The Democratic Party often cites a “gender gap” of greater female than male support. Actually, it braves a gender gap seldom talked about: a lack of rapport with Main Street by female household names admired by its Far or Hard Left, which increasingly runs the party.
This past week, two such people stood, unadorned, on grotesque display. Each deserves the other: Hillary Clinton and Kathy Griffin. Both show a once-honorable party that now views honor as old-timey as a daguerreotype or corset zipper.
First, paraphrasing the old Henny Youngman joke, take Mrs. Clinton, please, which is what any remaining non-brain-dead member of the Democratic National Committee has wanted anyone else to do since Hillary lost an unlosable presidential election last November to Donald Trump, whom she and her ideological clones deemed the major-party loser of all time.
Many facts explain her debacle, especially calling millions of Americans, living largely but not exclusively in rural, small-town, and ethnic America, “a basket of deplorables, irredeemable.” Pray tell, what does that make the 2016 Democratic candidate? In my book, it makes Clinton subterranean to the kind of people among whom many of us grew up and immensely admire and remain most comfortable to this day.
Last week Mrs. Clinton returned to her posh alma mater, Wellesley College, where you won’t find the people described above. Instead, she showed America how Hillary unplugged means Hillary unhinged. We are “near the end of a free society,” said the woman who has been silent as leftists trash free speech. Many “feel left behind, left out, looked down upon,” said the woman who vowed to “put coal miners out of business,” such people not chic enough for Hillary, looking down.
From Wellesley, Mrs. Clinton went to a high-tech seminar in Silicon Valley, where she piloted a one-woman car wreck. Her self-destructive personal server — “a nothing-burger” — was the GOP’s fault. Criticism was “little short of misogyny”: blame male chauvinism. One study found Clinton blaming 24 people or groups — the Russians, Barack Obama, her own party, the Macedonians?! — sanity drowning in stream of consciousness.
When George H.W. Bush lost the 1992 election, he vowed not to criticize victor Bill Clinton for a year, and didn’t. Clinton already likens Trump to Bosnia and Rwanda leaders for “unleashing … vitriol and hatred.” Psychologists term it “projection.” Given the post-November bile that dwarfed Democrats into lock-step hysteria, perhaps a new low on Main Street was inevitable. Enter ultra-liberal “comic” and CNN New Year’s Eve anchor Kathy Griffin, noted for the same rhetoric of late-night TV talkers guesting one Democrat pol after another: all hating the same president, each inhabiting the same squalor.
Last week evoked the Hard Left’s newest nadir in rapport with Mid-America. As Clinton came apart, Griffin’s career hopefully did, too. Confident that any blowback to her latest outrage would blow over — after all, every other excess had — Griffin released a picture of herself holding a faux bloody severed head of President Trump, her pose deliberately redolent of ISIS sick men holding similar bloody heads of Americans on film.
Picture a comedian simulating Obama’s severed head. His career would be over. Imagine
if an Obama daughter instead of Trump’s 11-year-old son, Barron, had seen daddy’s beheaded image on TV and rushed to mother, saying, “Mommy, is Dad dead?” the comic would have been figuratively decapitated. By contrast, what was the reaction here?
CNN, loath to criticize any criticism of Trump, debated an entire day before dismissing Griffin. (She lost other gigs and a Squatty-Potty spot.) Not surprisingly, the mainstream media ignored or minimized even this obscenity. On the other hand, social media, replete with decent Democrats and independents, was incensed. Not so, the voiceless Democratic hierarchy.
This space has often heavily scorned Trump when he has earned such censure. Where are national Democrats calling Griffin’s conduct hateful? Their shameful silence shows how appallingly the Far Left has captured the party of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson.
Democratic readers, Griffin and Clinton by default are yours. But are they you? This is one “gender gap” you can curb.
Curt Smith is the author of 16 books, his newest "George H.W. Bush: Character at the Core." He is a former speechwriter to President George H.W. Bush, Associated Press “Best in New York State” radio commentator, and senior lecturer of English at the University of Rochester. Mr. Smith writes twice monthly for Gatehouse Media Newspapers.