Senator To Mansplaining Colleague: ‘I Am Not A 6th Grader’

urlDo not mess with Senator Dianne Feinstein. During a committee hearing on gun control yesterday, brand-new Texas senator Ted Cruz tried to lecture her on the Bill of Rights. It was a classic case of mansplaining, and Feinstein, who has been in the Senate for more than 20 years, was not having it: “I’m not a sixth grader,” she retorted. “It’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here a long time.”

The concept of “mansplaining” comes from a terrific 2008 op-ed by the writer Rebecca Solnit, and the term was coined a few months later. The basic concept, as defined by the Atlantic: “explaining without regard to the fact that the explainee knows more than the explainer, often done by a man to a woman.”

Yesterday’s hearing was a perfect example of this. Cruz, who arrived in the Senate literally just two months ago, launched into a showy civics lesson directed at Feinstein, who is an advocate of stronger gun laws: “It seems to me that all of us should begin, as our foundational document, with the Constitution,” Cruz told her. “And the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” No doy, Cruz!

He went on to say:

The question that I would pose to the senior senator from California, would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First and Fourth Amendments.

And so on, in that condescending teacher-y vein. Feinstein’s response in full:

Senator, I’ve been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in and I saw people shot. I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I’ve seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered. … I’m not a lawyer, but, after 20 years, I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. It’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here a long time.


And that is why you do not talk down to Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Update, via Mediaite: Feinstein tells CNN’s Wolf Blitzer she felt “patronized” by the “arrogant” Cruz, and had to take time to “cool down” after their exchange.

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    • Lastango

      Kudos to Ted Cruz for calling out Feinstein’s assault on the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. No wonder she bristled at having that oh-so-inconvenient document mentioned — it keeps her and other powerful people from doing whatever they want to the rest of us. By being specific, Cruz is staying on-message about the core threat in Feinstein’s positon.

      Regarding the exchange, she knows she goofed, because now a lot more people will be aware of what Cruz was pointing out. That’s why it’s necessary for Feinstein’s allies to spin her comments as having crushed Cruz.

    • Concerned

      Obviously she has no recall of 6th grade and she certainly has no idea what the 2nd Amendment actually says. They should really make these stupid congressman memorize the Bill of Rights word for word.

    • Pete Randall

      I was going to say, “let the nitwit ranting begin”, but it seems it’s already started….Rant on, wackos!

      • Lastango

        How did you find your way to the Grindstone? The undergrad-ish Punk Swarm usually lives at the other nearby blogs…

    • menomenom

      That wasn’t “mansplaining” and frankly I’m embarrassed to be the same sex as Diane Feinstein. All she did was get all emotional over a reasonable question about her policies. The best response she has to chipping away a right is because she has seen dead bodies? So have I! I have listened to gang-member’s dying breath on the 9-1-1 lines because of a stolen gun. But, I don’t see that as a reasonable justification to infringe on another’s rights.

    • atsme

      Feinstein is a jerk – Cruz made mash of her. She PRETENDS to know what she’s talking about. She probably follows Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals just like Hillary does. She’s a card carrying JERK.