The question asked in the headline should get the attention of all women:
“Why didn’t Ann Kirkpatrick vote for the Violence Against Women Act?”
As our elected Representative, Ann Kirkpatrick better be voting on our behalf, especially when it comes to issues that are so important to Democrats!
Women would be outraged. The Arizona List would disown her, and she would lose a lot of support just for missing the vote on this historic vote of major importance to a group of women. In the Venn Diagram above, that’s half the population!
Now let’s change to a different set in our Venn Diagram. There have been at least two bills of major importance to the two other categories, just as VAWA was for women.
How telling that both of these votes took place on December 18th, 2010.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) was up first, and this was a huge victory for the GLBTQ community. Ann Kirkpatrick voted to repeal DADT, and people on social media were proclaiming victory on this historic day.
Later that day was the vote for the DREAM Act. This bill is arguably the most important issue for Latinos, second only perhaps to full and comprehensive immigration reform which is a distant dream for now. The bill failed.
Now let’s look at the 3D Model to see how Kirkpatrick actually voted:
- YES on VAWA, Victory for Women!
- Repeal DADT, Victory for GLBTQ!
- No vote on DREAM Act… shameful display for Latinos!
But it gets worse. When you ask many white liberals about this act (no vote on DREAM Act) which seems to be a bit racist, especially when combined with her continued disregard for Native American sacred sites, choosing foreign mining corporations over her own constituents who have lived here for millennia, those white liberals have a shocking response.
The Arizona List would accept nothing short of 100% commitment on issues affecting women. For Kirkpatrick to miss that vote would have been the death of her political career.
For her to not vote to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would have been evidence of bigotry, and she would have lost a major source of donations also.
But now when it comes to the most important Latino issue… eh. Who cares? She was able to vote on the DADT issue, but had a “medical emergency” which caused her to miss the DREAM Act vote… and people accept this excuse!
I think of Gabrielle Giffords, struggling to make her way in for her a surprising vote for a debt limit increase, joined only by TEApublican Paul Gosar from Arizona. This was a horrible bill to make her return to Congress on, but there were billions at stake, and barely able to speak or to walk without assistance, she made her stand:
“After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge,” she said. “I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.”
The point here is that when it comes to huge historic bills, Congressmembers find a way to cast their vote.
Unfortunately, Ann Kirkpatrick did not consider her vote for Latinos a top priority, and that’s ok, because neither do other organizations for women and GLBTQ… her no vote for the DREAM Act is something that can be overlooked, but heaven-forbid she vote pro-life or against VAWA.
Why won’t you vote with US on our issues?
I hate to think that it is because for white women, some can be members of the GLBTQ community, but they will never be undocumented immigrants, or Latinos, and thus minority issues are of lowest priority or even invisible for them.
This is why other politicians such as Felicia “SB1070 is not tough enough” Rotellini can get a pass on a racist statement as she runs to be the top lawyer in Arizona, because racism is something that can be overlooked for the good of the party?