And here is the opening paragraph of EJ Dionne's latest column about Senator Elizabeth Warren:
Elizabeth Warren is cast as many things: a populist, a left-winger, the paladin against the bankers and the rich, the Democrats' alternative to Hillary Clinton, the policy wonk with a heart.The Democrats' alternative to Hillary Clinton. Despite the fact that Warren has said repeatedly that she isn't running for president in 2016.
Here is Dionne's second paragraph:
The senior senator from Massachusetts is certainly a populist and her heart is with those foreclosed upon and exploited by shady financial practices. But she is not nearly as left-wing as many say — she can offer a strong defense of capitalism that's usually overlooked. And here's betting that she won't run against Clinton.That seems like a pretty safe bet, considering she has repeatedly said she's not running.
Nor has Clinton announced that she's running.
This sort of speculation is par for the course in US presidential politics—but what is not par for the course is having two female politicians considered viable potential candidates for the presidency from the same party.
And commentators are pretending like that doesn't require a different sensitivity than it does when it's nothing but a solid field of male candidates as far as the eye can see.
Right now, we are living in a time in the US in which the narrative that women don't know our own minds is being used to justify all kinds of reprehensible legislation to create barriers to access to reproductive healthcare.
And a time in the US in which the narrative that women casually lie about subjects as grave as sexual violence is being used to justify the routine denial of justice for assaults against us.
The last fucking thing we need is a bunch of male commentators trading on the "women don't know their own minds" narrative and "women say one thing but mean another" narrative in any way at all.
It is frankly irresponsible to continually talk about Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren as lying about their presidential ambitions and/or not knowing what they really want.
And if the fact that they are obliged to speak differently about female politicians annoys male commentators, then they can take it up with the misogynists who make it so.