This Saturday, Lisa Murkowski signaled her support to seat Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Though she has been a staunch anti-Trumper, and we have different views on abortion, Murkowski had been one of the women I most admired in politics. The reason is simple, she didn’t “do politics.” She actually represented all of her constituents and fought for them.
Unfortunately, she got swept up in the narratives of “tone” and “misogyny” of Trump which put all of the great things she had done on the sidelines.
I saw a glimmer of the old Murkowski in June of 2019 when she hosted US Attorney General William Barr to help bring visibility to the scores of missing and murdered Inuit women and girls across the state, and into Canada. Then all momentum turned and it was back to Trump, his tone, and Russia.
Trafficking of Native American women and girls is one of the greatest, and seldom talked about, issues facing Native American Communities. Before Obama was elected, there was massive awareness to the issue of trafficking in general, and Native American women specifically.
After Obama was elected, all reports of what was really going on simply stopped and little effort was made to continue what was started. The problem has since grown, not only here in the state, but also in Canada.
In 2015, Trump started talking about human trafficking and suddenly articles would pop up here and there, primarily from a left perspective, yet the focus quickly shifted to Trump and his tone. A quick nod, the issue was ignored by the left, and “Russia Russia Russia” took over once again.
In spite of all the drama over Russia, tone, you name it, President Trump has done more for curbing human trafficking, including the disappearances and murders of our Native American women and girls, than the previous administrations. He’s not only provided targeted funding to stop it, he signed two executive orders.
As I watched the Judge Barrett confirmation process with the Judiciary Committee, I was disappointed in Murkowski once again. Contrary to the feminist narrative that all Republican men want their wives at home barefoot and pregnant, Judge Barrett clearly showed her skill as a jurist and that a women can have it all – a successful career, great kids, and a great husband who partners with her.
Judge Barrett also clearly demonstrated that her role is to interpret the law, not legislate from the bench.
As I heard grumblings that Murkowski was, in all likelihood, going to vote against Judge Barrett’s confirmation, my heart sank. Once again, politics, tone, and Russia were in the way.
Murkowski’s sudden nod this weekend took me by surprise. Hopefully, after Nov 3, Murkowski can rise above the noise and talking points and stay focused on key issues like human trafficking.
Until then, thank you Senator Murkowski for voting “Yes” to confirm Judge Barrett.