White House fights back, corners Senator Brown on sexist charge, trying to flip the narrative.

White House fights back, corners Senator Brown on sexist charge, trying to flip the narrative.

“I think the president was disrespectful to her by the way he did that. I think that the president has made this more personal than he needed to,” [Senator Sherrod] Brown told Capitol Hill reporters. “I think by calling her ‘another politician’ — I’m not going to get into more details — I think referring to her as first-name when he might not have done that for a male senator, perhaps — I’ve said enough.” [source]

THE WHITE HOUSE is pushing back hard on claims made by Senator Sherrod Brown and others that President Obama‘s use of Senator Warren‘s first name during the TPP debate collision was disrespectful and wouldn’t have been utilized if she were a man. They want to corner the man who led the Democrats in a revolt against TPP by using his charge against him to once again push that Obama’s adversaries on trade don’t know what they’re talking about.

The White House is now trying to wiggle out of a clear power struggle that President Obama failed to use to his advantage, which is now being turned on Senator Brown in an attempt to corner the man who led the Democrats in a successful fight against TPP that won the day.

“Sen. Brown is somebody that has a good relationship with the president,” Earnest said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Sen. Brown is a standup guy, and I’m confident after he’s had a chance to look at the comments he made yesterday that he’ll find a way to apologize.” [Huffington Post]

Senator Brown is in very good company.

NOW president Terry O’Neill weighed in as well.

“Yes, I think it is sexist,” O’Neill said. “I think the president was trying to build up his own trustworthiness on this issue by convincing us that Senator Warren’s concerns are not to be taken seriously. But he did it in a sexist way.

As BuzzFeed has noted, President Obama has used Warren’s first name before, as he has for male senators. No one is arguing that point that I can tell.

The issue is President Obama making the argument personal, not only by the use of Senator Warren’s first name, but in the context of calling her just another politician when she obviously wouldn’t think of responding in kind by calling him Barack. That Warren and her progressive colleagues, which we now know was led by Senator Sherrod Brown, were amassing support to defeat Obama on a trade deal he wanted done very badly, adds to the context.

It’s very important to understand and distinguish what is being suggested about the President’s language.

President Obama has a legislative history of supporting women’s rights and issues, going back to Ledbetter, as well as contraceptive access in ACA.

That doesn’t excuse him from using a tactic that is sexist and a hallmark of misogynists throughout political history, even if Barack Obama isn’t one of them.