Gains for Women in Congress, and a Long Way to Go

I apologize again for not having time to digest and articulate my thoughts about the just past elections. We are making our way through Cuyahoga's pile of more than 30,000 provisionals at the steady pace, though, and the good news is that it looks like more than 85% of them are good and will be counted.

Meanwhile, there's a lot of news out there about how women influenced the races, with single women voting for President Obama by 67%.

Record numbers of women were elected to both the House and the Senate. But if you really want to look at the stark difference between the two major parties on the role of women, look at who elected them. Of the 20 women who will now be in the Senate, 16 of them are Democrats. SIXTEEN of 20. That leaves, um, FOUR Republicans. And not actually four since GOP voters in Alaska teabagged Senator Lisa Murkowski in 2010, and she won reelection as an independent.

On the House side, of the 81 women not elected, 57 are Democrats. In Ohio, three of our four Democratic representatives are women. The Republicans dumped their only Ohio congresswoman, Jean "Scrunchie" Schmidt, in the primary. They did run a woman in the Mahoning Valley against Ohio's only male Democratic congressperson, the estimable Tim "The Good" Ryan. But she was batshit crazy, and basically, they were letting her play candidate in a district they knew she couldn't possibly win — much as they did with Not Joe the Not a Plumber against Marcy Kaptur.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who I've been thinking for a while would make a great presidential candidate in 2016, has a good column on her blog about the gains women made in Congress last week:

http://www.offthesidelines.org/blog/a-historic-election-for-women

While you're at it, subscribe to her blog and you'll see what an outspoken leader she's been in pushing back against the let's-go-back-to-1950 crew. And we need ta now more than ever, as I will explain in my next post.

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