December 12, 2011
Our Sexist Senior Senator
Patty Murray is open in her
Sen. Patty Murray says that if Congress had more women, there might be a plan in
place to deal with the nation's $15 trillion debt.
While the supercommittee that she helped lead failed last month in its bid to offer a $1.2
trillion deficit-reduction plan, Murray says, "It may have come out very differently" if she
hadn't been the only woman on the 12-member panel.
Women, she says, understand compromises, and Murray wants to bring more of them on
It would be easy to condemn Murray for her bigotry, easy to show how this would be
treated if a male senator had said something similar, had said, for instance, that the growing
number of women in the Congress had made it harder to get compromises because many of the
women lacked courage.
And it would be equally easy to show that Murray's (and junior Senator Cantwell's)
negatively affected men
— and the women who love and depend on them. Policies backed by senators
Murray and Cantwell made the recession worse for men, so much worse that it was often
dubbed a "mancession".
But all that's been done before, and in this post I'd like to consider a different
question: Is Senator Murray right?
To discuss that question, I am going to have to ask you to put aside political correctness,
or your fear of it. I am going to assume that men and women are — on the
average — different. For example, I believe that — on the average
— men are better at moving heavy furniture, and that — on the average
— women are better at harmonizing colors.
Those heterodox beliefs might get me tossed out of some local college classes, but I
think the scientific evidence supports them.
Now that the politically correct have been warned, we can turn back to the main
question: Would more women in the Congress result in more compromises?
Recent decades suggest that the answer is no. The number of women in the
House and Senate has been rising, but in the same decades, our elected leaders have
found it harder to reach grand compromises.
The most prominent example of women in Congress, former Speaker and current
Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, also suggests that the answer is no. Pelosi helped
block compromise on Social Security, even when the Bush administration floated the idea
of higher taxes on high earners to pay for a transition to a more open system. She
backed extremists for top committee positions. Her attacks on Republicans often
lack the civility that helps make compromises possible.
But those points are both just suggestive. The increase in women and the
decrease in compromise might be coincidental. A single example, however prominent,
is not enough to prove a general case.
We can get a better understanding of the problem if we look at it from a different
angle. If you were to ask serious students of Congress why compromises have
become more difficult to reach, most would say the main reason is that the two parties
have lost their moderates, have lost those people in the middle who could bargain with
both sides. The Democrats who elected
Tip O'Neill speaker were
far less unified, ideologically, than the Democrats who chose Nancy Pelosi. And
we have seen similar, though less drastic, changes on the Republican side.
So we have fewer compromises in Congress because we have fewer centrists and
more extremists, or, if you prefer, fewer moderates and more pure conservatives and
As it happens, we have a local example of that change. The senator who was
farthest to the left in 2008 by the National Journal's composite ranking was our
own senior senator, Patty Murray.
She is far more extreme than Democratic predecessors like Warren Magnuson and "Scoop"
If she had been replaced by someone less extreme in her last election, we might have
had a grand budget compromise, although that's unlikely given President Obama's
unwillingness to even join in the negotiations. Sadly, Senator Murray is part of
the problem, a big part of the problem.
Cross posted at
Jim Miller on Politics.
(The attentive may have noticed that I have still not answered the main question:
Would a Congress with more women be more likely to compromise, everything else being
equal? I don't know the answer to that question; I don't think that the social
psychologists have answered it in their studies, even when they haven't been handicapped by
political correctness. And we have to be careful about generalizing too much from
those studies, done so often on American college students who just happen to be in
But it is enough to know, in this case, that we would be more likely to get compromises if
Senator Murray were replaced by someone less extreme.)
Posted by Jim Miller at December 12, 2011
08:50 AM | Email This
1. A politician is a politician is a politician. It matters not the sex of the animal, the instincts seem to be inbred in those who are prone to follow the career of politician. As I've said the best and most 'qualified' to run this Country are, sadly, either in private industry or in private homes. IMO, they choose to remain autonamous because of the freedom it allows from political scrutiny and the constant pressure to raise money to perpetuate their positions.
I happen to have a lot of respect for Steve Largent who after his stint in Congress lamented that it was just too bad creativity was stymied by the focus on raising money and beholding to lobbyists. 'Character', if not totally blanked by the 'belt-way', certainly seems to be shaded a bit. Gender matters not. :)
In their never ending quest for "equality," Leftists never seem to understand that forcing quotas and preferences is anything but equality. It's just garden variety bigotry and racism.
Never ceases to amaze how Leftists wear glasses and contacts with special filters that allow them to see only the racism that benefits their agenda.
3. "If only the airline had been run by vegetarian women instead of flesh-eating men." -- Airplane
4. The Democrats' idea of an uncompromising extremist is anyone who doesn't cave to their ideas of higher taxes on job creators in a futile attempt to pay for their social programs.
Murray is an extremist and also a sexist with few principles. Therefore she fits right in with the gangster government we have at this time. She is given a pass by the local and national (Obamamedia).
One of these days when the truth emerges and political correctness is pierced, people will be able to look back and see how mind-numbed and ethically bankrupt these progressivist clowns posing as writers in the media were - not holding my breath for anytime soon.
6. Muuray's latest outburst is another justification for term limits. Just think for a moment, Dumber-than-a-post Murray would never have become rich and powerful if she was limited to two terms in office.
The statement is shocking in its idiocy. Has having a female governor helped our state balance its budget? How does she explain the fiscal situation we are in?
I'd argue that it's not only sexist, but ass backwards for one simple reason: women are more likely than men to be Democrats, and Democrats love to spend other people's money.
8. I am going to go out on a PC limb here and probably get myself in a lot of trouble, but here goes. First of all, disclaimer, I am a member of the female side of humanity! :) I truly think that women who make it to the top in a corporate setting or politics are driven, more aggressive than most women, have more "flexible ethics" and actually are unable to compromise as well as less obsessed women, and more ready to betray trusts and allies in order to further themselves and their careers. They have become expert at corporate politics and back-room deals, which is not something they should be proud of. I don't think women's lib has given us quite stellar specimens that would be successful or effective in the very highest offices of politics, and I certainly don't think we are ready for a female POTUS. The only thing women's lib has really given us is the the sad fact that we are expected to work at two jobs now, while our male counterparts can work at just one.
This logic as about as much sense as me being told years I ago I should be voting for liberal candidates because I was a single mom.
Reading between the lines Murray just wants more people who think like she does and can therefore steamroll over the opposition. The main reason she was such a failure on the super committee is her unwillingness to compromise. She never did offer up alternative plans to the GOP suggestions. She is just annoyed that the opposition pointed out that the emperor is not wearing any clothes.
Wife, who is extremely conservative, self-motivated, high achiever, OCD, says that government needs more women. Why? She never says.
Same thing as Jim asks. Would women in charge all over help the country?
In history, you've seen matriarchal societies. They do as good as, better or worse than males?
I don't know. Women in business have different attributes than men. Better or worse? I just don't know.
11. I like Murray and think there should be more women in Congress for lots of reasons -- but this is not one of them. Anecdotally I think each gender tends to do some things better, but I don't think compromising is one of them. And Murray's explanation for why women compromise better ("You want the practical answer to why we would get things done? Because we are multi-taskers: We have to pick up the kids and get dinner and, you know, help with the homework and get things done, and we don't mess around. And so we come into politics the same way: We have a task, it's hard, but we make decisions, and we get things done.") is just illogical.
12. Burdabee is correct. Murray never compromised, she was all more taxes and no spending cuts.
13. I suspect Sen. Murray would be singing a different tune if one of those other female committee members was, say, Margaret Thatcher in her prime.
"we would be more likely to get compromises if Senator Murray were replaced by someone less extreme.
Perhaps, but to replace Murray either the Democratic party has to put forward a candidate to do so (and that seems not likely) or the Republican party has to put forward a candidate who can beat her in an election.
Democrats have not tried since her first election in 1992, and Republicans have tried and failed each and every time since 1992.
Regarding Senator Murray's extremism, she was one of only 21 US Senators who voted correctly against the Iraq War.
15. So... not only is she the State Cow, she's a sexist bigot to boot.
"Regarding Senator Murray's extremism, she was one of only 21 US Senators who voted correctly against the Iraq War."
Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day as in the case above. Nearly everything else she has supported has been either statist or sexist.
17. What's wrong with being sexy?
1. Hub is definitely better at moving heavy furniture than I. He has pulled off some amazingly creative logistical feats in that area, in fact. But he's a smart guy, so I shouldn't be surprised.
2. I am definitely better at coordinating colors than he is. But he does alright.
3. I don't necessarily agree with the point Patty Murray was trying to make. In fact, as a female I am frankly rather embarrassed by her ill-considered remarks and admit I do not think she is making my gender look too good right about now because of them.
4. Sadly, I believe she was grasping for excuses, since she was supposed to be helping lead this committee--which failed. I recall the Seattle Times reporting that Murray simply "made stuff up" about her opponents during her last senate race, in order to try to make herself look good by comparison. I think this is one of those times where she is again desperately trying to do something similar.
Yeah, women are great at forging consensus and cooperating and comprimising.
Sorry, Patty, but none of these ladies is known for compromising. You may be surprised to see yourself on that list, but no one else is. And the list is actually very very long.
I know many women who do compromise at the drop of a hat. I know far more women, especially in politics, who dig their heels in moreso than most men.
Like most bigots, Patty doesn't understand that stereotypes -- especially when they cross half the population -- don't hold up very well.
20. (BTW, as a big fan of Val Stevens and a minor fan of Michele Bachmann, I am not saying it's bad to not be prone to comprimising. I am just saying it's not a female trait.)
21. You know, if Glenn Beck can call the Tea Party racist, why not have Sound Politics call Patty Murray sexist.
Lionel Hutz: ... if Glenn Beck can call the Tea Party racist ...
He didn't. He said that's how it appears to him, which just means he is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, and about as dumb as I always thought he was.
Bill Clinton is to Obama's right, and the Tea Party calls him a socialist etc. too. Is it ... about Clinton's race? Of course not. What about John Kerry? And Hillary Clinton? Do the Tea Party love them? This racism crap is just idiocy.
The real factors are not race, but party affiliation, confusion about actual records, and values issues that transcend everything else (for example: say what you want about Newt, but he has been consistent on abortion). There's also key differences in approach between Newt and Obama (and the rest of the Democrats) in foreign policy, crime, and so on.
At the end of the day, if the Tea Party people believed that Gingrich was as far to the left (as a big-government statist) as I and Beck think he is, they would not support him. And I think in the end he stands almost no chance of winning the nomination.
why not have Sound Politics call Patty Murray sexist.
The difference is she said, meant, and acted upon an idea that is undeniably sexist. But Beck provided zero evidence that the Tea Party is racist (again, if this was all about race as he surmised, then the Tea Party folks would have supported the Clintons and Kerry, so that hypothesis is obviously, simply, incorrect).
23. Let's not pretend here. What Murray is really saying is we need more left-wing women in Congress. Sarah Palin need not apply.
24. Let's hope SP would not apply! Can you imagine her in a debate with Gingrich. That would be funnier than SNL. Once, somewhat of a fan, I've deduced that she could very well be the biggest political miscalculation of all time. [Apparently she is now trying to pitch a new 'reality show'] Unbelievable! :)
Senator Murray is an extreme idealogue who is constantly looking for ways to shove her views onto the nation while at the same time screeching about the individual right to "privacy"!
I believe that she was put in charge of the Super Committee because the Democrats needed it to fail so as to have the "do-nothing Congress" to run against in the next election.
As to the actual question that Jim posted, I would answer with a a resounding "It depends"!
Being a woman, I can see where more women, who are often very open to finding workable solutions, could be beneficial. It's the old spaghetti vs. waffle argument. Women's brains can generally handle a whole bunch of tangled up trains of thought at one time while men are better able to concentrate on whatever square they are in at a particular moment.
However, too many of the women currently serving in Congress (including Murray) are not bright or are not comfortable in their abilities. They are angry, they are resentful, they know that many of the men with whom they interact are smarter than they and they have sold their souls on the altar of "Women's Rights!", which has overall been a disaster for most women, but if there is one thing all these liberal women have in common it is their absolute refusal to accept responsibility for their own mistakes.
Sadly, the kind of women who would actually be good in politics are usually too busy raising families or running sucessful businesses or both!
26. Upon reading Pudge's comments here and thinking it through a bit more, I realize that hubby has made far more compromises for my benefit than I have (not that I haven't made any, just that he's made far more). Therefore, I am far less a compromiser than hub. And therefore, sorry Patty---but I disagree strongly, having had overnight to consider the question.
Btw, I wonder if Patty Murray feels about Obama as this DC Democrat lawmaker does:
Bad timing. I opened the page just as I was taking my morning's first sip of coffee.
I thought the title said "sexiest". It's gonna take hours to get everything to dry out from the coffee spray.
Look...you've got the Senate's dimmest bulb, who also happens to be the farthest to the left, making assertions that are laughable. Think of it as extremely costly entertainment.
She is so consistent in what she reveals about herself and her views that in many ways her elections say more about the people that vote for her than any public exposure ever could. Reliable as a tuning fork.
You get what you pay for. And in this case, we pay for what we get.
I think that the thing that has annoyed me the most over the last few years...chosen from a wide variety of things...is the left complaining about "the economy" and blaming business/the affluent, when they should be looking in the mirror. They think they have the ability to solve the economic woes of the country by doing more of the same, while exhibiting a compulsive abhorance of the knowledge of economics.
It's like saying "lets go to the moon, and don't bother me with bringing up physics." Meaning "the rules of the universe don't apply to us, 'cause we know best."
"I thought the title said "sexiest". It's gonna take hours to get everything to dry out from the coffee spray."
Oh c'mon scott, that snazzy photo of Patty Murray in the meat dress surely grabbed your attention....
31. Woman - go make me a sammich and fetch my slippers.
Just being a DEM makes her a racist....
KKK Founded by 6 Dems on Dec 19th 1866
Every Jim Crow law passed was by DEM legislatures
DEM party refused to give up their slaves...caused civil war..they lost
DEMS blocked civil rights law
DEMS killed MLK
DEMS killed JFK and RFK
33. hellpig...sshhhhh....you're not supposed to present the Left with the truth! it's too hard on them....
34. Excellent post! Do you might have any thoughts that you perhaps willing to share to clarify your second component a modest amount further? thanks a great deal
John Bailo: maybe Murray isn't sexist, but on what basis do you make that claim? What she said was definitionally sexist, was it not? And she is acting upon that view, that women are in some way better than men, so she is trying to get more women into Congress.
Or do you think she is just pandering to liberal women voters?
36. #34 smacks of those letters we sometimes receive from Lagos, Nigeria. :)
No women among the founding fathers. They were able to compromise to form a nation full of competing interests and write and ratify the constitution.
Based on that observation, if compromise is the goal, perhaps its best to ask the women to leave congress. Lets start with Murray.
"30. Extreme? No.
That's just plain silly. She's consistently the farthest left senator there is, even to the left of the token Socialist senator.
Being extreme left is her defining characteristic.
39. We pay her to talk like this??
Of course, this is Seattle, and there's a huge pool of public sentiment for this type of silliness.
It should also be a lesson to leftists (and anyone really) about politicizing such ideals (politicians are politicians...the best parts of life usually happen far away from politics).
Activists gonna activate. Don't expect any change soon, just fight the budget battles that need to be fought day by day in Leftyland.
41. Andy: Joseph Ellis considers Abigail Adams one of the Founding "Brothers." Then again, she was probably the least open to compromise, as she probably would have demanded equality for women, and the freeing of the slaves.
42. Patty Murray was merely covering up her own incompetance at not coming up with J S&*T in her Trillion dollar do nothing session.
15,166 trillion and counting Patty!
Tick Tock TIck Tock.......BOOM~!
Is it appropriate for the Director of Marketing for Microsoft, Wendi Dunlop, to post MSFT prodict and info as well as rants calling republicans facists? This on her Facebook wall:
"I need fewer Republican friends .... friendships are definitely being tested now. My stock comment has become, "wow, I liked you so much - I never realized you were a fascist!"
Ms. Dunlop ought to look at herself in the mirror and realize she is a statist and is being a hypocrite - could it be that she is a fascist? The tone of her comments on FB strikes me as such.
I am sure she won't look in any mirrors introspectively as narcissism is in vogue these days.
46. #44: Well who's REALLY open-minded---that Microsoft democrat or those of us here? I'm becoming closer friends with another gal who is very much a democrat, tho not an OWS radical. I really like her and don't see her political affiliation as a reason to stop being her friend. In fact another woman who has also been a good friend of mine and hers also leans a bit left. We enjoy each others' company and know where each other stands.
47. Shorter Jim Miller: I'm not going to consider whether Senator Murray's statement might be true or not, because that might detract from the real point of my post: self-pitying, whiny victimhood about those big bad liberal female Senators my fellow citizens keep re-electing. (Plus, we conservatives all agree that liberals are PC loons who care nothing about facts!)
48. I am amazed in light of Sen Murray's poor performance at every difficult leadership task for her party that they keep appointing her to special leadership positions. She led the Democratic Senatorial Campaign in 2001-2003. She inherited a Democratic majority and lost it in 2003 despite a number of electoral advantages. The Democratic Majority leader lost his seat on her watch. Then they appointed her to the Super-Budget Committee, another lost cause. Yet they ask her back for another try at the Democratic Senatorial Committee this year. What are the Democrats thinking? Is she selected for these fool's errand ventures because she is in a safe seat, i.e. others have better things to do? Looking at her committee chairmanships, she seems to lead a number of particularly poor performing committees (VA has gone through numerous scandals on care of war wounded) and subcommittees (transportation, housing, employment). All these committees seem to be performing rather dismally. When I lived in DC area years ago, Patty Murray was selected by an informal poll of DC staffers for the "Dim Bulb" award. Am I missing something here? Now she blames poor government performance on sexism? You've got to be kidding.
@47 wrote; "self-pitying, whiny victimhood about those big bad liberal female Senators my fellow citizens keep re-electing."
you mean whiny victimhood by those diminutive uncompromising liberal female Senators my fellow citizens keep re-electing...
Obfuscation, thy name is liberal-progressive.
50. she is one too many in the Senate