Women in the Senate are becoming more powerful.
The August body, though still in the grips of mostly older white men, is now the provence of 19 women, from 16 states, and the number grows every election.
That trend is likely to continue as newly elected Senators like Elizabeth Warren make a significant difference in the political discourse — especially within the Senate — countering the divisiveness, intransigence and the fatalistic policies of McConnell, Grassley, McCain, Alexander, Hatch, Cornyn, Graham, Sessions and so many others.
Are strong women the answer to our political nightmare?
Most definitely! As we find ourselves hopelessly locked in a testosterone induced impasse that is crippling our country, strong women are the answer.
Senators like Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jean Shaheen, Claire McCaskill, Barbara Mikulski, and Patty Murray are making a difference — strong Democrats with good intentions and a desire to heal an ailing nation.
Senators’ Gillibrand and McCaskill are working hard to protect women in the military from rape and abuse — to correct a long standing failure of the Military Justice System — but run into resistance from overzealous wardogs like McCain and Graham.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about all of the Democratic women.
Kay Hagan in North Carolina is a good Senator, but she weakens, too willing to compromise when confronted or pressured and too willing to succumb to corporate interests.
Nor can strength be attributed to, Mary Landrieu, the Senator from Louisiana. She’s afraid to battle for what’s right, cowering to the problems encountered by Obamacare — despite the long-term benefits to the entire American populace — in order to hold office. Landrieu needs to be more like Warren and less like Blanche Lincoln.
Four of the nineteen women in the Senate are Republicans and though better than their male counterparts their weaknesses are hurting the American people and the American way of life. They’ve stood idly by as their colleagues eviscerate women’s rights, strip families of much needed assistance, kill Planned Parenthood, and attack a woman’s right to choose.
A couple of strong Democrats, to replace Susan Collins in Maine this year and the unacceptable Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire in 2016 would be positive for the country and for the womens’ caucus in the Senate.
Collins is responsible for screwing up the U.S. Post Office with her 2006 bill. Her office claimed over two years ago that she was trying to correct the mess she caused but she’s failed miserably to fix it. Unfortunately, Olympia Snowe, the better of the two Maine Republicans, chose to retire because of the divisiveness and intransigence of her own party. Ayotte is another story, probably more suited for the craziness in the House.
While the pale Republican-male-element in the Senate works to destroy or block everything good coming from government, the strong women battle to pass legislation that will elevate women and benefit all Americans — Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, Affordable Care Act, American Jobs Act, GI Bill, Military Justice Improvement Act.
At the same time these unintimidated women fight equally hard for consumer rights; Social Security; better education; the poor; unemployment benefits; food stamps for single mothers, children, and veterans.
The addition of a Warrenlike Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky replacing the destructive, Mitch McConnell, and Michelle Nunn’s election in Georgia replacing the retiring and inconsequential, Saxby Chambliss, will increase their power in the Senate exponentially. And, at the same time, improve America’s chance for recovery.
Alison Grimes is the strongest challenge to Mitch McConnell in his long and disruptive time in Congress and could easily beat the intransigent Senator. If the people of Kentucky are interested in improving their state, ending McConnell’s incessant and destructive filibuster, and improving the nation as a whole, they’ll replace McConnell with a caring and tough pol like Grimes.
Michelle Nunn, the daughter of the popular former Senator from the Peach State, Sam Nunn, will be a marked improvement over the wasted years of Chambliss who has done nothing but disrupt and destroy while a member of Congress.
One other Democrat hopeful for the Senate is running for the seat in West Virginia vacated by retiring incumbent, John Rockefeller. A strong candidate, Natalie Tennant, will add another strong female voice to the Senate, help push quality legislation, and help Democrats hold the majority.
Republicans, especially the intransigent old white men, have made the Senate an impotent political entity. Smart voters in several swing states can change that. As the number of women in the Senate increases better ideas emerge because they exercise sound, intuitive judgement, while balancing the benefit of legislation for their constituents and the nation.
The 2014 election should bring a few more strong women to the Senate shifting the balance of power and helping overcome the insufferable gridlock created by the obstinate and inflexible right-wing idealogues.
The future of the Senate — of this country — lies in the growth of a strong representation of women in the August body.