MATTHEWS: Chicago’s Democratic mayor reaches for the ‘woman card’ to divert from her failed leadership

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a press conference at City Hall, in Chicago, Wednesday morning, July 22, 2020. (Pat Nabong/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

A few months ago, I wrote a column about how female leaders in the Democratic party need to resist reaching for the woman card every time they feel slighted by voters or a male political opponent.

Unfortunately, another one has to be written because they’re still doing it.


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, is the latest example of a female elected official on the Democratic side of the aisle to insinuate sexism was behind a decision made by the Trump administration.

Last week, President Trump announced “a surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime.” The cities he included were the Democrat-run cities of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Chicago. That’s in addition to cities where federal law enforcement officers were already in place countering violent rioters who were attacking federal buildings, like Seattle, Kansas City, Missouri, and Portland, Oregon.

Trump had warned Lightfoot and other mayors in advance of his decision. In response to those advance warnings, Lightfoot, whose city has long been a hotspot for gun violence and murder, stated at the time that “under no circumstances” would she “allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents.”

After Trump’s announcement, an angry Lightfoot held a news conference. “The president has been on a campaign now for some time against Democratic mayors across the country,” she stated. “Whether it’s me, whether it’s Keisha Lance Bottoms in Atlanta, whether it’s Muriel Bowser in Washington, D.C., whether it’s Jenny Durkan in Seattle — do you see a common theme here?”

She then accused Trump, without evidence, of “trying to divert attention from his failed leadership on COVID-19.”

What was the “common theme” Lightfoot mentioned? The fact that all the mayors she named were women, of course.

What information did Lightfoot leave out of her rant? The fact that some of the other cities that are already seeing an increased federal presence, or that soon will, are controlled by male Democratic mayors. For example, Portland is run by Mayor Ted Wheeler. Kansas City, Missouri is run by Mayor Quinton Lucas. New York City is run by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Albuquerque’s mayor is Tim Keller.

Do you see a common theme there? They’re men.

Lightfoot conveniently omitted this information from her speech because it ran counter to the false narrative she was trying to construct about how Trump was supposedly engaging in sexism by allegedly choosing to only target female mayors.

Anyone who has given even a passing glance at nightly news programming can see why Trump decided to have federal law enforcement intervene. Some of them, like Portland and Seattle, look like warzones, thanks in large part to violent left-wing “protesters” and agitators turning city blocks into scenes out of an apocalyptic movie.

Lightfoot and some of the other mayors (both male and female) would also like for people to believe the disturbing escalation in violence on their city streets is a recent development. It isn’t. In fact, the violence that has long plagued most of these cities preceded Trump’s presidency. But it’s gotten much worse in a relatively short amount of time in the aftermath of the May 25 death of George Floyd.

Sadly, most of these “protests” are no longer about George Floyd. They are about stirring up as much chaos as possible so as to scare residents and get local leaders to bend to the extremist wills of the radical protest organizers.

Also, sadly, Lightfoot chose to play the woman card in an effort “to divert attention” from her failed leadership on her city’s rising violent crime rate.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Playing the “sexism/woman” card has become a crutch for female Democratic leaders to lean on.

It’s long past time to throw that crutch away.

Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.