Women in the U.S. Senate have a “dinner club.”One of the rules of the club is to not directly confront another female Senator, or that Senator’s position. In other words, the women never let principle get in the way. An example: Kay Bailey Hutchison (retired R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are best friends. Here’s how it works:
When they appeared on “Meet the Press” in November 2009 over calls for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to resign, Hutchison was careful not to directly say that he should step down, which would have clashed with Feinstein’s view.
“The president, the Congress and Mr. Geithner are all responsible for going in the wrong direction,” she said carefully.
When Feinstein later appeared on the same program, she said she viewed the attacks on Geithner as scapegoating but didn’t directly attack Hutchison.
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) formed the group. There are 17 female senators, 12 Democrats and 5 Republicans.
Feinstein said “we handle conflict just as friends do.” The problem is, we don’t elect Senators to form life-long friendships. We send them to Congress to do a job, and if they have to have Barbara Milkulski reminding them to be civil, then they obviously do not deserve the important position they hold.
I like women’s clubs. I’m not being snarky about women gathering for fellowship, moral support – whatever. I have nothing against civility, in fact I expect it from my elected officials. No one can blame me for voting for an Alan Grayson or an Anthony Weiner. I do have a problem when civility is used as an excuse for not “confronting” an important issue, to avoid telling the truth to constituents, or for staying silent.
McCaskill says the women must start compromising, but where was the compromise before Republicans took the House in 2010? How does an elected official compromise with legislation that is unconstitutional? A a taxpayer, I personally invite Claire McCaskill to get busy compromising.
“The veteran members of Congress talk wistfully about the old days, when members would stay through the weekends.
Today’s political atmosphere is intensely more heated than in the “old days.” Nearly half of the Senate are fine with ignoring the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law. Dianne Feinstein is chief among them. We still have Timothy Geither at Treasury. How did Hutchison’s genteel ways help her country? Just asking.