I was going to blog on this umpteenth attack on strong progressive women, but Matt Yglesias beat me to the punch here, so to speak. I’ll add my thoughts to Matt’s comments at the end:
I used to think that US Senate Barbara Boxer was an experienced legislator with a solid progressive record on the issues. But then I read this Politico article in which various anonymous people criticize her “abrasive personal style” and “outspoken partisan liberal” demeanor. Big trouble! And then I got to thinking, I recall having read similar critiques of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. And Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate and now as Secretary of State has been subjected to similar criticism. Nancy Pelosi, too.
You’ve really got to wonder what the deal is with the Democratic Party that every woman who comes forward into a position of power and influence is a shrill, castrating harridan. I mean, what are Democrats thinking? What poor judgment! Doesn’t everyone know that politics is a business in which the only people who get ahead are soft-spoken sweethearts like Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer? Somehow male politicians have managed to figure this out. What’s stopping the women?
Two excerpts from the Politico piece are particularly egregioius:
With Boxer as chairwoman and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe – who calls man-made global warming a “hoax” – as ranking Republican, the committee hearings tend to be politically charged. Staffers say it would be better for the committee to focus on more politically palatable arguments about job production, national security and the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
In other words, because the ranking member is the top global warming denier in the Senate – a fossil-fuel-industry funded liar who spouts more disinformation on climate science than all his colleagues combined – Boxer should just be a good little girl and not talk about the gravest threat to the health and well-being of Americans. So Politico is painting Boxer as a pushy bitch because she understands the science and is trying to prevent a catastrophe?
It boggles the mind that this paragraph appeared in a serious media outlet.
Does the Politico know that global warming is NOT a hoax, that thousands of scientists (and dozens of governments, including our own) are NOT engaged in a massive conspiracy to fool the public? Because if the Politico knows that – and I hope they do – then they know that their own critique of Boxer for pushing back hard against Inhofe is utter crap.
And here is one of the two specific incidents that prove Boxer has an “abrasive personal style”:
During another hearing this month, Boxer found herself in a testy exchange with the CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, who accused her of “condescending” to him.
That’s right, the Politico is somehow damning her for her perfectly reasonable behavior during an utterly contrived dust up (see “Black Chamber of Commerce CEO calls Barbara Boxer a racist – when she’s trying to stop future Katrinas and he wants dozens more“).
Inhofe has a far more “abrasive personal style” – at least if you are a scientist, since he again and again distorts your research and attacks your integrity. But I guess because he is a man then, for the Politico, that just reflects his strong political views and not his “condescending” attitude toward people who have devoted their lives to telling the public the truth.