Are liberals hypocritical toward Kellyanne Conway?
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Are liberals hypocritical toward Kellyanne Conway?

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Conservatives are accusing liberals of hypocrisy and bias against Kellyanne Conway after Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) made a sexist joke about her at a public event. They say liberals are fair-weather feminists who are out to get Conway at all costs. Conway's critics admit people often attack the White House counselor in sexist terms, but that does not excuse Conway's deception and lies. They say the sexism must stopbut Conway deserves the criticism. What do you think?

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Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) joked on stage at the Washington Press Foundation’s congressional dinner about the photo of Conway sitting on the couch in the White House, saying “She really looked kind of familiar there in that position.” 

Conservatives say the muted response against that joke speaks volumes about liberals and what they really stand for. 

This “on her knees” comment from a sitting Democratic lawmaker was largely ignored by the liberal media and those who consume it. This comment is just one of many recent incidents of sexism aimed in Conway’s direction, justified because she’s a traitor to her gender, as many feminists have claimed; a female Uncle Tom. Instead of being applauded for her groundbreaking work as a campaign manager on the biggest upset political campaign in American history, Conway is fodder for attacks on her looks and sexuality, often at the hands of individuals who claim to be feminists.
Our president may have a history of misogyny, but it’s becoming increasingly clear many of those in the resistance against him are merely fair-weather feminists: happy to wage or at best ignore attacks on women based on their sex because they think it’s fair to attack the president at any cost.

Politicians lie, that's what they do. The fact that Conway is lying to the media to push an agenda is not unique to her or to the Trump administration. The media's shifting standards reveals its hypocrisy—Conway is not uniquely evil or deceptive. She's just doing her job.

Here’s a news flash for the news industry: Birds are gonna fly, fish are gonna swim, and politicians are gonna lie. The assumption that Conway is uniquely dishonest strikes me as not only preposterous but irrelevant. If she’s that dishonest, a good interviewer will make that clear to the viewer. Personally, I think Jake Tapper is more than capable of holding anyone’s feet to the fire.
But the more important point is that singling out Conway would strike millions of viewers — and voters — as further evidence that the press changes its standards depending on which party is in power. Under President George W. Bush, vast swaths of the media celebrated dissent as the highest form of patriotism. Under President Obama, dissent became the lowest form of racism. And upon Donald Trump’s election, dissent became not only patriotic but a requirement for the new mythopoetic cause of “resistance.”

Conservatives are right—a lot of criticism against Conway is couched in sexist ideas and terms. Instead of criticizing her on sexist terms, Conway's critics say people should acknowledge her achievements and realize how dangerous she really is. Conway is a capable woman whose job is to sell and provide cover for President Trump's radical agenda. It's never okay to be misogynistic.

When we focus more on how “crazy” Conway sounds when she references imagined massacres or touts “alternative facts,” we overlook the fact that many people still believe what she says. Remember Bowling Green, the attack that never happened? Conway got people to think it did. Diminishing her, then, does nothing to change the fact that she can often be extremely good at her job, which is, essentially, to do extremely bad things—or, more specifically, to do extremely bad things and convince the public it’s okay.

Critics are quick to point out Conway deserves criticism for countless things—like brazenly lying to the American public. People acting horribly against Conway does not excuse her unethical actions.

Conceding she might just be a little bit competent is not necessarily to praise Conway for what she does, but rather to identify her as a very real threat—to other women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, people with low incomes, single parents, and more—and not just a silly woman who behaves badly. Misogynistic attacks on her distract from the havoc she and the administration she represents have been able to wreak. That’s not only unfair to one woman who happens to have a great deal of power, but a disservice to the public. The people paying the price for underestimating Conway will be us.
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