Inevitably someone played both the race and gender Cards concerning former National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s ordering the “unmasking” of Team Trump officials when they showed up on intelligence surveillances. Inevitably the said cards were played on MSNBC. Chris Matthews, a host on the network, and David Corn, a contributor, mused that Republicans were piling on the former Obama official, not because she may have violated the civil rights of Trump staff members and then lied about it on TV, but because she is a woman of color, according to the Daily Caller.

Matthews then lied by suggesting that the unmasking was not “political” because it took place after the election. In fact the unmasking started in July 2016 and, in any case, politically motivated spying can be used just as well to undermine an incoming presidency as it could be to prevent it from happening.

Rice has kicked up a firestorm because of the revelations and her multiple lies, with demands that she be compelled to testify before Congress and even be prosecuted. The very real scandal has obscured the fake scandal being whipped up that accuses President Donald Trump of being a “Manchurian Candidate” who is under the thumb of Russian President Vladimir Putin. CNN has become so incensed that it has openly refused to cover the story.

The playing of the race and gender cards has become promiscuous in recent years and has, therefore, lost their effect to a certain extent. Supporters of former President Barack Obama have tried to shield him from criticism by alleging his critics are motivated by racism. Similarly, acolytes of Hillary Clinton have declared that her enemies are sexist and misogynist.

In the latter case, Clinton still lost the presidential election to an alpha white male who was open to such accusations because of the Access Hollywood tape.

The use of gender and race in political discourse is a particular sign that those who engage in it feel themselves to be in a vulnerable position. They cannot argue their case based on fact and evidence. So they are reduced to calling their opponents bigots.