Democrats Deny Pregnant Representative A Leadership Vote Because They Fear Her Pick

Democrats Deny Pregnant Representative A Leadership Vote Because They Fear Her Pick

Yet more evidence Democrats’ ‘war on women’ was fake, cynical rhetoric.

Democrats appear to have gotten the memo that the “war on women” is no longer winning over voters and have abandoned it so fast they have whiplash.

Late last week, news broke that the Democratic Party would not allow Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat who is in her final weeks of pregnancy and unable to travel, to vote in their leadership elections this week.

National Journal reported that Democratic staffers were so distressed over the decision to block Duckworth’s vote, they circulated a now-ironic tweet from Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who was instrumental in the decision to deny Duckworth’s request. DeLauro, who New York Magazine called the “Hipster congresswoman with a feminist agenda,” is a member of the Democratic leadership.

The #Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Today we celebrate that! #PregnantAtWork

— Rosa DeLauro (@rosadelauro) October 30, 2014

Reports indicate DeLauro and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi fear Duckworth’s vote could be the deciding one against their candidate for ranking member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce committee. Rather than face the possibility of losing, Pelosi and DeLauro, both mothers themselves, simply vetoed the pregnant Duckworth’s request.

DeLauro’s tweet and the Democrats’ stance illustrate what we already knew. Democrats may talk ad nauseam about protecting women’s rights (seriously, Mark Udall talked about abortion so much on the campaign trail his supporters called him Mark Uterus), but they don’t actually mean much by it, especially when it could complicate their lives.

Democrats spent the entire election cycle insisting a Republican majority would trample women’s rights. From Texas to Colorado to North Carolina, Democratic candidates claimed they alone could prevent the coming efforts to send women back to the Victorian age. Or at least make sure all the condoms wouldn’t disappear. But their callous treatment of Duckworth, and just how quickly and easily they abandoned their “women’s rights” platform, show their “war on women” rhetoric during the campaign cycle was just that—rhetoric.

Pelosi is fond of saying, “When women succeed, America succeeds.” In this case, Pelosi may succeed in getting her pick for a plum committee assignment. She’s also succeeded in showing America just how little her words mean.

Elizabeth Held is a director at the White House Writers Group. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethHeld.
Photo Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr
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