Friday, December 25, 2009

Amanda has written a very good post on the left/leftier dustup over "the Bill"--herinafter TEEEEEBEEEE or "The eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevilest Bill eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever." She thinks, and so do I, that the split will be over again by Valentines day. Mnemosyne, one of my favorite muses as well as favorite commenters, disagrees and traces the split all the way back to the Clinton/Obama split in the primaries. But I don't think that's the way the division works at all--I think Jane marched rapidly at the head of a lot of people who wanted the progressives to be more proactive and more vocal during the run up to the bill regardless of their take on the primaries, which frankly are so far away I can't remember them. Lots of us wanted Obama to stand up for more, and Reid to be more hard knuckled not because we thought Obama was weaker than Clinton but because we thought the terrain after the election had changed sufficiently that a more full throated approach was warranted. Maybe we were wrong, maybe we were right. We'll never know. Things fell out the way they fell out and clearly, following Obama's and Reid's plan, it was pretty dicey.

But Jane has gone off the deep end, at this point, and I think most of the others (like me) aren't actually anywhere near a split with Obama and the current crop of Democrats. The most I hear the people I respect saying is "more and better Democrats...replacing centrist Dems [where possible] and Republicans [everywhere] kill the filibuster."

So Amanda rightly asks us, on women's issues, to try to elect more women. Down in the comment thread she suggests that we do it through donations to Emily's List. I agree with her that we need way more women in the Senate and the House. But I have to disagree with her on Emily's List. Their actual record is abysmal--by that I mean they have been collecting money from women, for women, for years but they choose their candidates based almost purely on their sex, and not their politics and then they don't exert any kind of due diligence and control over them. I believe both Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln were Emily's List Pick's of the Chicks. I had a nice chat with Ellen Malcolm about Landrieu years ago and she was rather apologetic about the whole thing. But she more or less said once Landrieu took the money it was buh bye bitchez, don't call me, I'll call you.

Its true that in the House, I believe, the entire roster of those voting for Stupak Pitts on the Democratic side were men. But on the Senate Side Landrieu, because of her voting on Abortion Rights for Native Americans was thought originally to be prepared to vote for Nelson's amendment. And, in the end, of course, even Barbara Boxer was forced by the logic of the situation to support some form of Nelson's amendment.

So, certainly we need more and better women. But without getting rid of the anti woman brinksmanship of Nelson and the Republicans, or the filibuster itself, we won't get very far.


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