Monthly Archives: January 2019

Should Rashida Tlaib Apologize To Mothers Everywhere?

In a comment thread on Facebook, a friend of mine explained it this way:

I hate the term she used though, really poor choice of bad words..isn’t it a term the #MeToo folks should boycott? I mean it implies a mother is willing to have sex with her own son, and that’s rape no matter how you see it. Terrible choice of words, why not asshole, jerk or idiot? I don’t care so much about using a bad word, but this term is unacceptable. Also, she probably has anger issues that she needs to learn to control to have meaningful discourse. AOC has been vocal without once resorting to such vulgar and terrible language. As a mother, I find it beyond distasteful, as a woman, I think it’s oppressive and stigmatizing, as citizen, made me so much less proud of her win.

I could not agree more. A few days later, while reading the NYT over a late Sunday breakfast, I saw a particularly cogent editorial by David Leonhardt, and made this post:

OK, putting aside for the moment whether using insulting, profane language when you are a legislator, in a public setting, is smart, look at this quote from an opinion piece in the NYT this morning:

“Consider the following descriptions of Trump: “terribly unfit;” “erratic;” “reckless;” “impetuous;” “unstable;” “a pathological liar;” “dangerous to a democracy;” a concern to “anyone who cares about our nation.” Every one of these descriptions comes from a Republican member of Congress or of Trump’s own administration.

They know. They know he is unfit for office. They do not need to be persuaded of the truth. They need to be persuaded to act on it.

Democrats won’t persuade them by impeaching Trump. Doing so would probably rally the president’s supporters. It would shift the focus from Trump’s behavior toward a group of Democratic leaders whom Republicans are never going to like. A smarter approach is a series of sober-minded hearings to highlight Trump’s misconduct. Democrats should focus on easily understandable issues most likely to bother Trump’s supporters, like corruption.”

This is the real reason why Rashida Tlaib was deeply mistaken. She was unprofessional and sunk to Trump’s level in her use of language, but ok, we all make mistakes, and she is new. But what was really stupid was that she subverted the strategy described above, which is the right way to go, by taking a position in a very public way that contradicts her party’s leadership, and undermines their approach. That will hurt her a lot more in the long run. I would wager a bet that she will be pretty marginalized in the House, privately if not publicly. We’ll see.

If you’d like to read the whole article, it’s here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/05/opinion/sunday/trump-impeachment.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

That’s my opinion on the whole matter. We need effective, smart, strategic progressive leaders. Rashida Tlaib failed us.