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The Council of Meat Bees

I don’t know whether Senator Obama or Senator McCain will be the next president, but I do know that what the next POTUS should have is a Council of Meat Bees.

What is a meat bee, you ask?

I found out a while back that I’m a meat bee. Or at least as persistent as one.

When I first started working for a state agency, I was in a meeting with a boss of mine who was meticulous to a fault, seemed to enjoy elevating form over substance, and was constantly correcting the work of others without regard to whether the corrections were needed. We were in a meeting, and in the meeting he glossed over something he had gotten wrong. In the spirit of tit-for-tat, I pointed it out.

“But you were wrong.”

My boss continued his schpiel as if he didn’t hear me. When there was a break, I said it again:

“But you were wrong.”

He eyed me dismissively and continued with his talk. When he ended, I turned to him, looked him directly in the eyes, and said, “Why do you have so much trouble admitting you were wrong?”

By that point, he had had it with me. His normally happy baby blue eyes turned cold and hardened:

“My God, you are as persistent as meat bee! Let it go!”

Meat bee? I had to ask.

“What’s a meat bee?”

He leaned in and looked harder, all the more to drive the point home that he was the boss and I was the subordinate:

“You know those pesky bees that buzz around your barbecue and don’t give up until you set aside a plate of meat just for them? Those are meat bees. You, my dear, are a meat bee.”

It wasn’t a compliment. But I take it as one.

What the next president needs is a council of women who are as persistent as meat bees, to wit, A Council of Meat Bees: Fifty women over fifty from all walks of life who have overcome extreme adversity because, well, they were as persistent as meat bees. I’m talking about women who have overcome cancer, were or are caregivers to ailing parents, have raised large families by themselves, survived domestic abuse, have overcome being widowed to head a family business, etc. You know – your everyday heroine. And I do mean all walks of life – regardless of political affiliation, religious affiliation, race, etc. The only qualifications would be that 1) They’re women over fifty; 2) they’ve overcome adversity; 3) they are willing to serve as advocates for women who are facing the same adversity they did; 4) they’ve never served in a political office; and, most importantly, 5) no matter what, they have to tell the President the truth about what they experienced and what they see other women like them going through, even if he doesn’t want to hear it. In other words, they have to be as persistent as meat bees.

What would a Council of Meat Bees do?

For starters, they would meet with the president every month and advise him on issues relating to women – work issues, family issues, health issues, you name it. They would be paid a nominal fee and would be flown in and put up by the president’s political party, not the federal government. I think both the DNC and the RNC can afford it.

Second, they would help the president shape his political agenda as it relates to women.

Third, once the president has shaped his political agenda, they would propose policies that could be implement by the federal government and legislation that would further the president’s political agenda as it relates to women.

Fourth, they would lobby Congress regarding their proposed legislation.

Mind you, I don’t expect the Meat Bees to agree. Strong, persistent survivor-women may not. What I would expect is that they reach common ground on problems common to women and put the concerns of women like them above any differences they may have.

Oh, and the Council would be chosen half by lottery, half by the First Lady.

Are you a Meat Bee?

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