Former White House national security aide Fiona Hill, arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Two things that happened during Dr. Fiona Hill’s Thursday testimony absolutely enraged me as a woman who has watched Democrats for decades try and manipulate women voters. My reaction had nothing to do with anything Hill said, and everything to do with how Democrats amped up the theatrics in how they treated her while the cameras were rolling.
Let’s first read about and take a look at Rep. Jackie Speier’s (D-CA) questioning of Hill. Specifically, how she brought up a story about Hill as a child that had absolutely nothing to do with getting to the bottom of the allegations against President Trump but which nevertheless went viral on social media and in newsrooms after it was first reported by the New York Times because Girl Power and stuff:
The story being shared by her supporters details an account from her childhood that her friends revealed to The New York Times in an article published on Thursday about her upbringing and the journey that led to her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
Her friends told the newspaper that a male classmate set her pigtail on fire when she was 11 years old and taking a test. Her friends said that Hill, now 51, extinguished the flame using just her hands before continuing her exam.
Speier actually asked Hill to confirm the story during her testimony, and after she did, the congresswoman went on to note that she felt the story “underscores the fact that you speak truth, that you are steely, and I truly respect that.” Watch:
Fiona Hill confirms the story that at age 11 a boy set her pigtails on fire during a test, which she put out with her hands: "It had some very unfortunate consequences afterwards, my mother gave me a bowl haircut" pic.twitter.com/KPDjO7Bb0S
— Axios (@axios) November 21, 2019
It was a moving story. An indicator she had to learn to be tough as nails at an early age. That’s fine. Not really relevant for the hearing but okay.
But later on we had a noticeable shift in how Hill was treated by Democrats. Here’s how it played out:
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) gave commentary on the proceedings during the five minutes he had rather than ask questions of Hill. Watch Turner’s remarks below in which, among other things, he talked about how Hill’s testimony demonstrated why “hearsay” evidence is not really evidence at all:
Because Turner didn’t question Hill, she didn’t respond to what he said. But a short time later she asked to respond to some of his comments.
Axios dramatically reported that Hill “fired back” in a “stunning moment” after Turner left the hearing when actually all she did was address comments he’d made by noting, per Axios “that she and others who came before the committee under legal obligation also felt a moral obligation to the country.”
It was what Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) said to Hill in response to Turner’s remarks that had me seeing red:
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) told Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council senior director for Europe and Russia, that Rep. Mike Turner’s (R-Ohio) “epic mansplaining” was inappropriate.
“Dr. Hill, first of all I thought that was some epic mansplaining that you were forced to endure by my colleague Mr. Turner and I want you to know some of us think it was inappropriate,” Maloney said Thursday during Hill’s public testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry.
“But I appreciate your forbearance.”
"Dr. Hill, first of all, I thought that was some epic mansplaining you were forced to endure by my colleague, Mr. Turner and I want you to know that some of us think it was inappropriate," Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney tells Fiona Hill. https://t.co/6y079tinvn pic.twitter.com/MeGPpavaDz
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 21, 2019
My first thought was: Are you f****** kidding me? My second thought was: Are you f****** kidding me?
How on earth could that be considered “mansplaining”? Especially when you consider that Republicans including Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) aggressively questioned all witnesses, including the female witnesses. In addition to that, as I noted earlier some of them even used their five minutes to make general comments instead of actually questioning witnesses.
In other words, these were tactics all the Republicans used and which Democrats would have used if the shoe had been on the other foot. Democrats wouldn’t have been accused of “mansplaining” to Hill, though. They would have been treated as truthseekers by their colleagues in the House and by the MSM.
Beyond that, Maloney swooping in and treating Hill like she needed coddling after Turner’s commentary was appalling. Remember, she’s “steely.” She also held a pretty important position in government for a time, so I’m sure she didn’t need a virtue signaling member of Congress to ride in on a white horse to rescue her from Turner. Remember, this was an impeachment inquiry, not a WWE mixed tag team wrestling match.
This is a woman who Democrats made sure we knew put out a fire with her bare hand, yet later they acted as though they must hold that hand for her and not subject her to inconvenient commentary or something.
In other words, it was a classic example of Democrats trying to manipulate women voters by way of emotion: Trot in a woman who is “steely” and courageous and who we’re all supposed to root for and then later treat her like a damsel in distress in need of smelling salts and tender caring because a Republican man said things Democrats on the committee didn’t want to hear.
It’s too bad more women in this country don’t see right through this insulting tactic for what it is.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –