Welcome to the Ladies Room in the Rhode Island State House. This quote from Tacitus* reads “Rare felicity of the times when it is permitted to think as you like and say what you think.” Rare indeed.
In the hope of more felicitous times ahead The Dose welcomes the newly rebranded and independent Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus PAC (RIDWC)! For several years now real Democrats have found it increasingly difficult to find a place within the conservative Rhode Island Democratic Party (RIDP). (Representative Mattiello promptly signaled his conservative leanings after being named House Speaker; his first speech was to the Chamber of Commerce.) But certain recent changes to the bylaws made the future of the Women’s Caucus within the state party untenable.
The new Women’s Caucus points out that the “differences between the leadership of the Rhode Island Democratic Party and the platform of the national Democratic Party are stark, and go far beyond differences of opinions.” [Emphasis mine.] In any other state these people would be Republicans. For those who are unfamiliar with the history here, please read their statement on Uprise RI. Here’s some of the worst:
But the antics at the state committee meeting and the adoption of these new exclusionary bylaws is only one part of a long list of atrocious behavior from state party leadership and their lackeys. They have endorsed Republican white supremacists over progressive female incumbents. They have forced women to endorse candidates who read Bible passages during Senate hearings, condemning women who support reproductive justice to eternal damnation. They have required women to fund raise into a party account that spends more money on pizza and liquor than on progressive, democratic female candidates. For too long, this state’s party leadership has openly opposed the Democratic Party platforms and principles.
But the party leadership is not our party.
The Providence Journal spoke with state GOP Chairwoman Sue Cienki in “Shunned by their party, Democratic Women’s caucus votes to go it alone.”
“We allow the caucuses to raise their own funds for their [own] use … endorse candidates, send out press releases etc. They all keep me informed and certainly invite me to all their gatherings and we support them in any way we can. They in turn are very supportive of the state GOP because they have a seat and vote at the table,” she said.
“In Rhode Island, the Republican Party is more democratic than the Democratic Party,” added Steve Frias, the state GOP’s representative on the National Republican Committee. “Only dictators should be afraid of dissenting opinions.”
So, while the bathroom is very nice, it’s way too small. We need to expand into the building above where we can think what we like and say what we think . . . and hopefully get our Democratic Party back on track.
*The Joukowsky Institute at Brown informs us that this same quote, in Latin, circles the rotunda. They probably dumbed it down for the ladies so our brains wouldn’t hurt.