Judd Gregg: Men need to shut up?

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

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats rip Barr over IG statement: 'Mouthpiece' for Trump Supreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Senate eyes sending stopgap spending bill back to House | Sondland delivers bombshell impeachment testimony | Pentagon deputy says he didn't try to block official's testimony 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 GrassleyLighthizer starts GOP charm offensive on Trump trade deal Bottom line Graham: FBI investigation in 2016 turned into a 'criminal conspiracy' MORE (R-Iowa), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, should “shut up”?

This approach has already been tried by her colleague, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Krystal Ball: Media turns on Buttigieg, will this end him? Senate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller 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 CornynLighthizer starts GOP charm offensive on Trump trade deal Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence GOP senators worry Trump made 'problematic' concessions in trade deal 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 GrahamGraham: FBI investigation in 2016 turned into a 'criminal conspiracy' This week: House impeachment inquiry hits crucial stretch Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules 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.