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Democratic Primaries

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(7,277 posts)
Wed Jan 15, 2020, 07:42 PM Jan 2020

LA Times Op Ed: Elizabeth Warren brushed off Bernie Sanders.Good. [View all]

Op-Ed: Elizabeth Warren brushed off Bernie Sanders and taught a master class in handling sexism

As the Democratic debate in Iowa wrapped Tuesday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren confronted the extended hand of Sen. Bernie Sanders. He was plainly after one of those no hard feelings, good game handshakes. We’re cool, right? Warren (D-Mass.) wasn’t cool. It’s hard to have the presence of mind to refuse the near-mandatory displays of collegiality, but she did, folding her hands. Noli me tangere. Touch me not. CNN had cut the sound by this time, but in the pantomime she could seem to be speaking brusquely.

(snip) Sanders’ dispute with Warren had erupted the day before, with a news report of the 2018 meeting between them at which, according to CNN, Sanders told Warren a woman cannot win a presidential election. Warren confirmed the story. Sanders’ aides then called CNN’s (and Warren’s) account “a lie.”

A lie. Pretty strenuous protesting-too-much denial of something that could have been handily mitigated. If Sanders had more composure , he might have confirmed the report too — don’t we all think he said something close to what was reported? Then Sanders could have explained that he, like many feminists, fears America is too sexist to elect a Madame President. Done.

Instead his campaign distilled to a poisonous brew all the current male anxieties about gender with that one word: “Lie.” (On Twitter, pro-Sanders botnets drove the point home with a classy “Lying Liz” hashtag.) In Iowa, Sanders bloviated when the inevitable question about the report surfaced: “Anybody knows me knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman cannot be president of the United States.” Inconceivable!

Then: “How could anybody in a million years not believe that a woman could become president of the United States?” In a million years!

(snip) Warren won. She also proved she’s a master strategist. She didn’t let Sanders get away with denying he’s sexist Tuesday night. Instead, she checkmated him into proving it.

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