Democratic politicians have repeatedly argued that criticizing a Democrat's behavior just isn't something a normal, kindhearted person would ever do. Their critics, by definition, are exclusively composed of racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes, white supremacists, and other bigots. The journalists who report on these criticisms are just as evil, Democrats agree.
When several media outlets reported that Vice President Kamala Harris presided over a "toxic" work environment where "people feel treated like s—t," the VP's allies lashed out at the "gendered" criticism voiced by former Harris staffers and current Biden administration officials. Senior Democrats even suggested sexist media coverage was to blame for Harris's low approval rating.
BuzzFeed reported similar allegations from former staffers against Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), who reportedly "berated staff in front of others, demanded grueling hours, and maintained an office culture marked by constantly changing expectations and little tolerance for error." The Democratic congresswoman insisted she was the real victim.
"Women of color are often unjustly targeted, regularly held to higher standards than their male colleagues, and always put under a sexist microscope," said Jayapal's chief of staff, Lilah Pomerance, who dismissed the comments from former staffers as "cherry picked" and riddled with "ugly stereotypes."
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D., N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, responded in similar fashion after the Washington Free Beacon reported that he violated State Department guidance by vacationing in Italy and France, where he attended a maskless wedding at a billionaire's estate. The DCCC paid for an Air France ticket just weeks before Maloney jetted off to Europe, claiming it was purchased "to conduct DCCC business with Americans living overseas."
In response to questions about Maloney's travel, DCCC communications director Chris Hayden suggested the Free Beacon's coverage was homophobic because it included a picture of Maloney posing for a photo with his shirtless husband on a beach in France. "A lot of homophobia veiled as subtext re: his husband swimming with his shirt off," Hayden wrote on Twitter. "Disappointing."
No Democratic politician will likely ever be able to match the degree to which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) claimed to be victimized by critics of her decision to wear a "Tax the Rich" ballgown to the Met Gala, where she posed on the red carpet and hobnobbed with millionaire celebs.
"I thought about the criticism I'd get, but honestly I and my body have been so heavily and relentlessly policed from all corners politically since the moment I won my election that it's kind of become expected and normalized to me," the celebrity Democrat wrote on Instagram. "Honestly our culture is deeply disdainful and unsupportive of women, especially women of color and working class women (and LGBTQ/immigrant/etc)."
Ocasio-Cortez, who earns $174,000 a year as a member of Congress, might have been referring to the working class women who were forced to wear masks while tending to the unmasked celebrity guests at the Met Gala. For the sake of context, the congresswoman's car—an advanced model Tesla that she frequently parks illegally near her luxury apartment building in Washington, D.C.—costs nearly as much as the median household income in the United States.
You might be tempted to criticize these Democrats for dismissing their critics as bigots because our elected officials should not be exempt from criticism. On the other hand, you're probably a racist.