And my Congresswoman’s response – a fund raising email disguised as SCOTUS outrage
Yes, I know, I know – I said I was going to take a break from Around the Block for a while to focus on some other writing projects. But sometimes I simply can’t help myself. In this case I was aided by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Texas’ new, cruel and most probably, unconstitutional, abortion law go forward.
Since there’s been plenty written and discussed about this egregious decision, why did I feel compelled to write? Because my Congresswoman, Lois Frankel (D-FL 21) sent an email blast out about the decision, an email blast that was, in essence, a fund raising message disguised as SCOTUS outrage. So, I wrote to her…twice.
Dear Congresswoman Frankel,
This morning I received your email with the subject line “We can’t allow Republicans to overturn Roe v. Wade.” The email came the day after SCOTUS ruled 5-4 not to take action in staying Texas’ outrageous new anti-abortion law. The only quasi-surprise was that Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal justices, writing that he would have blocked the law while appeals moved forward, while adding, “Although the court denies the applicants’ request for emergency relief today, the court’s order is emphatic in making clear that it cannot be understood as sustaining the constitutionality of the law at issue.” My supposition is that Roberts’ dissent had more to do with his legacy than with his beliefs.
In dissent, Justice Sotomayor wrote, “The court’s order is stunning. Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”
Justice Kagan wrote, “…the majority has acted without any guidance from the court of appeals — which is right now considering the same issues. It has reviewed only the most cursory party submissions, and then only hastily. And it barely bothers to explain its conclusion — that a challenge to an obviously unconstitutional abortion regulation backed by a wholly unprecedented enforcement scheme is unlikely to prevail.”
So, to your subject, “We can’t allow Republicans to overturn Roe v. Wade,” I’m afraid the train has left the station.
How did this happen?
Republicans are cut-throat; Democrats are cautious. Republicans have no shame; Democrats are too contrite. The current conservative SCOTUS is a direct result of the GOP stealing two seats that should have been appointed by Democratic presidents, Obama and Biden. We, and Congress, stood by while we allowed Republicans to disingenuously “stack the court” in their favor.
And what have we done about this GOP deceitfulness? Close to nothing! Apparently packing the Court, or more properly, legally expanding the Court, is not on the table because Democrats fear it is “too blatantly political.” Of course, blatant politics never seems to bother the other side. The same goes for the filibuster. We won’t do anything about this clearly undemocratic, archaic rule, established by Aaron Burr of all people, because it would upset the sanctity of the Senate. And McConnell’s delay in replacing Scalia and rushing through Coney Barrett just weeks before an election didn’t?
Your email asked for the reader to sign your petition. Wow, do you truly believe that’s going to help? Since it was accompanied by a pitch, yet again, for money to assist in your reelection, the purpose of the correspondence was in reality, fund raising. There were no ideas, no plan, no actions and nothing to do with overturning Roe v. Wade. In fact, I might have missed it in the morass of links to a donation page, but I don’t think I actually saw a petition. Simply “we need money to maintain our Congressional majority” is not good enough (as if that majority has gotten much done).
Sorry for the rant, but we need more from our Democratic representatives. We need cunning. We need action. Frankly, we need ‘chutzpah.’ In other words, we need to be more like Republicans, as distasteful as that sounds.
Congresswoman Frankel, I have written you many times on many issues. Your only response to any of my correspondence has been an infrequent, off-topic, canned reply letter. My friends tell me I’m foolish for reaching out to you. I disagree with them. I am a loyal, progressive Democrat. I will do what I can to ensure that Florida 21 remains in capable Democratic hands. I would, however like some assurances that those capable hands are yours.
#2 – Follow Up
Dear Congresswoman Frankel,
I wanted to follow up on my earlier email message to you.
I reviewed your email message titled, “We can’t allow Republicans to overturn Roe v. Wade,” and saw that you proudly state that “In June, I introduced legislation in Congress to protect patients’ right to an abortion anywhere in the United States — now I need your help turning it into law.” Based on your statement, I did some research.
First, let’s be clear, you were a co-sponsor of that bill, along with Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Reps. Judy Chu, D-Calif., Ayanna Pressley D-Mass., and Veronica Escobar D-Texas.
More importantly, and perhaps to the point of my original letter, that bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, was first introduced in 2013 and has been reintroduced in every congressional session since. However, it has never received a vote in either chamber.
Why, with that history, do you think the Women’s Health Protection Act will pass now when we are more divided than ever? Republicans vote in lock step on almost every issue, including the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which even the vaunted Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger could not vote for. And with DINOs like Joe Manchin, the House-passed bill will die in the Senate allowing states to continue passing venal laws that restrict voting, aided and abetted, of course, by a GOP-packed SCOTUS which has already decimated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Do you really think the bill you co-sponsored, after eight years of trying, has any chance of getting to the floor, let alone passed, in this environment?
Members of Congress who sponsor legislation with no chance of passing simply to puff up their records is not good enough. Good enough would be, as I suggested in my earlier correspondence, to strategize, plan and plot, in all creative ways, even if those ways may be distasteful to the gentility of Democrats, to break the GOP hold on America.
To put all this more succinctly, allow me to quote from the subject line of another email I received today…this one from Hayes Brown of MSNBC
Why do Republicans keep winning? They don’t care about the rules.