Friday, February 01, 2019


These people never say or do anything in good faith:
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway suggested Friday that 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker is being held to a different standard on sexism than Republicans are, wondering aloud why he hasn't been criticized for jumping into a Democratic field already densely populated with female candidates.

“I would ask him a couple questions today as he runs from my native New Jersey,” Conway said in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

“One is, what is wrong with the candidates that are already in there? What is your objection to [California Sen.] Kamala Harris running, [Massachusetts Sen.] Elizabeth Warren, [New York Sen.] Kirsten Gillibrand, these others who have already announced, [Hawaii Rep.] Tulsi Gabbard maybe? If he were a Republican running against them, they immediately would call him a sexist for running against these women in the Democratic field.”
Obviously, this is meant as a troll -- but it's a very specific kind of troll.

Saul Alinsky was a lefty, but lefties don't read him much these days. Conservatives, on the other hand, are obsessed with Alinsky. They have been since the early days of the Tea Party. As a leader of the Koch-funded group FreedomWorks, Dick Armey used to hand out copies of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

Rule #4 in Rules for Radicals is "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." That's what Conway is trying to do here. The problem is, Republicans have no idea what our "rules" are. Obviously we're having a debate in the Democratic Party about whether it would be a bad thing to put forward another male nominee, particularly a white male. On the other hand, I don't know anyone who thinks males or even white males shouldn't run, and there seem to be strong constituencies for several Caucasian guys -- Beto O'Rourke, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown. Many of us will vote hoping to expand the possibilities of who can be president in America, but we don't want to exclude men from the contest -- and, of course, Booker isn't white. (I don't know anyone Democrat who thinks it was sexist for Andrew Gillum to run successfully against Gwen Graham, the favorite in the 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary.)

When it comes to recruiting and electing female candidates, Democrats have had a much better track record than Republicans, especially in 2018. But "no boys allowed" is not in our "book of rules." Nevertheless, Conway's fellow Republicans probably do believe we're going against our own code of behavior. So I guess the joke lands with its intended audience. People who know nothing about Democrats think this terrible joke about Democrats is funny because it's true.

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