This is an ingenious strategy: let the kooks spout.
The Spectacle Blog
Well said, Jed. Counteracting op-eds like these is starting to feel like a chore. But it does bear mention that the fashionable characterization of the "feminine" attitude in politics deploys a stereotype that used to be its own worst nightmare. Those female talents of compromise, caring, and nurturing sound terribly like the inscriptions we once etched at a woman's feet, back when we put her on a pedestal.
The fatal irony is that the female sexual ethos pushed by the anti-partriarchy is as uncompromising and unmotherly as you can get. Those hip values of feminine politics turn out to be garbage where social justice is concerned. Suddenly, femininity is defined by a radical independence and radical sexuality that destroys the ability of any girl to become the sort of nurturer Ruth Marcus desires. Instead, she gets woman-children with broken sex and broken families -- for whom restraint and introspection become incomprehensible, and only self-doubt remains.
We'll have it for you here at 10 a.m. EST this morning.
E.J.'s tears are useless. He spends the bulk of today's column weeping for retiring Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, that elusive liberal Republican, and pining for the Rockefeller, middle of the party. How bland: yearning for something neither here nor there, the vague middle. The good Catholic boy from Gonzaga should know milquetoast has few takers.
As TAS readers know, when a liberal columnist lauds a Republican, it's because he's done something liberal, is a liberal, or can be used for liberalism. Boehlert's long been a favorite of Dionne's, first appearing in his column in 1998:
WaPo’s Ruth Marcus – the poor woman’s Maureen Dowd – takes a shot at Prof. Harvey Mansfield’s book, “Manliness,” this morning and like MoDo assumes the posture of the hilarious by working so hard to prove men unnecessary by condemning the White House. Her point, natch, is that manliness is ok so long as it’s under the firm control of what Marcus says this country could use: “a little less manliness -- and a little more of what you would describe as womanly qualities: restraint, introspection, a desire for consensus, maybe even a touch of self-doubt.”
Here’s the cri de coer – er, money quote:
For those who missed it, here's the transcript of the part of today's Rush Limbaugh show in which Rush talked about the argument I'm having with Rich Lowry of NR about the "endgame conservatives" vs. "to hell with them hawks" issue. As always, Rush hits it hard and right out of the park. I don't think this one is over, not by a long shot.
On Iraq, I really do think the good guys (note to hopeless liberals: that means us, the United States) are winning, despite many errors along the way. My old paper, the Mobile Register, laid out the case on Saturday.
Just got definitive word that Jack Nicklaus will NOT consider a U.S. Senate race in Florida. More's the pity. He would have been good. In fact, I STILL think he ought to run!
That's Fred Barnes' advice for President Bush. Consider me underwhelmed by his case.
There may be legitimate reasons for each, but Barnes doesn't make those arguments. Rather, Barnes engages in the age-old Washington tradition of speculating about these changes for their own sake: "Things are going poorly -- time for a massive shakeup, for the appearance of a massive shakeup!" Barnes views this through a media lens. While the communications shop is in desperate need of an overhaul, talent shouldn't be tossed to the street for the purpose of spin.
Of the three, Cheney should be retained at all costs. His office is the source of all things economically conservative in the administration. Some may charge Cheney with not holding the Bush team to this so well, but just imagine the state of things if he weren't whispering thoughts of Hayek in W's ear. Of course, since Barnes has already conceded the battle for small government, this point may not be of interest to him.