Several Raging Grannies, decked in hot pink, tumble out of their gray car along with a very tall white Veteran for Peace, also decked out in a hot pink boa! Another CodePINKer also joins us, as does a NOW womon!
We stand in front of Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office for about a half hour singing songs, of course, provided by the Grannies! A couple of passers-by join in for a moment or so; cars pass honking, waving, smiling. I recall not one negative comment or response.
When it is time to go upstairs, we approach the building to get on the elevator. The older white male ‘guard’ stops us and tries to prevent our going up to see our Senator! He grins the whole time, so amused, condescending, and downright determined he is to prevent our seeing the Senator. He goes so far as to call upstairs, saying we are ‘picketing’ the building & tries to persuade the staff, who confirms we are welcomed to see her, to come down & meet us in the lobby or out front. Maybe he just doesn’t want to be left out.
He escorts us up to her office, asking again if they’re sure they want to see ALL of us!
Barbara, Stabenow’s regional director, meets with us for a good half hour. She explains Debbie’s position as one determined to bring our troops home as quickly as possible. She says Debbie has always been against the war and has voted so on all the amendments prior to this last vote.
We state how much we appreciated Debbie’s anti-war stance and her correct vote on all the amendments: which makes her betrayal of us this last May even deeper because we did NOT expect her to vote to fund the war.
Barbara attempts to say she knows how confusing and difficult the issues are to which we say, no they are not. This was the MOST important vote to end war, and Debbie chose not to.
Of course her stand is aligned with those other 36 democrat senators who have bought the Republican framing of the funding: support the troops, keep them fighting in Iraq.
We all tell Barbara, who promises profusely to make sure Debbie knows, that we do NOT align ourselves with Republican propaganda and we want Debbie to have the courage to also not align herself with such propaganda. We ALL know that the ONLY way to support our troops is to get them out of Iraq.
We ask Barbara about Debbie’s original vote for the Military ____ Act that demolished Habeas Corpus – and remind her that tomorrow the Senate will once again be voting to restore Habeas Corpus. Barbara reassured us that Debbie is a co-sponsor of that bill – AND she’s on the time-line bill.
Barbara also repeats the Dem’s lament about not having 60 votes – and this is what Debbie is working on. We ask if she’s working on it by siding with the Republicans? We point out that we do not see the logic in voting with the Republicans just because you don’t have enough votes with the Dems. We say this is not an acceptable voting policy – we really don’t care (although we do) if the bill passes: we care that Debbie’s vote reflects her representing us, her constituents – not siding with Republicans.
In conclusion, Barbara listens as the Grannies lead us in singing “Bring Them Home Right Now” to the tune of “I’ve been working on the Railroad” – a song anyone can adapt to their home state!
Michigan’s in dire trouble
No money for our needs.
Jobs are going; schools are closing
Our whole state’s gone to seed
Our money’s spent to foster terror
For us and Iraqis
We’re wreaking havoc in both countries
To help stoke oil’s greed.
Bring our troops home now
We are mad and how
We’re sick and tired of Bush’s lies
We support the troops
By singing out the truth
And we say “bring them home right now!”
Georgie’s diddling in the White House
Telling us we must stay the course but
We won’t listen to his bull shit
We say “Bring our troops home NOW!”
We all feel both successful in our mission today and satisfied we were heard: we believe Barbara will inform the Senator of our position. We intend to follow up, especially after the next crucial votes that are happening.