Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Kirsten Gillibrand's Lament

True, Trump’s tweet about New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was demeaning. It did not befit a gentleman. It disrespected and dishonored a lady. In a better world, a world where we actually had gentlemen and ladies, it would not have happened.

You know which tweet I am talking about. After Gillibrand said that Trump should resign because he was accused of sexual harassment, Trump shot back with a tweet saying that she was a lightweight—no arguing with that—and that she had begged him for campaign contributions. And then he added: “she would do anything for them.”

Gillibrand shot back that it was a sexist smear, which it wasn’t. Then Elizabeth Warren chimed in that Trump was “slut-shaming” the senator, as though Gillibrand had engaged in behavior that some retrograde moralists would have called slutty. Clearly, Warren did not know what she was saying. In any case, we have no evidence that Gillibrand did or did not do what Trump accused her of doing. 

Trump's tweet was more suggestive than explicit, but we all know precisely what he meant.

Now, the political/media outrage machine is doing its darndest to blind us to the obvious question: Was Trump telling the truth? Did KG beg for a campaign donation and did she offer to provide a sexual service in return? 

We do not know the truth. KG has not said that it did not happen. She just said that it was a sexist smear. These are not the same thing.

So we are back with the same consideration that we evoked when judging the charges against Roy Moore. Given what we know about the senator, is the charge plausible? At the least, we know that KG has accomplished nothing of consequence in her time in the senate. Were it not for her rants against sexism and for transgender restrooms, we would not even know who she is. As a proud New Yorker, I am persuaded that she is simply wasting a senate seat.

True enough, KG has taken positions on all sides of most issues. She is looking to advance her career, possibly even the first female president from New York. For my part, I don’t think she will make it. Because there is no there there. There is no substance behind the carefully made-up bleach-blonde persona.

Had Trump leveled the same ungentlemanly charge against Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton or Susan Collins, we would all have laughed it off. In those cases, it is completely implausible. Yet, with Kirsten Gillibrand it is far more difficult to dismiss out of hand. Which is why her supporters are out screaming and yelling and ranting and raving about the sexism of it all.

The standard is not truth, but plausibility. Unfortunately for KG Trump's charge meets that standard.


Ares Olympus said...

I don't understand why she even tried. This is the sort of sport he enjoys and feeling insulted in return just rewards his game. There's no contest of insults that Trump can't win by lowering the standards of decency.

And as long as Bill Clinton remains free, Trump's international playboy toolkit from a decade+ ago is irrelevant. Al Franken's sacrifice mean nothing, although we can imagine there will be more #MeToo callings against more Democrats in the coming months, and KG can lead the charge just in case sexual-purity helps the Democrats win more votes.

trigger warning said...

"Al Franken's sacrifice..."


Aggie said...

Pound for Pound, Trump has deflated more self-righteous egos than the Guinness Book of World Records. I think this is why he has been elected - to pull down the pants of the ruling class and deride their high-minded sanctimony with earthy low mockery. It won't go on forever, but it certainly ought to go on long enough to bring these whigs to heel. The reset is long overdue.

I agree he's no gentleman, but when one compiles a list of his accomplishments against his list of campaign promises, there is measurable progress. And where there is none, it's usually because progress depends upon the collaborative efforts of his party, which have so far been a miserable failure, even falling short of entering the starting gate in many cases.

Ares Olympus said...

Aggie, looks like his biggest accomplishment, not to say he's making the picks personally, but his administration is filling the courts with conservatives after the Republicans blocked Obama from doing the same.
Beyond new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump has already nominated judges to more than half the vacancies, putting forward an astonishing 18 names for federal appellate courts and 40 more for the district courts. Of those, 12 have been confirmed. By this time in Obama’s first year, only two circuit court judge and four district judges had been confirmed.

trigger warning said...

Thanks, Harry Reid! :-D

Robert Bork must be smiling in Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or does it not look like all these strong women get the "vapors" when they get the least little challenge. They immediately jump to the sex card even where there are a variety of perfectly valid reasons that do not include a sexual component, double entendre aside. I suspect that that is the reason Trump does it, and the fact that people who suffer from TDS, get enraged at any challenge, and are obsessed with their own importance get mad, stop thinking and jump for the "bait" almost before it hits the water,is because it works.
I do rather enjoy how Trump seems to be able to select the right word definition for an opponent or select that opponent weakness as something to enrage them especially hypocrites like Gillibrand. She was perfectly ready to take Bill Clinton's money and endorsements, even DJT's, when it was politically expedient and then willing to "stab them in the back" when she no longer needed them. Where was she when Clinton was sexually harassing, and in some alleged rape cases, large numbers of women? Where was she when Hillary was attacking and trying to destroy Bill's accusers? Gillibrand had to know just as much as most of Hollywood knew about their abusers. How easy it is for her to switch from NOT being a women's advocate to being one? Does not appear to be a very principled person.
Cutting the numbers of regulations alone is a great accomplishment.