During Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated 2016 presidential campaign, one of the most common tactics used by her political and media supporters was to cast criticisms of her (largely from supporters of Bernie Sanders) not as ideological or political but as misogynistic, thus converting one of the world’s richest and most powerful political figures into some kind of a victim, exactly when she was seeking to obtain for herself the planet’s most powerful political office. There was no way to criticize Hillary Clinton — there still is not — without being branded a misogynist.
A very similar tactic was used four years later to vilify anyone criticizing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — also one of the world’s richest and most powerful figures — as she sought the power of the Oval Office. A major media theme was that she was being brutally assaulted by Sanders supporters who were using snake emojis to express dissatisfaction with what they believed was her less-than-scrupulous campaign, such as relying on millions of dollars in dark money from an anonymous Silicon Valley billionaire to stay in the race long after the immense failure of her campaign was manifest, and attempting to depict Sanders as a woman-hating cretin. When Warren finally withdrew from the race after having placed no better than third in any state including her own, Rachel Maddow devoted a good chunk of her interview with the Senator and best-selling author to exploring the deep trauma she experienced from the snake emojis.