July 1, 2018

There are two ways to respond to a bully: The first is to become meeker, to seek not to antagonize the bully. This, unfortunately, validates the bully's tactics and makes it more likely for him to continue, if not escalate.

The second choice is to show no fear and offer no quarter to the bully's bluster. By refusing to be cowed, it's possible that the bully may escalate, but it's also likely to show to all observing that the bully is nothing more than bluster and not strength.

Guess which choice Rep. Maxine Waters has made?

"I can defend against him and I can promote good public policy. I will intend to do that. Let him call me whatever he wants to call me. Let him say whatever he wants to say. He will not stop me. He cannot cause me to shut down. That's what they would like to do; they want me to run away. They want me to stop talking. They want me to be quiet. He can't do that to me. I won't stand for it."

Sing it, sister! That's EXACTLY what we need Every. Single. Elected. Democratic. Politician. to do. I don't care if they represent a state that went for Trump by 20 points. Stand unapologetically and without fear for the Democratic (small d and large D) values that put you in office.

Sadly, most of our Democratic leadership are still playing by the Marquess of Queensbury fight rules against a bunch of dirty street fighters, and Aunty Maxine doesn't have time for that either. So when host Joy Reid points out that she took criticism from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for allegedly encouraging people to attack politicians (she didn't; Schumer is buying into the right's faux-outrage framing, as is typical), Waters made it clear she sees him too.

"You know, I was surprised at Chuck Schumer reached into the other house to do that. I've not quite seen that done before. But one of the things I recognize, being an elected official is in the final analysis, you know, leadership like Chuck Schumer's will do anything that they think is necessary to protect their leadership. And so what I have to do is not focus on them. I've got to keep the focus on the children and the fact that this administration is endangering children in the worst kind of way."

Amen. We need a whole lot more Maxine Waters in Congress.

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