Apparently for CNN pundit Donna Brazile, if you criticize President Obama’s Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, you’re a sexist, even if you’re a woman yourself.
After the Republican wave midterm election last week, POLITICO write Carol Felsenthal wrote a piece titled “Fire Valerie Jarrett,” calling out Jarrett as being an “obstructor” rather than a “facilitator.” Felsenthal makes the point that still today, nobody quite knows what exactly Jarrett does, besides be Michelle and Barack’s “first big sister.”
What exactly do her titles—senior advisor to the president, assistant to the president in charge of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Public Engagement, the White House Council on Women and Girls—mean? More to the point, Jarrett has often used the aura of authority that these titles give her to stand in the way of talented White House staffers and a smoother-running administration, according to several books that have been written about the Obama presidency, among them Chuck Todd’s forthcoming The Stranger.
Doesn’t sound like a personal attack, in fact it doesn’t even sound like an attack at all, rather an analysis of Jarrett’s tenure at the White House.
But, Brazile thought the analysis was sexist, because when liberals don’t agree with you, you must either be a sexist or a racist. Brazile says that essentially, Felsenthal blamed Jarrett for the horrible democratic turnout for the midterm election, even though Felsenthal herself said Jarrett was not solely to blame for the election.
Withering criticism is something that is meted out regardless of gender in Washington. Attorney General Eric Holder has been called every name in the book, including the ones that have to be spelled using asterisks. But Jarrett is being subjected to a refrain of snipes and swipes that sound like they were cribbed from the Twitter feed of one of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” The litany of Jarrett’s run-ins with other White House power brokers reads like a plot synopsis for a new “Mean Girls” movie.
Even more telling are the descriptions of Jarrett that trivialize her position and the skills that got her to that position. The Politico article states, “If her role in this administration reflected reality, Jarrett would be called ‘First Big Sister’ to both Michelle and Barack.”
As Brazile goes on, however, she doesn’t even mention or try to what exactly Jarrett does, probably because she has no clue what Jarrett does, but won’t say that because “sexism.” Then Brazile brought up Hillary Clinton, because you can’t make a sexist argument if you’re not going to bring up the former first lady.
Hillary Clinton has been attacked for being Hillary Clinton for so long now that it’s easy to forget that the criticism of her began with the same sexist overtones now being used on Jarrett. Before Hillary-bashing became its own thing, she was subjected to the standard-issue woman-bashing used on every powerful woman in Washington.
Brazile says that pundits can criticize Jarrett without attacking the fact that she is a woman. Though, the fact is that no one can attack a Democratic woman without being called a sexist by a liberal pundit, like Brazile.