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The Trials of Moderate Leadership

And it is the Lilly Ledbetter act, hurrah! This very important law (the best law ever? PERHAPS, but soon to be surpassed by my “Free Kisses from Adorable Puppies Every Day Unless You Are Allergic” bill, for which I will be lobbying hard) “expanded the time frame in which workers can sue for discrimination they have experienced based on gender, race, national origin or religion.” (Does this not cover sexuality-based discrimination? If so, BALLS. We as a people need coverage of that, and also free kisses from adorable puppies, which you will get if you vote me into Congress, I am just saying!) This means that employers cannot discriminate against you, then keep you on board for most of your adult life, and then, when you find out about said discrimination which has apparently shaped your entire career path, say, “oh, but we’ve been doing that forever, so it is OK,” and have that be legally true. Also, per Phyllis Schlafly, it will allow us to sue the dead. You all know how much I hate the dead. Also, the Dead. I am not even going to pretend I feel bad about that one. Jerry Garcia, being both dead and Dead, is of course the object of my constant wrath and scorn.

HEADLINE RATING: 4 out of 5 long-assed guitar solos that go nowhere with stupid grown-up Boomers dancing around and pretending that they’re not going back to work at the World Bank tomorrow. This is actually a positive rating, in case you are confused.

Yes, and they passed it with no GOP votes whatsoever. You may think this is good, because you care about the economy and the state of the country and are a fundamentally unselfish person, but I, as an emotionally crippled narcissist unable to prize anything above the welfare of my own personal ladybits (and also those of others, I suppose, whatever, fine) am pissed right the hell off. For, as you may recall, Obama supported stripping extended family planning coverage from said package. This coverage, far from being a master plan to pay illegal immigrants to give teen prostitute welfare queens free abortions and also to steal the babies of good Christian mothers from their cradles and replace them with gay Muslim communist anti-gun lobbyists, which is more or less how was actually presented by folks on the right, was really pretty boring: it would allow clinics to provide family planning services (UPDATE: or rather, extend family planning services through Medicaid to women not normally eligible for Medicaid and FUDGE this is hard to communicate precisely) without applying for a federal waiver. As it stands, they will still have to apply for waivers. There’s going to be a whole lot of waiver-applying going on.

No, the legislation itself (which would have been good, though not nearly so awesome as the GOP’s nightmare version of it would have been) is not nearly so interesting as the fact that women’s rights (and queer rights, and the rights of the poor) are continually used as wedge issues or political footballs, and that liberal administrations of the past have historically been willing to withdraw their support of these marginalized populations when it meant losing needed support from the right, and Obama chose to continue that legacy by actually weighing in to request (according to some sources) stripping the coverage. Yet, by doing so, he was actually courting support that was (a) not needed, since it passed the House without GOP support, and (b) not forthcoming, because seriously, what were the odds that these crusty old right-wing bastards working to create a “permanent Republican majority” would support a leftish economic stimulus package from a dude they’ve been calling a “socialist” for nine million years?

The right is incredibly organized, and incredibly determined to fuck up each and every person or movement that stands to move this country leftward in the slightest. They are cynical and adept manipulators of their voters’ fears, and they stand together when challenged. It took eight non-stop years of massive failure from a Faulknerian man-child to even break their stride. The Democratic party… not so much. It even has trouble standing unapologetically for its base. It’s really disappointing that, given feminism’s long and conflict-filled history with the American left, and the vital role of women in electing Obama, it seems that feminism is still not central to the platforms of many powerful “liberal” or “progressive” establishments, and women are still tossed under the bus and regarded as inessential when it’s “bipartisan” time. Selling out in order to accomplish something is sad. Selling out for apparently no reason at all is just pathetic.

HEADLINE RATING: I can’t give a rating right now, you guys, my lady parts are too upset. Oh, okay, fine. You want a rating? I give it zero. Zero Happy Vaginas. Is that enough for you?


But… but… the Ledbetter act! Signed! Today! And… but the stimulus package thing was really crappy… but… Global Gag Rule…

I cannot deal with centrism, I have discovered. I am a simple woman with simple thoughts. I think of things in terms of “right” (all people are created equal = right!) and “wrong” (people who are women do not have the right to self-determination or bodily autonomy = wrong!) and shady moral compromises wherein you sit everyone down at the table and give each of them a part of what they want even if what they want is kind of evil… do not translate to my mind. I am either thrilled by Obama or seriously disappointed by Obama. Remember when journalists were all coming up with cute catch phrases containing the letters “O-B-A-M” in that order, like “Obamania?” Well, I have Obamanic Depression. It sucks.

If only there were some sort of Xanax-like moral salve which could help me to even it all out. Oh, no, wait: Free Kisses from Adorable Puppies! 2012!