In a long-overdue moment of progress for the U.S. Senate, a motion passed unanimously yesterday allowing Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) to bring her newborn baby on to the Senate floor in order for her to do her job and continue representing her state in Congress.
While the Republicans successfully resisted – or were ordered to resist – their instinctive urge to vote against a bill that would benefit women, that didn’t stop the ornery old farts from publicly complaining about how they didn’t like the changes.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), 84, wondered what would happen “if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate.” Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), 81, complained that he didn’t see why it was “necessary” to allow babies on the Senate floor while James Inhofe (R-OK), 83, demonstrated his ignorance of childbearing when he insisted that “they don’t use diaper bags anymore, they’re disposable diapers,” apparently not realizing that something is used to carry said disposable diapers.
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Well, for starters, Mr. Hatch, if there were ten babies on the floor of the Senate, that would mean that there were ten women under the age of 65 having been elected to office – a desperately needed diversity of perspective in a forum overwhelmingly dominated by decaying white men.
The lack of turnover in the U.S. Senate is a very serious problem. Thanks to gerrymanders and lack of term limits, these cantankerous liches have remained in their seats for far too long, stubbornly clinging to their outdated worldviews and archaic beliefs, many of which are rooted in conceptions of racial hierarchy that are no longer tolerated by a world that is changing faster than they can keep up.
Why on earth should a man who hasn’t had to deal with childcare in over half a century get to dictate how much we (don’t) spend on childcare programs?
It’s beyond time we replaced our aging politicians with people who actually have worked a real job in the past forty years, who knows firsthand what struggles face everyday Americans, and who hasn’t been immersed for so long in the mire of Washington that they’ve become part of the swamp themselves.
Bring all the babies to Congress – then we might actually get some universal kindergarten around here.