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Dr. Helen

“Give Me Gridlock or Give Me Death”

January 6th, 2013 - 4:49 am

This was my thought as I read this post at Time.com by Judith Warner, author of We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication. Warner’s post was entitled “Would More Women In The Senate Mean Less Gridlock?”:

They’re definitely “not a sorority,” as Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) insisted. And yet the 20 women lawmakers who sat down for a group interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer that aired on January 3 did seem to form a chummy, sisterly club as they celebrated the milestone of one-fifth female representation in the U.S. Senate.

There was lots of “you-go-girl” nodding, as senator after senator extolled the virtues of female cooperation, collaboration, and can-do workmanship. (“Workwomanship?” It’s a word, perhaps, whose time has come.) They agreed that, had women been running the show, there would have been no “fiscal cliff” drama. “We don’t believe in the culture of delay,” said Barbara Mikulski, (D-MD.)

Well, what’s the delay if all the women are Democrats and all are “cooperative” on the party line? Why would there be gridlock? Warner hints at the problems that might come should there be disagreement from the female consensus:

The only smidgeon of a sign of barely possible disagreement came when the newly-elected Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) interrupted a comment from Susan Collins (R-ME) on how politicians should focus on the economy, health care, education and foreign policy and not reproductive issues to interject that in fact access to birth control was still very much an issue – a perhaps too self-assertive gesture that left the colleagues seated around her momentarily unsmiling.

First, note how the Democrat interrupts the Republican woman, could trouble be in the air? Why interrupt? Why not let Collins have her say? Oops, could that be the possibility of disagreement or gasp! gridlock?

I think the reaction of the Independent Women’s Forum is more accurate:

“Women and men are different, approach problems differently, and bring different talents to the table. Still, I’m far less concerned with increasing the number of women in power than in increasing the number of lawmakers – men and women – who believe in economic liberty and understand how progressive policies fail women and their families,” says Independent Women’s Forum executive director Sabrina Schaffer in a statement.

“While a lot is being made about the record number of women joining the Senate, the reality is the majority of these women are Democrats – 16 of the 20 – and as a result we are likely to see higher taxes, bigger government, and less freedom.”

If more Democratic women in the Senate (as this is what is really meant by “more women” in the Senate) means less freedom, bring on the gridlock, for it means that disagreement exists and should exist in what is supposed to be a free society.

And frankly, if women are no better at negotiating gridlock than they are negotiating their own salaries, we’re in big trouble.

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