One moment that probably won't is a new interview in which Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) asserts -- in very similar fashion -- that evangelical Christians should back an evangelical Christian like him. Cruz told this to viewers of the Christian Broadcasting Network's "Brody File," "If we allow our leaders to be selected from non-believers, we shouldn’t be surprised when our leaders don’t share our values."
The rather vast difference in reactions to the comments described above is worth noting.
Here's why: Republicans -- the avowed enemies of identity politics -- saw in the Clinton surrogates' comments a chance to pounce. The Republican establishment has long argued that its objection to identity politics is based on pure principle. And it and its operatives delivered on that preparation last week.
Everywhere one looked early last week, there was someone saying or writing something about the insulting way that Clinton and her surrogates seem to feel entitled to votes based on nothing more than a shared aspect of identity. The vote is sacred and not to be sullied with pragmatic things like recognizing and acting upon shared political interests or priorities directly connected to who one is and what experiences that has facilitated, Republicans argued. And the political gains that the GOP stands to make by busting up ID-centered political coalitions had nothing at all to do with it, of course.
And the fact that racial and ethnic groups that are today the minority and on the verge of constituting a collective political majority is simply not a factor, they say. Instead, Republicans used the Steinem-Albright moment to label the two women and the simplistic identity politics contained in their comments to be poisonous and divisive forces in American public life. More than a few Republican media luminaries, think pieces and stories claimed that Albright and Steinem are modern-age sexists, operating in an era of political complexity beyond their depth.
But now that Cruz has said plainly that he is an evangelical and that evangelicals should vote in the interest of retaining control over or at least significant influence in the making of public policy, there is a mysterious sort of silence. That's quite likely because they don't understand the nation's largely white collection of evangelical voters to be an "identity group," seeking to use their numbers and capacity to vote in a collective manner to deeply and broadly influence politics and society.
But even that says quite a lot. White Americans -- particularly Christian white Americans -- may have adopted the language of a put-upon and oppressed minority group and used that language to seed a stronger sense of group membership and needs in the past three decades, but in reality they have always played a dominant role in American politics.
Also saying a lot is the fact that there has not been one peep about Cruz openly claiming that believers are better voters or better influences of the country's future than non-believers (a fast-growing segment of the American population).
And, in fairness to Cruz, it probably helped a great deal that his ID-centered political pitch was significantly more subtle than anything that Steinem or Albright uttered. His ID politics game is smooth -- very smooth -- and quite shrewd, just like Cruz has operated all along. Cruz told viewers that at least one pastor in every South Carolina county supports his campaign -- an organization he describes carefully as "we" and he says has now accepted a "mission" to get believers to vote "biblical values."
Here is the heart of what Cruz said.
For far too long, Christians have been staying home, have been ceding the public square to non-believers and when we look at the state of the country, when our heart weeps at what's happening to the country and we wonder why is it that the federal government is waging war on life, is waging war on marriage, is waging war on religious liberty, is it any wonder when 54 million evangelical Christians stayed home in 2012, did not vote? If we allow our leaders to be selected by non-believers, we shouldn't be surprised when our leaders don't share our values. So what I'm working to do more than anything else is energize and empower the grassroots and do everything we can for Christians to stand up and vote biblical values.
Translation: Christians of America -- and in particular, South Carolina -- understand that you have the power in numbers to shape this election and to shape this country; use it to put me in office, because I'm one of you.
What else is that but identity politics?
Admittedly, there are a few differences -- outside factors of sorts -- that very likely shaped just how many people are even aware of Cruz's comments.
First of all, Steinem's comments happened on HBO and were, to be frank, far more outrageous. She actually said that young women's political activity is closely if not completely tied to their pursuit of young men working on the Sanders campaign -- and not social justice or anything serious like that. And she claimed that older women get more radical as they age. There is almost no evidence to support either idea -- and that is particularly true about the later where white women are concerned. They actually become more likely to support conservative candidates and identify as Republicans.
And Albright's comments happened on a campaign event stage with Clinton standing nearby, laughing and occasionally applauding.
Cruz made his comments on the Christian Broadcasting Network, an outfit with a significantly smaller reach than HBO or the many many other cable news channels who aired clips of Albright's comment.
And, of course, there was a lot of news this weekend. The death of a sitting Supreme Court justice during a period in which the court is deliberating a number of consequential matters and during a presidential campaign has and will rightfully preoccupy a lot of reporters and voters for some time to come.
So please consider this a brief hypocrisy alert: The underlying sentiments of what Steinem and certainty Albright and Cruz have said this month on our obligations to vote in ways consistent with who and what we are, are very much the same.