Tulsi Gabbard, the ex-congresswoman from Hawaii who ran as a Democrat candidate for president in 2020 once commented in an interview with Fox News that Congress felt a whole lot like high school. “There’s a lot of immature self-serving people … you have gossiping and cliques and who’s getting invited to what party and you’ve got the cool kids sitting in one area and the outcasts sitting in another … and yet these are the people who are supposed to be the most serious in this country making heavily consequential decisions.”
It doesn’t take but a day watching politicians in their native environment of Washington, D.C. to know she’s not wrong. One can imagine it might feel an awful lot like an episode of “Big Brother” (or maybe “Survivor”?) particularly with the likes of antics from characters such as Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.
These two women get a lot of heat in the liberal press, but let’s consider for a moment what it may have taken for them to get there.
(Conservative) Women in Politics
I’m not one to advocate for women securing jobs just because they are women. I didn’t vote for a woman as president or vice president just because she’d be “the first.”
That being said, it’s no small feat to get elected to serve in D.C. as a woman. Currently, 27% of the seats in Congress, both the House and the Senate, are held by women. This is no small feat. Over 10 years earlier, only 17 women, or 17%, served in the Senate and 73, or just over 16% in the House.
On average in both decades, only about a quarter of women in Congress are Republican.
Particularly in today’s culture, conservative women seem to be going the way of the dinosaur.
No wonder we feel like we have to claw our way through ridiculous progressive agendas on gender, education, and the decimation of family values.
While many may not like the way they do it, Boebert and MTG are on the front lines, fighting for those values.
Having It All
Many peg Boebert as a hypocrite for her recent divorce as well as her son having a child out of wedlock at only 17. However, a wife and mother does the best she can, especially when she is working full time. Boebert addressed her divorce saying, “I’ve always been faithful in my marriage, and I believe strongly in marriage, which makes this announcement that much more difficult.”
Greene also divorced her husband last year announcing, “Marriage is a wonderful thing and I’m a firm believer in it. Our society is formed by a husband and wife creating a family to nurture and protect.”
The truth is all families have difficulties and face challenges. No matter what the second and third wave (and whatever iterations have come after) feminists told us, women can’t have it all. Sacrifices must be made, particularly for working women.
It just so happens the personal lives of conservative women get much more press than other high-profile ladies in D.C., particularly when things get messy. It doesn’t mean they don’t uphold the values they stand for. It simply means, like all of us, they falter.
The Rebels of the D.C. Reality Show
These two women, along with other Representatives like Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are the rabble-rousers of the Washington insider’s club. They speak to much of the same crowd that supports Donald Trump; those who have felt disenfranchised by the elite anointed class and continue to feel as if their petitions fall on deaf ears.
As exhibited in Kevin McCarthy’s battle for the House Speaker position, they are part of a Republican crew holding the line to ensure members of their party are held accountable. They are doing what good politicians do – make it hard for other politicians to get things done.
Would I prefer to see more civil engagement in the hallowed halls of our government? Of course. But we’re far beyond niceties in politics. Although this arena has always been a bit of a blood sport, thanks to the media, everyone is in on the game, adding more fuel to politicians’ fire.
I wish more women like Tulsi Gabbard would take the spotlight in D.C. and grab the headlines. Sadly, women like her – the calm, cool, collected ones with common sense – don’t stick around long. It takes a certain type of personality to sign up for the inside the beltway reality show. Yet, the show wouldn’t exist if so many of us didn’t tune in.