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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Women on top

Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin, D-WI

As excited ecstatic deliriously, over-the-moon happy as I was about the re-election of President Obama as our 44th President, and as elated as I am about the momentum we're gaining in the movement toward Marriage Equality, I am even more thrilled to learn that there are five new women, one Republican and four Democrats, who will join the Senate next year, delivering a new record of 20 women serving in the U.S. Senate (four of whom are Republicans).  

So, if you're counting that 5 Republicans and 15 Democratic women in the Senate. Interesting snapshot of both parties, eh?

Maine, Washington, California and New Hampshire are the three states in which women hold both U.S. Senate seats.  With the election of two Democratic women to the U.S. House of Representatives, New Hampshire became the first state to have an all-women congressional delegation (joining incumbent U.S. Senators. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen), and made it a clean sweep by electing  Democrat Maggie Hassan as governor.

Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren, D-MA
And, Wisconsin Democratic Representative Tammy Baldwin made history on Tuesday with her election to become the first openly gay U.S. Senator, defeating former Governor Tommy Thompson in the most expensive Senate race in state history.

Just over a quarter-century ago, in 1986, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, became the first woman elected to the Senate whose spouse had not served before her in Congress.  The “year of the women,” 1992, brought Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to the Senate, where they continue to serve.

This year, Representatives elected Carol She-Porter and Anne McLane-Kuster, D-NH, and Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, an Iraq War veteran who lost both legs in combat before turning to politics, who won a congressional seat from firebrand Tea Party icon, Joe Walsh.

The incoming freshman class of legislators include Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, Elizabeth Warren, D-MA Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii (first Asian-American woman - born in Japan - and Hindu elected), and (former state Attorney General) Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota.

Voters reelected Sens. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York.

Okay, and bona fide Tea Party Cuckoo-Bird Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, was reelected but only by the slimmest of margins.

Rep.-elect Tammy Duckworth, D-IL
But, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, won a sweeping victory after her Republican challenger Todd Akin started talking about the magical thing a woman's lady parts can do after "forcible rape".

With the retirements of Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Olympia Snowe, the steady increase in numbers of Senate women was expected to stop in 2012. But, it didn't.
I'm willing to bet solid money that was a direct result of the Republican War on Women.  Their bullets backfired.

Threaten the reproductive rights of women or to not pay us equally for equal work or prevent women of poverty to having access to quality health care and education for themselves and their children, and well, this is exactly what happens.  

We don't get angry. We get even. We run for office.

We now have 20 powerful women in positions of legislative government power

We could use more.  We'll get more.

A woman's place is in the House. And Senate. And, Governor's mansion. And, Supreme Court.

And, anywhere she wants to be - including the White House.   

Four more years! 


Prairie Soul said...

All in all, with these election results in the Senate, the future looks hopeful. Twenty seats is far from equal, but it's a solid foothold; and I agree with you that more women will win seats in coming years. I'm so proud of my fellow North Dakotans that we elected Heidi Heitcamp. She had to fight hard as an underdog candidate, but she managed to successfully make her case as a bipartisan who would vigorously represent ND's interests. Her opponent was the epitome of the good old boy establishment.

Malcolm+ said...

A correction, Elizabeth.

Senator-elect Hirono is the first Buddhist elected to the Senate. The first Hindu is Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard, also of Hawaii.

OCborn said...

One minor correction needed - the Hon. Mazie Hirono associates as a Buddhist, not Hindu, as many first and second generation Japanese Americans in Hawai'i are.

Otherwise, BRAVA!

JCF said...

Minor correction: Senator-Elect Mazie Hirono is the first Buddhist elected to the Senate. (Ms) Tulsi Gibbard, elected to replace Hirono in the House, is the first Hindu elected to Congress.

Isn't it great to have a Congress which actually looks/worships/pees more like us, in ALL our diversity? :-)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

PS- North Dakotan has every reason to be proud of that election.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Malcolm - Got my info from an AP source. I'm happy to be corrected.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

OCborn - Well, I'll have to start checking more than one source. Sorry. And, thank you.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

JCF - My apologies and YES!

Bateau Master said...

Let's not forget Senator Elect - Deb Fisher

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You mean "Mama Grisly" from Nebraska? I guess I was trying to forget.