Did you hear? The Clintons' feelings are hurt
that some of Bernie Sanders' supporters -- aptly nicknamed "Bernie Bros" for their frat-level insults -- have taken to social media to attack female Hillary supporters with sexist and often crude comments.
Now, as much as I sympathize with these women -- the Internet can be a pretty terrible place to have two X chromosomes and an opinion -- the bottom line is that Clinton is losing younger women voters to Bernie in droves
and so she is both furious and desperate.
Let's first acknowledge the obvious, that these losers for Sanders are not endorsed by Bernie. He's totally disavowed the attacks, saying to CNN's Jake Tapper
: "Anybody who is supporting me that is doing the sexist things -- we don't want them. We don't want that crap." Sanders has gone painstakingly -- and I'd argue unwisely -- out of his way to avoid attacking Clinton in this campaign, preferring instead to focus on differences in their records.
But that hasn't stopped Hillary Clinton from suggesting that Bernie is sexist anyway. For example, she took his use of the word "shouting" out of context and turned it into a sexist smear
saying, "sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it's shouting." Groan.
And her supporters ramped up more feigned outrage
when Sanders' campaign manager joked that he would "consider her for vice president."
"Seriously? Seriously?" asked Clinton's New York Leadership Council member Christine Quinn, indignantly. "The absurdity of that statement almost merits no response. How arrogant and sexist can you be? It's not OK to let people with a long progressive record get away with being sexist." Puh-leeze.
What's all this righteous indignation and smearing bought Hillary Clinton? Not a whole lot. Democratic and independent women age 18 to 34 favor Sanders by a whopping 20 percentage points. The attacks on Bernie have fallen flat, making Bill Clinton's revival of the thread on Sunday
a particularly confusing one.
"Clinton is trying to connect with women who have felt bullied by men, and to turn them against Sanders, by smearing him. And what's true of racism and anti-Semitism is just as true of sexism: The more seriously you take the real thing, the more you should revile people who use it as a fraud."
Serial Clinton-defender Brent Budowsky wrote in The Observer
, "The sad and strange thing about the bogus attack by Ms. Clinton against Mr. Sanders when she suggested he is sexist is that it was both wholly false and wholly unnecessary."
And, as Glenn Greenwald points out
, the so-called Bernie Bros might not really even be a real thing. "The concoction of the 'Bernie Bro' narrative," he writes, "by pro-Clinton journalists" is "a cheap campaign tactic masquerading as journalism and social activism."
The second prong of the Clintons' desperate and ill-conceived plan to woo women is to bully them into voting for Hillary because she's a woman, reverting to peak 1970s identity politics and the kind of outdated mindset that likely explains exactly why she is not connecting with millennials.
Case in point, Gloria Steinem and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, two oldsters who are still reliving the radical '60s on a constant loop. They have rallied for young women
to get with the program and vote for the first female president. Albright suggested there's a "special place in hell" for women who don't support Hillary. And in case you were wondering what the bottom of the identity politics barrel looks like, Steinem found it, telling Bill Maher that young women who were backing Bernie were just trying to meet guys. (She later apologized for that decidedly sexist attack).
The idea that women must support Hillary because they are women is so passé even feminists are eschewing it.
Susan Sarandon is supporting Sanders
, saying that Clinton's Iraq War vote was disqualifying. Clinton "failed me and I feel that wasn't just a mistake -- it was a disaster." She called it "patronizing to women to think that we all follow our genitalia to pick candidates."
Feminist Camille Paglia, meanwhile, said Hillary supporters were "desperate because Hillary's numbers are falling, so they are really pulling out the heavy artillery."
The Clintons do what the Clintons do. Feeling vulnerable and underappreciated, they attack the very constituents they aim to court. Women are flocking to Bernie -- so he must be sexist, and they must be traitors.
Luckily, young women see through this -- because it's as transparent as a glass ceiling.