True news: Donald Trump storms out of a White House meeting after he doesn’t get what he wants (billions of dollars for a fake crisis), and tells off congressional Democratic leaders by tweeting, “bye bye.” His cultists duly applaud.
Alternative news: President Hillary Clinton storms out of a White House meeting after she doesn’t get what she wants… What do we imagine the reaction would be?
Retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, who might’ve joined a Trump administration, would be surfacing on cable TV to say that Hillary’s temper tantrum confirms his oft-stated belief that women are more emotional than men.
Fox News would be booking Marc Rudov, a misogynist author who joined Bill O’Reilly in 2008 to discuss what Bill called the potential “downside” of electing a female president. To which Rudov replied, “You mean besides the PMS and the mood swings, right?”
Newspapers would be flooded with letters to the editor, contending that Hillary’s female biology was protracting the government shutdown — much like this letter from a Trump cultist, published in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Sun Gazette shortly before the 2016 election: “They call us sexist just because we are critical of Hillary Clinton and her health. What if that time of month comes and she is sick at the same time?”
Sean Hannity would be citing Hillary’s walkout as proof that “Grandma” lacks the temperament to negotiate with Congress. As he said in 2015, “What, are we going to call the president of the United States ‘Grandma’? It’s nice she can change diapers, feed the baby… it doesn’t exactly qualify someone to have her finger on the nuclear button.”
Rush Limbaugh would be saying that Hillary stormed out of the meeting because her bladder was too weak. As he said in 2015, when Hillary used a debate commercial break to visit the bathroom, “Why not wear a diaper? If you can’t hold it for two hours, get a Depends.”
Conservative talk show hosts would say that Hillary’s walkout was inevitable, because she was just being her shrill bitchy self. As radio jock Chris Plante said during the 2016 campaign, “I find Hillary Clinton’s voice to be shrill. It sounds like a cat being dragged across a blackboard.”
The Grammy award-winning rapper known as T. I. would be saying: “Was I right or what? As I told you all four years ago, ‘I can’t vote for the leader of the free world to be a woman … I just know that women make rash decisions emotionally — they make very permanent, cemented decisions — and then later, it’s kind of like it didn’t happen or they didn’t mean for a lot of it to happen.’ So now we got Hillary getting all emotional, storming out of a meeting — that’s what I was talking about.”
And losing 2016 candidate Donald Trump would be phoning into “Fox and Friends” with his incisive critique: “Was I right, or what? She doesn’t have the right temperament to be president. To manufacture a fake crisis and then storm out of a crisis meeting — disgusting. She doesn’t have the right look to be president. When she quit that meeting — which a negotiator with the best brain would never do — I bet you could see blood coming out her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever!”
Dick Polman is the national political columnist at WHYY in Philadelphia and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.