A Problem With Women At The Nation

Via Echidne, The Nation's Robert Dreyfus has a problem with women. The Nation's Katha Pollit responds:

In a post entitled “Obama’s Women Advisers Pushed War Against Libya [1]" (originally titled “Obama’s Women” tout court) he’s shocked-shocked-shocked that UN Ambassador Susan Rice, human-rights adviser Samantha Power and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were keen on intervening militarily in Libya. The piece is dotted with arch and sexist language—the advisers are a “troika,” a “trio” who “rode roughshod over the realists in the administration” (all men) and “pushed Obama to war.” Now it’s up to the henpecked President to “reign (sic) in his warrior women.” Interestingly, the same trope—ballbreaking women ganging up on a weak president—is all over the rightwing blogosphere. [. . . C]an you imagine a piece in The Nation titled “Black President Opts for Bombs” or “Qaddafi, a Man, Threatens to Massacre Rebels, Most of Whom Are Also Men”?

Misogyny—it’s the last acceptable prejudice of the left.


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    It's kind (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:46:30 AM EST
    of odd that many didn't see this years ago.

    Not so odd (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:47:41 AM EST
    They still don't see it.

    yep (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:51:19 AM EST
    commenting about double standards for liberal vs conservative women in the other thread it includes many liberals.  like in so many other ways we (liberals) have totally bought into their framing.

    Yep (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:52:42 AM EST
    I noticed that during the primaries back in 2008.

    great example (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:57:06 AM EST
    the stuff said on cable news about Hillary would never have been said about a conservative female candidate.  and please, no Palin.   there is no comparison.  Palin is an idiot.  almost no one argues that.  Hillary was not.  the criticism of Hillary was not about her intellectual capacity or ability to do the job but about her motivations and her personality.

    And lets be clear (none / 0) (#28)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:23:41 PM EST
    calling Palin an Idiot is not sexist- Bush and Quayle were also called intellectual lightweights (it is a bit strange that the label seems to be attached to Repubs way, way more often but then again the "too smart, not enough guts" label has only ever been pinned on one Republican nationally-- by his own cohort and gods knows they had to pick a War Hero-- Bush's dad).

    Check to see how many (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:53:46 AM EST
    posts you see about Dreyfuss as compared to Krikorian.

    See if Media Matters does a spot on it.


    and in an odd sort of reversal (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:00:07 PM EST
    I think its now permissible to say things about black conservatives that no one would ever consider saying about a black liberal.

    a piece describing a black conservative as a "monkey in the window" recently on alternet comes to mind.  no one on the left cared.


    You're right (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:02:20 PM EST
    Some of the things that were said about Clarence Thomas would bring howls if the same thing was said about Obama even though in a lot of ways they are ideologically similar.

    Nah, opponents of Clarence (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:18:21 PM EST
    -- mostly all liberals -- didn't say half the things publicly that they should have.  And we all know why.  And Poppy knew it would play out that way.

    Iirc, most of the negative remarks about CT were carefully said, tiptoeing around the shoals of politically incorrect speech regarding race.  By contrast, the GOP was far less sensitive about tearing Anita Hill to shreds.


    In contrats, the things (none / 0) (#92)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:39:27 PM EST
    said about Anita Hill went so much further

    thats (none / 0) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:06:24 PM EST

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:11:13 PM EST
    But Clarence Thomas certainly had an affirmative action career.

    He rose not by his accomplishments, but because of his views and skin color.

    The same can not be said of Obama in any way.

    The comparison is, frankly, offensive.


    Actually curious of your opinion (none / 0) (#24)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:14:18 PM EST
    of Thomas- not the actual thrust of his arguments but the quality of his writings since being appointed as some liberal commentators (specifically I think Lemeiux over at LGM) have said that upon reading his opinions the whole "too dumb to speak" argument becomes a bit racist?

    He is not a stupid man (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:19:07 PM EST
    But he is unfit to by a Supreme Court Justice.

    Not because of his views, after all Presidents appoint and Senates confirm.

    But because of his intense emotional resentments. He is the opposite of someone with judicial temperament.

    His life is nothing but anger.


    I'd agree with that (none / 0) (#29)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:24:49 PM EST
    I disagree with Scalia almost as often and while I find many of his arguments disingenous they at least seem to have a patina of justification most of the time.

    I agree on temperament, etc., but (none / 0) (#46)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:25:08 PM EST
    the claims that Justice Thomas is not intellectually qualified for the Supreme Court, in my opinion, are simply false, that is, ignorant, politically biased and/or racist.  His opinions on the Court simply do not bear out the criticism, nor did his opinions during his brief prior tenure on the D.C.Circuit.  You can disagree with him all you want, as I most often do, but his work is absolutely of Supreme Court caliber.  To be an entirely capable Justice, you do not have to be one of the top 100 legal scholars in the U.S., just somewhere in the top 1% or so (ok, I just made that up) -- that is, more or less, the top 10,000 -- which he certainly is.

    Peter, since I don't recall (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:23:17 PM EST
    ever having disagreed with any of your comments I'll walk gingerly here.

    As to Thomas's judicial knowledge and/or skills, I'm not qualified, so I don't have an opinion on that topic. But, as to his integrity, which is certainly a qualification for one's fitness to serve on the SC, I do have an opinion.

    Somebody lied during his confirmation hearings, Anita Hill, or Clarence Thomas. Without stretching out this post with my biography I feel I am qualified to make the determination that it was Thomas who lied. And, for what its worth, I don't think the accusations against him, sexual harassment, rose to the level of eliminating him as a candidate. But, lying about it, and the mean spirited, anger filled assaults against everyone who questioned it did.

    I would be interested to know your opinion, if you have one, as to who was truthful, and who was not.


    My comments were strictly limited (none / 0) (#98)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:15:30 PM EST
    to the question of whether Thomas is "intellectually qualified."  His political and philosophical adversaries often make that false charge against him, which I perceive to be racist in nature.  (Likewise the false charge that he follows Scalia in lockstep, which he does not.  I seem to remember posting statistics on that a few years ago.)  I did not opine in my prior comment on the character question, although I did on the issue of temperament, saying I agreed with BTD.  I happen to know quite a few people who know him (we overlapped in law school) and people who know Prof. Hill.  At least a few of the strong public supporters of each, at the time of the hearings, were friends of mine.  And I think it's pretty obvious who told the truth at those hearings, despite Arlen Specter's efforts to show otherwise.

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#100)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:50:23 PM EST
    on the intellect. Clearly he's plenty intelligent.

    Well Peter I often agree (none / 0) (#102)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:28:34 PM EST
    with you, but on Clarence Thomas' abilities as a jurist, I find him sorely lacking, not just in temperament and integrity but also in the sort of intellectual firepower normally found in the typical Sup Ct Justice (see my below post also).  Though it's entirely true my view might be skewed by political bias and a tendency to detest Thomas the person after watching the hearings.

    As for his pre-Sup Ct opinion-making, you may be right (I haven't read it) but I think one of his advantages to Poppy was that he had so little of it since he'd only been on the fed ct for some 18 mos prior to Poppy nominating him for the top Court.  And we know how much significant input court clerks have, or can have depending on the judge, in formulating and writing opinions.  Thomas may been one of those judges who gave his clerks heavier lifting in the research and writing of opinions.

    Also -- iirc -- didn't the ABA evaluate Thomas by giving him its lowest possible rating -- merely "qualified"?  And that had nothing to do, of course, with the Anita Hill charges which came after.


    I did not mean to compare Obama (none / 0) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:34:19 PM EST
    and Thomas necessarily.  but the things it is publicly acceptable to say about them.  and Thomas is probably not the best example.  I was talking more about your average black rebublican.  it now seem entirely ok to suggest the are unable to think for them selves, that they are being manipulated by "masters" and on and on.

    like this:

    Black History Month is Herman Cain Playing the Race Minstrel for CPAC

    can anyone imagine what would happen if that had been said about Obama?  or any black democrat.


    JC Watts for example (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:37:00 PM EST
    or even Michael Steele.

    Thomas is different. I think you know why.

    You're right. Bad example.


    I'm (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:41:22 PM EST
    just talking about the way Thomas is described in some quarters and the language used by some.

    Boy, here I am (none / 0) (#88)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:03:11 PM EST
    taking issue with two of the smartest guys on TL, you and Peter (below) and hoping to live to tell about it.

    I'm referring to your assertion that Obama didn't rise in his career due to affirmative action "in any way."

    First of all, his academic achievement at Occidental College was mediocre at best, and certainly didn't rise to a level required by Columbia University, to which he later transferred. Being as personable as we all know he is, a couple of teachers at Occidental wrote him very favorable letters of recommendation. Being apprised of Obama's aspirations to high business/political careers they asked the entrance board at Columbia to award him one of the "set-aside" openings they had available.......straight Affirmative Action.

    After his sophomore year he transferred to Harvard. Now, admittedly, he became more "serious" (some say ambitious) at Columbia and his grades improved fairly dramatically. Nonetheless, and using that criteria, they were nowhere near high enough to be admitted to Harvard. However, since his father had been a student at Harvard for a short while, a "legacy" position was made available to him. I don't think this strictly qualifies as "Affirmative Action," but it does show that his acceptance to Harvard was not due to competitive reasons.

    Now, none of this should reflect negatively on Obama, he saw opportunities, and he took advantage of them. And, also, most people that have written about him regarding those years say that he steadily rose as a serious young man, scholastically, politically, and ambitiously.  


    I think you misinterpreted BTD's comment (none / 0) (#99)
    by Peter G on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 08:32:44 PM EST
    about Obama's not having benefited from affirmative action "in his career" "in any way" (#21).  I believe he was referring to Obama's professional career after graduating from Harvard Law School -- where he was, by the way, President of the Harvard Law Review (a top-of-the-class, merit-based position), and, by all accounts, a stellar student.  The educational path, leading continually upward, that led him to Harvard Law shows the virtue of affirmative action in identifying highly talented minority candidates who may for socio-economic reasons not yet have achieved their potential, and giving them opportunties to prove themselves.

    Apparently he was a (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 09:16:07 PM EST
    stellar student at HLS.  But by the time he was there, the school had changed the method of both electing student editors and then the president of the Review, which in the past was all grades-based, with the top grade-getter in the class becoming prez.  

    In Obama's case, he either got on the Review by grades or a writing competition.  And for the top position, he and the other candidates interviewed with the student editorial board.

    As for his intellectual and legal abilities as a student, I find it hard to believe Obama wasn't well ahead of Clarence Thomas on those counts when the latter was at Yale Law (and probably for a long time thereafter).  In fact, I recall reading around the time of those famous hearings that Thomas had needed the most basic prepping on con law, as if he were a beginning second year law student -- or at least that was the impression left by his prepper sent over to school him by Sen Danforth.  

    For that reason, plus his years of silence on the bench during orals, I don't necessarily easily ascribe racism to those who've doubted Thomas' legal-intellectual ability.  And I suspect Sen Hruska finally got his wish fulfilled to have mediocre people represented on the Bench.


    I'm not that sure (none / 0) (#103)
    by NYShooter on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:54:49 PM EST
    that I did misinterpret BTD's statement regarding Obama and Affirmative action. If I did the blame rests with BTD by placing an upwardly mobile, high achieving minority guy, Affirmative action, and "in any way," all in the same sentence. The inference drawn was the correct one I believe, especially when the comment was preceded by denigrating somewhat C. Thomas and his assistance through Affirmative action.

    But, regardless of whether I interpreted correctly, or incorrectly, the issue simply doesn't interest me. I agree with you totally on the benefits of A.A. and Obama's successes as a result. I believe I stated all that in my comments, and gave Obama full credit for his laudable achievements.

    Now, having said that, the issues that interest me immensely, and should interest anyone dedicated to truth, fairness, and suitability, of both Obama and Thomas, are these: Did each of these gentlemen attain their high positions in a fair and honest manner, and consequently, do each possess the moral attributes incumbent for their roles?

    Having studied their histories quite extensively, it is my fervent belief that the answers for each are no, and no. Please believe me that as a naturalized citizen, and, I believe, a patriotic American, I began my research with the heartfelt hope of proving my visceral, and anecdotal feelings, to be woefully wrong. Unfortunately, exactly the opposite happened; with each passing day, and with each piece of evidence unearthed, their duplicitous behavior, and dishonest character traits became self evident.

    Obviously, backing up all my accusations would take up more time and space than a political blog can offer. But, if there is any specific claim you would like me to explain, I would be glad to share my findings with you.

    Again, it gives me no speck of pleasure to have come to the conclusion that Barack Obama is a self-serving fraud, and that almost every "success" he's enjoyed in his career has had a sinister "catch" attached to it, including his "election" and tenure as the President of the H.L.R.

    p.s. I realize I devoted most of my comments to B.O. Maybe next time I'll concentrate on C.T.


    Obama is an elected official (none / 0) (#105)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 08:37:19 AM EST
    he "rose" through the democratic process.  He seems more or less the same as other politicians.  If you're going to cast aspersions on his character you ought to back them up.

    Back up would be (none / 0) (#107)
    by Peter G on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 12:46:35 PM EST
    BTD's mantra: "Pols are pols ...."

    The same is true of Latinos (none / 0) (#23)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:12:30 PM EST
    or at least the way Right Wing Cubans are viewed (perhaps this is a Florida-centric comment, and things may have changed since I grew up in the 90s).  

    I did not see it (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:09:31 PM EST
    Sounds reprehensible.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:54:23 AM EST

    It was dreadful, even my republican women friends (none / 0) (#69)
    by mogal on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:15:38 PM EST
    were offended.  Senator and minister Jack Danforth from Missouri later wrote a letter of apology to all the state newspapers (after he was no longer a Senator).

    Republicans did not (none / 0) (#7)
    by dk on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:55:08 AM EST
    invent misogyny or misogynistic framing.  I think asserting that such stuff originated with Republicans is an example of BTD's assertion that there are those who call themselves liberals who still don't get it.

    I think what howdy is saying (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by CST on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 11:58:00 AM EST
    is that liberals and conservatives alike will treat liberal women this way, but will not treat conservative women this way.

    That's not to say republicans invented misogynistic framing.  Just that there is a double standard as to how it's applied.

    For example, you see posts like this from the left and right about Hillary Clinton, etc... You did not see this type of gender-bashing on Condi.


    yes (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:01:39 PM EST

    I agree with that point, CST. (none / 0) (#14)
    by dk on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:02:29 PM EST
    I guess I interpreted the "bought into their framing" part of the comment differently than you did. I don't think its their framing, our framing, etc.  I think it's misogynistic framing and crosses the lines of political ideology.

    give me an example (none / 0) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:06:09 PM EST
    (besides Palin because it is not comparable) of a conservative woman getting the kind of media treatment Hillary got in 2008

    Not sure why you're asking that. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by dk on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:09:28 PM EST
    I agree with you that conservative women in politics get less harsh media treatment than non-conservative women.

    My point is that the misogyny that leads to disparaging treatment of women is a cultural phenomenon that transcends the left vs. right dichotomy.  Thus, I disagreed with the part of your comment in which you said that "we" (liberals) are adopting "their" (conservatives) framing.


    conservative women.. (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:47:18 PM EST
    I'm sure that if someone cared enough about the problem of sexist attitudes toward conservative women, they could hunt down plenty of examples.
    That long historical legacy of generalized racism and sexism doesn't dissipate that quickly. We generally don't care as much about how prominent conservative women are treated because conservative women have traditionally tended to give support to institutionalized sexism -- and in the not-too-distant-past, racism.

    One might as well be honest about it: we don't like them so we don't care as much. Just as everyone's misogony-towards-Hillary detector was turned up to ten at all times here during the primaries.



    I repeat (none / 0) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:48:24 PM EST
    show me.  other than Palin.  show me an instance.

    If I cared even one iota (none / 0) (#90)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:28:20 PM EST
    what anyone said at anytime about Palin or Michelle Bachmann, I'm sure I could find some examples. But I don't, so I'm not going to devote any energy to it (even though I'd probably enjoy some of the things that've been written.)

    FOX agrees with you (none / 0) (#84)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:51:38 PM EST
    Bill Maher Calls Sarah Palin a Female Vulgarism, NOW Stays Mum

    it includes this absurdity:

    "If a conservative used that language to describe Hillary Clinton, we wouldn't be hearing very much about Japan or Libya," said John Ziegler, creator the documentary "Media Malpractice." "If they said it about Michelle Obama, the media would be going 24/7 with the story."

    Can I agree with Maher (none / 0) (#86)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:57:57 PM EST
    AND a little with Fox?

    Or is that kind of thing not allowed around here?


    the point is (none / 0) (#89)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:06:49 PM EST
    that you will never see the stuff about Palin you saw about Hillary.  or Nancy.  or other liberal women.  you will never see a three day news story about getting moist eyed during a grueling primary.  heck,  Boner crys every day and thats just hunky dory.

    if anyone ever made Palin weep in public their house would probably be fire bombed.  

    Palin will never be accused of riding her husband notoriety the way Hillary and Michelle have been.  there is different language that is acceptable for discussing them and their motives and mental state.

    that is my point.


    If a con used (none / 0) (#106)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 08:38:34 AM EST
    that language about Hillary Clinton it wouldn't be much of a story. They've been calling her a murderer for the better part of 20 years.

    Palin's gender is incidental to her ignorance.


    Well said (none / 0) (#25)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:16:46 PM EST
    conservatives seem to save up their criticism for Democratic female politicians.  For conservative women they like to say smarmy sh*t like "you're a sexy woman" at the start of an interview.  Oh sexism, so many splendored.

    SFW, what's your point? (none / 0) (#104)
    by getoffamycloud10 on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 08:32:53 AM EST
    Hitler didn't invent anti-Semitism either. He just kinda took it to the next level.

    Failure to invent anti-Semitism didn't get him off the hook for the Holocaust. It still doesn't.

    Again, what's your point?


    A quick content analysis of comments here (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Towanda on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:30:23 PM EST
    is intriguing, as so many turned so immediately to race again.  Discomfiture with discussing gender, sexism, misogyny -- the point of the diary -- continues, as was evident so often in 2008, too?

    I believe I was the one (none / 0) (#78)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:41:07 PM EST
    who first injected race into the conversation and it has absolutely nothing to do "Discomfiture" of discussing gender issues or anything else.  

    the issue was the difference in treatment of conservative women and liberal women and I pointed out there is also a difference in the way conservative and liberal people of color are discussed by the media.


    One comment is not a trend (n/t) (none / 0) (#80)
    by Towanda on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:46:03 PM EST
    I read this piece last night (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:01:50 PM EST
    and couldn't help but laugh.  So Obama is run by women....bloodthirsty ones at that.  While the male anti-war activists within the administration are ignored.  Give the women their blood and hopefully you can live with us the other 3 weeks of the month :).  What the feck will some bozo come up with next?  It is fine for Republicans to argue for unborn babies but don't allow a bunch of Democrat women to argue for protecting the ones that are already born, those kinds of women are bloodthirsty.

    The thing that makes me laugh (none / 0) (#20)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:10:59 PM EST
    is the inclusion of Powers with Rice and Clinton- whilst the latter two have been solidly in the Moderate mainstream on intervention Power's should at the very least have an incredibly high level of credibility on this issue due to her scholarship on past mass killings where the US didn't intervene (though I guess you could argue that this predisposes her to call for intervention after the first thousand of so deaths).

    The last part is key (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:12:27 PM EST
    Samantha Power practically invented modern day liberal interventionism.

    The piece is just sexist.


    And she called HRC a "monster" (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by observed on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:42:32 PM EST
    I'm enjoying the irony of seeing them work together now.

    Isn't that something? (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:20:59 PM EST
    Madeleine Albright also famously wanted to use the military more in combat than Colin Powell....

    Both Powell and Albright agree on the direct exchange on this point...


    Shows HIllary doesn't bear a grudge (none / 0) (#45)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:24:59 PM EST
    Or at least can overcome it to work with Powers--and apparently adopt Powers's position.

    Hillary was by some accounts slowly won over on this.  To be a fly on the wall....

    Hillary has been historically good about protecting civilians and avoiding massacres....


    Samantha Power, (none / 0) (#53)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:42:32 PM EST
    to her credit, immediately called Hillary to apologize after she made that comment in the primaries.  Hillary also has been reported as being very quick early in the admin to warm to working with Obama, showing again she can put past personal and political differences aside.

    And re humanitarian interventions, according to Bill his biggest regret as president (quoted in the last primary season) was not taking Hillary's advice about intervening in 1994 in Rwanda.  (Rwanda was probably the only place where the left has wanted to militarily intervene in recent years.  Of course they'd pick the one country where a Clinton famously decided not to help ...)  


    I wish (none / 0) (#56)
    by sj on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:48:43 PM EST
    he also regretted not listening to her on NAFTA.

    Didn't know about (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:58:47 PM EST
    her advice re NAFTA -- good for her.  

    I also wish he'd taken her advice not to agree to ask for the indy counsel to investigate the bogus Whitewater pseudoscandal.

    (that makes 3 very wise pieces of counsel from Hillary, all rejected, on 3 hugely important matters -- not a bad counseling track record in the WH)


    Nuance is so ignored by those who (none / 0) (#93)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:57:23 PM EST
    fall back on stereotypes, and in this case, I read that Hillary was initially against military action against Qaddafi (sp?) because, at least for one thing, it wasn't clear what the rebels stand for, who they support, or even if they have a clear or uniform view of things.  She was persuaded by collected further info, including the views of traditional U.S. allies. There was no simplistic "let's go to war here."  

    And, Susan Rice is given much credit for succeeding at the daunting task of getting support behind the U.N. resolution from many different nations with many different concerns.  

    Complexity is the enemy of stereotypes and the friend of truth.  So much easier to stick to simplistic "out of control women made me do it".


    Song to The Siren (none / 0) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 04:16:13 PM EST
    Long afloat on shipless oceans
    I did all my best to smile
    'Til your singing eyes and fingers
    Drew me loving to your isle
    And you sang
    Sail to me, sail to me
    Let me enfold you
    Here I am, here I am
    Waiting to hold you
    Did I dream you dreamed about me?
    Were you hare when I was fox?
    Now my foolish boat is leaning
    Broken lovelorn on your rocks
    For you sing
    'Touch me not, touch me not
    Come back tomorrow
    Oh, my heart, oh, my heart
    Shies from the sorrow'
    I am as puzzled as the oyster
    I am as troubled at the tide
    Should I stand amid the breakers?
    Or should I lie with death my bride?
    Hear me sing
    'Swim to me, swim to me
    Let me enfold you
    Oh, my heart, oh, my heart
    Is waiting to hold you'

    I'm not sure about last (none / 0) (#17)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:08:40 PM EST
    Christianity, really religiousity in general is looked down upon to a degree (though that may be because of the political circles I generally associate in are set upon by the pious to an unusual degree).  

    Question (none / 0) (#30)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:32:28 PM EST
    If the three women had convinced Obama of a change that everyone here universally supported (for example, rejecting The Deal) would we see a story about three powerful women positively influencing the president as sexist.

    In other words, is the fact that the action suggested by the women is not popular cause us to view stories about it differently.

    I mean if you are a feminist woman who hates the war, you want this to be all Obama's doing and if you are a feminist hawk who loves the war, you probably don't mind the idea that three very powerful and intelligent women helped Obama to see the right course of action.

    Do you like it (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:35:48 PM EST
    when the Right talks about how Obama and Holder are working together to fleece the government in favor of scam black farmers?

    Your attitudes on these issues are surprising, disappointing and idiotic.


    The difference (none / 0) (#42)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:22:12 PM EST
    between talks about Holder and Obama working together to favor black farmers and what is being discussed here is obvious:

    The implication in your hypo is that black men in power were colluding to hook up other black people.

    Now compare that to the Hawkish Women example at issue.  Three women are getting together to shift policy in the direction of war with Libya because [fill in this bracket with some reason that gender is directly benefited by Libyan intervention.]

    You can't fill in the blank above and therein lies the reason that my attitude is neither surprising, disappointing or idiotic, but worth consideration, directly on point and rather clever, if I do say so myself.

    The hypo I used (Three women working to press for a rejection of The Deal) was chosen because it had nothing to do with gender.

    Just as the Libyan intervention has nothing to do with gender.


    Did you read Dreyfuss' article? (none / 0) (#58)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:53:22 PM EST
    Because your comments about it and their cleverness suggest you did not.

    My comment (none / 0) (#64)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:01:30 PM EST
    said nothing about the Dreyfuss article in particular, which clearly had a sexist tone.

    My comment went to whether commenting on the fact that three women were instrumental in the decision is ever acceptable.


    Well okay (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:19:01 PM EST
    I mean if you are a feminist woman who hates the war, you want this to be all Obama's doing and if you are a feminist hawk who loves the war, you probably don't mind the idea that three very powerful and intelligent women helped Obama to see the right course of action.

    Why would you think a feminist would want to blame this all on Obama?  Because feminists are man-haters?  Because they want men to be responsible for all the continuing ills of the world?  The point is that the decision of three women working for Obama on an issue that has nothing to do with gender does not reflect on my gender, or on gender generally.  It's not like Obama's decision to intervene has made me say, "OH, so THAT'S what black people are like!"

    Writing an article about gender equality in the Obama Administration is fine.


    How about three (none / 0) (#94)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 06:02:19 PM EST
    talented public officials worked together or separately contributed to our current role in Libya.  Why are you so obsessed about the fact that we have women in positions of public power who happened, in the end, to support the same policy?  I think it is interesting, by itself, that Power and HRC, as people who often differ on foreign policy matters, were in agreement here.  

    I don't know how else you can (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by CST on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:39:20 PM EST
    "view" these stories.  The language kind of speaks for itself.

    You think this post is about defending women from policy attacks.  It's not.


    Remember the goal (none / 0) (#40)
    by sj on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:04:44 PM EST
    ABG's sole purpose on this site is to sell us on Obama's Great Works and Inevitable Re-election.  View his comments through that lens and it all makes much more sense.

    Then everything is a "view" and substance has no relevance whatsoever.


    sj (1.00 / 1) (#43)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:23:39 PM EST
    Your ability to avoid providing an intelligent response is impressive.

    Case in point (none / 0) (#52)
    by sj on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:39:04 PM EST
    Notice how he replied to my comment (which did not engage him at all).  And while I agree that I am indeed impressive, your comment is the one that should have been addressed on the merits.

    In this way he appears to be engaging in discussion, without ever having to do aught but make assertions that he may not necessarily defend, but will surely make again.

    14:36 -3.22.2011 - Ends today's observations; may resume tomorrow.


    Great! (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:54:25 PM EST
    An afternoon free of sj using this weird passive/aggressive tactic of talking to everyone about me instead of engaging me directly like a grown up.

    If you disagree with what I say, there is an option that I would suggest: Type an explanation of your disagreement and let me counter it if I can.

    Otherwise, sell crazy somewhere else. We're all stocked up here.


    Are you not reading the language being (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:23:50 PM EST
    used to describe the dynamic of the decisions about Libya?  Or aren't you reading it at all?

    I'm inclined to think you're not reading it at all, because while blatantly sexist language is being used to describe Clinton, Power and Rice, it is also being used to describe Obama; if they are "wearing the pants," he isn't.  If they are flexing their muscles, he isn't.  If they have balls, he doesn't.  

    This is definitely a "two-fer": whatever "compliment" these writers may think they are handing out to Clinton, Power and Rice for their strength, they are also rhetorically castrating Obama - which I believe may be the real point.

    Now that you see that this isn't about whether feminist women are allowing their approval or disapproval of whatever the policy in question is to determine whether something is sexist or not, does it look any different to you?

    Do you get it yet?


    Language used was derisive (none / 0) (#51)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:37:40 PM EST
    I am still up in the air on Libya...I react more viscerally than anything--please, God, no more war.........A U.S. fighter downed....

    I love Kucinich (because first of all he has been a long time opponent of the School of the Americas) and had to chuckle at his talk of "impeachment," but he is being consistent on this issue....Mr. Department of Peace....

    That said, the article was not a critique of policy but a clear shot at powerful women who make policy....

    I have no idea if they are right, and let this whole thing be gone soon.....But that article lacked substance and was right out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook...petty insults....


    I think most of us are unsure about (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:58:01 PM EST
    the Libya situation, and part of that, I have to believe, is that we've been led down the garden path too many times to trust what we are being told about the whole thing.

    I think most of us knew, immediately, that these articles were not policy critiques, at all; they were shots at powerful women and by extension, were efforts to emasculate Obama.  I mean, how are we to respect a man who lets women tell him what to do?

    It was cheap-shotting all the way around; if these writers think Obama's policy is weak, then let them make that argument; they didn't need to use women to do it.  That they did speaks volumes about them, in my opinion - not much of it good, or honest.


    If we can keep Benghazi (none / 0) (#87)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:58:39 PM EST
    from being overrun, give the rebels a chance, and the French and the Brits do most of the heavy lifting, and we are never bogged down there--then it looks like the right decision.

    Yet, Iraq proved the lie about the no-fuss, no muss, easy-in, easy out war.....

    Even though the U.S. fighter went down due to mechanical failure and the pilots are safe, it was still a U.S. fighter.  Weren't the French the ones whose fighters were enforcing the no-fly zone?

    I do know that I do not care one whit about regime change or whether Qaddafi becomes the Emperor of Tripoli.


    But, once again, the (none / 0) (#95)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 06:09:14 PM EST
    U.S. is doing the heavy lifting.  I can't recall where I read this -- perhaps Reuters online? -- sorry -- but U.S. evidently is only one of the allies -- or so it is alleged -- that has the fire power or weaponry called for.  I'd like to see the French and the Brits contribute to the cost.

    Interesting to me that Andrea Mitchell and others are claiming that this limited humanitarian mission will eventually lead us into full-scale involvement in Libya.  Gosh I hope they are wrong.


    The fighter crew ejected (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:44:17 PM EST
    They are both reported safe now.  Rebels found one crew member, the other was still missing for a little while.  It was a mechanical failure too, not a shoot down.

    Also, re Dennis K, (none / 0) (#57)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:53:21 PM EST
    forgive me for being a little skeptical about his intentionally-newsmaking and edgy remarks calling Obama's failure to consult Congress an impeachable matter -- apparently he turned around and is using it to fund raise.  Might have his district re-drawn by the GOP in OH, and sounds a little desperate to keep his job.

    Nothing major otherwise against Kucinich or a Dept of Peace (I like Marianne Williamson), though I think he lacks a certain gravitas sometimes.  And on impeachment, well the guy actually voted to allow the Repubs of 1998 to go ahead with their bogus impeachment against Bill..  


    Kucinich is at least (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:56:11 PM EST
    a consistent moron.

    You know what's really funny (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:01:51 PM EST
    My husband flinches whenever they discuss what we have destroyed in order to enforce the No Fly.  Whoever ends up with Libya will be starting at square one in trying to provide her with air defenses and as a soldier he is always thinking about protection.  So he flinches a little.  And I don't flinch at all.  Last night he read the "lady killers" article too and laughed because it looks I have his balls in my purse right now too.  Then the news program put Kucinich on and my husband says OMG, someone make him stop :)

    Kucinich is great--not that he should (5.00 / 0) (#82)
    by MKS on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:47:33 PM EST
    be President.....but it is good to have Members of Congress like him......a little seasoning for the stew.....

    he's kind of swallowed up (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:54:12 PM EST
    like putting a dash of saffron in the Kraft macaroni and cheese. Now, if there were thirty more like him..

    Hypothetical article about the Deal (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:00:35 PM EST
    written in Dreyfuss' style...

    "Once again, Obama's female domestic advisers cleaned up the national house.  Encouraging Obama to reject the Deal, Melody Barnes, Elizabeth Warren, and even Michelle Obama honed to their maternal instincts and seemed to be the deciding factor in Obama pushing for a tax hike on the rich.  They said that the prospect of slashed spending, especially for things like education, was the deciding factor, and eventually an exhausted Obama agreed."


    Go back to my original question (none / 0) (#66)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:07:46 PM EST
    which asked whether our opinion of a report depended on the whether we supported the story.  Dreyfuss' style is that of a sexist, but I don't think the criticism was limited to just that article. As BTD's later post indicates, he was against even calling this "Hillary's War". Try this one:

    "Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Melody Barnes and even Michelle Obama convinced the President, after weeks of delay, to demand inclusion of a public option in the final healthcare bill.  So strong was her support for the public option, that the public option, which narrowly passed congress, is now correctly called "Hillary's Public Option.  Without the coordinated efforts of the women in Obama's cabinet, the public option would not be a reality."

    Are we really going to pretend that those of who wanted a public option and are also concerned about gender equality wouldn't see that as a fantastic story?

    Context of the action matters.

    (And not being a doofus like Dreyfuss appears to be.  That helps too.)


    Well a more fantastic story would have (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:13:57 PM EST
    been Rahm Emanuel convinces President Obama to include a Public Option.  There was never any danger in that happening though.

    That's correct I think. (none / 0) (#71)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:19:20 PM EST
    This isn't about whether people agree (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:25:51 PM EST
    with the policy - why don't you get that?

    Right here on this blog, there are people who represent a range of views on whether the decision to take action in Libya is the right thing to do, but no one else is turning this into a discussion about whether we might be viewing the subject articles as sexist because of how we feel about, support or reject the policy.  

    No one.

    And that would, I believe, hold no matter whether we are talking about military action or health care or monetary policy or the environment.

    The reality is that people like Andrew Sullivan and Robert Dreyfus used blatantly and unapologetically sexist rhetoric to deliver their opinions; there is no context that excuses that.  



    I think BTD's post (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by lilburro on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:31:43 PM EST
    is about Sullivan's particular case of CDS and need to see this as the hated Hillary Clinton's war, when in fact Obama may have been influenced but does call the shots, full stop.  

    There is nothing wrong with a story about a group of women that accomplish something in the Obama Administration.  There is something wrong with stories that suggest a boys vs. girls dynamic when there isn't one present.  I really don't see that the gender of these women, esp. considering their personal backgrounds, has anything to do with this story at all but for the media it has become the story.


    Let me help you out here (3.00 / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:42:50 PM EST
    I haven't been keeping up with everything that's going on with Libya, but I amleaning toward supporting this action.  Frankly, I think should have been done years ago (the Lockerbie bombing comes to mind as a good reason).

    And I still find this to be incredibly sexist.


    If (none / 0) (#97)
    by chrisvee on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 06:35:48 PM EST
    the article had sexist crap in it about the trio being the angels of Obama's better nature and that women are somehow more pro-economic justice it would have been equally offensive.

    Opening sentence (none / 0) (#31)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:32:49 PM EST

    We'd like to think that women in power would somehow be less pro-war,...

    Perhaps it is misogyny to point out that sexist expectations like that expressed in the opening sentence are just so much BS.

    Maybe they should have (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:35:34 PM EST
    Stayed home and baked cookies and had tea parties instead.

    That is (none / 0) (#47)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:25:21 PM EST
    a sexist sentence and statement.

    Let me be clear in saying that I thought this discussion was about articles generally grouping the three women together and not about the sexist statements of a particular commenter on the point.

    In other words, I believe that you can comment on the fact that three women were able to persuade the president and how important an event that is without being sexist in doing so.


    you absolutely (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by CST on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:29:45 PM EST
    can "comment on the fact that three women were able to persuade the president and how important an event that is without being sexist in doing so"

    The problem is that they did not.

    And that's what this discussion is about.


    IMHO the atricle (none / 0) (#68)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 02:14:30 PM EST

    was about that contrary to the widely held notion that women are more anti-war than men, these three strong, smart women dragooned a much more reluctant Obama into the war.

    And who else had a role (none / 0) (#96)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 06:21:22 PM EST
    in making the decision?  The Arab League, our allies -- France and Britain in particular, etc. The articles so overlook many important facts, such as Hillary's initial reluctance about U.S. involvement, in an effort to paint a picture of strong women ganging up on an indecisive Pres.  This theme will, for sure, be replayed during the Presidential election campaign.  

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:35:59 PM EST

    Wow (none / 0) (#55)
    by sj on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 01:44:20 PM EST
    that was an efficient little violator.  Spammed for 4 sites in one little comment.  Ain't it grand that you can see the destination without clicking the link?

    Site Violator! (none / 0) (#109)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 07:13:07 AM EST