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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sara & Michele's 19th Constitutional Dilemma

Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann pose a problem for progressives. Dedication to women's rights and free speech have been deep commitments for us. But we wouldn't be human if we listened to either of these harridans and didn't wish for repeal of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

That provision, ratified in August, 1920, was hailed as the culmination of decades of struggles for the suffrage movement in this country.

During her much publicized speech in which she praised the founding fathers for their supposed dedication to the slavery problem, Bachmann neglected to mention the additional absence in the original Constitution of votes for women. How the founding fathers could have ignored the founding mothers is something Originalists do not seem to have learned.

On the other hand, maybe the founders were right after all. The record of women in politics has had it's blemishes long before Sara and Michele's emergence.

Even before they achieved the Constitutional right to vote, many states had accorded the privilege. The first woman elected to Congress was Jeannette Rankin, Representative from Montana. Her long career is noteworthy for her votes against declarations of war in World War I and World War II. Two mistakes.
The Eighteenth Amendment, known as Prohibition, was ratified in 1919. It's passage was the achievement of the temperance movement, which was dominated by women activists allied with religious leaders (WCTU). This too proved to be a bad mistake.
After getting the vote in 1920, women proceeded to elect Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover.
It should also be mentioned that Paris Hilton, Snooki, Lindsay Lohan, and almost all Kardashins have the vote.
No, I am not advocating repeal of the Nineteenth Amendment. But wait, Sara & Mich', be careful. Tea parties may not always permit dainty china.

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