Something 'triggered' Rashida Tlaib at SOTU, but she's not sure what

Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib's snowflake side came out last Tuesday, when she was forced to flee the president's State of the Union address at the sound of Justice Brett Kavanaugh's name.  

Fortunately, Tlaib managed to find a safe space in front of MSNBC cameras, where she explained her walkout to Rachel Maddow:

Even the mention of Brett Kavanaugh for me is a trigger[.] ...

Just as a woman in America, the fact that he rightfully was accused and having an incredibly strong woman come for the public and the world and tell her story of sexual assault by this person who was appointed to the Supreme Court is just ... I couldn't stand still and not do anything about it and I needed to walk away from that[.]

Tlaib habitually styles her comments as those of a member of one or another Democrat-labeled victim group.  Depending on the context, Tlaib may be speaking "as a woman in America," or "as a Palestinian," or "as a woman of color and one of the first Muslim women" in Congress.  These intersectional credentials are why we have to accept everything she says without criticism, even when it makes no sense, or it's a deliberate lie.

Like Tuesday, when she lied about Brett Kavanaugh.  Kavanaugh was not "rightfully ... accused"; Kavanaugh was blindsided at the last minute by ludicrous accusations from a partisan hater, only to be publicly vindicated after weeks of torture by shameless Senate Democrats and a lying media establishment with a mission. 

But why should Tlaib waste time with facts when she's got the most unanswerable argument going, which is that she's a victim?  Since #metoo figured out that "every woman you know has been harassed or assaulted," Tlaib's victim status "just as a woman in America" means that to question her is to retraumatize her.

By Friday, Tlaib was expanding on her ordeal by describing more "moments of triggering" at the SOTU.  It was so bad she and Ilhan Omar — picture two snowflakes in a drift of white dresses — had to clutch one another's hands for mutual support.  The pair reportedly "attended the address to send Trump a message that they aren't going anywhere."  Then it turned out that going somewhere was the best idea they could come up with to attract any attention.   

But consistency's not their thing, which may be why Tlaib's story on Tuesday about having to "walk away from" the terrifying mention of Kavanaugh's name had by Friday transmogrified into how "she couldn't take it any more" when Trump was giving the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh.  Tlaib said she and Omar "ended up leaving, especially when they just went full out applause when they put that medal around Rush." 

Considering that the medal ceremony happened more than a quarter-hour before Trump mentioned Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, it's clear that walking out wasn't an impulsive response triggered by the effect of Kavanaugh's name on "women in America."  It was a calculated slight rooted in simple spite, jealousy, and outrage that Trump's the one who's not going anywhere.

T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan.  You can email him at

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