Gagged Again, Break out the Bullhorn

Examining my extensive arsenal of derogatory names that can be applied to someone who is a worthless canker sore on the hide of humanity, I cannot find a name foul enough to describe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  His recent silencing of Elizabeth Warren during Jeff Session’s AG confirmation hearing seems mild compared to his voting record on women’s issues over the past decade.  His abject refusal to even consider Barack Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee, the highly qualified Merrick Garland, betrays his oath to “support and defend” the US Constitution, a document that McConnell frequently uses to wipe his partisan ass.

McConnell’s silencing of women did not start with Elizabeth Warren; his contempt for anything that even smells like a “women’s issue” becomes clear when you examine his voting record on said issues over the past ten years:

July 16, 2014 S 2578 Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014 (56 – 43) Nay
April 9, 2014 S 2199 Paycheck Fairness Act (53 – 44) Nay
Feb. 12, 2013 S 47 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
(78 – 22) Nay
June 5, 2012 S 3220 Paycheck Fairness 
(52 – 47) Nay
April 26, 2012 S 1925 Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act Bill 
(68 – 31) Nay
Nov. 17, 2010 S 3772 Paycheck Fairness Act 
(58 – 41) Nay
Dec. 22, 2009 S Amdt 3276 Senate Health Care Bill Amendments
(60 – 39) Nay
Dec. 3, 2009 S Amdt 2791 Preventive Services Coverage Requirements Amendment 
(61 – 39) Nay
Jan. 29, 2009 HR 2 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization and Expansion (66 – 32) Nay
Jan. 22, 2009 S 181 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 
(61 – 36) Nay
April 23, 2008 HR 2831 Equal Pay Bill
(56 – 42) Nay
Nov. 1, 2007 HR 3963 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (CHIP) (64 – 30) Nay
Sept. 27, 2007 HR 976 State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Concurrence (67 – 29) Nay
Aug. 2, 2007 HR 976 State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization   (68-31)  Nay (1)

Never mind the five times McConnell voted against the horror of equal pay for women;  forget about his four votes against the evils of children’s health insurance. McConnell was one of 22 US Senators in 2013 to vote against the Violence Against Women Act.  WTF!!??   Does he actually support violence against women?  Or is he just a partisan hack hellbent on voting down any bill that does not maintain the supremacy of old, white, republican men?

Reading Coretta Scott King’s letter through a bullhorn at McConnell’s residence on Wednesday night would have been a glorious response to the Kentucky senator’s chauvinistic shut-down of Warren on the senate floor the day before.  A bullhorn was talked about by the demonstrators in pre-demonstration press interviews, but, sadly,  I can find no mention of one materializing during the actual protest.  Apparently about 100 Washington, DC residents gathered in front of Casa McConnell and read the letter, left copies on the doorstep and peacefully went home.  But no mention of any bullhorn.

Why am I barking about a bullhorn in the face of such a serious issue?  Because a bullhorn used to blast MCConnell out of his boxer shorts would have created an indelible iconic image that could have, perhaps, stolen some press coverage away from Trump’s bathrobe for a few hours. Without the force and emblem of a bullhorn, these well-meaning demonstrators were just another group of polite ladies, afraid to make any noise, littering up the sidewalks.

Just to make sure I am not being too hard on the women who inspired the protest, I Safari-ed “bullhorn” on my tablet.  Maybe, I thought, bullhorns are hard to come by on short notice or maybe they are prohibitively expensive.  But, alas, Walmarts and Home Depot both come up as suppliers in the first listing with price tags under $30. Such a great idea–the bullhorn–deserves follow-through.  With it, you get videos all over the internet in major media outlets; without it, one brief up-date paragraph in a second-tier publication.  If the problem was a city noise ordinance, surely someone could have risked an arrest for ‘Disturbing the Peace.’

Donald  J. Trump may not understand the plight of women in their quest for equality, but he sure as hell understands the power of a strong, simple icon.

 “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”  written on a red baseball cap is iconic.

His capitalization on this simple icon is why we are calling him “Mr. President” today and why accomplished Secretary Clinton has been relegated to roaming the woods around Chappaqua.

So many times at meetings, on talk shows, in debates, in elections, I have seen smart women out-shouted by mediocre men.  If it takes a bullhorn to level that playing field, then let us all go out and buy a $30. bullhorn so as to make sure that men shut up and listen when women have the floor.

My next stop– Walmarts–to buy a bull horn for future diatribes.  And if, in future, any woman ever needs a bullhorn to make her point, she can borrow mine!

Update:  On February 10, according to Huffington Post, 400 demonstrators descended on McConnell’s home in Louisville, Ky to read Coretta Scott King’s letter–still no bullhorn but amazing to find 400 people in Kentucky willing to stand up for a women’s right to speak. (3)

“Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?                                               —Inez Milholland, dying words, 1916 (4)

Sources:

  1. Votesmart.org:  http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/53298/mitch-mcconnell/68/women#.WJyRmUY8KhA 
  2. Photo credit: Senator Elizabeth Warren; Public Domain from Huffington Post: vRKmNgAibiJyg8Q%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP_oPP24_SAhVJJCYKHeQKBNcQ7AkIGg&biw=1024&bih=729&dpr=2#imgdii=7KlC1vz
  3. Lewis, Philip; Protesters Read Coretta Scott King’s Letter Outside Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky Home; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/protesters-read-coretta-scott-king-letter-mcconnell-kentucky-home_us_589e6499e4b0ab2d2b15742c?section=us_politics 
  4. Who Was Inez Milholland?  http://inezmilholland.org/about/
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