Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sex and the Sissy

Noonan is a Reaganite; literally. She was a speech-writer for Reagan, as I recall. Nope, she was a Reagan special assistant, and a speech-writer for Bush the 1st when he ran for president (per her website). Back in the 1980s I would've disagreed virulently with her and probably did. I know I certainly disagreed virulently with both Reagan and Bush (both Bushes, in fact).

Some of her columns remind me I still disagree, passionately, with (many of) her views. Yet other columns remind me that consistency is the habit of the small-minded. She writes very perceptively about the Clintons; of course, she also has written that she was always sure they were dirt-bags, and quietly exults that many liberals and Democrats are beginning to see that she, and other right-wingers, were correct all along. That I do not agree with: while I had to ignore some of what Bill Clinton did during his candidacy (didn't inhale? gimme a break) and presidency (didn't inhale? possible, for that woman didn't swallow), the fact remains that right-wingers were not opposed to Clinton just because he was ethically-challenged, but also because he was a liberal Democrat.

Yet, columns such as this one do tell me I agree with her. Yes, she writes for the WSJ, which in its editorial pages might not accept Genghis Khan for his being too liberal (yes, I exaggerate, but do so to make a point, and an important one, at that). Wait, the NY Times has David Brooks and William Kristol as columnists. Hmm, maybe Maureen Dowd oughta ask the Journal for a column.

At any rate: this column is spot-on: Noonan gets it just right: Senator Clinton is a whiner, and all the more because she is not being a winner.

You know where I'm going, for you know where she went. Hillary Clinton complained again this week that sexism has been a major dynamic in her unsuccessful bid for political dominance. She is quoted by the Washington Post's Lois Romano decrying the "sexist" treatment she received during the campaign, and the "incredible vitriol that has been engendered" by those who are "nothing but misogynists." The New York Times reported she told sympathetic bloggers in a conference call that she is saddened by the "mean-spiritedness and terrible insults" that have been thrown "at you, for supporting me, and at women in general."

What the Senator doesn't want to say in public (and I am dead certain she does get and understand it) is that (many, surely, most?) people who lambaste her aren't anti-woman as much as they are anti-Clinton. This nonsense of sexism is simply another cynical Clinton ploy.

One wants to be sympathetic to Mrs. Clinton at this point, if for no other reason than to show one's range. But her last weeks have been, and her next weeks will likely be, one long exercise in summoning further denunciations.

Key terms here: her next weeks. After this was written good ole Hillary come out with her RFK assassination remark which conforms precisely with what Ms. Noonan said, and, I daresay, meant.

It is something new in politics, the How Else Can I Offend You Tour.

This I do not agree with: Joe Biden, for one, and Strom Thurmond, for another, fall into the same bucket. Surely there are others.

It is insulting ... It is manipulative ... It is not true ... It is prissy.

This I do agree with: all of it. Plus: And because the charge of sexism is all of the above, it is, ultimately, undermining of the position of women. Or rather it would be if its source were not someone broadly understood by friend and foe alike to be willing to say anything to gain advantage. Exactly. I mean exactly.

It is probably truer that being a woman helped Mrs. Clinton. Yes, I agree.

Meir and Gandhi and Mrs. Thatcher suffered through the political downside of their sex and made the most of the upside. Fair enough. As for this week's Clinton complaints, I imagine Mrs. Thatcher would bop her on the head with her purse. Mrs. Gandhi would say "That is no way to play it." Mrs. Meir? "They said I was the only woman in the cabinet and the only one with -- well, you know. I loved it."


No comments:

Post a Comment