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Sunday, February 17, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Massachusetts Democratic senator was silenced at the arc of her speech.

Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor as if she were the village scold, her tongue bridled by the sheriff. It got uglier when they held an arcane vote — “the yeas and nays” — on whether she violated Senate rules. And she lost for being outspoken against a colleague, 49-43, late that night.

This never happens. It roiled the Senate’s calm seas. The majority leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., curtly cut Warren off for “impugning” a senator. Rule 19. No, she could not finish quoting the late Coretta Scott King on Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ record (“reprehensible,” Mrs. King wrote) on voting and civil rights. A conservative Republican from Selma, Alabama, Sessions also opposed reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. But of course, President Trump nominated Sessions for attorney general. The 70-year-old was confirmed in a taut scene, 52-47.

Oh, brother — civil war is churning and burning. But sisters are stepping up to save the day. That’s what Trump hates most: when women judge, challenge, or dare to defy him — or get three million more votes on Election Day.

Spirited and subversive, Warren is the latest example of the new female-first pattern of “vive la resistance.” Women citizens first stood up to the Trump regime at the Women’s March on Washington, and elsewhere, on Jan. 21. This event blossomed from blowing grass roots, growing to the largest demonstration in the nation’s history.

On the culture front, actress Melissa McCarthy has “Saturday Night Live” viewers in tears of laughter at her sendup of Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary. Spicer’s rants, crude grasp of facts and “false claims,” as some put it, are almost too easy to ridicule. His hard face and mien mirror a younger Trump. The Washington Post reports Trump’s wrath at a woman taking such liberties, bless his heart. Unlike Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, who charmed with their wit, he has zero humor. Spicer’s days on the job may be numbered.

“Vive la resistance” showed up in the Senate on another furiously fought Cabinet vote, after an all-nighter. The only two Republicans (out of 52) to vote against the astonishing Betsy DeVos for secretary of education were women.

Here was a brazen billionaire who made it her mission to undermine public schools. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska made the DeVos vote a 50-50 tie, which Vice President Mike Pence broke. A deadlock hardly ever happens. And you can count the Republican women on one hand.

Even more impressive was the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, who bravely set in motion Trump’s attack against the judiciary. Remember her early stand against the travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries? Seems long ago. Yates refused to go along and ordered Justice Department lawyers not to defend it. The writing on the wall was clear: unconstitutional. Protests at airports ensued as word got round that weekend. Yates maddened Trump so much that he fired her within hours.

If this were Henry VIII’s court, Yates would be taken to the tower.

The first judges to hear the case on the cruel travel ban and issue emergency rulings, restraining orders, and stays on deportations were all women, too. That is looking at the looming power in the eye and protecting the rule of law in our democracy — fragile as it is right now.

An awakening is in the air after a deeply wrong election, which the loser won. Trump has insulted so many people that they’ve joined the collective resistance women started.

The zeitgeist is on display at the Folger Theatre. The most complex female role in all of Shakespeare, sprightly Rosalind in “As You Like it,” is playing onstage, within shouting distance of the Capitol and Supreme Court. As it happens, like McCarthy’s Spicer, the character crosses the gender line in riveting ways.

Women are breaking their silence in the square. Young women now say they are more likely to run for office. Hurry! There are only 21 women in the Senate. Even for the eloquent Elizabeth, it didn’t come easy.

Vive la resistance.

To find out more about Jamie Stiehm and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

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8 responses to “The Sisterhood Stands Against Trump”

  1. It is the fervent hope of all “real men” that the “sisterhood” will grow in strength, and I for one and like-minded men across the country and the world will stand up in opposition to rude, lewd, and crude effete men like Trump, the keepers of the stale and misanthropic institution of “Male Guardianship” in Saudi Arabia, and other impotent men whose only way to assert themselves is to seek out more vulnerable members of society in America and in the rest of the world.

    Right On to the sisterhood. Since I’m a Baha’i, I’ll have to forego kicking some butt the old-fashioned way back in the day, and let my good deeds and example, in private and in public, do the “kicking”.

  2. Stuart says:

    We thought the sisterhood was united before the election. It wasn’t. All this is a campaign rerun. We already know how it turned out.

    How many women will see their birth control gone, their abortions gone, their equal pay gone, their Obamacare gone, and will still vote for Trump? (Sorry, but I still can’t those Kentucky interviews out of my head.)

    • Dominick Vila says:

      Hopefully our mothers, sisters, and daughters will do what we failed to do, but I am not holding my breath. Women in Southern states, and in some Midwestern states, seem to love Trump, and continue to support everything he does or proposes. I live in Florida, and I see no evidence of large numbers of women marching to protest Trump’s policies or statements. In fact, what I see is the exact opposite.

      • FireBaron says:

        Dom, here is what scares me. You could ascribe Teflon Donnie’s actions and temperament to a Democrat, and they would be demanding his head on a platter.

        • Dominick Vila says:

          I could not help remembering the feigned indignation expressed by so many conservatives when Hillary had lunch with a wealthy donor of the Clinton Foundation; who now ignore Trump’s quid pro quo with Putin, the Russian oligarchs that bailed him out financially, and the business deals he made with Rosneft and the Deutsche Bank. Can you imagine what would happen to a Democrat with such a political baggage?

  3. secondclassguy says:

    I would love for men and women to be equal as far as it’s possible, but the reality is there are just as many women as men who don’t want that. 53% of white women voted for trump, and even if a majority of minority women voted democrat it could have been for other reasons than gender.

    The fact is democrats go to this well over and over even though there’s no water left. If democrats keep pretending there’s only one gender that matters they will never find any new wells to drink from.

    The protests should be focusing on things like wealth inequality and healthcare, that would help women the most, and the ones that really need the help. There’s no better way to grow than looking at what’s not been working, without throwing all the old stuff away

    • Dominick Vila says:

      Well said.

    • FireBaron says:

      The scary thing is one woman was quoted as saying if it took the repeal of women’s right to vote to keep Hillary Clinton from being elected, she was willing to surrender that right.
      Why don’t these idiots realize that once you surrender one right, you start losing the rest of them! Did the aftermath of Reconstruction teach them nothing?

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