Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), along with Sen. Coburn (R-OK) (above)—who has voted against an amendment protecting sexual assault victims, opposed abortions in the case of rape, complained that improved women’s health coverage was “unfair,” and blamed abortion rights on the “gay agenda”—has now called for a “hold” on a bill providing land in Washington, D.C., for the National Women’s History Museum.
The senators said the museum was simply unnecessary. According to Coburn’s office, the museum “duplicates” other “entities that have a similar mission.”
These entities include the Quilters Hall of Fame in Indiana, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Texas, the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Washington, and “homes of famous women,” reported New York Times columnist Gail Collins.
The senators also stressed that taxpayers would have to foot the bill. The museum, however, is not asking for a subsidy. It has attracted multiple donors—including Meryl Streep and Duane Burnham, the former chairman of Abbott Laboratories—but it’s struggling to get the government to take the money.
Coburn also criticized the museum for advocating abortion rights. But its CEO, Joan Wages, said this isn’t so: “We cannot afford, literally, to focus on issues that are divisive.”
Streep points out that Washington has a postal museum, a textile museum, a spy museum, and the Newseum. Why, then, can’t the National Women’s History Museum get Congressional support?
Republican obstructionism is an expected political strategy by now, but misogyny is inexcusable. For Democrats, there are many reasons not to sit idly by during midterm elections. This is another.