The Widdershins

Activist Tuesday: Women Save the Day, Once Again

Posted on: September 18, 2018

What a difference a week makes, eh? The common wisdom on Brett Kavanaugh, just a little while ago, was that the fix was in. Or as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer put it, “The fix is on.”

The nomination to life appointment on the high court is being rushed through, by the same Senate Republicans who refused even to hold a hearing on President Obama’s 2016 nomination of fellow appellate judge Merrick Garland to the high court.

The Senate Republicans are using Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is using acquiescent members of his party.

The GOP gets to lock in a Supreme Court majority that will rule for its interests and uphold rule by the privileged.

With Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the politicized Roberts Court will have a solid majority to uphold gerrymandering of political boundaries and the rights of states to restrict voting rights. The lock-step majority will rule for business and further restrict legal rights of employees.

The person who wrote that was a man, by the way. Little did we know last week that there was a woman whose bravery in the face of unimaginable public scrutiny, much of it unhinged and hostile, would halt Republicans in their tracks. And now, stories like this are being written.

Unless Ford’s allegations are discredited, it seems virtually unthinkable that the two moderate Republican women who hold the balance of power in the chamber—Susan Collins, of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska—would vote to approve Kavanaugh. As Collins walked through the airport in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, a reporter asked her if she believed the accusations against Kavanaugh. “I don’t know enough to make a judgment at this point,” she replied. Later on Monday, Collins issued a statement that said, “Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify under oath before the Judiciary Committee.” Murkowski was less definitive. But, on Sunday night, she did say that the committee might have to consider delaying its vote.

Even the White House appears to have given up any hope of silencing Ford or dismissing her claims entirely. “This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored,” Kellyanne Conway, a counsellor to Trump, told Fox News. “I think the Senate is headed to a reasonable approach in that it seems to be allowing this woman to be heard in sworn testimony, allowing Judge Kavanaugh to be heard in sworn testimony.” Later on Monday, Donald Trump chimed in, saying, “I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner. But, with all of that being said, we want to go through the process.” He also said that Kavanaugh was “somebody very special” who “never even had a little blemish on his record.”

Now, I’ve certainly had my share of incorrect predictions (some of which you’ve read here!), and I agree that at the time, it didn’t seem likely that any Republican Senator would find the courage to deny Drumpf his puppet judge. I completely understand the tendency to assume that the Kavanaugh train was unstoppable. But the problem with that tendency is that, taken too far, it leads to despair, and despair leads to inaction.

I am optimistic by nature, and feel that there are very few problems we humans can’t solve. Collectively, we have endless creativity, intelligence and energy, so really, is anything impossible? Sometimes my position is vindicated; sometimes my optimism gets me into trouble. 😉 A dear friend of mine at work once gave me this excellent piece of advice: “Just because you see a problem, doesn’t mean you have to fix it.” Wise words indeed, but hard for me to live by, especially in the time of #theResistance. I want to join everything, march every day, scream at the top of my lungs, rend my garments, tear my hair. Instead, I try to make my moves wisely. I march sometimes, I tweet, I blog, and I speak up.

What I really think this means is, we women are starting to flex our muscles in unprecedented ways. As DYB wrote last week, #MeToo is still cascading through our society, taking down the vilest and most powerful men in the world. And we’re not done yet! We don’t always know what to do with our new voices, and we are sometimes effective when we use them, and sometimes not. But no matter what, we won’t be silent. And in 2018, there are a lot of men on our side! (Thank you so much, o wonderful Widdershin men and the millions of other good men out there!)

So don’t despair. The conclusion is not foregone. If bad things seem likely to happen, find a small act of bravery to perform.

Who knows what will happen as a consequence?

This is an open thread.


32 Responses to "Activist Tuesday: Women Save the Day, Once Again"

Great post, MB.

It’s about time that women are starting to come together again, too bad that female Burningman supporters didn’t wake up in 2016. Most of us feminists from the 60ies may as well have talked to the wall.

Then we have the women that follow their stupid husbands off the cliff and support a creep that’s in the Whitehouse.

Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school classmate, details high school parties in past writings


In 2015, Judge writes in Splice Today about what he calls “damseling,” which he describes as “making a woman a passive damsel in distress who needs rescuing.”
“Of course, a man must be able to read a woman’s signals, and it’s a good thing that feminism is teaching young men that no means no and yes means yes. But there’s also that ambiguous middle ground, where the woman seems interested and indicates, whether verbally or not, that the man needs to prove himself to her. And if that man is any kind of man, he’ll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion,” he wrote.

@2, “… a man must be able to ignore a woman’s signals, voice, and struggles to get away … and then the man, if he’s any sort of two-year old, then feels the awful despicable power, the intense ugliness, of male dickhead lack of control. ”

There, Mark, fixed it for you.

I don’t believe Susan Collins. I don’t think she’s undecided. I think she decided to approve Kavanaugh a long time ago. There was a story out that according to her staff Trump’s people cleared Kavanaugh with her before his nomination was announced. And I think she’ll stick to that. All her “waffling” right now is a lie. Susan Collins is a right-wing Republican.

I think Murkowski is likelier to vote No, to be honest, though a lot less attention is paid to her. In part I think Murkowski may be worried about the indigenous Alaskans, who came out against Kavanaugh because of his views on race. They were instrumental in electing Murkowski.

GOP and Trump will continue to try to steamroll the nomination. Grassley is hellbent on getting this through. He gets a lot of support. I do not trust the Republicans, not one of them. But MadamaB is not the only one who predicts that Kavanaugh will get pulled. There have been a few notable Twitterers who have made that prediction as well.

Part of me is thinking “You fools!” at all the focus on female Repub senators.

I’m with Laurence Tribe on this. “Some are saying it would be an insult to every woman in America for the confirmation to go forward without pause in light of the breaking news. I think it would be an insult to every man as well.”

The real qualification for useful voter pressure is which Repubs are closest to being human.

Tall order, I know.

REMINDER that Hillary Clinton will be on Maddow tonight.

Anyone who ever thinks Susan Collins can be a reasonable or decent person:

Yeah, I don’t place much hope in Collins nor Murkowski, I have just as much hope that two male GOPers will believe Ford. (Which isn’t saying much.)

So, Stormy describes the Dump’s parts in her book. Oh barf > > >>>>

Holy smokes, Ford and her attorney sent a letter to CNN saying she will only come forward if the FBI finishes an investigation first.

She has had death threats and has moved out of her home for safety. Being a Professor at Stanford also makes her more visible

Almost time for Rachel’s show with Hillary…

Hillary looks amazing and is so freaking smart. Oh, what we could have had….

Plus she raises THE question we should be asking since 2016: Why did Putin want her out of the way, and where are they going with their machinations now?

Hillary was amazing, as usual. The smartest person in politics as my hubs always says. It’ll be interesting to see if her predictions come true after the election. I think they will.

MB, great post, love the Maxine pic at the top!

Hillary was superb on the Rachel Maddow show. Annie, my husband also bemoans the fact that we could have had the smartest person in any room as our President.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I don’t have cable and have to wait to see Hillary with Rachel just before I go to bed.

Thanks for sending a link showing how darn cute and smart she is.

MB, don’t be sad. We still have our girl. Hillary is not back in the woods and she isn’t done with politics. Look how many women took her advice and ran for office.

She knows her supporters are still with her.

If you missed the news watching Hillary….

Ford wants FBI investigation before testifying

@12, death threats. And they wonder why women don’t come forward. She should have guards around her.

Read this thread:

@25, I hate when people say “oh, but a lot of good came out of it” about a horrible tragedy. That kid didn’t live through friend after friend dying. He didn’t worry if he would be the next. That “lot of good” could have and probably would have happened anyway — demanding equality, demanding non-discrimination. We didn’t need thousands and thousands of deaths to bring non-discrimination and marriage equality.

Isn’t this all us?

@22 – Thank you Shadow!! Thank Goddess she didn’t give up. She doesn’t know how. We need her still!

D, that thread. Oh, I remember those days. Even though I was on the edge of the tragedy, it was horrifying and terrible to live through. I have a friend who was a wonderful pianist and operatic baritone. He became HIV positive and his immune system became compromised. It cost him most of his sight and hearing. He lost his ability to perform. So devastating.

That thread, DYB. I remember well.

The first news I saw about it was on a shred of newspaper blowing around a street. I think it was the Boston Phoenix, and early 1981 although I can’t be sure. I saw the headline about a new strange disease so I stopped the paper with my foot and read on. It was sweeping the gay community and Raygun was quoted blathering about punishments from god.

And I remember thinking, not in hindsight, right then and there, that it was going to get horrible because there was sex and gayness and they were going to ignore it because god.

People are such troglodytes. You’re right Luna that we don’t *need* deaths to learn tolerance, But it’s amazing how often they seem to insist on them anyway.

Pulitzer-quality thread.

@25, that was heartbreaking.

NEW POST by quixote.

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