Ever been outside on a particularly hot and humid day and had a cool breeze suddenly rush past your face? It can make you reassess life itself if the timing is right...
If you're a woman and you've been paying attention to the hot air and feverish attempts by conservatives to dictate birth control and reproductive rights, you could probably use a little cool breeze right about now.
Enter Representative Richard Hanna, a Republican from New York. Hanna was the only member of the GOP to speak at a recent rally in support of renewed efforts to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified. You wouldn't think we'd still be arguing about whether or not women deserve the protection of the U.S. Constitution when it comes to equal rights under the law, but here we are 40 years after the ERA passed (1972) and it's yet to be ratified by the requisite 38 states.
In a story by Laura Bassett on Huffington Post, Rep. Hanna was quoted telling women to get up, get out, and get organized on behalf of candidates who will help them achieve this milestone in American justice.
"I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault," he told the crowd of mostly women. "I'll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side -- my side -- has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can't succeed without your help."
"This is a dogfight, it's a fistfight, and you have all the cards," he said. "I can only tell you to get out there and use them. Tell the other women, the other 51 percent of the population, to kick in a few of their bucks. Make it matter, get out there, get on TV, advertise, talk about this. The fact that you want [the ERA] is evidence that you deserve it and you need it."
When HuffPost asked Hanna after the rally whether he was bucking his party by encouraging women to give their money to "the other side," he said that he wasn't.
"I'm trying to help [the GOP]," he said. "I think it's the appropriate thing to do."
What a concept. Doing the right thing because it's appropriate, with a nod toward the future of his political party as an added benefit.
According to the Wikipedia blurb on Hanna, he's voted with the House Republicans 85% of the time, which is pretty horrible, until you consider that only 11 of the 244 GOP House members voted with the majority less often than Hanna. In other words, he sometimes thinks for himself instead of goosestepping along with the teabaggers.
He's voted against cutting funding to NPR and Planned Parenthood, voted against extending the Patriot Act, is a member of the LGCT Equality Caucus, and is one of only six GOP Congressmen who wouldn't sign Grover Norquist's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge".
I was unaware there were any moderate Republicans left in the House.
I'm happy to stand corrected.
Well said, sir!