Ann Althouse, who opens her eponymous blog, each time by telling everyone that conservative critic Terry Teachout thinks she's "divine.""Each time"... in other words, I've got the Teachout quote in the banner at the top of my blog. But Hirshman's real problem, of course, is that women who are liked by conservative men are not proper women. That and the usual diva/catfight thing.
(Maybe divinity strips you of the capacity to read the full text of a 2000 word article, but it's not a characteristic I anticipate from people making a living from the learning trades.)Hey, get it straight. Am I a goddess or a tradeswoman or a scholar? Well, I stymie efforts to anticipate my characteristics.
By the way, the failure to read the full text of something you wrote is not evidence of incapacity to read. It might be evidence of good taste and judgment. Unfortunately, I did read it though, as my original blog post shows. Perhaps Linda has an "incapacity" to read the full text of my 700 word post.
But she's actually more insulting to Schmitt than to me:
The absolutely weirdest part of the entire performance art [i.e., Bloggingheads] was Schmitt, who works for the New America Foundation and writes about nothing but politics all of the time and has written about politics all of his adult life, nodding mindlessly while Althouse asserted that it's too early for any sane person to get interested in the election of 2008. Maybe goddesses have some hypnotic effect on policy wonks that has gone unnoticed until this time.Did I say "it's too early for any sane person to get interested in the election of 2008" on Bloggingheads? No. There a difference between saying everyone who's interested in the election now is not sane -- I'd be insane by that standard -- and saying -- what I said -- that some people follow the news for emotional reasons and some people avoid the news for rational reasons. You can follow or not follow the election news now and be either rational or emotional (or both).
The truth is, nearly everyone, male or female, makes decisions about how to spend their time based on some mixture of reason and emotion. And if we choose to judge other people for how much time they spend on the political news, that judgment too will contain elements of reason and emotion. Reading Linda Hirshman, I get the impression that she is strongly attached to liberal politics and thinks that women, to be rational, must vote for Democrats. She is fired up and mad at women for not seeing that they must vote for Democrats. You tell me whether that's rational or emotional.
It's easy to see why she doesn't like me: I won't just accept the requirement that because I'm a woman, I need to vote for Democrats. I'm going to continue to taunt Hirshman about this, and I'll laugh when she fulminates about my lack of "reason." I'll laugh insanely.
But this is really a post about Mark Schmitt's terrific response to Hirshman. He really needed to push back here, because "goddesses have some hypnotic effect on policy wonks" is -- and is intended to be -- emasculating. (Really, the sexual politics of that line just fascinates me.)
From the Schmitt piece:
...Hirshman accuses Althouse and me of focusing only on the anecdotal evidence that follows and ignoring "half the article" that contains "hard political research." That other half consists of three paragraphs out of 32.....I like that he embraces his wonkitude in the end.
After a long, condescending exposé of the modern-day Edith Bunkers of the Wednesday Morning Group, with their book-free nightstands and People magazine addictions, Hirshman has a few paragraphs of actual data....
I'm still unsure what Hirshman's main point is, but here's my own: I think the accusation that women aren't rational political actors -- compared to men -- is unsupported by "hard political research," and the claim that women are not a decisive force in elections is demonstrably wrong. Whether that has anything to do with Hillary Clinton is another question.
I think that is a sufficiently wonky response to a very troubling article.