Here's How Not to Cover Women Running in 2020

Charles P. Pierce
Photo credit: Boston Globe - Getty Images

From Esquire

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog's Favourite Living Canadian)

There are days on which I think that every Democratic political consultant should be placed on a slow-moving, fast-melting ice floe and shoved off in the general direction of Greenland. In a week in which the issue of women's rights ignited like it hasn't ignited in decades, we get this morass of piffle in the Washington Examiner. Also, for god's sake, don't listen to academics, either.

Women presidential candidates face double pressures, according to Louisiana State University political communication assistant professor Nichole Bauer. First, they risk being perceived as not forceful enough to become the next occupant of the Oval Office. Secondly, they cannot be considered too aggressive out of fear of alienating voters. "They have to fit into this image of what being a president looks like," Bauer said. "They have to seem to be the cookie baker in chief and the commander in chief at the same time," she added, referring in part to the famous comment Hillary Clinton made about baked goods as Bill Clinton campaigned for the White House in 1992. "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas," she said.

Jesus H. Christ on a Hibachi, that quote is 27 goddamn years old. I know that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the super-villain of the past few decades, but can't we let her up on that one at least? The quotes from the consultants are even worse, and one of them is a longtime friend of mine.

With an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in February finding 84% of Americans were comfortable with a woman becoming the party's pick to take on President Trump next year, Boston-based Democratic strategist Mary Ann Marsh objected to the idea that their efforts to appear more feminine were retro or submissive."I think that media perception or characterization is demeaning, patronizing, and misogynistic," Marsh said. "Women have to be many things every day. They don't have one job, they have multiple jobs. If you ask, most kids in America would say their mother fed them last night. That's not the 1950s. That's 2019." But San Francisco-based Democratic strategist Donnie Fowler, who was mindful of not "mansplaining," said the political reality was every contender has to compete in the electorate he or she has rather than the one they ideally want.

"Yes, there still is gender bias among Democrats and the record number of women candidates running for the nomination must overcome that in their own way - but authentically, absolutely uncontrived and completely true to who they are," Fowler said. "The question is whether the politicians are the most important part of rectifying that or whether it's up to the voters themselves."

Here's a tip for the more devout members of the Church of the Savvy (h/t Jay Rosen): how about not cooperating with pieces like this? Someone from the Washington Examiner calls and says, "Hey, what's going on with the dames in aprons running for president?" And you reply, "I'm sorry. I don't respond to telephone solicitations. Peddle your fish down the block."

It won't win me a seat at the National Press Club bar, but that's what I'd do. Or blow an air-horn into the phone.

Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN - Getty Images

Oh, look. Missouri has joined the parade. And here's a picture of two happy men. From NBC News:

"Until the day that we no longer have abortions in this country, I will never waiver in the fight for life," Parson said during a rally Wednesday.

Good for you, man. The new law comes with the usual ration of political chickenshit.

Under the bill, which passed in the House by 110 to 44, doctors who perform an abortion after the eight-week cutoff could face five to 15 years in prison. Women who receive abortions would not be criminally penalized.

The new law also comes with the usual ration of brainless misogyny. From CNN:

"Most of my rapes were not the gentlemen jumping out of the bushes that nobody had ever met. That was one or two times out of one hundred. Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible, but I sat in court - sat in court - when juries would struggle with those types of situations where it was a 'he-said she-said,' and they would find the person not guilty. Unfortunately, if it really happened, but I had no control over that, because it was a judge or a jury making those decisions. But we'll just say someone is sexually assaulted. They have eight weeks to make a decision."

(The gentleman later gave the Kansas City Star a clarification that was on the right side of plausible, but it doesn't make the rest of what he said any less horrible.)

That loud, grinding noise you hear is the sound of the gender gap expanding again.

Photo credit: Christian Gooden - AP

So far, Bill DeBlasio has brought one thing to the 2020 presidential campaign-good, old-fashioned New York contempt for the Manhattan grifter in the White House. I don't think he should be running, but sneering at El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago in an idiom he can understand brings something to the race that none of the other candidates can, and probably gets so far up the latter's nose that it can clear his sinuses.

Meanwhile, this comment by Pete Buttigieg about the Alabama abomination seems to me to be intolerably mild.

To see in Alabama that if someone is raped and she seeks an abortion, the doctor who treats her will be penalized with a longer prison term than her rapist makes me question whether the discussion about freedom in this country has gone off the rails."

I admit. Thus far, I have proven immune to Mayor Pete's charms. And when I line up the questions prompted in my mind by the Alabama law, the question about freedom in this country and where it is with regard to the rails is way down the list behind, "Who are these gomers?" and "Why in hell did we fight the Civil War?"

Photo credit: Scott Olson - Getty Images

CNN found a woman who experienced the president*'s deal-making art first-hand.

Sapol said that a woman selling condos at the resort met with her and showed her brochures of what the resort would look like - and they came complete with an endorsement from Trump himself that guaranteed people would have “the time of their lives” at his new resort. “Whatever Donald Trump touches turns fantastically gold,” Sapol said in explaining her reason for buying the condo. But the resort was never built and Sapol lost all the money she invested. On the site of where the hotel was supposed to be constructed is a giant hole in the ground - and nothing more.

America 2021. Coming soon to a country near you.

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "That's A Plenty" (Nellie Lutcher): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.

Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here's the latest in early 20th-century mail-sorting technology. Why is the post office in an open field? Don't ask silly questions. History is so cool.

Is it a good day for dinosaur news, Phys.org? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!

"Looking at the bones of the foot, it was clear that Rhoetosaurus walked with an elevated heel, raising the question: how was its foot able to support the immense mass of this animal, up to 40 tonnes?" Mr Jannel said. "Our research suggests that even though Rhoetosaurus stood on its tiptoes, the heel was cushioned by fleshy pad." "We see a similar thing in elephant feet, but this dinosaur was at least five times as heavy as an elephant, so the forces involved are much greater."

Put on your high-heeled dinos, and your wig-hat on your head! They lived-and walked-then to make us happy now.

The Committee had a hunch that the idea of this administration*'s forcing someone to take a citizenship test was enough of an assault on irony that Top Commenters would jump all over it. Top Commenter Fran Fried did not disappoint.

I wish more media critters would pay attention to the loathsome creature behind the curtain. Miller is what would happen if Squidward and Roy Cohn had a hate child.

There is no denying this. Well-played, Top Commenter. Here are some genetically engineered Beckhams, 77.11 in total.

I'll be back on Monday to begin another week of sifting the rubble. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line, and try not to wear an apron for photos.

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