Judd Gregg: Men need to shut up?

Judd Gregg: Men need to shut up?
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Overnight Energy: Lawmakers show irritation over withheld Interior documents | Republican offers bipartisan carbon tax bill | Scientists booted from EPA panel form new group Overnight Energy: Top Interior lawyer accused of lying to Congress confirmed | Senate set to deny funding for BLM move | EPA threatens to cut California highway funds MORE (D-Hawaii) stated recently, amid the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, that men should “shut up.”

This bit of combative language was met with an enthusiastic response from her female colleagues among Senate Democrats.

Among the activist-left commentator community — otherwise known as NPR, MSNBC and the New York Times — Hirono’s call for silence has also been met with great relish and has raised her to folk-hero status.

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She is now enshrined in the liberal hall of fame for this soundbite.

But what did the good senator mean?

Did she mean that Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyPhRMA CEO warns Pelosi bill to lower drug prices would be 'devastating' for industry GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe On The Money: Judge tosses Trump lawsuit over NY tax return subpoena | US, Japan sign trade deals | Trump faces narrowing window for trade deals | NBA sparks anger with apology to China MORE (R-Iowa), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, should “shut up”?

This approach has already been tried by her colleague, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' MORE (D-Calif.), who tried to shout down the chairman during Grassley’s opening statement at the start of the Kavanaugh hearings.

He quietly listened to the California senator’s tirade and then proceeded to finish his opening statement.

It is difficult to believe that Hirono’s directive was directed at Grassley. He is from Iowa, after all. He is understated and, like most farmers, very circumspect in his use of language. She could hardly be asking someone of so few words to say even fewer.

Maybe her comments were directed at Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Bottom Line MORE (R-Texas)? He is the number two senator in the Republican leadership and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee.

But Cornyn is a former Supreme Court Justice on the State of Texas’s Supreme Court. He is even less loquacious than Grassley and more temperate in his demeanor and language.

Surely Hirono could not have been entreating Cornyn to “shut up”?

Hirono may have been addressing her counsel to Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Democrats to offer resolution demanding Trump reverse Syria decision Army officer calls Syria pullback 'a stain on the American conscience' MORE (R-S.C.).

He also is a prominent member of the Judiciary Committee.

Graham is admittedly more talkative then his Iowan and Texan colleagues.

But Graham’s comments are mostly thoughtful reflections delivered with an entertaining humor. It is difficult to believe that Hirono’s purpose was to silence a voice that breaks through the tedium of Senate debate.

No, Hirono could not be calling on Graham to “shut up.”

Whom, then, was Hirono speaking to when she said it was time for men to “shut up”?

One can only conclude she was referring to all men.

This is probably why she was instantly elevated to such high status by her admirers in the circle of female Democratic senators and beyond it, in the liberal commentariat.

She was calling on American males to be silent.

It is true that men are often taciturn, and so asking them to “shut up” might not be that great a sacrifice.

However, such a directive still comes as a disconcerting request.

There are approximately 700,000 men in Hawaii.

Many of them do considerable service.

Some are stationed at Pearl Harbor with the purpose of defending the island and our nation. Others are policemen, firemen, teachers, union members — or surfers, of course. They probably like to talk about University of Hawaii football games or whether the surf is up.

One suspects they also have opinions on politics and on things like who should be serving on the Supreme Court.

It is hard to tell 700,000 of your constituents to “shut up." But this appears to be what the senator is telling them to do. Such an approach hardly seems a qualification for folk-hero status.

The feminist left may have their new hero in Hirono. But the political left may want to consider the consequences of calling for shutting up half the people in America.

The purpose of political correctness as practiced by the left has been to silence, especially on college campuses, those who might disagree with their views or their march to a new socialist state.

But even the zealousness of these campus elites pales compared to the call to arms from Hirono.

Hirono and her colleagues can parade forward under their new banner proclaiming that men should “shut up.”

Those watching the parade, whether men or women, will likely turn the other way and keep talking to each other — about, among other things, the inanity of some of the people we send to Washington.

Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.