Hope you’re not tired of hearing about the superior qualities of female legislators. The government shutdown is a perfect opportunity for the women in the Senate to reveal how crucial their peacekeeping feminine energy (and other gender stereotypes) is for bipartisan compromise. The New York Times credits not just moderate Republican senator Susan Collins with kick-starting the tentative deal to raise the debt ceiling and turn the government back on, but also her female colleagues: Republican senators Lisa Murkowski and Kelly Ayotte and Democrats Barbara A. Mikulski and Patty Murray.
Together, the five senators starkly showed off the increasing power of women — even those who are not on the relevant committees — as their numbers grow in the upper chamber. Of the 13 senators on a bipartisan committee who worked on the deal framework, about half were women, even though women make up only 20 percent of the Senate.
The irrelevant female senators are staging a coup of collaboration and pragmatism! “The women are taking over,” Senator John McCain reportedly “joked” at several points during the meeting. Senator Joe Manchin III gave the presence of women two thumbs-up: “That gender mix was great. It helped tremendously.”
According to Collins, the Senate women’s habit of meeting for informal dinners and working together on small bills makes it easier to sit down and compromise with their opponents. Except for Paul Ryan. He can’t come. And they wouldn’t be caught dead at Tortilla Coast.