Friday, May 11, 2012

Democrats Depending on Women to Salvage Senate

"Women Key To Hold On Democratic Senate" May 07, 2012|Bobby Caina Calvan, Globe Staff

WASHINGTON - Democrats, as they aggressively seek to turn women’s concerns into a rallying call of the presidential election, are leaning heavily on female candidates to retain control of the Senate.

From Massachusetts to Hawaii, a record number of Democratic women - six incumbents and at least five challengers - are running for seats this year. That eclipses 1992’s vaunted “Year of the Woman,’’ when 10 women sought entry into the country’s most exclusive political chamber.

The race in Massachusetts pitting Senator Scott Brown, a Republican, against his presumed Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, has captured the most headlines nationwide, but others could be just as crucial for Democrats....

Democrats have the most to lose this fall - because they must defend 23 of the 33 Senate seats up for election. Democrats now rule the Senate by a razor-thin margin, 51-47, with two independents caucusing with the party.

Just months ago, even some Democrats openly worried about holding on to the Senate. But their chances have brightened because of unforeseen challenges within the GOP, including the retirement of Olympia Snowe of Maine. Another potential blow to Republicans could come Tuesday in Indiana if Richard Lugar, a Republican stalwart, loses the GOP primary to a Tea Party movement candidate, providing an unexpected opening for a Democratic challenge. Even Arizona, once considered a solidly Republican state, could now be in play, according to polls showing Richard Carmona, former surgeon general and the presumed Democratic candidate, within strike of his potential GOP opponents for a seat of retiring Republican Senator Jon Kyl....  

There once was a day when I actually felt it mattered which party sat in which chair, but that seems so long ago now.

Democratic leaders in the Senate have been populating the chamber’s calendar with highly choreographed votes on women’s issues, seeking to take advantage of a perceived gender gap and depict Republicans as out of touch.

How does it feel to be a political pawn during the political process only to have your concerns forgotten after the vote, ladies?  When your anger subsides a bit you can come join the rest of the American people in the pool of discontent and disconnect.

Later this month, another partisan Senate debate is expected to erupt, this time over a bill that seeks to address wage gaps between men and women. The chamber’s women will be front and center in that discussion - as they have been during recent flare-ups over birth control, domestic violence, and health care.

“It’s a very cynical and manufactured narrative by national Democrats,’’ said Brian Walsh, communications director for the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, a fund-raising arm. “They have made the political calculation that scaring women is the path to victory in November, rather than running on their record… .

“It’s notable that they’re trying to inject contraception into the national discussion, but they’re not talking about $4 gas prices, 8 percent unemployment,’’ Walsh said.  

He has a point, but somehow the narrative is shifted when Democrats resort to scare tactics. Then it becomes saving us. 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a screed for Repuglican rule. Ron Paulers are not really welcome, even if we are the majority of the party. My point is that this left-right, Democrat-Republican characterization and paradigm  continues to serve the narratives of those in positions of power and control.

In the presidential race, presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney has his own plan to attract female voters: portray President Obama’s handling of the economy as particularly damaging to women.

All sides agree the economy is the core issue of the election. Yet, in the toss-up races for the Senate, social issues could be pivotal for female candidates....  

That is one thing I'm sick of seeing. Be it race, gender, or sexual preference, those are NOT the ISSUES upon which I WILL BE DECIDING MY VOTE!


I have two conditions for federal office: will the candidate stand up for the American people against Wall Street and AIPAC?