PJ Media

The 'Glass Ceiling' Argument and the NY Senate Seat

Watching the developments surrounding a political appointment, particularly when Democrats are involved, usually ends up being something of a disappointment.

Mind you, I’m not speaking in terms of the appointee actually reflecting the will of the people. These appointments invariably end up producing a candidate who is so far outside the American mainstream as to be laughable. If that trend is not followed in every particular instance, the resulting arguments are both amusing and educational.

Example: Kirsten Gillibrand, who until recently represented New York’s 20th congressional district and is now the surprise appointee to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat.

That Gillibrand was named to the position is something of a shock, particularly given her positions on the issues of the day. She’s pro-life, she has two children. She’s in a stable marriage. She comes with the NRA’s stamp of approval. She is against homosexual marriage. She fought former New York Governor Eliot (Client Number 9) Spitzer on his plan to give illegal aliens driver’s licenses. Not exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Democrats of late.

The complaints from the left, as you may imagine, have already begun. One example is Representative Carolyn McCarthy, whose late husband Dennis was murdered in a subway shooting, and who then ran for the House as a gun controller. She is quite predictably screaming that Gillibrand’s views on gun control make her unacceptable for the United States Senate. She’s also threatening a primary challenge in 2010.

The appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand has been successful in at least one respect: it has broken up a lot of Democratic Party myths by exposing them as fallacies with no small amount of help from the purveyors of those myths.

For example, if the gun laws Mrs. McCarthy is so vocal about didn’t work to protect her husband, why should any New Yorker put their trust in such laws, or in the proponents of those laws?


Then, too, there are the supporters of the candidacy of Caroline Kennedy (otherwise known as Mrs. Schlossberg), who were angry at the news that Princess Caroline would not be getting the senatorial nod from Governor Patterson. They immediately started screaming about a “glass ceiling.” (All this leaves aside the issue of there possibly being some back-channel shenanigans going on with Governor Patterson, in support of Barack Obama, as Richard Fernandez points out.)

The obvious point proven by the appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand is that there isn’t a glass ceiling at all. Let’s consider, please, the person that she’s replacing. Did the glass ceiling not apply to Hillary? Wasn’t that the cry when Hillary Clinton was elected to that seat — that the glass ceiling was finally broken? Of course, cries of “the glass ceiling” are exposed as false on the face of it; there have been other senators before Hillary Clinton who were female.

More than one observer made the point that the op-ed pieces coming out with the charge of “glass ceiling” were printed just about the time that Governor Patterson named Gillibrand. This was colossally bad timing. The usual complaints issued in those op-eds were simply not based in fact, as evidenced by the eventual appointment of Gillibrand.

The appointment (and the reaction to it) does prove that the charges of “glass ceilings” and sexual discrimination get dragged out every time a favorite daughter is turned down for reasons regarding qualifications. Notice, however, that that charge never gets dragged out when a fairly conservative female candidate is turned down, for one reason or another. As an example, we see no charges of “glass ceiling” being tossed about by the people objecting to Gillibrand’s nomination.

This situation also exposes, by extension and pattern matching, that the false charges of discrimination are not unique to the narrow minded world view of the gender feminist, but extend to all the various leftist sub-groups. It is at the very heart of the race hustler’s method of operation, for example. Or the advocate of more rights for homosexuals.

In each of these cases, anytime a question regarding “qualifications” is brought up, the charge of “discrimination” will invariably be the echo from the left. And, often as not, the leftist, the believer in big government, will call for some kind of governmental action which will, in the Orwellian sense, make some candidates more equal than others.

Does anyone remember the veiled threat being pushed by pundits such as Jim Carville that we would have race riots on our hands if Obama didn’t win?

Clearly, the standard knee-jerk Democratic arguments are being exposed as threadbare. What’s neat is that it’s being done by Democrats themselves.