Rep. Rashida Tlaib has apologized after booing former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton.
The apology, which was, of course, posted to Twitter, came the day after Tlaib shared the stage with Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Pramila Jayapal at a rally for Bernie Sanders in Clive, Iowa. Perhaps you haven’t heard but there’s a lot going on there right now, like a lot.
While on stage, panel moderator Dionna Langford began to ask the three congresswomen about Secretary Clinton’s recent comments about Sanders, namely her assertion that nobody likes him, but before she could finish her question there were boos heard in the audience.
“We’re not gonna’ boo, we’re classy,” Langford began before Tlaib jumped in, “No, no, I’ll boo. Boo!” she said, while people around her and in the audience laughed.
Now, here’s the thing. Would it have been great if Tlaib would have refrained from booing Clinton? Sure. But is the outrage that her actions in Iowa inspired warranted? Meh, I’m not so convinced. Especially when Clinton continues to rehash the 2016 election like, every other day. (Yesterday on a podcast she claimed that Sanders didn’t do enough to unite the Democratic party after their contentious primary.)
Listen, would I love to live in a country that didn’t have its most recent presidential election undermined by a foreign power? Absolutely. Would I sleep better at night knowing that the person going to sleep in the White House (or, more likely, ugh, Mar-a-Lago) wasn’t an accused rapist who can barely form a coherent thought? Literally duh. Did I vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and do I still sometimes daydream about the alternate timeline where she won the election and how much better life would be if that were the case? Obviously.
Unfortunately, I don’t live in that country, that person is in the White House (Mar-a-Lago), and that isn’t the timeline I exist in. This one is. And while it would be much better for my nerves, which are Very Fragile by the way, if everyone was polite and gracious at all times and simply came to an agreement via a silent tea ceremony, that isn’t the reality of the world, nor is it a fair expectation to place on anyone. Particularly on women who are working hard to shape a progressive future for America and have to combat suspect criticism of their candidate from within their own party on a regular basis.
I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to interpret Clinton’s recent comments as those of someone concerned with unifying the Democratic party. There are ways to boo someone without making that sound, you know.
Sure, maybe booing isn’t the most “professional” way to express dissent, but it’s also not the most egregious way either. And it certainly isn’t nearly as insidious of a situation as the internet would like to make it out to be. If someone said nobody liked my friend, I’d boo those comments too, because I’m a real person. And isn’t that what we all keep claiming we want more of in politics, real people? I’ve got news for you. Real people boo. And if you’d like them to stop, the way to do that isn’t by silencing them, it’s by giving them fewer things to boo about.