It was certainly an interesting choice for Washington Post columnist Ruth “Strega Nona” Marcus to write an 800-word piece about how someone just compared her to a lumpy Italian witch depicted in children’s books. But it’s the choice she made.
Naturally, the purpose was for Marcus to partake in every liberal’s favorite pastime — portraying herself as a victim so she can then be called “stunning and brave” by her sophomoric peers on social media. And that’s exactly what happened. Journalists at the Post, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, Axios, The BBC, and even The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof — yes, the Nicholas Kristof — chimed in to congratulate Marcus on her virtue.
It’s less stunning and brave than it is predictable and boring.
For context, a column I wrote here Wednesday about the left’s love for political violence (so long as it’s coming from their side) referenced a previous piece by Marcus wherein she hysterically characterized innocuous comments made by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as a “threat.”
The thrust of my column was in the paragraph that followed: “You would hope by now that Democrats and their friends in the national media have learned something. This isn’t going to be a country where political violence and harassment from their side is met by everyone with acquiescence.”
But Marcus was preoccupied with the part where I quickly described her as the Post’s “Strega Nona lookalike.”
“My column was an argument about ideas — about how prosecutors should deal with public response to controversial cases,” wrote Marcus, perhaps while stirring an enchanted pot of pasta. “Disagreement on the merits is fair game; bring it on. But why are looks relevant? What is it that impels Scarry to go there?”
Marcus also sent me a message on Twitter asking me why it was “appropriate” to liken her to a chubby European sorceress. She also emailed me about it. She also emailed a former colleague, asking that he forward her note. And then she talked to her daughter about it.
I’m not joking. She said in her own piece that she actually consulted her spawn on what I believe is now officially the dumbest media controversy of 2022. “[M]y point isn’t to fix his behavior or extract an apology — it’s to push back, Strega Nona style,” wrote doppelgänger Nona. “As my daughter pointed out when I mentioned this incident, ‘Mom, you know, Strega Nona is kind of a badass.’”
By “push back,” Marcus means “be a whiney attention seeker.” She could have written something that rebutted my point — that it’s too late for Democrats to pretend they reject political violence — but she instead spent her day chasing down the person who suggested she resembles the heavyset occultist from a popular kids’ series. All so she could get a pat on the back for bravely denouncing me as “sexist” and “ageist.”
“I’m going to speak up because there are a lot of women who might be less well-established in their careers, less confident of their abilities, less resilient,” wrote Marcus in her angry screed. “Who would be too worried about the backlash — and, frankly, too embarrassed about having been described as old and ugly — to call out the Eddie Scarrys of the world.”
I guess this is what it’s like to be called out. How will I ever sleep peacefully again?
Marcus isn’t stunning or brave. She’s the type of woman who would harass an innocent stranger in public for not wearing a mask — literally. She really did that and then bragged about it on Twitter. She’s the type of woman to gleefully admit that she would have aborted either of her two daughters if she had learned they were going to be born with Down syndrome. She wrote that in 2018 in earnest — twice. She’s the type of woman who determines whether she believes a rape accusation based on whether the man accused is a Republican or Democrat.
She’s not brave. She’s not a victim. Marcus is a narcissist, a nag, and a drama queen. And a Strega Nona lookalike.