Tav HaYosher for Republican Women Senators (Really)

There’s so much to say about what’s going on in the world of politics right now—the stimulus package is headed to the Senate, where it may or may not have some of its stripped provisions reinstated (um…family planning, anyone?) and also may or may not face a shutout by the Republicans there, not to mention Tzipi Livni backing away from her promises to remove settlers and Iraq holding fairly peaceful elections. Whew!

However, I’d like to take a moment to savor the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. (One of my political gurus—the one I happen to live with—says she plans to never call it anything but the Lilly Ledbetter Act. The woman deserves that much!) I am, of course, thrilled that the legislation passed, and thrilled that, to put it less delicately, hardworking Americans aren’t going to be continually screwed based on the ridiculous and discriminatory whims of their bosses. I was also thrilled by a trend in how the votes went—because despite an otherwise predictable partisan split over this legislation, all of the women in the Senate, including four Republicans, voted yea. Given the awesome and utterly asinine showing of partisan lowballing that came with the House Republicans’ decision (after the stimulus package had been hung with tax cuts like a Hanukkah bush, of course) to take their toys and go home, this display by the Senate’s Republican women is pretty impressive.

It’s not like I now support everything these women want (although I have always, always had a soft spot for Maine’s Olympia Snowe, the woman who should have been John McCain’s knee-jerk female pick for a running mate). There’s still plenty left to disagree about. But I did feel a little flash of pride that the people out there supporting the “post-partisan” message President Obama embodies for so many—the idea that things are so messed up that maybe fixing them is more important than hitting each other over the head—were, by and large, women. (And Arlen Specter. But you get my point.)

There is so, so much work to do, and I don’t think hysterical liberals can be blamed for feeling like we need to get as much done at once as we can. (By the way, PLEASE call your senator and tell him or her to support the stimulus plan—with the family planning provisions reinstated!) In that spirit, a moment of applause for the Republican women of the Senate, who have, in their long and illustrious careers, probably wondered about their salaries more than we’d believe. They get this week’s Tav HaYosher (Ethical Seal).

And then, after a moment of applause, it’s back to rebuilding the U. S. of A.

–Mel Weiss