This morning’s Washington Post had two front page items that we pink women discussed in depth. One Pelosi’s middle of the road “I’ll vote the funding with conditions….” That incensed a couple of our ranks and from which another drew comfort. Pink women are as diverse as any other group of women is likely to be. I personally believe Pelosi is being too reasonable, too conciliatory and too middle of road. Our leaders must lead. No we do not need retribution for the Republican exclusion of Democratic Concerns, but neither do we have to bend over backwards to appease a group that allowed our very democratic foundations to be eroded to a point where they may never be built up again to the stature of a great and respected nation.
The divisions this administration has wrought in the fires of rabid dispensationalism are deep. We see them every time we have to go past special security where you can see the rabid nature of some of the officers. (And do pardon me as I cannot always tell the difference between those who report to the Sgt at Arms and those who report to the Capitol Police.) This morning at a public appropriations subcommittee hearing in the House with Representative Lowey presiding, the four women from the pink house who arrived to hear Condoleeza Rice’s testimony in HR2359 were initially misdirected upon trying to enter the room, to wait in a line for another hearing down the hall. When we said that that line was for another hearing due to start in a half an hour and that we had come to listen to the SS’s statements and answers, we were immediately confronted by a belligerent storm storm trooper type who began in a very agitated manner to order us into the line for the other hearning no matter what. I began to try to ask a question, “Sir, Sir, May I…..” several times before he finally stopped commanding us and telling us that he was in charge no matter what anyone else had said. Finally I was able to ask, “Sir, which line specifically do you want us in? Are you making one line for all the hearings on this floor and how long will we have to wait until we may be seated. I remained calm… somehow. This guy, Vargas, was someone who wanted to bash skulls. I understand the need to protect our leaders. But the people also need these public servants to protect the people’s rights to assemble and hear the discussions our Representatives have as they fulfill their elected duty to do the people’s business.
There were many, many open seats, but we were forced to sit away from the aisles. Once again our ever peaceful but determined Lori demanded the Secret Service person who was literally on top of her get his keys in his pocket out of her left arm and to just to chill. He barked back that he was just doing his job. She told him to do his job six inches away from her. We had to move back and forth until the secret service felt they’d put enough hoops out.
Back to the business of the hearing. I’m not going to go through all the questions and responses. Condoleeza’s responses were her usual empty non-speak. The Dems asked questions about the funds and about past problems with funds and allocations. Some were fairly hard hitting, some weren’t. Most of the Republicans side-stepped the real reason the sub committee had asked the SS to testify… and spoke in platitudes about AIDs prevention and treatment funding (they didn’t mention the refusal to adequately support family planning measures that also would help to control the spread of AIDs if the country happens to have a different interpretation about a woman’s choice to control her own body and what it has to endure than the fundamentalist dispensationalist uber-conservative purportedly Christian folks in and behind this U.S. administration happen to personally believe.)
How can one woman utter so many sounds that follow the structure of standard communication but transmit no information and convey no meaning? Eventually Lori (a spunky Air Force Veteran) stood in silent protest after a few more minutes I joined her. at the side of the room making sure I was blocking no one’s view nor the aisle. Stand in silent (almost silent anyway) protest. The Chair took no umbrage at our silent statement. Amazing that our silence conveyed more meaning than Condoleeza’s yip yapping. Anyway, before I stood I had been sitting in a “manly position” head thrown back and arms on the backs of the chairs next to mine, so as to make the words hastily written on my t-shirt this morning fully legible.
Anyone paying attention could see that the progressive committee members were glad we were there and that the middle of the roaders took some courage from our presence.
I try to give myself no more pats on the back than I actually need to keep going, but if I didn’t think we were having an impact I wouldn’t go marching around in pink lingerie with oversized jewelry and slogans jotted across my tits. I digress. It was heartening to hear certain questions asked and hear the words, “the American People” and have the speaker look at me when saying the words. I’m an easy tear producer when my country and the American’s people’s honor are mentioned. Call me a patriot or matriot, I really don’t care although I do like the matriotic warm alliterationthat is possible with the term, I was raised to love the ideas behind the words of our formation and initial governing documents. I have a fierce pride, a fierce belief in peace, and a fierce personal love for some of the folks who have enlisted, fought and died because of their belief in this greatness of America, my America. My America is not the land underneath my feet. That is mother earth. My America isn’t and never will be bounded by fences and imaginary borders that people die to cross. My America lives in the heart, it catches in the throats of mothers looking at pictures of the Faces of the Fallen, my America has been violated and her honor impaled by this administration but she is strong, supple, and pissed off and she is coming back.
After the gavel went down for the session end Lori spoke out, “I implore you, as a veteran, use the power of the purse to end this war.” My America smiled.