Originally published on September 17, 2010 at David Horowitz’s NewsReal
The inane self-congratulatory feel-goodery of pop feminism is captured perfectly in an old Onion headline: “Women Now Empowered By Everything A Woman Does.” To the feminist Left, the obvious corollary is that everything that doesn’t empower a woman is oppressive, chauvinistic, and of course, sexist. And that’s exactly the ideological vampire being embraced by Christine O’Donnell supporters this week.
Jeri Thompson leads the pack of those seduced by the politics of manufactured victimhood with her excoriation of Karl Rove, Sen. John Cornyn, and Delaware’s “blue-blooded patriarchies.” It’s not the timing of Rove’s criticisms she finds troubling; it isn’t that Cornyn and the NRSC arrived late to GOP Unity Hour lip syncing the words to “Kumbaya.” It’s that they offered their strategic assessment of a female candidate’s political baggage and electability:
Funny, I don’t recall hearing similar talk from the likes of Mssrs. Rove and Cornyn after Scott Brown won in Massachusetts, Joe Miller won in Alaska, or Rand Paul won in Kentucky. In fact, despite similar sliming by the state party apparatus before Paul’s victory Rove was downright supportive of him, saying on Fox News that Rand Paul could win the general election, just as he could win the primary. And this was after the state party did its darnedest to tear Paul apart and to make him look like an incompetent kook, in many ways similar to what the Republican political class has been doing to O’Donnell.
The difference here is that once the primary was over, the political elites in Washington stood by their men. Why won’t they do it for the woman?
Where is the evidence that gender played a role in Beltway criticism of Christine O’Donnell? I like and respect Jeri Thompson, but twisting concerns about O’Donnell’s electability into some sort of political wilding by neanderthal good ol’ boys is out there. We can disagree about whether a candidate is “flawed,” “irresponsible,” or “kooky,” but those terms simply aren’t dog whistles designed to bring out the woman-haters.
This smacks of an ill-conceived attempt to duplicate the ferocious mama grizzly support Sarah Palin garnered when her surrogates pointed out sexist attacks. Cry sexism, rinse, repeat, right? Er, no. Most Palin boosters didn’t unfairly tar her critics with identity politics-based smears. They defended her from specific, verifiable, and brutal cases of weaponized misogyny.
Thompson’s column is short on examples of sexism, long on baseless attacks, and devoid of any explanation for why sexist Karl Rove poured millions into Sharron Angle’s campaign. Mary Katharine Ham calls this approach “pulling a Meggie Mac“:
Criticism of O’Donnell from conservatives was not akin to the treatment Palin got and deploying the same type of attack on longtime conservative allies as one would on the New York Times or Nancy Pelosi is not productive. It’s the Meghan McCain strategy for winning friends and influencing people. We hate it when she paints conservatives and Republicans with a broad brush, reinforces our adversaries’ stereotypes of us, marshals little proof in defense of either, and then asks us to merrily join hands with her as she fights for our cause. Why are we pulling a Meggie Mac on each other?
Sadly, the unseemly Meggie Mac strategy of yelling “sexist hater!!!” at anyone who disagrees makes for a convenient political bludgeon, one Thompson uses throughout her column:
While they may not be intending to be sexist, the message, the attitude and whining sure make many in the GOP look eerily like the elites we are trying so hard to usurp. The sexism issues aside, it’s time for the Washington GOP establishment to man up and stop sulking over losing — no, getting walloped — by a woman they continue to insist is unqualified despite the fact that she has a pretty big win under her belt under pretty difficult circumstances.
Leaving aside the absurdity of going after so-called sexism with a gender-based barb (“man up”), what Thompson is doing is setting it up so that “the Beltway Boys” are no longer free to weigh in on women’s qualifications. By taking her arguments directly from the leftist victimhood arsenal, she’s unintentionally depriving Christine O’Donnell and other women of the chance to compete as equals. At the same time, these unfounded accusations diminish the seriousness of actual sexism, the kind that often slithered out of the scuzziest recesses of the feminist blogosphere during the 2008 presidential campaign. Matt Lewis calls Thompson’s approach “patently unconservative“:
Conservatives are rugged individuals who pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Crying sexism certainly isn’t conservative, especially when the criticism is fair. Sadly, it appears some “conservative” ladies have learned from the left that if you cry discrimination, you can change the subject, and undermine even legitimate questions and concerns.
It’s fine for Jeri Thompson to use her platform to ensure female candidates receive equal treatment, but agitating for special treatment is just the sort of identity politics pitfall that ought to send conservatives screaming in the opposite direction. When we start to see a pair of X chromosomes as the functional equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card in politics, all we’re doing is mimicking the worst the Left has to offer.
Radical feminist Andrea Dworkin once said that “feminism is hated because women are hated.” No, what people hate about feminism is the steady stream of fabricated outrage, holier-than-thou finger wagging, and the stomach-turning hypocrisy. Conservative women have every right to don the feminist mantle, but let’s make sure it’s free from the stench of faux victimhood, grievance mongering, and ginned up oppression.
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Originally published on July 13, 2010 at David Horowitz’s NewsReal
It’s shaping up to be a busy week for David Frum, what with manning the speculum for Andrew Sullivan (OB-Atlantic), picking irrational fights with David Horowitz, and hourly dry humping of his blog visitor stats. Perhaps that’s why honesty, integrity, and concern for his reputation fell completely to the wayside.
Visions of a traffic spike dancing before his eyes, Frum jumped to the defense of ex-NewsReal blogger Alex Knepper, intimating that Horowitz fired Knepper because he wouldn’t toe the paleoconservative (?!) line. Today Frum doubled down at The Daily Dish, ridiculing NRB managing editor David Swindle for “accusing our young blogger of sexual perversion among other offenses.”
Is David Frum sure he wants to go there?
If he’s going to root for Team Alex, he might want to take a look at who else finds value in Knepper’s work. For instance, Knepper’s excoriation of the “sex offender lynch mob” was removed from NRB, but not before every word was lovingly preserved on a pro-sex offender agitprop site. The essay includes gems like this:
The result of this moral panic is that sex offenders of any kind — whether a stranger-rapist, child molester, someone who was peeking at kiddie porn, or even someone who had sex with a fourteen-year-old at the age of nineteen — are being denied their basic civil rights and liberties.
It is difficult to fathom and even harder to stomach, but lobbyist groups like SOSEN and Roar for Freedom exist to “abolish the sex offender registry and what they regard as ‘harsh’ laws against sex offenders.” And one need not look further than Alex Knepper’s writing to see some of their arguments on behalf of the poor, beleaguered sex offender community.
Knepper unmasked his sexual depravity even further last week when he submitted a foul piece of writing about teen idol Miley Cyrus that could easily pass for “youth liberation” propaganda. He argued against “our skewed epistemology of adulthood,” insisting that a 17-year-old is a woman, not a girl.
Other sections of Knepper’s essay further develop the morally bankrupt “age is just a number” argument. But instead of sharing them here, I have a challenge for David Frum:
David, if you truly believe that NewsReal Blog has unfairly branded Alex Knepper a pervert, publish his post about Miley Cyrus. Publish his defense of the sex offender “lynch mob.” And point your readers toward his unseemly attack on rape survivors.
It’s time to either fully own your uninformed knee-jerk defense of Alex Knepper or man up, admit your mistake, and kick Knepper to the gutter where he belongs.
Originally published on July 6, 2010 at David Horowitz’s NewsReal
Is there any limit to the cruelty of the American conservative? These vicious sadists take great delight in harming people and reveling in their suffering, or so says Amanda Marcotte, noted expert on wha? huh? look over there!
The pleasure of sadism as [sic] always been a driving force behind movement conservatism. They’ve always taken a great deal of pleasure in attacking people’s livelihoods for the hell of it, as I know all too well. They’re [sic] always enjoyed sending a message that those who comfort the afflicted and afflict the powerful should expect pain and even ruin.
All that said, I think there’s a reason to think that sadism for its own sake is on the rise within conservative ranks.
Amanda Marcotte is the editor of the blog Pandagon and author of two books on feminism and progressive politics. Her first book was so “progressive” it had to be reprinted after outraged readers called for a boycott over racially offensive illustrations.
Let’s take a look at how Amanda defines “mindless sadism and cruelty.”
Sadistic and cruel: Conservative bloggers and journalists quoting her writing.
These mindless sadists published examples of Amanda’s religious bigotry, forcing her to resign from her cushy gig as a blogger for John Edwards’ presidential campaign. (Being quoted verbatim is so mean and unfair!)
Not sadistic or cruel: Defending the practice of female genital nicking in the United States.
All they do is prick your genitals, or make a small cut that heals over, but nothing is removed. You’re basically scratching the girl.
Sadistic and cruel: Andrew Breitbart’s offer of a cash reward for the Journolist archive.
Amanda quotes Andrew Sullivan’s condemnation of the power hungry Andrew Breitbarts of the world who “will do all they can to ransack your private life, cull your email in-tray, and use whatever material they have to unleash the moronic hounds of today’s right-wing base.” Hey, maybe she’s onto something. If anyone knows the ransacking of private lives, it’s Andrew Sullivan, cataloger of Sarah Palin’s private email and The Atlantic‘s resident expert in forensic gynecology.
Not sadistic or cruel: Delighting in ruining the lives of the Duke lacrosse players accused of rape.
Sadistic and cruel: The GOP’s opposition to Obamacare.
Republicans hate the poors and will do everything possible to keep them from getting health insurance. (For the sadistic pleasure, natch.)
Not sadistic or cruel: Forcing pro-life Americans to pay for abortions.
Sadistic and cruel: A GOP proposal to fund extended unemployment benefits with stimulus funds.
How dare the Republicans want unemployment benefits to be paid for without printing or borrowing money! This “pure, unadulterated a–holery” is because conservatives think the unemployed are lazy. If the unemployed don’t suffer, how will conservatives soak in bathtubs filled to the brim with the sweet, sweet tears of anguish shed by families in pain?
Not sadistic or cruel: Promoting third trimester abortions for women in psychiatric distress.
Despite her holier-than-thou attitude, thoughtless logic-free rants are typical of Amanda Marcotte’s writing. Her entire oeuvre seeks to demonize dissenting opinion with childish, shallow “explanations” of the conservative mind and malicious falsehoods about the Right.
Marcotte says that to counter anti-government histrionics from conservatives progressives need to put forth “positive, truth-based counter-arguments to raise people’s consciousness.” If only Get Opinionated practiced what it preaches.
Amanda Marcotte will never be an honest opponent concerned with truth-based arguments. She’s just another Alex Jones of the “progressive” blogosphere, a lying demagogue feeding her audience pre-digested hokum to nourish them with the validation they desperately crave. Like Alex Jones, she’s happy to peddle lies and conspiracy theories about the Right because it pays the bills and cements her status as Eternal Victim of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
As Amanda and Alex have discovered, hawking the absurd theory that deceitful wingnuts are trying to destroy your livelihood for sadistic thrills can always be counted on for a bit of Web traffic. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to add that conservatives are all evil Bushco worshipers who hate freedom. And puppies.
Stirring up hateful resentment of the opposition might not be honest work, but stop thinking like a cruel and sadistic conservative. Professional buffoons need jobs too.
Originally published on June 30, 2010 at David Horowitz’s NewsReal
The American Prospect didn’t get much attention for breaking a huge story earlier this month: the mysterious disappearance of Ann Coulter.
Few of us realized she was missing, but luckily crack detective Paul Waldman was on the case. The Media Matters alum was determined to find an answer to the question no one else was asking: “Whatever Happened to Ann Coulter?”
Remember Ann Coulter? Seems like just yesterday she was Queen of the Right, the whole political world hanging on her every bile-laced tirade. Yet she’s all but disappeared.
Waldman’s fantasy that Ann Coulter “all but disappeared” is a deliciously desperate display of magical thinking. He doesn’t have a shred of evidence, but hopes that if he makes the claim over and over while wearing his lucky cardigan, his wish will come true.
Waldman “argues” that Coulter’s “shtick just got old,” and that in the Grand and Civil Age of Obama her “act seems somehow out of place,” even among the hate loving hate lovers on the Right. Oh, and she just can’t serve up piping hot wingnuttery the way Glenn Beck can:
It’s not that there isn’t plenty of hate on the right, but Coulter’s hate was just pure venom, without much point to it. She had none of the crazy conspiracy theories that have become de rigueur. She shot out in all directions, while the people at the top of the heap now, like Glenn Beck, are convinced they are driven by a complex and coherent ideology, complete with a Founding Father fetishism that would sound insincere coming from Coulter.
So she’s been left behind, never to grace the cover of a national newsmagazine again. Tragic.
Note Waldman’s wishful thinking in using the past tense to describe Coulter and her tragic descent into irrelevancy. He might want to have his mojo checked out, because it’s not having the desired effect.
18 months after the debut of Coulter’s Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, the Kindle edition is still ranked #33 on Amazon’s list of top selling conservative books. The hardcover comes in at #43, and Godless: The Church of Liberalism is still in the top 100 more than four years after the initial printing.
In the last year I’ve seen Coulter on CNN, CBS, and ABC just while flipping channels. And of course, she does speaking engagements and makes frequent appearances on Hannity, O’Reilly, Geraldo, Red Eye, and other Fox programs.
For a woman who dropped off the face of the earth, Coulter also keeps her critics busy. A week rarely goes by without multiple Coulter-induced seizures at Media Matters. And in April, she was mocked as a poor role model for girls on the Fox show “Glee.”
But perhaps most telling of all, here’s a screen capture John Hawkins took of the five most popular Townhall columns:
Instead of imagining Ann Coulter into irrelevancy, Paul Waldman might want to hit her up for some career tips.
Originally published on June 28, 2010 at David Horowitz’s NewsReal
Mark Morford, misogynist Obama worshipper
Mark Morford’s San Francisco Chronicle column is what a leftist’s diary might look like — if that leftist was a horny 14-year-old with a man-sized crush on Obama and a predilection for verbally abusing conservative women. Hmm. Scratch that. Morford’s column is exactly what a leftist’s diary would look like.
You might recognize Morford as the drooling Obama fetishist who proclaimed candidate Obama a “rare kind of attuned being” and a “Lightworker.” Or perhaps you remember his enlightened progressive description of “docile doormat” Laura Bush as “the ideal Republican wife: Prim, sexless, nearly useless, lets the men do the real thinkin.”
So really, who better to appoint himself this week’s Grand Arbiter of True Feminism?
Finding few reasons to gush about the Obama presidency, Morford’s current mission is to expose the “perverted kind of new womanhood” of Sarah Palin, Meg Whitman, and Nikki Haley. Ladies of the Left beware! warns Morford. The success of these “largely insufferable” conservative women comes packaged with a “s–bag of downsides, drawbacks, jackals and bitches.”
You kiss your mama with that mouth, Mark?
After a handful of slobbering sentences about progressive men with “perfectly sculpted genitalia” (no, I’m not kidding) and several more about their fat and sweaty Republican counterparts, Morford uses his column to explain that conservative women aren’t allowed to be feminists and don’t actually qualify as women anyway:
Witness, won’t you, the zeitgeist’s nightmare trifecta of largely insufferable women, the Sarah Palin/Carly Fiorina/Michele Bachmann hydra-headed hellbeast of pseudo-women, one part huge cash reserves, one part evil grammar-abusing ditzball psychopath, one part sassy misinformed moxie, overlaid with wonky ideas of motherhood, love of guns and ignorance of sex and reproductive rights.
These, along with Meg “I’m a Billionaire!” Whitman and Nikki “Sarah Palin hugged me!” Haley, et al, are the apparent “champions” of a perverted kind of new womanhood, some sort of mutant breed who claim it’s entirely possible, even desirable to be “pro-life and pro-feminist,” which is a bit like saying you’re “pro-oil spill and pro-environment.”
In other words: Sorry, no. No f–ing way. This is the rule: You do not ever get to say you’re any kind of feminist or champion of women and mothers everywhere, and in the same breath add that you also believe no woman should have control over her reproductive powers and, by the way, poor immigrant women should be sent back to Mexico and guns should be legal for all.
Another day, another tiresome attempt to dehumanize conservative women and belittle their accomplishments with absurd caricatures, vicious insults, and largely insufferable prose.
But at least Morford’s portrayal of successful conservative women as “some sort of mutant breed” of “pseudo-women” was condemned by the feminist Left, wasn’t it? No, as usual a man who calls himself progressive gets a free pass on misogyny as leftist women lap up puddles of his hateful venom.
A Jezebel writer calls his piece “a thoughtful column.” “Love this thoughtful and insightful rant,” writes Caitlin Kelly at True/Slant. British journalist Alison Clarke thinks Morford is “just plain wrong,” but only because he fails to acknowledge that enlightened feminists like her already know that conservative women are “a whole delightful s–bag of downsides.”
Men on the Left have had it affirmed for them time and again that misogyny is perfectly acceptable – even desirable – as long as women on the Right are the targets. Even public rape fantasies about conservative women are excused. As long as these men are good little lefty foot soldiers, they’re welcome to direct all manner of misogyny toward women who fail to toe the line on abortion, gun control, and illegal immigration.
So, Mark. As long as we’re making up rules, here’s one for you: You do not ever get to create feminist litmus tests, and in the same breath call Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley, and others pseudo-women and bitches.
I think it’s clear who the real anti-feminist is.
Update: Sister Toldjah also has a few choice words for Mark Morford.
A few weeks ago, I was a guest on The Smart Girl Report hosted by Jenny Erikson.
Jenny, Lori Ziganto, and I discussed female genital mutilation (FGM), faux feminism, whether we should care if a woman is nominated to the Supreme Court, and our favorite South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley. There may have also been some uncomfortable talk about girl parts and boy parts. Good times!