By Christine Flowers
Here is a shining example of how not to treat your opponents in elected office:
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., observes that her Republican colleagues are like wife beaters. Referring to the GOP’s role in the government shutdown, she quips:
“I have to say, when you start acting like you’re committing domestic abuse, you’ve got a problem. ‘I love you, dear, but you know, I’m shutting down your entire government. I love you, dear, but I’m going to default, and you’re going to be weak.’ Something is dreadfully wrong.”
Having worked with women (and men) who have been the targets of domestic violence, I have to say I completely agree with Boxer. Something is, indeed, dreadfully wrong when a presumably mature (and rapidly maturing) woman sees no difference between House Speaker John Boehner and Bluebeard.
And now, here is proof that there are still some intelligent forms of life out there. Sadly, it’s not in the nation’s capital, but at this point I’ll take sanity wherever I can get it.
State Rep. Brian Sims and I don’t agree on much. He thinks a woman’s right to choose an abortion is a fundamental pillar of constitutional jurisprudence; I think it is the constitutional fraud of the century. He is the first openly gay legislator in Pennsylvania and is fighting hard for marriage equality; I am a straight lawyer who thinks that the only way we can “read” a right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution is to allow social science to trump critical legal analysis. He says he’s not that religious; I carry a rosary in my pocket.
He is most definitely on the liberal end of the political spectrum, and my fingers have a tenuous grip on the conservative ledge.
And yet, Sims is one of the more principled and collaborative public servants I’ve encountered in my half-century on earth, most of it spent in this beloved cesspool known as Philadelphia.