What a long, hard road it’s been! In 2008, the MOMocrats were ten strong in Denver, CO. We generated over fifty posts covering all aspects of the convention, from traffic jams/riots and long lines, to inspiring caucus events, to winning a lucky convention hall pass, elements of the platform, listening to Joe Biden accept the nomination as Vice Presidential candidate (a tear-jerker), and the thrill of experiencing thousands of people celebrating then-candidate Barack Obama accepting the nomination of the Democratic Party after a grueling primary season. For the rest of my life I’ll remember the pounding of tens of thousands of feet on the metal stadium bleachers as Barack Obama came to the podium to begin speaking.
Our hearts were pounding just as hard, knowing that as a nation, we were on the brink of something important and necessary.
The high lasted through Inauguration, though little did we know then what asshats the Republicans would be about losing. I’m referring to reports that the GOP huddled prior to the president’s first day and plotted to stymie his every move — what a Vanity Fair writer called “A Conspiracy to Commit Legislative Constipation”. Senator Mitch McConnell said that the GOP’s goal was to ensure President Obama would be a “one-term” president. It’s still their plan.
In the interim, we at MOMocrats.com fought hard to pass the Affordable Care Act, an issue we’ve been passionate about for years. We’ve been thrilled to see Don’t Ask Don’t Tell melt away as the military abandoned a policy that earned its name under Clinton and had been in effect long before. We were elated to see President Obama sign the Lily Ledbetter Act into law.
We also urged women to vote in 2010, after the astroturfed Tea Party and Sarah Palin enjoyed a year-plus of fawning coverage. (CNN, you “embedded” a reporter on a Koch-funded Tea Party tour bus WHY???? Shame on you.) I was bitterly disappointed at the non-appearance of women and young people at the polls. Sure, it’s a mid-term election, but don’t tell me you only vote once every four years. Because guess who votes at every election plus twice on Sundays? The intensely religious right who aren’t necessarily a numerical majority of the country but are a majority of the people who show up with devastating regularity to vote.
2010 was the year the Tea Party overtook its host and metastasized to a majority in the House. Since then, we’ve had record low passage of bills as people who proclaim to hate “Big Government” became it and proved that useless people in Congress do indeed suck. Under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a record 420 bills were passed and many of them died an undeserving death in the Senate thanks to Senate GOP insistence on 60+ votes for everything. But under Speaker Boehner (I throw up in my mouth a little as I say the words), close to diddlysquat has happened. It’s been a veritable triumph of obstruction and criminal neglect, with its greatest non-achievement holding the debt ceiling hostage and imperiling the nation’s credit rating.
When the GOP primary started, many of us thought, who are these klowns, and why do more keep appearing? Now this klown kar konvention has yielded a candidate who’ll say anything to get elected, and a running mate who helped craft some of the most anti-women legislation around that “redefines” rape.
The GOP’s idea of “job creation” seems to be a literal hounding of women and steady erosion of our bodily and employment rights so as to end the “mancession”. They seem to think if we’re barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, there’ll be more jobs for the menfolks.
The question isn’t “do they want to shove America back to the 1950s?”, it’s “did they ever leave the 1650s?”
Thanks to Teapublicans, we’ve had a War on Women, with contraception and abortion access though Medicaid, family planning clinics, and medicated abortion in the GOP crosshairs.
I contrast all of this with President Obama’s support for women, with trying to raise the minimum wage, expanding health care for kids under 18 with SCHIP that Bush refused to sign, extending health care to students and young people under the age of 26 by covering them under their parents’ health plan, with putting money into green jobs and community colleges so people can seek out job retraining, and signing the law that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Recovery Act kept schools aloft despite the slide many states experienced when housing prices, and residential real estate property tax, started to dwindle. For a comprehensive database you can explore bit by bit, go here.
From 2010 to now, it’s been one long whiny ugly scream from the GOP. And I’m tired of the din. Women are fed up with Bishops lobbying to eliminate contraception coverage from newly-established preventive care rules under the Affordable Care Act. Know what? The Bishops lost. We women screamed back. We stripped over 40 advertisers from the Rush Limbaugh show after he called reproductive women’s health advocate Sandra Fluke a “slut.”
We MOMocrats took a victory lap on August 1, 2012, when the rules on contraception and free breastfeeding and STD and breast/uterine cancer screenings went into effect.
We’ve had victories and that’s a direct result of the battles we fought and the work of many dedicated progressive, pro-choice, Democratic lawmakers. But we need many more. So going into the 2012 DNC, I’m looking for how we can convince voters that we need to double down on progress. Because the opposition hasn’t made it a secret any more what they’re all about. They’ve given us a taste in the 112th Congress, and it’s 100% weaksauce. Not one single jobs bill became law. And we know if they get into office, it’ll actually be WORSE than what they promise.It’s so ironic that all this GOP ugliness was powerfully and effectively undercut most recently by the artistry and athleticism of the US women’s Olympic gymnastics team, and by our amazing US women’s track team. For the first time, over half the US Olympic team was women, a direct result of Title IX and changes to public school athletics laws that opened up sports to girls and women (and was a proud achievement by an Asian Pacific American Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii, Patsy Mink). Over 50% of the US Olympic Team was women — but only 17% of the US legislative team, Congress, is women.We’ll be correcting this flaw shortly, just wait til November.
So, America, we need to rise to the occasion again. And follow up right away in 2014 too. History is with us, are we bold enough to grab onto it and do big things again as Americans? The answer this year is YES WE CAN, BECAUSE WE MUST.