It’s a little much to take in, honestly.
I was hopeful strong candidates like Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren would pull out election-night victories, but I was just as concerned that Tea Party warriors like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock would also win.
That didn’t happen. Not only did Akin and Mourdock lose, but more women than ever are headed to the Senate, and the state of New Hampshire will be represented by an ALL FEMALE DELEGATION, including its Governor Maggie Hassan who, when inaugurated, will be the only sitting pro-choice Democratic woman governor. Tammy Duckworth not only became the first female Iraq war combat veteran elected, she defeated misogynist deadbeat Joe Walsh to do so.
Yes, it was a good night.
So what does all this mean in the short-term? A lot, frankly. In the next four years we’ll witness the retirement of at least one, but as many as four, Supreme Court justices just as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade becomes increasingly likely and as a wave of federal lawsuits challenging the contraception mandate in Obamacare snake their way through the judicial system. We’ll see an increasing push for a legislative fix to the gender wage gap given the economic stimulus benefits tied to eradicating pay discrimination.
It means health care reform is here to stay.
In short, it was the economy, stupid. And for women voters especially, they sent a clear message that economic rights must be comprehensive. Attacks on reproductive health care are attacks on women’s economic rights. De-legitimizing violence against women and using rape as a political wedge to support restricting health care is an attack on women’s economic rights. Misogynists like Todd Akin and Paul Ryan may never understand that, but it’s clear last night that voters by in large did.
Photo from Donkey Hotey via flickr.