Republicans, gird your loins. Via the New York Times, a sneak peak of the next 12 months (at least):
Hillary Rodham Clinton has seized on remarks Senator Bernie Sanders made in the first Democratic debate that “all the shouting in the world” would not keep guns out of the wrong hands, suggesting that Mr. Sanders used those words because of Mrs. Clinton’s gender.
“I haven’t been shouting, but sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it’s shouting,” she said at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday.
So it begins. My colleague Charlie Cooke warned against this development in March, when Democrats such as Illinois senator Dick Durbin were condemning all opposition to Loretta Lynch’s attorney-general nomination as racism. Wrote Charlie:
If the nomination of each and every minority candidate is to be accompanied by cynical special pleading and scurrilous accusation, it will become downright impossible for us to scrutinize those candidates efficiently.
And impossible to keep Mr. Franklin’s republic.
If unfettered debate about public policy is to be vouchsafed, it requires being able to criticize public officials without those criticisms being reflexively labeled “racism,” “sexism,” etc. That is a necessary condition for self-government. If getting a woman/Hispanic/transsexual into the Oval Office comes at the expense of the freedom to criticize that person without being accused of sexism/racism/transphobia, then that’s not “progress” worth making. Sorry if it’s troglodytic, but better a free people and a white Methodist cis-male in office than an unfree people and a President Xyr who identifies as Polynesian on Thursdays.
But the Left’s obsession with identity politics — and its effectiveness in silencing opponents — ensures that the 2016 election will be cast as a “war on women” with Hillary Clinton its victim incarnate, facts be damned.
Speaking of facts, it happens that Bernie Sanders accuses opponents quite a bit of “shouting”:
In July, Mr. Sanders, senator of Vermont, said that people needed to “stop shouting at each other” on the issue of guns. In August, he said that “people shouting at each other” about gun control “is not doing anybody any good.” And on Oct. 1, reacting to the mass shooting at a community college in Oregon, he said that the nation needed to “get beyond the shouting” on the issue.
Dog whistles, surely. Really, really high dog whistles.