The Corner

Grievance City

The Daily Caller conducted a playful interview with Bill Press, the Democratic broadcaster. “Who is your celebrity crush?” asked the DC. Press answered Kirsten Gillibrand, the junior senator from New York (Democrat, of course).

This caused me to remember what Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said about her at a fundraiser. I quote it in today’s Impromptus. He said, “We in the Senate refer to Senator Gillibrand as the ‘hottest member.’”

(I comment in my column, “I have to wonder how Gillibrand feels about this: being the objet de désir of septuagenarian Democrats.”)

See if you agree with me: If a Republican Senate leader said about Gillibrand what Reid said — or if he said it about any other female senator — he would not be able to keep his post. His Senate seat, yes. He would be able to hang on to face the voters (if he sought reelection). But the leadership post, no. There would be cries of sexism all over the country (which is to say, all over the media). The incident would be regarded as a “teachable moment,” concerning what men can say about women, and not say.

But Harry Reid? He can get away with virtually anything, because he is “fighting the good fight” of Obamacare, a shrunken military, etc. (Moreover, can you imagine Mitch McConnell speaking as Reid did, and does? They are in the same racket, and hold twin posts, but they are from different planets.)

I have no illusion that I can change or affect the double standard between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. You can no more get the sun to rise in the west. But I do point it out from time to time.

While I have you on the line — in Impromptus, I cite a story out of France, telling us that the government plans to triple its tax on riding schools (horse-riding schools). As the Associated Press reports, “Enthusiasts fear the higher tax will make lessons too expensive, and force many schools to close.  And they worry it will further chip away at rural traditions already struggling in a stagnant economy.”

This got me going on the general theme of the Left’s hostility to horse-riding (and stigmatizing of it). You remember what Ann Romney faced, when it was learned she worked with horses. And I also remembered our old friend Tip O’Neill. Here’s the House speaker on Reagan, in 1984:

“The evil is in the White House at the present time. And that evil is a man who has no care and no concern for the working class of America and the future generations of America, and who likes to ride a horse. He’s cold. He’s mean. He’s got ice water for blood.”

There are people who will tell you that the Reagan ’80s were an example of bipartisan cooperation and mutual respect. They either don’t know what they’re talking about or are trying to put one over on you.

Anyway, that’s enough grievances for one blogpost. What would Monday morning be without grievances?

P.S. What the heck, one more. Several years ago, it was reported that Reid had used campaign funds to tip his doormen at Christmas — his doormen at the Ritz-Carlton. I thought, “The Democrats’ Senate leader lives at the Ritz-Carlton? Really? Whoa. Could a Republican leader even have lunch there? Power to the people, man.”

Tell me if I’m wrong: If the Republican leader lived at the Ritz-Carlton, that would be the subject of every political ad, and nearly every political joke, until the senator either moved or quit politics.

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