Man Without Qualities

Monday, April 05, 2004

On Oozing Expertise And Sincerity II: Maureen Dowd Will Be Sooooo Upset!

Yet more evidence that more people are waking up - or admitting - to the identity politics at the center of what is supposedly an international terrorism dispute, as the New York Times reports:

This will be a big week for Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser, whose testimony on Thursday to the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to portray her boss as incisive, tough-minded and on top of the threat from Al Qaeda.

Last week was a big one for Karen P. Hughes, one of the president's closest advisers, who began a 16-city tour promoting a book that portrays her boss as incisive, tough-minded and, on top of it all, "enormously fun."

Together the two are the president's Valkyries, warrior women devoted to defending him. Mr. Bush may be on the wrong side of the gender gap; polls show that women do not support him in the same numbers as men; but no other president has had women in such powerful positions in the White House.

Mr. Bush's supporters say his dependence on Ms. Rice and Ms. Hughes shows that he is comfortable with strong-willed women, like his mother and wife, his two other Valkyries.

Another note: The reference to these advisors as "the president's Valkyries" is, of course, almost inconceivably bigoted, nasty and misleading. Was Sandy Berger President Clinton's "Hessian?" Further, there is no evidence that either of the Mrses. Bush has the kind of policy influence in this White House that Hillary Clinton wielded - so the "Valkyrie" moniker is even more bizarre applied to them. But that just shows how much the Times types feel threatened by women such as Ms. Rice and Ms. Hughes, and by this President's comfort in dealing with them at the highest level and taking their advice. It's sad, really, that the Times is reduced to that kind of bigoted pseudo-humor. But, as I have noted in prior posts, my suspicion is that the Times and the Dems leading the anti-Condi charge have be seeking to exploit an unwritten sexist subtext from the git-go. This is just a little written evidence of that.

But where's the companion article about how comfortable this President is with smart, strong-willed people from racial minorities. Like Condi, again? Like Colin? Will the Times concoct a parallel racist pseudo-humorous descriptive term for them? The mind reels. The stomach churns.

Yes, Big Mo will be soooooooo upset. But maybe she's too busy to notice - too busy scribbling her next column about how this whole kerfufflette (as OpinionJournal calls it) can be explained as a culture clash between Richard Clarke's weird personal life and the testosterone poisoned culture of the White House - especially Dick Cheney. Can't have a real Big Mo column without a swipe at the Vice President's testosterone.

Look, if you're a Democrat, the President "owns" the terrorism issue ,and you've just lost the domestic economic issue to the employment numbers, what the heck do you have to run on other than identity politics?

Sure, it's political cannibalism by the party that holds itself out as working for women and minorities. Sure, it's a desperate ploy. But for the Democrats these are desperate times, Mrs. Lovette!

UPDATE: She's no Valkyrie!

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