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Mr. McCain Goes to Washington

I absolutely agree with Senator McCain, who canceled his participation in Friday’s long-awaited debate. McCain is also suspending his campaign, his fundraising, and his advertising to return to his Senate post in Washington, DC, in order to help handle the US financial crisis. Both Presidential candidates should suspend the debate and be part of a leadership council to solve it, as McCain has suggested.

All of Congress is supposed to adjourn on Friday for the year in order to go home and work the campaigns. Big guess as to why Paulson’s alarm rang only last week. Gee, all of a sudden we have an emergency, folks. Hurry, pass this $700,000,000,000 no-strings-attached rescue package. As has been noted in the media today, George Bush and Co. used the same fear tactics to get us to go to war in Iraq.

I am not doubting the seriousness of the situation. However, the public is in no way buying this giveaway, lock, stock, and barrel — neither Democrats nor Republicans. Even the most staunchly conservative Republicans, who are catching holy Hell from their constituents about placing all power in the hands of the Fed, are giving Paulson and Bernanke the cold shoulder in both houses of Congress.

Obama is accusing McCain of playing politics with the situation and not being able to multi-task. But actually, baby O’s the one who’s whining and playing politics. Aww, he practiced his speech and can’t change his plans midstream. (Don’t tell me they canceled the test!)

To me, the mark of leadership is being able to turn on a dime when an emergency strikes. Anybody in the press or blogosphere who’s saying that McCain is running the other way must have no memory of him repeatedly pleading with Obama to have townhall meetings since JUNE!!! They must needs get a grip! The mainstream media is slamming McCain, saying he’s just being expedient, running like a chicken, trying to get out of the debates, and creating a diversion, because he’s down in the new polls. The press is interpreting the economic crisis as better for Obama in the polls, but McCain’s leadership will prove them wrong.

McCain has advocated for oversight from an independent panel of experts, with no golden parachutes for executives. Democratic leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi gave McCain’s suggestion to return to DC the big brushoff, saying they were making good progress and that it would “not be helpful.” Ahem, you are potentially talking to the next POTUS! Doesn’t their behavior remind you of how they treated Hillary during the primaries, especially when they were forcing the Superdelegates to declare for O-boy?

And . . . in a bizarro political party reversal, isn’t Obama’s deer-caught-in-the-headlights immobility during a crisis showing us that he can’t react on-the-spot? Isn’t that just like George acted when he continued reading the story of the goat after being informed that our country was under attack on 9/11?

Obama thought cloud: (stomping his feet) I want to talk on TV to my public to win votes and influence people instead of heading back to Washington to solve the nation’s biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression! I don’t wanna play with the other kids. (tilting chin up) I’m talking to them on my phone every minute. All of them: Nancy and Harry and Ben and Henry. See? (pointing to cell phone)

(aside, sternly) You’re all fools! You’re making me very angry that I have to take time for such trivialities. Hmpf…

Obama first phoned McCain this morning and left a voicemail, suggesting that they release a joint statement about the economy. However, it took McCain six hours to call him back. Don’t cha know, they were strategizing like Hell. At that point, McCain called him back to announce his plans.

Poor, baby, O-bobo, he just can’t lead. Aww, let’s rock him to sleep. Boo hoo!

Breaking: ABC New’s Senior National Correspondent, Jake Tapper, reports at Political Punch, that George Bush called baby O, and “invited him” to DC to work! George is inviting Obie to WORK!!! I must be dreaming. Tapper ends his article by saying that: “Obama still intends to attend the debate Friday evening.”

The little kid in Presidential nominee’s clothes is still playing follow the leader.

[h/t to Murphy and to DancesWithPumas for her fantastic graphic!]

The Lions Share on PUR

Join Darragh, Sheri and me tonight on the Lions Share as we discuss the news of the day. Tonight at 8PM EST on PUMA United Radio (PURrrr)

Interview With Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney – Part I

You Said It, Sister!
You Said It, Sister!

And speaking of “uneducated old women…” The following is Part I of my email interview with the gracious, intelligent, fiery and fabulous feminist, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, after reading her book: “Rumours of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.” Part II will be posted tomorrow.

MadamaB: Your path to politics was far from direct. Could you share some of that journey?

CM: When I was growing up, I never dreamed of going to Congress. The options for women were very limited. I thought I would be a teacher, librarian or a nurse. Politics wasn’t even a possibility. I can remember reading an interview in Life Magazine with Margaret Chase Smith, Senator from Maine, that illustrates the thinking of women in politics when I was growing up. The interviewer asked Senator Smith what she would do if she woke up in the White House one day. She answered: “I’d apologize to Bess Truman immediately and leave.” It just shows how self-effacing a female politician had to be in those days – the idea that she might want to run for higher office was just too threatening. If you asked Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi what they would do, they’d have a list. It just shows how far we’ve come but, as I show in my book, not enough.

When I left college, I came to New York and became a teacher, teaching English as a second language to immigrant women in upper Manhattan. Within a year after I started, my program lost its funding. I was nominated by my colleagues to lobby the legislature to get the funding restored. I was successful, and my success got me noticed by the Department of Education, which hired me as a lobbyist. I soon realized that you can accomplish a lot more good by working for the legislature, so I became a staffer, first for the New York State Assembly and later for the New York State Senate. While I accomplished a lot as a member of staff, it soon became clear to me that you really have power only when you actually have a seat at the table as the elected official. So I ran for the City Council in 1982.

MadamaB: You have been a Congresswoman in New York since 1992. What prompted you to write this book now?

CM: During the years of Bush I saw a rollback, a stalling of progress on women’s issues, and in many instances an effort to roll back gains we had achieved in the ‘70s. I wanted to bring attention to the problems we continue to face and the danger that we might lose some of the civil rights protections we had struggled so hard to achieve – and more than that, I wanted to get women involved, to give them ideas of how they can work for change in their own communities. I wanted the book to serve as a wake up call, to galvanize women and like-minded men to take action to address some of the problems I talk about in the book.

MadamaB: The candidacy of Senator Hillary Clinton seems to have brought out an awareness that misogyny is far from dead in our society. Yet the press, and many national figures, refuse to admit it exists at all. Is that what inspired the title of your book?

CM: Conventional wisdom about how far women have come far exceeds how far we actually have come. 2008 will go down in history as the year we finally came face to face with the level of misogyny that still persists in American society. While it was awe-inspiring to see Hillary Clinton as a major party candidate, the number of attacks on her for being a woman was simply astonishing. It came from every direction – from the hecklers at rallies who held up signs saying “Iron My Shirt” to the netroots who created a website “Make Me A Sandwich” to the politicians who compared her to the villain in the movie Fatal Attraction and vilified her for not giving up her run for the White House. Most of all, it came from the media who treated us to a nightly attack: Her supporters were called castratos in the eunich chorus; one commentator said she was scary, castrating and that he involuntarily crossed his legs when she came into the room; another said that when she spoke, men heard “Take out the garbage.” If that’s what they thought about someone as accomplished, intelligent and gracious as Hillary Clinton, what must they be thinking of us?

When I started writing the book, some people said that Hillary’s ability to run as a serious candidate would make the book seem out of touch with reality. How could I say that our progress was exaggerated when one woman was Speaker of the House and another could be the Democratic Presidential nominee? Well, not every woman is a Nancy Pelosi or a Hillary Clinton, and most women I meet are struggling because of laws that do not support work/life balance, because they do not have health care, because they’re not paid the same as their male colleagues; or because they’ve spent a lifetime with a wage gap and now have to live in old age on social security and pensions that perpetuate that gap. I wrote the book for all those struggling women – and hopefully to inspire the next Hillary Clinton to throw her hat into the ring and join me in trying to change all that.

Continue reading

Wednesday: The Power of 18 Million Old Uneducated Women

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Hey, Conflucians, are you feeling your Cheerios this morning?  Isn’t it funny how we uneducated {{snort!}} old women and men, who even as late as August were thought as negligible voters, are now giving the parties sleepless nights.  They’re getting positively Freudian about it.  You can almost hear them question: What do women want?  It’s a totally new concept for them, that women could actually, ya’ know, *matter*.

I would like to cut some of the latest ponderers some slack for getting it soooo wrong.  They have thought so little about us in the past that they simply do not know how to characterize what they are seeing.  And it may be very true that there is a sizable segment of us without college degrees.  But they vastly underestimate our intelligence.  For centuries, intelligent women have been denied the same educational opportunities as men.  Heck, even as late as the 70’s, some of our most prestigious institutions were open only to men.  Conversely, there have been men who are as dumb as a box oof rocks who have gone to college and majored in keggers.  I’ve met quite a few of them.

But the Obamaphiles?  Who gave them permission to behave badly to us?  Who told them it was ok to physically intimdate little ol ladies at the caucuses?  Who told them it was socially acceptable to call us names, denigrate our experience and accomplishments?  Who approved of the language of media types who speculated on how it would be great if a male superdelegate took Hillary Clinton into a room and made sure he was the only one that came out?

When a person who is purported to be a leader does nothing to curb the enthusiasm of his followers, he gives them permission.  When the powers that be hold no one accountable, they give them permission.  They take the burden of conscience away from the hooligans and uninhibit deep seated prejudices.

One of the most insulting outrages is how the Obama contingent continues to use racism as a weapon against us while at the same time setting free the societal restraints against sexism.  Those restraints were already weak.  What we have seen is a pandering to the neanderthal tendencies in men from the left that is no less disgusting and unacceptable than the pandering to the white segregationists of the south by the Republicans since Richard Nixon.  In the process, it is the Obamaphiles who have voted against their own interests by passing on the true leader, a woman, in favor of a man who stroked their egos.

But we, the shrieking band of paranoid holdouts will hold them accountable.  They might have forced Hillary off the ticket but she now knows that she has millions and millions of people behind her.  I’ll bet she’s starting to feel her cheerios.

As for power, I will never give mine up to the testosterone poisoned contingent.  As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

And I do not consent.  Do you?