Walking Away From the Women’s March: Liner Notes

My latest column is up at The Federalist, “Major Liberal Groups Walk Away From the Women’s March, But Very Quietly.” That’s the title I suggested, so I have only myself to blame for the traffic.

It’s not a clickbaity headline, but it accurately describes how top-tier lefty groups have stopped partnering with the Women’s March. The exodus is almost certainly due to the claims of anti-Semitism against the leaders of Women’s March Inc., but the groups are largely remaining silent and the establishment press is curiously incurious.

What got left out for space? Plenty. The subtext of the column is a meditation about our competing desires to reward good behavior and to judge people — particularly political opponents — by their failure to live up to higher standards in the first instance. And this tension runs through a number of current news stories. It’s hardly limited to the controversy regarding the Women’s March, as the House GOP’s wrestling with the odious Rep. Steve King’s comments about white nationalism attests.

I suppose others might “whatabout” my failure to mention the King saga. But what these stories might tell us is that tribalism promotes lower standards all around — and that if the parties are going to attack each other, doing so in ways that ask us to meet higher standards is probably an improvement. And that parties trying to clean up their own messes is probably more effective.