There’s a myth in politics that women make more compassionate leaders because they know what it takes to raise a family (as if men don’t raise families, and as if women in politics don’t hire nannies). Senator Claire McCaskill just blew that myth to smithereens.
The House of Representatives already passed legislation to expand the State Children’s Health Program (SCHIP) days ago, and the Senate just voted to approve the legislation yesterday. Along the way, however, some Republicans tried to wreck the legislation by adding nasty amendments that contradicted the central aims of the bill.
For example, South Carolina’s senator Jim DeMint introduced an amendment that would have required working families living just above the poverty line to pay for their children’s health insurance. A single mother with one child would have to pay for the health insurance of her child even if she makes just $28,800 per year. Imagine being a single parent paying for lodging, food, utilities, transportation, day care, and the other necessities of life – plus health insurance – on just $28,800 per year.
Senator DeMint seems to think that’s no problem. You know who agrees with him? Senator Claire McCaskill, that’s who. Yes, Democrat Claire McCaskill. She doesn’t seem to have a clue about what it takes to raise a child – either that, or she just doesn’t care. Senator McCaskill crossed the aisle and voted in favor of Senator DeMint’s amendment, trying to help him ruin the legislation.
DeMint’s amendment was so despicable that four Republican senators did the opposite, and crossed the aisle to vote no. Yes, four Republican senators did more for children’s health than Senator McCaskill did. If I were a Democratic voter in Missouri, I’d be calling Claire McCaskill’s office right now, seeking answers about that.