Kirsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, the two ‘Democratic’ senators who have done everything within their power to undermine the Biden administration’s agenda and the will of the majority of the American people, are once again telling us we can all go fuck ourselves.
Instead of doing everything they can to uphold a woman’s right to abortion, they again choose to uphold the filibuster, the means by which the Southern segregationists could prevent any type of civil rights legislation from passing. Isn’t it ironic that this most unusual circumstance of taking away a right will disproportionately affect women of color and those without the means to travel to the states who actually care about the health and wellbeing of their residents with uteri?
I don’t know who is paying Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema to repeatedly refuse to do the right thing for the American people. I hope that whatever they are being paid for this abandonment of their duties to represent their constituents’ best interests is worth it.
Joe Manchin in particular has spent his entire time in the Senate as a giant conflict of interest. His coal company makes his refusal to enact any reasonable climate legislation blatantly self-serving, while the citizens of West Virginia, listed as the 47th out of the 50 states in terms of health care, 45th in education, 48th in the economy and dead last in infrastructure, are denied the benefits that Manchin doesn’t feel they are deserving enough of to vote for them. He instead thinks that his constituents are all drug addicts, spending their child tax credits to get high. He holds his fellow West Virginians in very low regard.
In fact, Manchin and Sinema’s refusal to eliminate the filibuster for Biden’s Build Back Better agenda further shows both their distain for the value of women and the things that women need for their lives. Much of the BBB included the biggest investment in the care industry in history, most of which would have benefitted the women in the country to whom these care activities inevitably fall. Child care, elder care, universal pre-school and the child tax credits helped raise millions of children and their families out of poverty, yet neither of these senators could find it within themselves to eliminate the filibuster in order to let the majority, voted in by the people, do what they people want them to.
Arizona is poised, upon the overturning of Roe, to ban most abortions after 15 weeks without any exceptions for rape or incest only to save the woman’s life; providers could face up to five years in prison. Kirsten Sinema thinks that this is just fine for Arizona’s women.
West Virginia recently passed a law outlawing abortion because the fetus may develop a disability, meaning that anyone who has abnormal genetic testing results would be forced to carry that pregnancy to term. The state is going to make abortion providers ask women if they are having an abortion because the fetus might be disabled, then turn in those women who say that they are. Providers who do not do so could be subject to losing their licenses to practice medicine. Joe Manchin wants his constituents to be forced to give birth to babies with disabilities in a state that is at the very bottom of the rankings for healthcare, education and infrastructure, all things that a disabled child and their family needs in abundance. But sure, Joe, uphold the filibuster at the expense of the women and their forced children.
We are at an inflection point that I never thought I’d see again in my lifetime. The Republicans have gerrymandered and schemed successfully to allow them to wield minority tyranny over the majority who voted against them. They have fully given themselves over to the Evangelical White Nationalists they courted for decades, finally allowing them to let their freak flags fly. There is only one thing left for us to do.
Vote like our lives depend upon the results, because, for half the population of our country, they really do. Vote in every election, because it is the state governments who are enacting these state-by-state abortion restrictions. Vote on every election, because they are not going to stop here. They are already attacking marginalized groups, including trans kids who in any one state can be no more than a couple of dozen kids at most. They’ve been doing this because we’ve let them get away with it. No more.
I am a straight White woman, a mother, grandmother, and former nurse. I will not sit idly by while a minority of mostly White, mostly male religious zealots try to force their beliefs on the rest of us.
You cannot sit idly by, either. Because one day they’re going to come for you, too.
Better believe it.