Susan Matthews, who writes for Slate, is agonizing over why Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who just dropped out of the Democratic presidential race after consistently polling at around 1 percent support, didn’t do better.
According to Matthews, Gillibrand’s “lackluster performance” didn’t at all match up with what looked like her winning hand “centered on issues like paid family leave, reproductive rights, and fighting sexual harassment and assault.” Matthews speculates that Gillibrand went too far in her “overtly feminine self-presentation” and therefore “never caught on even among women.” She may have also identified herself too conspicuously with #MeToo issues, which have turned into “a moral, legal, procedural morass we are still fighting over nearly every aspect of how to think about—she refused to let us work around it.” And, oh, yes, both Slate and theNew York Times maintain that Gillibrand was the victim of “sexism,” despite the fact that outspoken feminist Elizabeth Warren remains the near-frontrunner in the Democratic race.
Even if we ignore her jumbled syntax, it’s hard to see how Matthews at all shines a light on why Gillibrand bombed out so early in the presidential sweepstakes. It’s highly improbable that Gillibrand went too far in pushing the identity politics bandwagon. Almost all of the Democratic candidates have been falling over themselves “reaching out” to designated victim groups, a.k.a. Democratic primary voters. The former conservative Republican and present plutocrat Liz Warren calls for making war on Wall Street and the rich (presumably those other than herself), while the erstwhile immigration restrictionist Bernie Sanders calls for ending border controls and socialized medicine for illegal immigrants. Joe Biden has repudiated almost everything he once stood for. Encounters: My Life wi... Best Price: $8.10 Buy New $24.51 (as of 10:20 EDT - Details)
Gillibrand was just following the same path as the others when she veered sharply towards the Left and away from positions she used to hold, like when she was in the House of Representatives and got a 100% approval rating from the NRA.
That said, Gillibrand does stand out as being hypocritical to a degree that no other politician of my lifetime has even come close to. Tucker Carlson characterized heras the “worst candidate to run for any office” on account of her “meanness.” This woman of great affluence, in an elegant dress and well-coiffed hair, actually lectured the poor wives of Youngstown, Ohio, factory workers (some of whom may have been unemployed) on the benefits of their “white privilege.” Apparently young black men were being arrested at a much higher rate in Youngstown than these women or their children, a situation that may be attributed to differential crime rates but certainly not to any “privilege” that Gillibrand’s audience enjoyed.
What is most offensive about Gillibrand may be less her “meanness” than her blatant hypocrisy and mendacity. Even in a field of dishonest panderers, she stood out as especially obnoxious. And her problems didn’t start when she threw her diamonds into the presidential race.