A History Lesson



Against that backdrop, the private gatherings among the sisterhood are a source of both power and perspective. They occur every few weeks or months, depending on the need. Venues include the Senators’ homes—and occasionally the unlikely confines of the Capitol’s Strom Thurmond Room, a space named for one of the chamber’s most notorious womanizers. “We started the dinners 20 years ago on the idea that there has to be a zone of civility,” says Mikulski. Once a year the group also dines with the female Supreme Court Justices. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Select Committee on Intelligence, holds regular dinners for women in the national-­security world. Even the female chiefs of staff and communications directors have started regular get-togethers of their own.

In April the Senate women breached their no-outsider rule by agreeing to dine at the White House with President Obama. Going around the table, California Senator Barbara Boxer remarked that 100 years ago they’d have been meeting outside the White House gates to demand the right to vote. (“A hundred years ago, I’d have been serving you,” Obama replied.)


This excerpt is from a TIME Magazine article about the adults in Washington being women. The interaction between Sen. Boxer and President Obama stood out to me. You can read the rest of the piece here


138 Responses to “A History Lesson”

  1. 1 Roberta in MN
    October 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Heeeeeloooo UTA

  2. 3 Roberta in MN
    October 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm


  3. October 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Thank yoooooooou UT! My work is done, only 6.3 hours late, my food is almost eaten, ready to play!

  4. October 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Barbara Boxer is almost invariably referred to as “endangered” every time she’s up for re-election. And yet she kicks ass every time. I vote for DiFi because I’m a Democrat. I vote for Babs because she rocks the house.

  5. 15 utaustinliberal
    October 17, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    President Obama is kick ass!

    • 16 vcprezofan2
      October 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Such a list of political demands, yet media in general wouldn’t emphasize that it was GOP that was using the shutdown as a ‘political WEAPON’!

  6. 17 jacquelineoboomer
    October 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks so much for bringing this story here, UT! Go, Mr. President, friend of women! Not afraid of women! Less scared of powerful women than so many others! (I credit his mother.)

  7. 19 lisalovesobama
    October 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Can’t stop watching that vid of PBO saying “No” to that reporter’s question. So awesome. 🙂

  8. 22 utaustinliberal
    October 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Hey Meta, looks like the media is now clued in to what you shared with us today. What a jerk.

    • 23 pkayden
      October 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Coldblooded move.

    • 24 99ts
      October 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      Ohhh – I didn’t see that before I posted below – we are all on the same wavelength today

    • October 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Honestly, ut, I was so utterly disgusted by this ugly show of disregard for his wife and family. Just makes me sick how anyone could disrespect someone like this. UGH.

      • October 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

        Meta, this is an exact reflection of how he would have treated the American people had he somehow become Senator. He showed in that move why the people of NJ were wise to reject him.

      • 27 hopefruit2
        October 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        For these GOP pigs, women are props to get them elected, and objects to conceive, grow and nurture their sperm into viable human beings, and that’s about it. And when one or more of the above doesn’t happen, there’s hell to pay…

    • 28 globalcitizenlinda
      October 17, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      watched the video of this creep’s speech yesterday night and this act of shoving away his wife’s hand stood out to me so much I had to rewind it to ensure my eyes were not playing tricks on me.

      what a looser!

    • 29 EDP4BHO
      October 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Hey all. I saw that bad display but had a different take. I thought she was being inappropriate during a very serious and public event, treating him like a scorned child. Then, he was like a mean, unappreciative jackass so full of himself, with that lie about not “wanting this job anyway”. Yeah, so he ran to get away from his wife? They deserve each other. She is an enabler, and haven’t we seen just too many women like them, taking shit from their derelict hubbies? Thankful that we have “real” married couples to emulate- POTUS and FLOTUS, VP and SFL, etc.

    • 31 lockewasright
      October 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      That poor man. The love of my wife is the single most important thing in my life and having it means that I will be alright no matter what else happens in my life. Lonegan is a fool if he pushes something like that away. They don’t make power or offices or anything else that approaches its value. New Jersey is better off without such a man representing them.

  9. October 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Congrats on 1st Roberta!!!

    Hope everyone at TOD has been having a good day!

    That is a stunningly truthful exchange between Senator Boxer and the President, UT. Thank you for highlighting it.


    Yes We Can

  10. October 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Even Charlie Cook…

  11. October 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    This sounds like a silly question, but what happened to the letter or threat they got from the Heritage Foundation about being primaried?

  12. October 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Great story! Thanks UT

  13. 42 CindyH
    October 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I think it’s time to share the “Baltimore Massacre” again – it shows how completely masterful our President is!

  14. 43 99ts
    October 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Saw this on an earlier thread – this is how so many in the GOP treat their wives. It would be nice to use the McCain excuse for the stupid “If someone has no intelligence, I don’t view it as being a malicious statement’

    but this wasn’t a statement – it was a malicious act (by a man who has no intelligence) against his wife. No-one deserves to be treated in this fashion. We have all known abused wives – they hide the hurt and they hide the tears – I grade men on how they treat their wives and this animal showed it by brushing her away like one does with an annoying fly.

    This party has NO family values – absolutely none.

    • 44 ERICFIVE
      October 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      McCain cursed out his wife in front of reporters when she joked about his thinning hair during the 2008 campaign, and the MSM yawned. Wonder how they would have reacted had then Senator Obama (or any Democrat) done the same thing? GOPers know they get a pass from the media so they lie, flip flop and mistreat their spouses with impunity (remember Rudy Guilliani). They are free to let their “inner asshole” out, and rarely miss an opportunity to do so.

  15. October 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

  16. October 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    When I was returning home from the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver, Barbara Boxer was standing in line right in front of me at the airport. She is a very sweet and gracious woman and —– very short! She was with some of her family. I have always admired her and am so grateful for her leadership for California and for the nation.

  17. 47 jacquelineoboomer
    October 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    • 48 globalcitizenlinda
      October 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      hoping Dems can stun the political idiots by coming out in full force for Ms. Buono & defeating Pompous Christie

      • 49 jacquelineoboomer
        October 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm


        Fingers crossed! We need another “stunner” in NJ, as you said, and all across the land.

        • October 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

          Maybe when Buono wins, and the people of New Jersey see what a difference it makes to have a real public servant, they won’t be satisfied with 24% voter turnout in the future…

  18. October 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    “A hundred years ago, I’d have been serving you,” Obama replied.

    Absolutely in tears…………

    • 52 utaustinliberal
      October 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      It sent chills down my spine Meta. We’ve made progress but damn, we still have so far to go.

      • October 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm

        For a President of the United States to acknowledge the road he’s traveled in this way – and is still traveling to this very day, as we have all witnessed – just really puts everything into perspective and truly reveals how conscious PBO is of the ongoing context of his own destiny in relationship to other oppressed groups…….it just knocks me out.

    • 54 99ts
      October 17, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      Unlike the GOP – the President does not try to change history to bypass reality. As he explained in his latest speech – you use democracy, not blackmail, to change the rules. He is the equal of Nelson Mandela – I see not another politician that comes close to either of them. All other revered political leaders have a military uprising or external war on which their greatness hinged.

  19. October 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Everyone!

    Appointments went smoothly today. I will probably get results during next week’s appointment. Good news of the day is that I was approved for Medicaid. I was worried because here in Florida you have to have children, be over 65 or disabled to get Medicaid. I applied as disabled, they verified my info/medical records and I’ve been approved. Now I don’t have to worry about being bankrupted by medical bills.

  20. 91 desertflower
    October 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Evening TOD:) Brilliant speech by the President today! Too damn bad he had to give it in the first place. Thought you might like to read this:


    This is the first government shutdown in about 18 years, and it was engineered by House Republicans, who are actually doing all of this for a political purpose, believe it or not. They are simultaneously trying to feed their Tea Party whacko “base” and trying to make as many voters upset with “the system” as possible, so they’ll stay home in 2014 and 2016. They want you pissed off. They want you upset and they want you to think everything is the two parties not getting along, because they know that such thoughts will make people stay home. It’s their main strategy for electoral success;their far right base will show up and vote obsessively for any Republican. The only way they can win is if everyone else decides to stay home.

    Just a friendly reminder about WHY WE CAN’T EVER NOT VOTE

    • 92 ERICFIVE
      October 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Most importantly, they don’t want you to blame the GOP for the dysfunction. That is where their little plan fell apart, as evidenced by the GOP’s cratering poll numbers. Further proof of the fact that the MSM’s “both sides do it” meme is not an accident, but is a vital part of the GOP’s game plan. Thank God the MSM’s propaganda is becoming less and less effective in protecting the GOP.

  21. 94 jacquelineoboomer
    October 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    The New Twilight Zone, or what?

  22. 95 Claire
    October 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    The words “low turn out”should never again be associated with Democrats in any election; special, midterm, national or anything else. By now, Democrats across this nation should have learned how important it is to show our size and validate our impact. It doesn’t matter if we think our candidate is going to win or not, by coming out in large numbers we show our support for the party and especially the policies of President Obama. Voting should be 2nd nature for Democrats, not a choice, but responsibility we feel for one another.

  23. October 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I’m hoping that Lana visits this thread.

    She asked BobFR on an earlier thread to tweet this photo from today’s R&S. Not sure if BobFr sent the tweet out, but here’s my tweet on our favorite subject: bash upChuck.

    • October 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Hard not to notice that hardened scowl. Ugly.

      • October 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm

        Not even worth anyone’s knuckle skin to punch it. (Still tempting though)

      • 99 ERICFIVE
        October 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm

        The party he shills for everyday in every way, just had a humiliating defeat so I’m not at all surprised by the disdain his ugly mug displays at the sight of the man who just kicked his master’s ass.

        • 100 desertflower
          October 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

          Like I mentioned this morning, PBO’s speech today, was the bitch slap heard around the world:) If Upchuck haz a sad, too fucking bad, I’m having a good day!

          • 101 99ts
            October 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm

            With you DF – and imagine the smile of UPChuck if the GOP had refused to accept reality – the hate – it shows in all their faces

            • 102 desertflower
              October 17, 2013 at 8:48 pm

              🙂 You guys stay safe down there…I know about how terrible, unnerving and destructive those wildfires can be living in AZ….happens EVERY YEAR….but there’s no global warming

    • 104 pkayden
      October 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      Too busy admiring President Obama to notice anyone else in that room. Love his stride.

    • October 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Arapaho, I’ve only had a few glimpses at TOD today given an even more massive workload than usual crazy. Chuckie’s hate is palpable, for sure.

      • October 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

        Yes, the blog tyrants have been working overtime keeping up with the treasonous debt ceiling drama, and now today with TODville’s relief and schadenfreude.

        Agree with DF that our President’s statement today was stellar and historic; it also served the purpose of quieting our incompetent WH press corps.

        And this was the best part of PBO’s statement:

    • 109 Lana
      October 17, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Tweeted! Thanks, Arapaho! And I saw a photo of PBO leaving on another site that showed them standing at the end (not the one on TOD) and Chuckie was nowhere to be found… either sitting back or gone (think it was Benen’s blog). Even Jake Tapper was standing, but no Chuckie. Oh, who could imagine that he would EVER be even remotely fair-handed about our President? I really am nervous about how these people make me feel… they are making me over in their image… I’m starting to hate and it scares me.

      • October 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm

        Understand the emotive forces these despicable people elicit, Lana.

        But, don’t get angry; don’t hate; JUST CRUSH’UM where it matters – on Election Day!

        Yes WE Can …. AND, WILL ….

        • 111 Lana
          October 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm

          You are right, Bob! I will try to be more like President Obama and just dust my shoulder off and help GOTV for all elections.

          Yes we did… TWICE!

      • October 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm


        Glad to see you here, that you know your request was fulfilled.

        I’m just hoping that the MSM will fade into irrelevance. But HF2 reminded us that the MSM was constantly wrong last year (e.g., Hillary will replace Joe as VP!), and everyone still has their jobs.

        • 113 Lana
          October 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm

          They have to be wrong, or their masters will put someone else in their seat, I fear! But thanks again. That needed to be out there in the Twitter world.

  24. October 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm


    Australia and the Western US share similar histories of raging wildfires.

    But most of the blazes here are in our more mountainous areas which support chaparral or pine forests, so we don’t get the flat landscape view of wildfires as this picture seems to depict:

    • 115 desertflower
      October 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Holy!! Stay safe everyone…the air quality must be awful.

    • 116 99ts
      October 17, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Most of our worst fires are in the mountains also, but the do have areas in the outskirts of Sydney that are also at risk – and the temperatures and winds over the past few days took their effect.

  25. October 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Whenever I see Ted Cruz, he always seems very sweaty. Kind of like Mitt Romnay. UGH. And then there’s this:

  26. October 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    From the previous thread:
    “Asked ‘When is Joy Reid getting her own show,’ a senior MSNBC source replied ‘Stay tuned.'”

    Nena and ObamaGrandma were wondering if Joy gets a show if it would be weekends.

    That’s the usual MSNBC pattern, which makes sense for the staff. It must be daunting to assemble a new production team for a daily show, so getting everyone familiar with the ropes for a one- or two-day a week show at first makes sense.

    Once everyone feels comfortable at their job, then give Joy a prime time slot! Chris Hayes is just unbearable to watch. Everything is on a scale of 11 with him.

  27. October 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    The next three years are when we educate and motivate every American to stop supporting those who seek to destroy our Constitution and enslave 98 % of Americans. Make no mistake, that is exactly what the Kochs and their fellow plutocrats want to do.

    Yes WE Can

    • 121 cookemom
      October 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Don’t forget their numbers, wonder boy in the House Paul Ryan, who voted to default as well. He thinks that as soon as all the votes are counted in Ohio, he’ll have a leg up on the competition as sitting VP.

      • October 17, 2013 at 9:01 pm

        Ah yes, cookemom. The graphic in the tweet was merely a ‘teaser’ of whom we will target. And, thanks to YouTube we have a vast library of material we can use against everyone of the #KOCHSTERS – Ryan, Cantor, Demint(ed), …………..

        Yes WE Can …. AND, WILL!!!!!!!!!!

  28. 123 magapie
    October 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    A quick revision of Frank Schaeffer’s PERFECT tweet:

    One brilliant compassionate progressive black Christian president JUST CRUSHED a houseful of white southern fundamentalist rube bigots. And now they are lying and spewing and spinning and hating as hard and fast as they can.

  29. October 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm


  30. 135 anniebella
    October 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I am hoping POTUS, FLOTUS and the girls will be able to go to Hawaii for Christmas.

  31. October 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Wow… Obama’s comment is so powerful… And it wasn’t a “talking point”… It’s something he KNOWS… From his heart and soul. Awesome.


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