Conduct Unbecoming a Woman

Conduct Unbecoming a Woman

But of course Democrats are panicking.

Well, perhaps "panic" is a strong word, but you can always count on Democrats to be the first to undermine their party's unity and message with open displays of cowardice. It's predictable but always exasperating. But since they've asked, here's why Hillary is not leading Trump (at this date) by double digits:

1) The media has spent the entire summer talking about the phony email scandal to the exclusion of anything else. Never mind that several nothingburgers have been delivered, no less than by the head of the FBI himself, James Comey. Never mind that when hauled before Congress, Comey further deflated angry Republican arguments that classified information was handled in a cavalier manner which is supposed to speak volumes about her judgment. Given the lack of any illegal actions to pursue her on, the media still insisted that something dark was dodging Clinton, and, to use the preferred verbiage of outlets like the New York Times, everything is all "clouds and shadows." (The Times even went so far as to say that the separation of her close aide, Huma Abedin, from husband Anthony Weiner somehow, some way, cast a cloud over the campaign. How they arrived at that still remains a mystery, even though readers handily rejected such a characterization.)

2) Clinton is consistently described as "highly unlikeable," which already frames the public perception of her as negative. This ignores the 16 million people who voted for her during the primaries, a number larger than either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. That Trump is widely disliked is no secret, so in order to achieve some weird kind of parity, the media has decided that if he's not popular, well, neither is she, so that's how we'll talk about this election. This has become the standard way to view the candidates. And of course, this negative is reinforced by point 1, wherein everything Clinton does is treated as having dubious and malevolent purposes and a "lack of judgment." (More on that below).

3) Yet it all boils down to this: Trump actually has a verifiable list of dubious activities. His multiple fines by the Department of Justice and the SEC, to name two actors. Numerous bankruptcies. The failed scheme of Trump University. His taking of $150,000 from a fund designed to help out small businesses affected by the 9/11 attacks in New York. Multiple lawsuits brought on by contractors that he's refused to pay, as well as discrimination lawsuits. In the public mind, this is just a man doing business. When it comes to Clinton, however, the nothingburger that is an email "scandal" is supposed to be about her "judgment." It is supposed to show a moral lapse of her character. Why? Because when it involves a woman, she is held to a higher standard and anything improper looks like a deep, irredeemable moral stain.

Again, let me reiterate: Trump actually does have a laundry list of actual things that speak about bad judgment, to put it mildly. After touting that the Clinton Foundation engaged in "pay to play" with donors during Clinton's time as Secretary of State (thanks, Associated Press!), he actually did something illegal that *is* pay to play: the curious case of the dropped Trump University investgation after a donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's reelection campaign.. But you don't hear any anger or misgivings about his character in these demonstrable cases. Instead, another reiteration: this is just a man doing business, so it's somehow understandable and not subject to sustained criticism. The Clinton Foundation has been vilified by him as a "criminal enterprise" (which has predictably sunk into peoples' minds) but barely anyone reports on the Trump Foundation and the phony claims of supporting vets over the years.

Clinton, on the other hand, commits a deeper violation with imagined scandals: it's all about her womanly soul. Just like a good mother stays home to raise her kids and doesn't go to work (fathers can choose to do that but are not expected to), Clinton always needing to know better regarding phony, hyped up "scandals" is far worse than actually skimming money intended for businesses affected by 9/11 or lionizing the leader of an adversarial country. Free pass for Trump on those. Even though she's one of the most investigated people in America and nothing ever comes of any of it, people are offended because she's a woman. It's unwomanly to have any whiff of anything negative or improper trailing what you do, ladies. A man can reek of it; you will be hauled out and judged on your alleged moral failures as a woman. And then our media, incredulously, has the gall to ask why she doesn't hold umpteen press conferences or speaks in a measured manner when dealing with them. Trump's hand waving, yelling, and red-faced threats are par for the course, a man who shows passion. A woman cannot do that. After all, Reince Priebus' main criticism of Clinton after her Command-in-Chief Town Hall was this: she didn't smile enough.

This, apparently, is what matters to voters above anything else. Why Democrats aren't hammering this point home remains a mystery, but they do have time to panic. How very reassuring on their part.