BY LEON SIU–It has been reported that Senator Daniel Inouye is actively courting the four women Republican Senators to get their support for the highly controversial, race-based, Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the “Akaka Bill”). For Inouye and Senator Daniel Akaka, it’s “do or die” time. They have to pass this bill before the August recess, or it really dies and becomes their albatross.
Despite the recent spinning and posturing in the press, the likelihood of the “Akaka Bill” passing in the Senate this month is nil…unless…a few votes can be wrangled from the Republican side to break any Republican “hold” and stop time-consuming amendments.
So, apparently Inouye is going to try to sweet-talk the four women Republican Senators, and, as the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he can really talk sweet! Picture promises of diamond earmarks…chocolate covered stimulus…gift packages of pork… The question is: Will Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, fall for Inouye’s eleventh hour courtship? Or will they, as they should, take offense at the obvious sexist “weaker gender” ruse being employed?
Inouye and Akaka’s legacies are riding on this bill. Ten years after this scheme was hatched, the window of opportunity is closing. Resorting to this kind of desperation courtship is unbecoming of senior legislators, not to mention insulting to the women they are trying to woo. Ladies, don’t fall for these advances, it’s not worth it.
Leon Siu is a Hawaiian national and political commentator.