The Lena Dunham Cautionary Tale of Politics Gone Wrong (Adult Language)

People hate guys that say I told you so- but I told you so, but I did.  Since the run-up to the 2016 election debacle I have aggressively pushed the point that if Democrats were going to rebound, women were going to have to be the key to electoral success and effective policy-making for many election cycles to come.  That includes women dominating as both voters and as candidates.  And this was before #MeToo hung over D.C. like L.A. smog.  There are a number of reasons for it but for purposes of this discussion I will just say it is finally  the right time.  Women need to absolutely take over leadership roles in America and it starts with politics.

I have a strict “no pandering rule” on The Progressive Express, so my position is not based of any of that “women are smarter than men” bullshit that you hear everywhere from stand-up comedy routines to commencement exercises to cocktail party conversation.  Women are different than men but are certainly no smarter.  Intellect is not indexed to gender.  It’s just happens that in this space and time those differences will very easily pass as intellect.  Take Trump’s trip down idiot lane when he played the “Asian’s have small dicks” card to antagonize North Korean sociopath Kim Jong Un- which will likely have some impact on this big meeting that is coming up.

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It would never occur to any woman who I have ever met to say something that counter-productive and potentially destructive just to boost her fragile ego- especially with so much on the line.  The entire world sees this and is beginning to recognize what mythologized alpha male leadership looks like at its farthest extreme and it’s NOT good.

So The opportunity is ripe for women to take the reigns of political power and make my prediction manifest into reality.  It would surely be to the benefit of every stakeholder in our political system- especially those who will fight tooth and nail against it.  But some very high profile women made some egregious errors late last year that they cannot repeat this year.  If they do, the status quo of old white dicks being in charge will remain and we will all be f*cked- especially since Viagra makes those old white dicks even more unruly now than they have ever been before.  Here are the top three ladies that need to get it together or leave it alone in 2018:

Lena Dunham:  This young lady hit a painfully rough spot late last year but she’s got two things going for her that the others on this list don’t:  She is young and she is not a politician.  Don’t get me wrong, Lena is highly political but she is no politician and there is a world of difference there.  When a person who writes and stars in an HBO television show for a living performs poorly in a political context, they can just cop to the charges, apologize sincerely and shut up for a while.  It looks like my girl Lena has done that- kind of.

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Here’s the upshot:  Lena Dunham was as vocal, eloquent and aggressive an ambassador for the #MeToo movement as there was anywhere.  Her support was on front street and she even penned an effective Op-Ed in the New York Times explaining the nuances of the issues of sexual harassment.  And her support of all women was steadfast and unwavering- UNTIL somebody that she loves and cares for was accused by an actress of raping her when she was 17 years old and he was a 32 year old director.  Then the entire script flipped- leading Lena and her writing partner Jenni Konner to write an Op-Ed in support of their friend and accusing the young actress of lying.  It didn’t help matters that the actress making the accusation was black and their friend was white- injecting race into an already toxic brew of hypocrisy and entitlement.

If you look up “f*ck up” in the urban dictionary, you should see a picture of these Lena and Jenni smiling and waving back at you.  The idea that #MeToo is valid only UNTIL the man accused is somebody important to women with the power and influence of a national platform defeats the entire purpose of the campaign.  Then to be mindless enough to overlook the fact that sexual subjugation of black women by white men is baked into the historical cake we’ve been digesting for centuries is egregious.  What makes Lena’s f*ck up even worse is that it was a completely unforced error.  She didn’t have to say a thing.  She could have just stayed in her lane, did her thing and let the chips fall.

Which brings us to the perfect place to end.  Ladies, in 2018 the political landscape is yours for the taking- at every level.  Trump has stunk up the joint so bad that if you just do your job and do it aggressively you could and you should sweep out a lot of the old white dicks that remain in power.  Do not help them by setting up theatrical productions starring you on the public stage- and then bomb.  All three of these ladies made a horrible mess because they ran for the stage when they did not have to.  Just do the work in ’18, ladies, and the world is yours.

Senator Susan Collins:  Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine is first up to bat even though she plays on the team I almost never root for, much less vote for.  The reason is that even though Republicans are horrible at policy-making and have proven to be generally unprincipled in their political engagement,  women being in positions of real strength in their party increases the party’s opportunity for improvement in my assessment.  But that is not going to happen if they let themselves be made absolute fools of by Donald Trump- the biggest fool of all.  Enter Senator Collins.  She claimed she was taking a stand on principle during the tax cut bill negotiations- refusing to support the tax cut unless she had a firm agreement with the president and GOP leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan that the bill would not result in the loss of health insurance for millions of Americans due to destabilized markets.  She even made a cute little video that she posted all over social media explaining the commitment that she had secured from the men in leadership that the markets would be protected if the tax cut was enacted.

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She was roundly criticized by political pundits for moving her vote into the “yes” column and virtually guaranteeing passage of the bill- all on the basis of the assurances she had gotten.  Then she screamed sexism.  Loudly.  Obnoxiously. The criticism against her was the most sexist thing she had ever experienced in her life, she said.  How dare these media outlets suggest that she was being naive and getting played by these men just to get what they wanted.  And then- not even 24 hours after the bill was passed by the Senate- Trump spilled the beans as only he can: “Obamacare is now dead.  We killed it with this bill.  I told everybody to keep quiet about it until it was done and passed, but when we got rid of the individual mandate, Obamacare ceased to exist.”  All he left out was the announcement that 13 million Americans would lose their health insurance but you get the point.  Susan Collins disgraced herself and may have set women back significantly with her putrid performance.  Either she was completely politically inept in leveraging her vote to protect vulnerable citizens, or she flagrantly lied in an effort to have it both ways- support the tax bill but still convincing people that she was a caring voice of reason on the GOP side.  Any way you slice it, this was an awful and embarrassing performance.

Kristen Gillibrand:  Democratic Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York screwed up so bad in 2017 that it scares me.  I am actively afraid because for some reason much of the media seems to be enamored with her and seems to be giving her a pass for some of the ugliest acts of craven political opportunism displayed in a long time (or at least since Trump’s last rally, press conference or formal address).  In case you tuned out of politics sometime last summer because you just couldn’t stomach it, Senator Gillibrand is the one who led the lynch mob that served up Senator Al Franken as a human sacrifice to satisfy the #MeToo gods.  I don’t fault the senator for being opportunistic- she is a politician after all.  But rarely is political opportunism as destructive as it was in her hot little hands.  She literally riled up a posse and killed the career of a very promising colleague on the basis of allegations that were in the process of being investigated- all while he was cooperating fully with the investigation.  Not to mention that he apologized eloquently, sincerely and publicly for even the possibility of having hurt or offended anyone by his actions.

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But Gillibrand didn’t care.  She saw a chance to rush to the microphone while it was open and become the highest profile face of #MeToo.   Unfortunately, she has actually compromised Democrats’ prospects in future elections. So if we look up and we have crazy-ass Michelle Bachman as the next elected Senator from Minnesota, you can hang that loss right around Gillibrand’s neck.

Why?  First because Minnesota is a purple state now.  Second, because a precedent was set for dispatching due process in favor of political expediency.  She led the charge for the Senate to openly subvert the will of the voters with this move.  Also, it is now abundantly clear that apologizing and demonstrating remorse is no longer shelter in a storm.  It is blood in the water inviting sharks to attack and devour.  Because of her massive screw up, denying all charges and defiling all accusers is the best course of action for any man who wants to survive a #MeToo scandal.  Just remember that 7 out of 10 white women in Alabama STILL voted for Roy Moore despite all of the credible charges against him.  This guy is disgraceful, but he is by no means disgraced.  He didn’t lose anything that he didn’t already have.  Franken, on the other hand has been busted out Soprano’s style.  So in addition to political malpractice, Kristen Gillibrand is also on the hook for the massive slow-down of the #MeToo movement.

And there are credible reports that she wants to run for president- with some people of liberal persuasion encouraging her.

Let me be clear:  I may be desperate for America to elect it’s first woman president but I’m not desperate enough to vote for Kristen Gillibrand.  She can do us all a big favor in ’18 and do her damned job in the Senate and leave the cameras and microphones alone.

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