THE HACKERY of Luke Russert once again reveals the problem with not earning the job you have in Washington. No one can ask a pertinent question with any aplomb, something that’s required when facing a phalanx of feminine political powerhouses who rightly take an ageism question for what it is. Sexism.

“Some of your colleagues privately”… yada-yada-yada…

Hiding behind the anonymous sourcing that allows coverage to descend into Don’t Look At Me But He Said It nonsense, Russert is the boy reporter clearly in over his head.

It’s not like former Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to work to get where she is.

It’s not that Minority Leader Pelosi has bested men to get there, the first in history to do some of what she’s done.

It’s not like women have to wait longer to arrive either.

It’s that the broad is over 70 and the boys are talking that it’s time to put the old crone in the attic.

It never even occurred to Russert that the men waiting in line are the same generation as Pelosi.

It just gets old seeing a woman around so long. As Chris Cilizza dragged out on Wednesday, she’ll be a poster for the Republicans yet again and we can’t have that. It doesn’t matter that men in similar positions of power end up being mocked too, without relinquishing what they’ve earned.

The other point is that the subject at the heart of the question is important. The continued recycling of the same people in Congress, with the seniority never making way for new blood and passion, as well as new ideas coming from another generation is an important point.

It says something about Russert that he couldn’t think of an intelligent way to ask that question. The answer from Pelosi might have been worth hearing.