After Donald Trump decisively lost the election to Joe Biden, conservatives have got their knives out for his wife, the First Lady-to-be, Dr. Jill Biden.
Dr. Biden has a long career in education, from 1993 to 2008 she was an English and writing instructor at Delaware Technical & Community College. Since 2009, she has been an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College.
She intends to continue teaching after her husband assumes the presidency which shows her dedication to being an educator is stronger than her desire for the spotlight.
One would think that those who've dedicated their lives to educating the nation's youth should be pretty unassailable. However, conservatives are now rallying around a talking point that Dr. Biden shouldn't use the title "doctor." Evidently, there has been some societal rule changes over the past few weeks that suggest only medical practitioners should be referred to by the title.
This is a real paragraph – written by Joseph Epstein – that was published in the Wall Street Journal… https://t.co/KoyYhOplJY— Andrew Solender (@Andrew Solender)1607792519.0
This all began last week when Joseph Epstein, a professor emeritus at Northwestern University, penned an opinion piece titled "Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D."
To quote my esteemed colleague at Upworthy, Annie Reneau the op-ed "was bafflingly sexist in both its premise and its delivery. After an opening line that read, 'Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo: a bit of advice…' he proceeded to explain how the doctorate that Dr. Jill Biden earned is not the same as having an M.D., and so she should cease using the title of 'Dr.'"
Imagine having the ego to refer to a grown, accomplished woman as "kiddo"?
"A wise man once said that no one should call himself 'Dr.' unless he has delivered a child," Epstein writes. "Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc."
According to Epstein's logic, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Jean Piaget, Martin Luther King, and Phil McGraw should never have allowed themselves to be referred to as doctors.
Dr. Biden speaking at a WOunded Warriors reception.via US Embassy London
Fox News' Tucker Carlson followed suit by taking his shots at Dr. Biden, saying she is "not a doctor" except "maybe in the same sense Dr. Pepper is." He also called her "borderline illiterate" and said her dissertation is "embarrassing."
"The whole thing is just incredibly embarrassing and not simply to poor illiterate Jill Biden but to the college that considered this crap scholarship, embarrassing in fact to our entire system of higher education, to the nation itself," Carlson added.
In a segment on Wednesday, he asked his viewers to imagine a scenario in which they are in an emergency room, in desperate need of medical treatment, when they are left to die because Dr. Biden is in the room.
"For the first time in your life, you have no fear of death," Carlson said. "In fact, you welcome its sweet release. You don't just walk toward the light — you run."
That line of attack would make sense if Dr. Biden was trying to portray herself as a medical expert. But she isn't. So, the analogy just makes it appear as though Carlson has no idea what the term doctor means.
That's DOCTOR Jill Biden To You! https://t.co/szFTBZxI3o— Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson)1608170428.0
Kyle Smith from the conservative National Review said in an op-ed that "Insisting on being called 'Doctor' when you don't heal people is, among most holders of doctorates, seen as a gauche, silly, cringey ego trip." He then went on to trash her dissertation.
Dr. Biden's initial reaction was terse. "Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished," she wrote.
Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.— Dr. Jill Biden (@Dr. Jill Biden)1607904455.0
On Thursday. Dr. Biden told Stephen Colbert she was most bothered by "the tone" of the attacks." She added that her doctorate is one of the things she is "most proud of." "I mean, I worked so hard for it," she added.
When I first heard that prominent conservatives suddenly had a problem with non-medical doctors using the title, I got a stale taste in my mouth.
I got this sensation because it smacks of the GOP rolling out the same old, tired Karl Rove playbook. For the uninitiated, Rove is a Republican strategist who will forever be known as "Bush's Brain" for his work for the 43rd president.
One of his most powerful political strategies is to "attack your opponent's strengths" and turn them into a weakness. So, instead of ignoring their strengths so they get less ink, you weaponize them.
In 2004, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's strength was that he served heroically in Vietnam, winning a Purple Heart.
Rove was the architect of the "Swift Boat" strategy that took Democratic nominee Kerry's strength and turned it on its ear by questioning his credibility and patriotism.
Conservatives used the same tactic in the early years of the Obama presidency by taking an element of his appeal, his bi-racial background, and turning it against him by alleging that he was born in Kenya and had a fake birth certificate.
This tactic served to delegitimize his presidency and portray him and Black Americans, in general, as foreign.
Now, they're turning their radar on Dr. Jill Biden who will be the target of countless attacks saying that she isn't a real doctor and diminishing her achievements. This tactic seems extremely petty when the departing Republican First Lady was best known for her work as a fashion model.
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