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19th amendment anniversary: Politicians celebrate

Ninety years ago today, women got the right to vote. Here's the text of the 19th amendment, which was ratified on August 18, 1920, by the Tennessee General Assembly: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Tennessee was the thirty-sixth state to ratify, giving the amendment the requisite approval of three-fourths of the states; the amendment passed because 24 year-old legislator Harry Burn changed his vote, at the insistence of his elderly mother.

The Democratic National Committee is celebrating with an op-ed in Politico tying the party's recent legislative accomplishments to the historic victory for women. And the union-affiliated group Healthy Workplace is using the occasion to attack Meg Whitman, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in California. Check out this news release headline: "A Celebration of Women's Suffrage and a Protest of Meg Whitman Whose Voting Record Dishonors that Tradition." (Whitman did not vote for long stretches of her career. She was registered to vote in the 1980s, contrary to a report saying she did not register until 2002.)

On her Facebook page, Sarah Palin took the chance to endorse some new female candidates. She also posted on Twitter, "Who hijacked term:"feminist"?A cackle of rads who want 2 crucify other women w/whom they disagree on a singular issue; it's ironic (& passé)." The tweet is mostly likely a reference to either this campaign against her by the women's group EMILY's list or this New York Times discussion. (For what it's worth, she is again using English creatively with "cackle.")

There are also some non-political events around the country to celebrate.

As the 14th amendment has come under debate, it's also interesting to note that suffragists were torn over whether to support voting rights for black men.

By Rachel Weiner  |  August 18, 2010; 12:44 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Believe it or not Meg Whitman's advice to voters is: "It Just Doesn't Matter".

Posted by: thedonkeyedge | August 19, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The Taliban - both here (i.e. the GOP) and in Afghanistan - no doubt rue the day this Amendment was passed, as it empowered women. But Americans who are true to our country's ideals celebrate it. Happy Anniversary, 19th.

Posted by: B2O2 | August 18, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

As an American woman I give thanks for the 19th Ammendment and Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.

The Democrats using the the 19th Ammendment to attack a female candidate is true to their beliefs and attitudes toward women. The Democrats support women (i.e. abortion rights) as long as it keeps them in second class status and out of the White House!

Posted by: mgd1 | August 18, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Aw, B*ll*cks. Had a perfect warm and squishy moment about the unending beauty that is the United States of America and the collective nature of freedom and community that makes this the most magnarvelous country in the world. Then some D*uche had to go and mention 'She who's name must not be spoken'. For those of us fortunate enough to live here and relish the true beauty of what this country is, for all its faults, we know that it has the capacity and the conduit to become all that any would wish it to be, and moments of reverence for that capability should be from the trivialities of the squeaky wheel/nutcase of the moment. It is the loss of this that has placed such a wonderful country in these dire straits, and all should mourn the loss.

Posted by: squornse | August 18, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

When was the right to vote taken away exactly. I know when the country was founded women had the right to vote, but many were unable to because owning land was a requirement, but at what point was it actually taken away? Was it just something that happened over time that involved women being denied at the voting booths or what?

Posted by: leewan17 | August 18, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

The DNC might not want to highlight 19th Amendment history with an attack on Republican Meg Whitman...

The 19th Amendment was approved by the Senate on a vote of 56 to 25. Of the 56, 36 were Republicans and a whopping 20 were Democrats. Of the 25 opponents, 8 were Republicans and 17 were Democrats.

'Nuf said.

Posted by: unclesmrgol | August 18, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

@ gratefolks, good points. Being at overwhelmingly economic disadvantage and having enormous debt leading to no mobility or way of becoming 'free' of land/busines owner is the experience of indentured servitude -- the way many Europeans arrived on this continent. And similar to the condition of at least 35% of all American born workers today.
re: retribution: When Gen. Washington could not pay his troops, he promised them land. He got that land by divesting the friendly Delaware and giving the troops their land.
So, "40 acres and a mule", in the opinion of many First Nations people was invalid because those making the promise were giving away something that did not belong to them. "the mule belongs to you, the 40 acres is ours" is what some of them would say.
Women's vote would have been favoribly advocated by the First Nation advisors to the constitution. Both ending slavery and women participation in government were discussed for the first constitution. At the time, Abolition stood a chance, women did not and their rights have been following behind others (but ahead of some) to this day

Posted by: andnow | August 18, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Read how Arizona's immigration law is affecting the medical community:

Posted by: HitEleven | August 18, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Thank you, 19th Amendment, for giving us Sarah Palin."

~Barack Obama

Posted by: jiji1 | August 18, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I guess Sarah thinks a gaggle of geese is analogous to a "cackle of chickens", just because the first letter matches in each case.

By her way of thinking, it's just inconvenient that word is already defined as
1. To make the shrill cry characteristic of a hen after laying an egg.
2. To laugh or talk in a shrill manner.

Unfortunately, she invokes a rather sexist idiom, often used to compare the shrill sound of a bunch of women with that of a few hens.

Posted by: SimplySecure | August 18, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin, please just accept Bob Guccione's offer and give your little boy twitter followers something useful to look at and do.....

Posted by: swatkins1 | August 18, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting about Sarah Palin...I don't think using the word cackle...meaning a shrill sound...or shrill voice, is out of bounds. My ears fairly pop at the cackle of some who call themselves feminists. I do think using rads is out of play. Radicals aren't the lady's problem...not given the true meaning of that word. Altogether, her use of Twitter as a form of communication is ironic and passe. Ah well.

Posted by: robingsneed | August 18, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

username, you make it seem like post slavery was an apprenticeship. most sharecroppers were economically tied to the land. between jim crow and the landholders they were still chained to the land. 40 acres and a mule never came. must be nice looking through rose colored glasses.

Posted by: gratefolks | August 18, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Woman had the right to vote long before this but our twisted history doesn't mention that it depended on what state you lived in. This just made sure it was guaranteed.

Same for blacks... who served in the military with honor in the revolution.. etc.

Not all blacks were 'slaves'.... and not all slaves were in chains in a dungeon. Many were sharecroppers who worked the land in return for pay and a home.

Most never left the plantation after they were 'freed' because the plantations employed them.

Today the Dems keep blacks as slaves to their ideology so they will have something to use to impose Marxism. Smart blacks have now become conservatives and have rejected the victimhood idea.

Posted by: username | August 18, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The 19th Amendment did not guarantee a woman's right to vote. Although it was unconstitutional to do so, women following passage of the 19th Amendment and even today, are treated as chattel and denied their full rights as citizens. My grandmother who was born, raised, educated and worked as a mill girl from age 12 and lived her life in the city of her birth. That said, when she married a resident Canadian, she lost her US citizenship and was denied her right to vote - until he chose to become a citizen over 20 years later. He received a large ornate certificate for becoming a US citizen. Like hundreds of thousands of other U.S. born women who were similarly denied their citizenship because they had married non-citizens, she was forced to go to court to be ordered to swear an oath of non-allegiance to a country she had never even seen and take an oath of allegiance to the USA. Even then, because it was during WW II, she continued to be denied the right to register or to vote - until after the war. This is, of course, but one of the outrageous injustices women who are the majority have and in many instances, continue to suffer in this country for which they equally sacrificed and worked from Colonial times forward. The time to celebrate is not now, but when women have equal rights that should be their birthright in this country.

Posted by: artspeakinc | August 18, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

This celebration is all well and good. All citizens would like to see the 10th amendment celebrated in the same fashion and adhered to as strictly as the 14th amendment is. We are on the precipice of of a large portion of the consituency adding a new word to their vocabulary: Nullification.

When you hear it, support it. Put the progressives and their new federalism back on track to having a federal government that protects our shores and borders as originally mandated and at about half it's current size.

When you hear proponents of big government use words like "commerce" and "for the general welfare" and other red herring - run! Interpretation and use of these terms are the part and parcel of how we got into the multi-trillion dollar mess we're in.

The current size and reach of the federal government into every facet of true commerce, individual liberties, and the citizenry determining its destiny has been a steady progression over two generations and needs to be turned around.

We just can't afford this type of grandiose social planning any longer, nor do we want socialism or tyranny. One of the current buzz words "To big to fail" has its own bit of irony when passing the lips of contemporary politicians.

Posted by: Rexter | August 18, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I abhor the passive voice when describing the 75 year process leading up to the 19th amendment. Women were not "given" the right to vote. We did not "receive" the right to vote. We fought for it, went to jail for it, were abandoned and ostracized by families for it, were beaten and ridiculed for it. And we stayed on task for 75 years! Several generations of our grandmothers made very real sacrifices to WIN our right to vote. One can only hope that we now respect their gift... and use it wisely.

Posted by: heronshughs | August 18, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

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