Washington DC's biggest export is bullshit, but not all news out of the Beltway is of or relating to said bullshit. In fact, sometimes, political news can be downright encouraging. Take, for example, the news that these four women — all 36 years old or younger — are running for Congress. Whether they can rattle cages in the District remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure — they will both give you hope for the future and remind you that you are a lazy, lazy bum.
Tulsi Gabbard was raised by two socially conservative Hawaii politicians and launched a political career of her own when she ran for State Senate at 21. Yeah, you were trying to figure out how to get your roommate to pay her share of the electric bill that she says she didn't have to pay because she spent one night per week at her boyfriend's even though she didn't have a full time job and you did, so she was technically in the apartment more than you, and Tulsi Gabbard was running for damn public office. She won, naturally, and served for 2 years as the youngest ever elected legislator in Hawaii and the youngest elected female state legislator in American history.
But Gabbard wasn't done building her impressive resume. After serving her first term, she stepped down from public office to voluntarily serve a 12-month tour of duty in Iraq as a member of Hawaii's National Guard. When she returned, she attended the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy, where she (of course) became the first woman in the school's history to finish as the distinguished honor graduate. She currently serves on Honolulu's City Council. Now, at the ripe old age of 31, she's running for Congress in Hawaii's 2nd district.
Gabbard's campaign website lists her as pro-choice, pro-small business, pro-banking reform, but she is refreshingly socially libertarian on some issues — like marriage. She writes,
Because government is not and should not be considered a spiritual or religious institution, the word "marriage" should really not be in its lexicon of legal terms. Nor should government be in the business of defining what marriage is or is not. Government should not have the power to sanctify or refuse to sanctify with the word "marriage" conjugal loving relationships between two adults. [...]
Everyone deserves equal privileges, benefits, and rights and no one should be discriminated against because of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. The present two-tier system is inherently discriminatory. Therefore, I favor one legal status for all couples, regardless of sexual orientation: civil union.
Her pro-equality stance is especially noteworthy considering that her father, Mike Gabbard, has said some pretty out-there homophobic things during his political career. It's one thing to run for public office, but another to do so on a platform that stands against a family member. And it's another thing entirely to suggest that the government get out of the marriage business.
New York State Legislator Grace Meng is running for New York's District 6 Congressional seat. If elected, she'll be the first Asian American woman to represent New York in Congress — but that's far from the most noteworthy item on Meng's impressive resume.
The 36-year-old Chinese-American former public interest lawyer has spent her career in the New York State Legislature doing the opposite of declaring a War on Women. She supported a law that would have required all New York universities to provide emergency contraception to any student who requested it and supported a bill that would have required health insurance companies to cover prescription formula. She's also called Rush Limbaugh on his bullshit when radio's loudest fart said some racist stuff about Chinese President Hu Jintao.
It looks like Meng's on her way to Washington — the Queens resident has the endorsement of New York City's 2013 Democratic mayoral candidates, Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, and the several union and trade groups.
We've met Ms. Roys before, but she warrants a more formal introduction.