Monday, March 12, 2018

What's Bad For The Goose Is Not Bad For The Gander: Gendered Coverage of US Politicians' Sins.

Gendered politics are such fun to figure out. 

Consider this:  Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is asked to take a DNA test to determine if she indeed has Native American ancestry.  Trump calls her "Pocahontas" in a recent speech.  That she may not have Native American ancestry is a Crime.  That this is the only thing opposition research has been able to dig up about her is ignored.

Consider this:   Donald Trump (P-USA) has for  years claimed false ancestry:

It seems the Trump family has been lying about their ancestry for a couple of generations. Donald Trump himself claimed in his book Trump: The Art of the Deal from 1987 that his father came to America as a boy, having emigrated from Sweden.
But it's not true. At least not according to the biographies The Trumps: Three Generations That Built An Empire by Gwenda Blair, and The lost tycoon by Henry Hurt.
In their research into the Trump family, both author's have come to the conclusion that the Swedish origins was just a story invented by Trump's father. During the middle of the 19th century, Trump's true decent - German - was simply bad for business.

This false claim is not a Crime, and Warren doesn't call Trump "Crooked Viking" or anything similar.

Consider thisHillary Clinton (private person now) might get her past e-mail scandal scrutinized, once again.

Consider this:  Colin Powell seems to have used private e-mail during his time at the Secretary of State, too, and several Trump aides have done the same.  But we have no  Colin Powell e-mail scandal, and no Trump administration e-mail scandal.

What can we conclude from all those considerations?  That Republican male politicians can get away with most anything*, while Democratic female politicians  can get away with nothing.  Had those women spent all their prior lives in a convent, the headlines would tell us that one day hair was showing from under their veils**.

I see this difference in the treatment of politicians' past sins and mistakes correlate with both the gender of the politician and his or her party, though the latter relationship might simply reflect the scarcity of women among Republican politicians.

The icing on this unequal treatment cake is naturally the leeway our current charlatan-in-charge receives.  His campaign rally speech in Pennsylvania once again proved that the president of this country has finally given the really stupid part of the populace their representative, and that the truly vicious ones also have their leader now:

Trump also railed against top Democrats rumored to be considering a presidential bid in 2020. He suggested that the media would be disappointed with a Democratic victory, as Trump's presidency has been a boon for television ratings.
"Could you imagine covering Bernie? Or Pocahontas?" he said, using a derogatory nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. "How about that? Can you imagine having to cover Elizabeth Warren for four years?"
Trump also slammed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and attacked Rep. Maxine Waters as "a very low-IQ individual," but said he'd be delighted if Oprah Winfrey ran against him so he could defeat her.

Within that speech Trump singled out women out of proportion to their presence in the top political tiers, and the insulting of Rep. Maxine Waters is truly nasty.  That tells something about Trump.  And the people who voted for him.


*  David Vitter is naturally one of the main examples of this Teflon-like surface male Republican politicians have benefited from before Trump.  Trump is naturally the finest, greatest example of that.  It matters not at all what sins he might be guilty of; the right-wing white Christians adore him.

** Consider the story about Kamala Harris sleeping her way to the top as one example.  It's not based on facts, but that has not stopped it from being distributed in the right-wing information bubble.  When it gets enough coverage there, the NYT and the WaPo will feel obligated to cover it.  Probably.