Not a scandal.

Robby Soave, over at Reason, defended Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against those on the right who mock her for her telling of whoppers about her past, about her pose as a poor person, and for her recently unearthed dance video, which I have no interest in seeing. Since AO-C is a pulchritudinous woman, I am certain I would have no great objection to her alleged Terpsichorean antics.

There. I got out my inner Bill Buckley, so I can move on.

Anyway, the meat of Soave’s defense and remonstrance (or is that mere warning?) is this:

Conservatives who obsessively comment on Ocasio-Cortez’s wardrobe and dance video are feeding into the narrative that the right is anti-women and does’t treat them seriously. Bafflingly, they are also attacking her strengths. Being a young person with a sense of style is a good thing! Occasionally unwinding, dancing, and livestreaming dinner while taking questions from constituents: also good.

Robby Soave, “Criticize Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Socialist Policies, Not Her Extremely Likable Dance Video” (January 3, 2019)

Just as Aristotle reminded us that one swallow does not make a spring, I insist that calling attention to the young pol’s pretentions to poverty and Woman of the People status is not an obsession. Not yet.

And just calling attention to a dance video? It is fun to note the quirks of one’s opponents,

Of course, criticizing her for her mad policy preferences is best.

But it is not as if progressives do not actually obsess about Trump’s looks and his manner of speech. And it is not as if they did not relentlessly attack Sarah Palin for her looks and her cultural goofs more than they did her substantive errors.

Sure, anyone not a leftist criticizing a leftist woman on non-policy grounds is going to “feed a narrative” of misogyny. But that is just a marker for the besetting sin of the left, who regard negative comments against any particular woman as being a sign of the dread attitude of being “anti-women.” There is not much we can do about that.

Donald Trump, though, was brilliant in his response to Megyn Kelley’s famous and rather sexist challenge of his alleged anti-woman attitudes. Did he say nasty things about a few women? Sure. He also said many nasty things about men. But no one ever accused him of misandry. Just misogyny.

Mr Trump — one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter. However, that is not without its downsides. In particular, when it comes to women. You call women you don’t like, ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals.’

So Trump’s reponse was spot on: “Only Rosie O’Donnell.” He particularized. Megyn Kelley collectivized. As is so common in the media, as well as, generally, on the left.

The cultural left.

Which is why any criticism of a famous left-of-center woman will be added to the evidence for misogyny. Because leftists will take even the most iffy opportunities as license to make the misogyny charge.

It is a similar case with feminism. Were I to say that “I hate feminism,” such a statement routinely would go through at least three transformations: (1) “I hate feminists”; (2) “I hate all feminists”; (3) “I hate all women.” Truth is, of course, feminism is not feminists is not all feminists is not all women.

But ideologues of a collectivist bent proclaim the opposite.

Miss AO-C is quite obviously “Trumpian” in one important way: she has a few peculiarities in the looks department, she is astoundingly ignorant, she says goofy things, and she is not on the side of the angels. And, in our rather superficial age, I reserve the right to make fun of her for any and all reasons. Which narratives that might feed? I do not care much. Progressives cannot be reached. I make my pitch to convince others.

Still, caving in to doing politics like the left does politics is, I suppose, not any great advance.

twv


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