Politics, Moderate



Women's rage unleashed

Kathleen Parker on

WASHINGTON -- That special place in hell everyone keeps talking about is getting mighty crowded.

The ball got rolling in 2016 when former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright quipped that there was a "special place in hell for women who don't help each other." At the time, she was introducing Hillary Clinton at a New Hampshire campaign event.

More recently, Ivanka Trump said the special place was reserved for "people who prey on children." She was referring to allegations against then-Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore that he had pursued and/or made sexual advances toward teenage girls when he was in his early 30s.

Next came Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser-turned-freelance-provocateur who seemed to be mocking the first daughter when he said during a pro-Moore rally that hell's special spot was reserved for Republicans "who should know better" but weren't supporting the former judge in the special election.

Whew. Is it just me, or is it getting humid down here?

Bannon referred specifically to native Alabaman Condoleezza Rice, another former secretary of state, who had written of the election: "These critical times require us to come together to reject bigotry, sexism and intolerance." Without naming anyone, she urged voters to seek leaders who "are dignified, decent and respectful of the values we hold dear."

This would seem to have disqualified a raft of current and aspiring officeholders but was clearly aimed at Moore, who has said that the country was better off before the last 17 constitutional amendments, which, among other things, gave women and African-Americans the right to vote.

While Bannon railed, and Alabamans voted, the president tweeted. This time, Trump even outdid himself by insulting a female U.S. senator with sexual innuendo. Apparently miffed that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., had called for his resignation because of the multiple charges of sexual misconduct leveled against him, Trump tweeted that Gillibrand "would do anything" when she previously had come to him "begging" for campaign contributions.

One doesn't need a translator or a dirty mind to understand that he was suggesting that Gillibrand would have exchanged sexual services for cash. It was, as we say, a cultural moment.

The tweet heard 'round a world already agog about events in Alabama launched yet another cultural moment at least along the Washington-New York corridor. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," a female guest said the tweet made her "blood boil," while co-anchor Mika Brzezinski wagged her finger at the screen and launched a soliloquy of scold at Ivanka Trump and other White House women.


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