There Is 1 Woman Leading a House Committee. Guess Whose Fault That Is?

Illustration for article titled There Is 1 Woman Leading a House Committee. Guess Whose Fault That Is?

Though the midterm elections were a slight disaster, some good did come out of them: over 100 women were elected to Congress, the highest number ever. But the number of women leading House Committees remains low: one.

As USA Today reports, Michigan's Candice Miller is the lone woman running a House Committee out of 21 slots, heading up the House Administration Committee, as she did last term. To give you a sense of the breakdown of diversity amongst the rest of the committees, look no further than this CNN slideshow highlighting some of the most important roles, all held by white men.

In case you're scratching your head about how this could happen after an election that at least brought the first black republican woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, well, look no further than the party Mia Love is a part of. That group of brilliant minds has taken an even firmer control of this Congress and used it to do some pretty groundbreaking shit: put more white dudes in power.

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In an excellent segment on her show Tuesday, Rachel Maddow outlined the Republican Party's recent history of choices, explaining that in 2012, Miller actually campaigned to head up Homeland Security, but her party rebuffed her. Instead, they filled 19 committee leadership positions with white men before dropping her into a position that is hardly considered influential: she was moved into leading a committee that "is charged with the oversight of federal elections and the day-to-day operations of the House of Representatives." OOoooooooooooOOO "day-to-day operations." Sexy. Maybe she and Republican Caucus Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers can switch off in performing the role of the GOP's Woman Friend for important and highly visible talking point regurgitations.

Senate leadership is looking slightly better, though it hasn't been settled yet: at least two women look like they'll head up committees. And don't worry: as the Republicans want you to know, they've got lots of women hanging around in their leadership conference. In this segment on Morning Joe Wednesday (which Joe Scarborough introduces by basically apologizing for asking Representative Steve Scalise why there aren't any women running committees), Scalise said the new Congress has "such a great new group of members with great backgrounds too and they're going to come and give us a really strong boost in the new Congress."

Being on a committee, if it wasn't clear, is, as Maddow explains, "really sort of the only job worth having in Congress–it's the only way you only do anything of importance in Congress." So to see a leadership in 2014 (2015!) stay basically exactly as it has is truly proof positive that we reap exactly what we sow.

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Image via MSNBC

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DISCUSSION

My favorite part of Maddow's takedown was "There is diversity. There is a Michael, a Mike, and a MACK!!"