The Mean Girls of Capitol Hill

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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U.S. Congresswomen, from Catty to Crass

The morning after SOTU, much of the pride shared among Democrat women, was for what they hailed as a collective show of female unity and strength. They dressed all in white, as a tribute to the U.S. suffragists of the early 20th century. They stood at the same moments and sat down as one. They clapped, groaned, scowled and laughed in almost-perfect unison. It was a triumphant rebuke of staid reserve and timidity (if not an endorsement of individuality).

There is visual power in numbers and in dressing alike, and yes, women have much to celebrate.

However, I sensed almost immediately, that it was not so much a show of female strength and unity, as it was an assault of synchronized bitchiness.

Puppet Master Nancy Pelosi

To be celebrated? Apparently so, as even Monica Hesse at The Washington Post fawned over Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the ‘exquisite shade’ of her ‘withering’ applause directed at the President. “It was a derogatory clap, make no mistake…mockery wearing a half-baked costume of politeness,” she wrote. This is what Hesse took away as the defining moment of SOTU.

I’ve noticed the past few months, that many female Democrat House members seem to be going for a mean-girl persona.

Pelosi generated much talk on social media, too, for her nonstop smirking, paper-shuffling and general air of feigned disinterest.

I have noticed the past few months, that many female Democrat House members, some in the freshmen class, seem to be going for a mean-girl persona. While it is fun for any woman to be catty sometimes, I am not so sure it is what I admire most in a Congresswoman. Or, what I want to see over and over again, absent any serious or even thought-provoking content.

Catty Kirsten Gillibrand

While the President was STILL speaking, Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted a video (now deleted) of herself, looking every bit the annoyed and bored pre-teen girl at SOTU. Aside from the possible ethics issue of using the moment for fundraising – its main point was, again, to demonstrate a certain attitude of “Ugh. I have to sit here and listen to this guy when I could be out with the cool kids,” like maybe her SOTU guest, transgender Navy officer Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremman.

After a few of these displays, I begin to long for a little staid reserve and timidity.

Angry Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) is the unofficial, yet undisputed, queen of this Democrat group. She is young, hip and very outspoken about her views. While campaigning, she was very effective at communicating her ideas in an open and engaging way. She came across as genuine, as someone you might be friends with (even if you disagreed vehemently with her policies).

Since elected, she seems much angrier, and more flippant.

Potty Mouth Rashida Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib is another new Democrat House member, who garnered enormous press for saying of President Trump: “impeach the mother******!” She, too, shows a propensity for shock and awe using sarcasm and uncensored speech, sometimes with little or no substance.

Obviously, I am a conservative woman, writing for a conservative publication. So you might think my criticism is simply driven by partisanship. The truth is, it is bigger than that.  Women in Congress – ALL women in Congress – are highly visible. It doesn’t help the cause to be taken seriously, if these women’s most lauded comments and video clips are full of petulance, but contain very little message.

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Every woman knows, if you want to be catty, it helps to have a ‘victim.’ No better victim has ever been served up like Donald Trump. Democrats’ and the media’s cartoonish, 100-percent-negative portrayal of him the past two years, makes him the perfect foil for this ongoing comedy show/popularity contest. The problem is, long after Donald Trump is president, these women may still be in Congress. Will the act need an adjustment?

Snippy Nydia Valazquez

However, not to worry. Congresswoman Nydia Valazquez has already looked ahead and expanded her victim list to include teenage conservative CJ Pearson. Pearson, who has a large following on Twitter, sent this tweet during SOTU:

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The “woman next to her” was Valazquez, who responded with this tweet:

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Not so funny and not so cute anymore. That is the way these things usually go. You start out just looking for attention and ‘likes’ and fans, and you wind up sounding like a psycho threatening a kid.  

PsychAlive.org describes cattiness as “an unhealthy way women act on an otherwise healthy feeling of competitiveness.”

So I have some advice for the Mean Girls of Capitol Hill:  

Get healthy.

This is not high school and you are not the prom queen.  

You are a United States Congresswoman.

Act like it.

Author Profile

DeeDee Wiese
DeeDee Wiese
DeeDee Wiese is a writer for NRN and a retired advertising and P.R. executive. She lives in California with her husband and son.