Monday, August 25, 2008

Women's Equality Day

As the Democratic National Convention unfolds in Denver, I find it ironic that today of all days, as we celebrate Women's Equality Day, I can't help but feel betrayed by my lifelong party. How could the party leaders ignore the message that we want a woman for President, or at least Vice President? The fact that 18,000,000 registered Democrats cast their primary election ballots for Hillary Rodham Clinton (and not Joseph Biden) is being completely disregarded in the name of "party unity," which is starting to smell more like a compromise to me.

How dare Nancy Pelosi accuse us of wallowing and tell us to "get over it." What part of the democratic process does she not understand? The convention was designed with the purpose of selecting a candidate, not crowning the party leaders’ chosen one. The people tell our elected leaders want we want and how to govern, not the other way around. I was under the apparently mistaken impression that we had a representative government, reflective of the will of the people. I expected the Democrats to understand that there is a larger victory to be won than the upcoming election in November. Putting a party victory ahead of party ideals would be a hollow victory for me and many of my sisters. It would make my party stand for nothing.

Today is a day when our delegates can make a statement. I applaud Gloria Allred, who had the guts to protest at this morning’s caucus by wearing an impromptu gag and declaring that “she was not elected as a delegate to be a potted plant."

I guess you think I'm off on this one. I'm very angry and I suppose there is probably a better way to voice my anger. But I will not simply go along quietly (shut up and sit down) while women are once again written out of the equation. What do you suggest? Women, it's time to take control of our party! There is no way Obama could not get the message that we wanted a woman in the White House, but he chose not to act in accordance with our wishes. Why? Because he is trying to win an election by wooing white, middle class voters who might otherwise go to McCain. The party is doing this at our expense because they think we're going to just lie back and get fucked. Well, I for one am not going to. If we don't fix this trainwreck, I intend to look for a candidate, perhaps among the independent parties, who puts women's issues at the top of their agenda.

Wake up Democrats, is this the sort of change we can believe in? Keep your eyes on the prize, ladies. This candidate chose another man to be his running mate when it was obvious that a very large portion of his party wanted a woman on the ticket. Instead of reaching out to the Hillary supporters within the Democratic Party he chose to reach out to mollify the conservatives within the party and on the Republican side. Where are all my liberal friends? What have you to say about this? Is this a new kind of liberalism?

I don't care if Hillary tells her supporters to vote for Obama. I will vote for the person who espouses my ideals. Our delegates need to step up today in Denver and send a LOUD message to Mr. Obama and the party not to take our votes for granted. Ladies, if we do not make ourselves heard we have no one to blame but ourselves. It is estimated that women make up over half of the Democratic Party. We need to make that party responsive to our needs. We will be heard. We must be fairly represented, NOW!


Anonymous said...

Childish. And frightening.

Anonymous said...

...and have fun trying to wash the blood off your hands if you help get that madman elected.

Jenny Lens said...

First, as a political decision, having a man with strong foreign policy experience was absolutely critical and mandatory against the so-called "war hero" who has been in the senate a long time.

Both Obama nor Clinton are new senators with minimal foreign policy credentials. I don't care because I know they have integrity and could handle the pressure with grace and dignity, and look to advisors, but of course we know how that worked out for Bush, but I won't go there.

But to the average voter, and the endless barrage of ads and TV commentators, the Dems would have NO chances of winning with that ticket. Voters in the critical states which can make or break an election, are clueless scared lemmings for the most part.

I am not a Hillary supporter, but I support the 18,000,000 people whose voices are not being heard. People complain too few vote in this country. So they vote and what happens? Do their votes count? Not in 2000 nor 2004, not even when the Dems won a majority in 2006.

No, "we can't rock the boat," "we have too slim a margin to stand up to the Republicans," whether in the Supreme Court or Congress. That's democracy in action? That's what so many have fought and died for since the 1770's?

Well, Alice is saying what needs to be said. Even if you don't support her candidate. It's the idea that somewhere along the line, Hillary's 18,000,000 votes need to be counted for something and all of us.

At least talk about it! Congratulate ourselves that a woman outlasted many male candidates and put up a good fight. That the Democratic party is ground-breaking not only for supporting a black man, but a woman!

Acknowledge that of all the women in the world, the one with that albatross around her neck, managed to do what she's done, is just amazing.

It's that line from "Wicked": "the most celebrated are the rehabilitated." Look what she's done in light of her husband's infidelity and impeachment for lying to the country.

Tell me how few people could have survived and even triumphed after that? A true phoenix.

No matter how you look at it, women are still second-class citizens. And men are upset! I saw a young man from Texas on the news, a Hillary delegate, who was upset about this issue too. Isn't it time we set an example for men that women are valuable in our society?

Who is childish? Alice for echoing what a lot of people are saying? Handled better, the Dems could have kept Hillary supporters AND brought in those undecided voters they always go for, the centrists who are far more in the minority AND not risk losing so many progressive votes.

But no, politics as usual. Let's alienate our base while trying to steal from the other side.

They are childish, not Alice. But the realist in me doubts that women will ever organize themselves and stand up to the party. Men and women couldn't/wouldn't even stand up to that wimp, Pelosi, with "impeachment off the table."

The Dems wouldn't filibuster when they were a minority nor majority in the Senate. WTF? Didn't they ever see Jimmy Stewart do it? ("Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"). Where's Frank Capra when we need him? I want him to go to Washington and direct the Dems on playing their scenes better so we have happy endings.

Why the hell did we vote the Dems back into power in 2006 if not for both ending the war NOW and impeachment?

Alice, you are more idealistic than most of us. So you just keep on calling us to action.

As for the naysayers, get out there and work for Obama to make sure he wins if you are so scared of McCain!

MOST of all, get the word out Obama's not a Muslim! (if you don't get the reference, Chris Matthews, the MSN commentator, was shocked his own family thinks Obama is a Muslim!) Obama supporters have their work cut out for themselves!

Why hasn't the Dem party and Obama dealt with this issue? That's going to kill this election, not Hillary Clinton!

But to keep the precious votes the Dems could get, YOU go out there and appease the Hillary supporters. Which is what the Dems should have done. But don't call Alice names. She's the brave one.

But that's why I'm not a Dem, but a Green. I can't vote in the primaries, but it will be a cold day in hell before I ever register as a Dem again. Unless they start to treat not only the Hillary supporters, but all of us they consider on the fringe, as valuable voters and citizens.

Jews, Muslims, people of color, various ethnicities beyond WASP and white Catholics, various sexual orientations, poor folks, old folks without tons of money, renters, artists, musicians, all of us living off the grid, the ones struggling to get by, and whose votes don't count when the final tally is added up.

Don't they realize there's a true majority of peeps who are progressive? Why always that stupid, elusive, clueless white male center vote?

Oh yeah, it's an old boy's network, even with Pelosi, Feinstein and Boxer (don't get me started on those three men in dresses).

So Alice, keep telling it like it is. I don't agree with you 100%, but I agree with your right to express yourself. It is ONLY when we censor ourselves that we lose.

Keep inspiring the next generation. It could be your daughter's generation who makes a difference. But they won't if you and I remain quiet.

I was sent home from high school for wearing peace buttons during the earliest days of the Vietnam War, shortly after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. It was a mostly fabricated event to justify sending troops to Viet Nam. We know that now, but I knew it then.

I suggest everyone read Fulbright's "Arrogance of Power," THE book that changed my life about the militarization of American politics, society and culture. I have never apologized for my political beliefs, and I don't care what anyone says.

As they say, "well-behaved women rarely make history." And Alice and I have made history, as has every man and woman who stood up and said, "this is not right. Every vote must count."

And there's the Electoral College, but I won't go there . . . but that's what makes these elections so skewed. IF we had true elections, counting ALL thepopular votes, we'd have a true democracy and campaigns would be run differently. But that won't happen unless we take to the streets. Which I am not suggesting! I am not an anarchist. Enough for tonight . . .

Lydia said...

Anon - it won't be Alice who's to blame if McCain gets elected. The DNC power brokers who decided to disenfranchise 18,000,000 registered Democrats in the name of "party unity" (aka the more "electable candidates") bear that responsibility.

As for your accusation of childishness, why don't you do some growing up of your own? Alice has done more for equality of the sexes and contributed more to the public discourse over the past thirty years than most could hope to in several lifetimes.

"Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." - George Bernard Shaw

Anonymous said...

Rewind. Try again.

2 seconds of googling:

Bond: Obama-Biden "most liberal ticket EVER"

Anyways, Biden was chosen because a) he supports Obama enthusiastically b) he is an extremely effective "bad cop" who will cut McCain a new asshole c) he's an oldtimer who's been in the Senate forever, balancing the (understandable, I suppose) perception that he's not experienced enough, as well the perception that there is nothing more to him than pretty speeches (which I suppose is understandable, too, if all you know about him is what you learn on TV - in fact, it's quite well documented that he's an extraordinarily knowledgeable and effective legislator).

None of this would really be true of Clinton (including the question of experience, but expanding on that would mean attacking her, which is not what I want at this point).

You're pretty vague on what you want from Obama. I don't think his actual policy proposals are any less pro-woman than Clinton's. I understand that it's not legal for him to announce cabinet posts before he's elected, but I can't imagine that he won't appoint some women in 2008. Condi Rice, anyone? Or did you think that Michelle Obama's husband is intimidated by intelligent, accomplished women?

Meanwhile, I don't know about you, but I myself am represented not only by a female congress -um, person, but by two nice Jewish girls in the Senate, one of whom I would have even chosen over Obama, if given the option (sighs wistfully).

Anonymous said...

And obviously you weren't being vague. Apologies. I'd glanced at your post again and for some reason thought I'd noted a hint of sanity...

Chris said...

Hey, what's with the ad hominem attacks on Alice? Can't she express her anger and disappointment with the nomination process without being labeled "insane?" Did she ever personally attack you or your Saint Obama? My God, you Daily Kos reading Obamaniacs are just vicious. Perhaps you should go back there and rejoin the choir of the party faithful.

"I have been against it in 2002, 2003, 2004, 5, 6, 7, 8 and I will bring this war to an end in 2009."
-Barack Obama

Note to Mr. Anonymous - remember to hold your candidate's feet to the fire when he and Biden try to back pedal on this promise next year.

Rick said...

I had a philosophy professor who suggested a plan in which each state would send forth two senators of each sex - one man and one woman from each state.

I don't know why I mention it, but I've always liked the idea. Like anything that would make these often spouted notions of equality any more than lip service, the plan would meet with howls of disapproval.

From anonymous: "I understand that it's not legal for him to announce cabinet posts before he's elected, but I can't imagine that he won't appoint some women in 2008."

A few token women kept in advisory capacity is hardly the change eighteen million voters were seeking.

Anonymous said...

get off Alice's back. At least she is using her VOICE to speak her mind.