About a year ago, Massachusetts Senator (and honorary Native American) Elizabeth Warren made the news for being interrupted by a man. She was giving a speech on the floor of the Senate about… I forget the topic, something or other. It doesn’t matter what she was talking about. The point is that she’s a woman, and a man told her to stop speaking. A man invoked his male privilege. He manterrupted her.
This is a bad thing. Come on, guys, it’s [current year]! As a society, shouldn’t we have moved past interrupting women by now?
Warren even got her very own hashtag out of it: #NeverthelessShePersisted. It became a rallying cry. Whenever a feminist started to lose an argument, she’d just throw down a #NeverthelessShePersisted. Take that, you stupid men!
A few months later, something similar happened to Sen. Kamala Harris. And it was even worse that time because, unlike Sen. Warren, Harris is legitimately a woman of color.
I love how Senator Harris gets manterrupted by her colleagues for insisting that Sessions answer.
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) June 13, 2017
Kamala Harris is the only Senator who’s been interrupted by another senator so far, by my count.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 13, 2017
Pretty sexist, huh? Also racist, but mostly sexist.
But that was then, and this is now. Rules are for the other team. That’s why Senator Cory Booker could get away with the performance you’re about to see. Yesterday he furiously berated DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for 10 straight minutes about President Trump reportedly calling third-world countries “$#!+holes.” Booker was supposed to be questioning Nielsen, but instead, he just yelled at her and told her to shut up when she tried to get a word in edgewise:
I thought Nielsen comported herself well. She let that grandstanding doofus scream his head off, and then she responded to his spittle-flecked tirade calmly and rationally. She behaved professionally, and he behaved like a guy who wants Trump’s job and is trying to set himself apart from the pack.
Maybe you agree with Cory Booker. Maybe you think Trump is a racist, and the “$#!+hole” comment is emblematic of it.* Maybe you’re as angry as Booker is trying to convince us he is. Does that give him the right to speak to a woman like this? Does that give him license to rant and rave and scold her when she tries to respond?
Of course it does. After all, he’s a Democrat and she’s a Republican.
If the parties were reversed, such a public display would be called “angry” and “disturbing” instead of “impassioned” and “emotional.” Booker would be labeled a sexist and a misogynist. The lefty tweets would all insinuate the same thing: “I notice that Cory Booker, the filthy Republican that he is, doesn’t talk to other men that way…” Nielsen would be designated a victim, which is the highest status attainable in 21st Century America. It would prove everything Democrats knew about the world already.
But nah. That’s not what this is. This is just some white lady trying to boss around a black man who dares to speak truth to power. She’s probably a racist, right? I mean, just look at her.
Never let it be said that Democrats don’t have standards. They’ve got two sets of ’em!
The only constant in all this is that the rules don’t apply to credible Democratic Party candidates for president in 2020. They must be treated differently than everybody else. Warren and Harris will probably run, so don’t mess with them. Booker will probably run, so don’t mess with him.
If you do, you’ll be labeled a mansplainer by the very same people who are making excuses for Booker’s mansplaining. And they won’t see the contradiction, because if they were capable of that, they wouldn’t be Democrats.
*I don’t know if Trump is a racist, but if not, he sure does do a good impression of one.