On this day, of all days:
- Know that your male colleagues don't understand what we need, in the way that you do. We need you to do what needs doing.
- Know that your sworn enemies won't, ever, honor their word. The last few months of "health care reform" are ample proof of that, if any were ever needed. We need you to outflank our enemy, however you can manage to do that.
- Know that equal rights can't be achieved by conducting business "as usual." We need you, desperately, to conduct the business that needs conducting, no matter the price you may personally pay for breaking away from the (male) norm.
- Know that you owe us a debt, and it's time to pay it. We need you do what Dr. King did: Keep fighting for equality.
I close as B.B. closed: "I'm free, free now; I'm free from your spell, and now that it's over, all I can do is wish you well."