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May 13, 2015

Josh Earnest: I'm Sure Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown Will Be Offering an Apology for Calling Obama a Sexist

Well we'll see.

"I think referring to her as first name, when he might not have done that for a male senator, perhaps?" the senator asked pointedly. "I've said enough."

Indeed, he had. Just hours after Brown sent up this smoke signal, National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill took the senator's logic to its ultimate conclusion. "Yes, I think it is sexist," O’Neill said of Obama’s criticisms of Warren. "I think the president was trying to build up his own trustworthiness on this issue by convincing us that Senator Warren's concerns are not to be taken seriously. But he did it in a sexist way."

The White House, filled to the brim as it is with progressives, knows how to play the identity politics game as well as anyone else. White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest did not dismiss the insult to the president's character and insisted that Brown should "find a way to apologize" for his remarks.

"Sen. Brown is a standup guy, and I'm confident after he’s had a chance to look at the comments he made yesterday that he’ll find a way to apologize," Earnest told the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Insane. It's nothing but offense-taking and apologies with this estrogen-soaked crew.

Yesterday I suggested that there was "no evidence" of sexism in calling Warren "Elizabeth." Having thought about it more, I have to revise that.

It is, I think, disrespectful. When you disagree with someone -- especially as Obama did, categorically, putting down "Elizabeth's" concerns as entirely unfounded -- it is basic Social Convention to treat the person with the full rituals of respect. That means calling "Elizabeth" "Senator Warren."

We all know that when someone calls a guy "Chief," he's not actually treating you respectfully.

One of the most popular, and obvious, forms of social derision is to treat someone with a deliberate over-familiarity.

You know who's treated that way? Children are. Any adult can go up to any five year old and go "Who's a big boy?!!"

Because children are not owed the dignity of being treated with the reserve and respect one affords to strangers.

Now, I don't know how well Obama knows "Elizabeth." I assume not very well, as they plainly dislike each other. But whether he knows her well or not, it is Standard Social Convention to treat her with full dignity of address when treating her objection as having no merit whatsoever.

Now, as to the "sexist" part, I don't know. I can't say that this First-Name-Intimacy sort of put-down is done more with women.

I do know women complain of it a lot more.* And this White House, being filled with Social Justice Warriors, should have known that too.

But Obama is simply an arrogant man, with very little to actually be arrogant about. He can only treat critics with condescension because he has repeatedly exhibited he is shallow of thought and ungifted with words over these past seven years.

The sneer isn't just his best move -- it's really his only move with any kind of effectiveness.

Ashe Schow notes that this is hardly the first time President Sweetie has been accused of condescension towards women.

And let's not forget May 2008, when then-Sen. Obama called a female reporter "sweetie" during a visit to a Chrysler plant in Sterling Heights, Pa. A month earlier, he had called a female factory worker in Allentown, Pa., "sweetie" as well. And don't forget his famous sexist response to Hillary Clinton: "You're likable enough, Hillary."

* Women and effeminate progressive men. During the Bush years, there was a lot of complaints over Bush's assignment of various overly-intimate nicknames to the press corps.

To be honest here, I do get the complaints. So it's really not just "women and effeminate men" who are bothered by this. Very macho men may chin up on someone over this form of disrespect.

It's a very common form of offense to take, the "You're talking to me like you know me?!" offense.

Now, I'm sure this press corps would just love overly-familiar nicknames from President Sweetie, because they want him to treat them intimately.

Still, this is why there's a Social Convention against this: You don't know how someone's going to take it. Often, they'll take it poorly.

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posted by Ace at 03:58 PM

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