The Gender Card Is a Loser for Democrats

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Last week Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat and an eager Hillary Clinton surrogate, opened a new front against men — it's difficult to categorize this as a front for women — by ridiculing half of her constituents (and half of America) on national television.

Sitting in what appeared to be an office for a segment on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” she urged women to run for office and told men to “shut the hell up.”

She was bristly, unfunny and strident. What was meant to be a parody of public-service announcements was, in truth, her attempt to hit the sweet spot that Hillary Clinton and Democrats are chasing to win the presidency next year: the female and millennial vote.

Men, according to Claire (and she made clear that she was speaking for all feminists), are no longer allowed to offer opinions on “Star Wars,” selfies, carbs, millennials, religion, gluten-free anything, nut allergies, art in general, “Star Wars” again and ethics in gaming journalism.

A couple of things are going on here.

First, the “shut the hell up” list is full of pop-culture references that you could find in a BuzzFeed “Top Five Things You Can Do to Make Your Life Better” list — the kind of thing that millennials consume 19 times a day.

Second, the empowerment of women at the expense of men, who are too stupid to speak let alone exist, is a leftist tactic to try to enrage women to their side.

The reason this occurred — and will occur, over and over for the next year until Election Day — is that Hillary and her party are losing the support of young people and women in the long slog leading up to the 2016 presidential race. Without those voting segments, they lose the election.

What does that mean for the consumers of news? A cycle driven by a nonstop, ugly war on men.

Last week, a survey by the Democrat standard-bearer's polling team of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner showed that millennials and single women aren't as excited by next year's election as are the Republicans' must-have voters. That is a serious problem afflicting Clinton and affecting which party will win a Senate majority in 2016.

The poll posed a severe warning that Democrats must pinpoint their message to millennials and women, forcing them to come out to vote for Hillary and other Democrats.

In September, Clinton and U.S. Senate candidate Ted Strickland, D-Ohio, spoke for a combined hour on voter suppression and women's reproductive rights at a Cleveland university. They told the small crowd of millenials, mostly women, that Republicans are “terrorists” and “extremist.”

The response to all that rhetoric was confusion (many asked who Strickland was) and silence. The message simply did not resonate.

As the prospect of becoming the Democrats' first female presidential candidate appears to be inevitable, Hillary seems increasingly comfortable reaching for the sexism card to nudge voters with a hammer.

Late last month, she continued her rhetoric by smearing rival Bernie Sanders as sexist. She took his commonly used phrase on gun violence — that “shouting” won't solve the problem — and said it was a direct shot at her gender because “when women talk, some people think we're shouting.”

Last week, she continued her war-on-women theme when she regurgitated her tale of trying to join the Marines in 1975 as a Yale-educated 26-year-old lawyer and being turned away by a recruiter, insinuating that the reasons were her gender and age.

Back in the 2014 midterm elections, Democrats went full force to make the election all about women. They wasted so much time, money and oxygen on women's body parts that they overcooked their scare tactics and lost the ability to persuade voters on what really mattered to them — which party would make government work for them.

Americans still do not think that government works for them, and they have not benefited from the new economy. They are still looking for the candidate who will make those things happen.

It seems pretty clear that such a person will have to do more than provoke gender and class warfare.

Salena Zito is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial page columnist. E-mail her at
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