A month or so ago, the Fort Dodge Messenger published a letter to the editor that I had sent to them which supported Bruce Braley for Senate. In the letter, I gave reasons for why I feel that Braley would be better for women than Joni Ernst. A week or so later, a woman sent in a letter to the editor countering my letter. This is my reply to her letter.
I had said that the right wing of the Republican Party had cynically been putting up successful women as candidates while at the same time working toward a society were men have the right to dominate. To support my argument, I gave the odds of being a male in the Iowa Senate and House for the Democrats and the Republicans. For the House, for Democrats the odds are about 1.5 to 1, while for the Republicans the odds are about 8 to 1. The writer did not comment on that part of my letter.
I said that we need to have women represented in our governing bodies to represent our different life experiences. She agreed and used the argument to support Ernst. I am afraid that if Ernst is elected, she will turn back the clock on reproductive rights, will not support policies to financially protect women, will get rid of the ACA – which has given many more women good health insurance.
I went on to give some policies the Democrats had put through to help women – improvements to social security, equal pay for equal work, access to credit (brought to us by a Democratic House and Senate and President Ford – a Republican). I also mentioned that most Democrats support reproductive rights and that Obama and his first Congress brought us free birth control. Also, that the Democrats deal with the realities that women face. The writer did not address those comments, except the reality comment.
To end my letter, I wrote that the Democrats tend to base policy on the science of those who study society while the Republicans nominally base policy on fuzzy phrases like “unborn children”, “innocent life”, “big government”, and “tax and spend”. The writer ignored “unborn children” and “innocent life” but had something to say about “big government” and “tax and spend”.
With regard to the realities that women face, she used the theme to criticize the Democrats. First, she wrote women want jobs for themselves and others – and the Democrats are responsible for the slow recovery – this after the Republicans blocked the advice of economists who said we needed more spending to get the economy back on its feet.
Second, she wrote women want fiscal responsibility – not acknowledging that the Obama administration has been reducing the deficit consistently for several years now. She wrote that tax and spend Democrats are responsible for the large increase in the national debt – not acknowledging that the debt comes from years of Democratic Houses refusing to cut services and Republican presidents refusing to raise taxes.
Also, we have the reality that fiscal responsibility for the federal government is different from fiscal responsibility for a household. When a recession hits, government income goes down since fewer people are working and paying income tax and corporations are paying less income tax with lower profits. At the same time, demand for government services, like unemployment payments and food stamps, goes up, so the government spends more and the deficit gets larger. If the government had cut the deficit to zero in 2008, we would be in another Great Depression. It is a Republican big lie to say that the federal government operates like a business or household.
Third, she wrote women want to feel safe – she felt that terrorists are coming in from Mexico with our “porous” border. We have had one successful terrorist event since 2001 and the terrorists were not illegals. And the event was quite small. Obama seems to be doing a good job protecting us from terrorist attacks. And I have read that Obama has deported more illegals than any president before him.
She ended her letter by calling regulations, the NSA spying, and the harassment of tea party groups by the IRS (she probably does not remember Nixon) big government and by calling on voters to vote for Ernst. I have already written a short blog on the need for regulations. I, unlike many Democrats, am not up in arms against NSA spying because I do not think the spying is any more than the spying that businesses do on us through our internet connected world. I speak with a little experience on this subject since I am a statistician somewhat following data mining. As to the IRS scandal, I do not think we have the full story. As I last knew, organizations that support political parties do not get tax exempt status. At least it is true for churches. Maybe there was a Supreme Court ruling I missed.
Anyway, I feel Ernst would be a mistake and I support Braley.