Okay, I'm a woman. I can debate with the best of them, fast and furious. But I feel very reluctant to post, although I do, because I find politics compelling. I am absolutely shocked that I find critical comments by perfect strangers more painful, even if they are exactly the same kinds of comments as those from people I know, many of them rabid right-wingers.
I have heard that one of the strengths and weaknesses of women is that they pick up body language and facial expressions more than men. They read people, physically, better. So face-to-face, we can gage how strong a reply to give or whether in fact we are wandering into a dangerous situation. But the same words in print are harder to gage and I at least, tend to interpret them as more threatening. Put another way, when I see a face or hear a voice, I feel affection and forgiveness, even for bigots and loud-mouth idiots, but when I see print, I feel like the voice of God and the multitude is striking me down. Or a lurking rapist. I admire men because they seem so brave. My husband, who is a shy guy, has more courage than I to wander into the lion's den.
I have a blog. I have never told anyone except about four close friends about it. I keep thinking, well, it's not good enough yet. But in conversations, in planes or any random situation, everyone I meet seems to be riveted by my comments, my world view, whatever. But in this anonymous forum, I am still thin-skinned. But I'm trying to screw up my courage. And tell the truth as best I can.
Truth to tell, I have never been close to anyone without their fundamentally moving their world view in my direction.
And about young women. Having a baby is a twenty-four hour thing. It is very hard to turn off. It is having two full-time jobs and falling in love for the first time in your life all at the same time. Of course young women should enter the fray, but what they need in this incredibly high pressure, exhausting time of life, is a safe place. So for about five years per child, most women would probably find it more than they can manage to engage in yet another intense engagement.
I agree with you that HRC is very smart, very well organized, and personally admirable. But I think the only way she will be a good president is if there is a huge wave of progressives in congress. She will not stick her neck out for us.
I have heard that Franklin Roosevelt himself was not actually very progressive at first, but with an overwhelmingly progressive populist congress, pushing him, he did what had to be done, and he rose to the occasion. I think the same would happen with HRC. I don't think she has the oratorical skills that FDR had, though.
Both Obama and Edwards are better speakers. Even Dodd. She seems too scripted. But I don't blame her, given what she's been through.
I would really love a woman president. I don't know if this is true, but I read an article once which analyzed women heads of state, and concluded that in countries where women constitute 40% or more of the parliament, the women were excellent heads of state, but in those with few women representatives, the women were substantially more bellicose. And so HRC's rhetoric has to be more bellicose, because she is playing with the boys. And sometimes words lead to action. It might be harder for her to avoid military engagement, given where we are as a country.
People like to say that 2006 was a once in a lifetime opportunity but I don't think so. Bush's numbers are lower than ever, and even if he isn't removed from office, it's like that there will be impeachment proceedings before the next election which will not only destroy their credibility among their few supporters, but shine light on congressmen who cooperated. In 2006 there were more Democratic seats being contested than Republican seats 17 to 15 as opposed to 2008 where the Republicans have twice as many seats up than Democrats. We picked up 4 of 5 open seats representing one net increase and won five challenges to incumbants. If we are as effective next time, that is picking up 80% of the open seats and 5 out of 13 Republican seats against incumbants, we're talking something like 12 to 15 seats.
In the small sample of women whom I personally know well enough to notice, they do change when they marry. They drift away from their kookier friends and they go to boring parties that benefit their careers of their husbands careers. They buy houses and worry about making it the prettiest one on the block. They worry about their children's moral development so they start going to church. They lose a spirit of adventure because of the intense responsibilities of motherhood and with it the time and inclination to experiment with new ideas. They become their mother. Not always, of course. Not even most of the time. But I have seen it happen fairly often.
If I were going to change this, I would try to have slick magazines like Better, Home, and Gardens move away from touting expensive stuff and emphasize that to raise good and happy children, you need, for example, to learn to be generous to those less fortunate. Impossible, I know, but it lets you know what you're up against. Suburban culture is fairly competitive in terms of stuff. I don't know how we could compete with the toys Madison Ave. sells. Although when I talk high-mindedly with my old friends, in general, I think they take it to heart. Or maybe they are just polite.
This is a very limited analysis of risk. If the purpose of health insurance is to pool risk, then the risk of pregnancy has to be figured into the calculation unless you wish to have even married women abstain from sexual relations as long as they are too poor to pay for contraception.
The costs of pregnancy as a result of not having an inexpensive preventative that the risk pool should be obligated to supply for having lack the foresight to include the consequences would include.
1. The cost of a legal abortion.
2. The cost of prenatal care and delivery and the entire cost of care for the unwanted infant up to the age of 18 for women too poor to even care for themselves.
If you will include that in your analysis of risk, then I will consider your proposal.
Almost three years ago I was talking with my cousin, a college professor, about politics, and he asked me,"how do you know all that?" And I answered "I read blogs. Try MYDD. Read Chris Bowers. You are number one on my bloglist, and I am the number one authority on politics among everyone in my acquaintance, even activists, which I can't really be because I live in Europe. But I know you are a kindred spirit. It is like when you read a favorite novel over and over and see more truth and insight each time. Thanks.
I read some years ago that in countries where the percentage of women in congress or parliament reaches 40%, the political culture shifts to a more socially conscious, less authoritarian and militaristic one. As a matter of fact, the article, which I have lost, said that women heads of state where their parliament is less than 40% women often behave more like Margaret Thatcher. It seems that the country as a whole has to shift.
I pay close attention, campaign, and contribute to candidates across the country, based largely on what the Democratic political blogs say, but because the blog candidates are almost all men, I have to go to Emily's List to find women candidates, and I make sure half of my candidates are women. I don't necessarily want the blogs to set quotas, but we could try to promote at least 40% women, since we women make up more than half the population and probably around 60% of Democrats.
On the contrary, I was going to say that it was heartening to have someone say EXACTLY what he just did. I used to like Obama and thought he would be particularly good on foreign policy because he was personally so integrated into many cultures. But now I know that I was absolutely wrong.
As for the Kucinich swipe, whatever he lacks in charisma, he doesn't have blood on his hands like almost everyone else in our government. I live overseas, and I have to apologize to EVERYONE I meet. When Clinton was president, it was cool to be American.
Absolutely, Chris. But still we have a ways to go. There was record low turnout in the French 2002 elections: 71%. And record high this year 86%. And this was essentially their primary. I want that level of involvement. And for that, we need media reform. But I'm with you. Things are looking up. Maybe the 21st century will be the century of democracy. In full flower.
That would be great! How's he planning to do it? A phase in over, say 20 years? You know, you could do it for citizens as well in a way that would assure their support. BruceMcF on Kos proposed a carbon tax on the population whose revenues would be divided by the number of citizens and paid to each and every citizen, man, woman, and child. Phase it in over twenty years, and it's palatable for almost everyone. And the poor don't get burned. And in no time we'll all be bicycling and planting trees.
This is not about Imus. It's about our airwaves. We've got crappy news. Each network should pay 10% of its total operating costs into a trust to be used for public service programming (informational and worthwhile programming) two hours per day as payment for the use of the spectrum. News programs should be rated by a randomly selected and rotating panel of scholars and journalists, and there should be NO communication between the network and the public service broadcasters. We should have low cost broadband across the country. We should have innovative high quality music instead of bubble gum. We should remember that it's our country and our airwaves.
Obama is amazing and brilliant. I think what was meant by "no substance" is that he has not yet presented a detailed plan, and also that, as a person who connects well to many diverse groups of people, he can often seem to be saying close to nothing, but it sounds wonderful. I have no doubt that he could put together a strong program, but I haven't seen it. The only program I've seen actually is Edwards'. He has stuck his neck out and it seems to me that he has shown enormous courage and independence.
On the other hand, it was gutsy of Obama to refuse to talk to Fox News people. What an elegant way to point out how racist they are.