November 11, 2009

"Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi scored a giant gain for feminism last weekend."

"In shoving her controversy-plagued healthcare reform bill to victory by a paper-thin margin, she conclusively demonstrated that a woman can be just as gritty, ruthless and arm-twisting in pursuing her agenda as anyone in the long line of fabled male speakers before her. Even a basic feminist shibboleth like abortion rights became just another card for Pelosi to deal and swap."

Ha ha. Camille Paglia's column is up.
... Pelosi's hard-won, trench-warfare win sets a new standard for U.S. women politicians and is certainly well beyond anything the posturing but ineffectual Hillary Clinton has ever achieved.
Paglia loves the macho approach to achievement, but what happens when the seeming victory deflates? It will deflate, won't it? If it doesn't deflate in 4 hours, call your doctor.

Not that Paglia loves the healthcare bill. She does not:
This rigid, intrusive...
Call the police!
... and grotesquely expensive bill is a nightmare.... Massively expanding... Steel yourself for the deafening screams...  jammed, jostling anterooms....
I'm screaming already. The government needs to stop jamming our anterooms. 
Obama sure needed a lift and got it from Pelosi. The administration has seemed to be drifting lately. Obama has dithered for months about a strategy for Afghanistan -- another rats' nest we should pull our troops out of overnight. Then there was the bizarre disproportion in Obama's flying to Denmark to flog a Chicago Olympics yet not having time to make it to Germany to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall -- which suggests a frivolous provincialism as well as ignorance of history among the president's principal advisors. And Obama's muted response to last week's massacre at Fort Hood has exposed ambiguities and uncertainties in the U.S. government and military about how to respond to homegrown militant Islam. The presidency is a heavy burden -- a prize that can become a curse.
You'd think that the man who was once seen as a master of political imagery would not have allowed himself to generate so much material to fit that very specific and negative template.

51 comments:

miller said...

The man-child is clearly not up to the job.

3...2..1 for phopor to show up and proclaim him Worst President Ever.

Ron said...

Ah, yes, bicameral cialis documentius is a disease that puts Congress leg-humping rut...and, silly us, we just wanted to snuggle with our Goldman Sachs for awhile...

Meade said...

Whatever happened to my right to privacy?

Free from government intrusion?

Keeping the jamming and jostling of my anterooms between just me and my doctor?

Scott said...

Pelosi is a woman only a lesbian could relate to.

Jason (the commenter) said...

He's never been in the position where there are competing narratives about him. McCain never created one and no one had enough information to make a credible one before. Now we have all sorts of facts coming out about Obama every single day. There's no way he can control the narative anymore.

vbspurs said...

Pelosi is a woman only a lesbian could relate to.

Nah. I'm pretty sure lesbians like competent women.

Cheers,
Victoria

bagoh20 said...

Congratulations ladies, or whatever you are now.

Next you can work on getting those rape and murder stats up, the men are kicking your asses there.

vbspurs said...

Obama has dithered for months about a strategy for Afghanistan -- another rats' nest we should pull our troops out of overnight.

Paglia got everything right, except this. This is suicide for our nation. National healthcare is just a sudden heart attack comparatively.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

HEY RON! :)

Quayle said...
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Quayle said...

Spending more than you have and not having a clue how the debt will get paid.

How exactly is this a feminist victory?

This is exactly what women have done since both spending and credit were invented?

traditionalguy said...

Talk about ambiguities and uncertainties in the US Government, you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until the dollar dies and all things we buy double in price and no jobs are existing except for government jobs plus government panels and czars. That's the day we will demand for a new leader that wants to help us by restarting the US economy that Obama and Pelossi and friends are diligently determined to crush with a continual beat of lies that Socialism works.

former law student said...

Then there was the bizarre disproportion in Obama's flying to Denmark to flog a Chicago Olympics yet not having time to make it to Germany to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall -- which suggests a frivolous provincialism as well as ignorance of history among the president's principal advisors

History does not record that LBJ attended any foreign 20th anniversary celebrations of D-Day, V-E Day, or V-J Day. I'm certain Paglia would have bashed Obama had he left the US to go to a meaningless celebration in Berlin while 13 soldiers and civilians lay slain in Texas.

rhhardin said...

I've never seen any sign of rhetorical competence from Obama.

Einfahrt said...

Funny.

All good things Obama (a slim list) are attributed directly to the man. Eloquent, deliberative, etc.

All bad things are attributed to his advisors: suggests a frivolous provincialism as well as ignorance of history among the president's principal advisors

I guess you can deflect criticism that you might be, well, you know, criticizing.

wv: sceri - yes, that too

Ron said...

Victoria, my sweet! Here we are knocking back Old Fashioneds at our well-worn bar rail! :)

traditionalguy said...

FLS...Good point. He is not able to please his critics. But he better start pleasing his friends soon. The independent voters were all ready to be his friends if he would govern as an American moderate instead of as an Invading Superman here to eliminate our evil way of life. That is the evil life which has always been based on strength and a free people working hard and owning the fruits of their own labor and owning their own property and Retirement accounts under God's protection exercised by a Guardian type of President.

garage mahal said...

You left out the best part of that Paglia post. The reply by Susan Wood, an obvious parody of Paglia.

What a grim and ominous autumn this has been! Obama is at a crossroads, approaching his Rubicon, and in danger of facing his Waterloo if he doesn’t fire his entire staff, who are obviously giving him bad advice, and start listening to wise people like me. What a humiliating defeat it was for his health care bill to pass the House with such a small margin! How could he possibly hope to leave any mark in history without getting AT LEAST 75% of the Republican vote on this measure?.

t-man said...

I find it very interesting to see Paglia, who (1) is an indendent traditional democrat by temperment and (2) was a strong Obama supporter, moving away from the Democratic Congress (first) and Obama (ever so slowly). Her evolution is reflected in the poll number that show independents abandoning Pelosi and Obama.

Keep whistling past the graveyard, Garage.

rhhardin said...

Caesar famously crossed the Rubicon coming back, not going out.

John Lynch said...

I thought Obama didn't go to Berlin or Fort Hood because he's focused on the health bill.

The way I see Obama is that he's trying to avoid the early mistakes of the Clinton administration. He doesn't push hot buttons. Nothing about gays in the military (until very recently), no gun control, very little about abortion. The President focuses on what he wants to do and excludes the rest. So far he's gotten a lot done this way. The problem is when he decides to neglect something, and it just drifts...like Afghanistan.

Camille Paglia is a libertarian Democrat. She's still a Democrat, but that doesn't stop her from criticizing other Democrats. I wish more people were able to do that.

edutcher said...

former law student said...

History does not record that LBJ attended any foreign 20th anniversary celebrations of D-Day, V-E Day, or V-J Day. I'm certain Paglia would have bashed Obama had he left the US to go to a meaningless celebration in Berlin while 13 soldiers and civilians lay slain in Texas.

Doubt it.

In any case, Bambi showed what he thought of the troops last Thursday with his shout out to "Medal of Honor" winner Dr. Joe (not even Joseph) Medicine Crow.

As for ol' Lyndon Bird, the only place he ever went was the Ponderosa on the Perdenales.

In any case, the end of WWIII and the freeing of millions of people is below The Zero. It's not about Him. He did, however, find time to go on a well-publicized "date" with Michelle in Gay Paree.

Pogo said...

"How could he possibly hope to leave any mark in history without getting AT LEAST 75% of the Republican vote on this measure?"

Presidents aren't elected to leave their mark; we're not some national tree to piss on.

And history has all sorts of marks on it that it was far better left without.

Joe said...

The links to Emily and Fiona were great!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8JzYt0rTCA

Chris said...

With his Fort Hood response, Obama has had his Dukakis moment. And really, is there any difference between the two men other than race?

John Lynch said...

Yeah, there's a difference. Obama won the election.

Alex said...

Victoria - I disagree. We should pull out of Afghanistan immediately. There is nothing to gain by being there. If the jihadis launch attacks inside America, then we will decide what to do then. Bring the troops back home!

Paul Snively said...

Pogo: Presidents aren't elected to leave their mark; we're not some national tree to piss on.

As is so often the case, Pogo wins the thread early in the game. Well played! Adding to my .sig file now.

Fred4Pres said...

Paglia is fun to read. She is an inconsistent nut, but a fun and interesting nut. And I mean "nut" in the best sort of way.

John Lynch said...
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John Lynch said...

What I like about Paglia is that she understands the ideas and people she disagrees with. Her pieces about abortion and religion give full respect to the other side. Her opinion pieces are more informative than adversarial.

Alex said...

John Lynch - but that means Paglia is a true moderate. Extreme lefties and righties have an inability to understand their opponent.

John Lynch said...

I don't tend to be very partisan myself, since I think buying completely into one of the party lines just stunts my thinking. I've got principles, but they don't magically coincide with whatever the Dems or Republicans are pushing.

Parties aren't sides. They are organizations competing for our votes. They aren't me. Bashing on whoever I voted for isn't a personal attack on me. Nor do I feel any obligation to protect the people I voted for. I don't control them, and if they screw up I should say so.

What I like about Paglia is that she doesn't spend a lot of time proving what side she's on, and really does have her own viewpoint.

Joan said...

I like Paglia, she's a fun read. But her views on Afghanistan and the Republican health care reform proposals reveal that she can be just as shallow and partisan as the people she is criticizing. This:

Republicans, on the other hand, have basically sat on their asses about healthcare reform for the past 20 years and have shown little interest in crafting legislative solutions to social inequities. The usual GOP floater about private medical savings accounts is a crock -- something that, given the astronomical costs of major medical crises, would be utterly unworkable for families of even average household income.

...ignores the excellent suggestions that have been made about tort reform, selling insurance across state lines, decoupling insurance from employers, and expanding availability of catastrophic plans.

Can't have everything, I guess.

Alex said...

People forget - companies are not required to provide health insurance. It's a perk, a benefit.

Alex said...

The revival of the company store for medicine has less to do with logic than pure chance. It is a wonderful example of how one bad government policy leads to another. During World War II, the government financed much wartime spending by printing money while, at the same time, imposing wage and price controls. The resulting repressed inflation produced shortages of many goods and services, including labor. Firms competing to acquire labor at government-controlled wages started to offer medical care as a fringe benefit. That benefit proved particularly attractive to workers and spread rapidly.

- Milton Friedman

former law student said...

the excellent suggestions that have been made about tort reform

Indeed, why allow claims for malpractice at all? If your doctor maims you, just suck it up. Walk it off.

Or, we could shift the burden of compensating the maimed to the taxpayer.

Either way, the guiding principle is to decouple from the doctor the responsibility for the harm that he causes. And isn't that what America is all about? Escaping the consequences of your acts?

John Lynch said...

Joan--

I have to ask why the Republicans didn't implement those ideas (which I agree with) when they had the chance.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama has a very specific vocabulary having to do with Civil rights in this country. Outside of that, he doesn't understand anything, so he dithers.

He was the man for 1964.

Time marches on. He seems to want to wait for each moment to become historical, before he pronounces himself on the right side of history.

Bush did at least speak extemporaneously. We need a president who can speak in the middle of emergencies instead of waiting for all the editorials to come in, and then making a statement that seems to fit into the middle-said of what's being said.

Let's pray this guy never faces a debacle the size of Pompeii.

He'd wait until the lava was stone before he ordered an evacuation.

AST said...

What's her point? Is she going to vote Republican next year or does she like to peck? She's not going to sway most Salon readers, or hurt Pelosi. Pelosi's done that herself.

I get the impression that Ann just enjoys the fabulous outrageousness of Paglia's rhetoric.

traditionalguy said...

Camille is an opinion leader since she has consistently spoken truth to power for 40 years. She is not perfect and has a blind spot or two, but Camille has a Point of View and expresses it well. And you know that is all the Professor has ever asked from her stable of blind spot challenged commenters.

t-man said...

As for Paglia voting Republican, it wouldn't matter for her U.S. Representative, because she lives in downtown Philadelphia, which is about 90% Democrat. If Specter makes it to the general election as the Democrat, there's a chance she would vote Republican. I can't imagine that she feels anything but disgust for Specter.

Mian said...

History does not record that LBJ attended any foreign 20th anniversary celebrations of D-Day, V-E Day, or V-J Day. I'm certain Paglia would have bashed Obama had he left the US to go to a meaningless celebration in Berlin while 13 soldiers and civilians lay slain in Texas.

Perhaps. But I still don't understand why Obama can pack up his entire retinue and head off to Copenhagen for a disastrous attempt to get the Olympics for his hometown, yet won't bother to travel to Berlin to memorialize the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of Soviet-style communism, one of the most significant events of the last century.

William said...

Who wants to read and comment about Carrie Prejeans sex tape? Who wants to read and comment about Nancy Pelosi's contributions to feminism? The votes are in.

Joan said...

I have to ask why the Republicans didn't implement those ideas (which I agree with) when they had the chance.

I was going to write something longer and more scathing, but it really boils down to the fact that they suck.

At least some of them are trying, now.

bagoh20 said...

What about Pelosi's sex tape versus Carrie Prejean's contributions to feminism?

The Crack Emcee said...

"I still don't understand why Obama can pack up his entire retinue and head off to Copenhagen for a disastrous attempt to get the Olympics for his hometown, yet won't bother to travel to Berlin to memorialize the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of Soviet-style communism, one of the most significant events of the last century."

Really? Really?

John Lynch said...

Joan-

I agree.

bagoh20 said...

Every time you ask yourself why don't politicians follow their own stated principles, it comes down to doing what they think gets our votes. We get what we demand with our votes and nothing else. Unfortunately, we don't vote with our heads. I think we generally only pretend to reason out our votes. Despite how much we learn and grow, I would guess that most people still vote as they did when they were 18 years old. I don't, but most people I know do. The reasoning I hear for it is pure camouflage.

former law student said...

But I still don't understand why Obama can pack up his entire retinue and head off to Copenhagen for a disastrous attempt to get the Olympics for his hometown,

Because getting the Olympics would have been good for America; because it would have reversed a century-old injustice St. Louis inflicted on Chicago; and because Obama thought a personal visit would have sealed the deal.

yet won't bother to travel to Berlin to memorialize the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of Soviet-style communism, one of the most significant events of the last century.

He went last year. Is he supposed to go every year?

Besides, as we all know, the twentieth anniversary of anything is no big deal. It's only the china anniversary for pete's sake. He'll be there for the twenty-fifth.

Methadras said...

Mian said...

Perhaps. But I still don't understand why Obama can pack up his entire retinue and head off to Copenhagen for a disastrous attempt to get the Olympics for his hometown, yet won't bother to travel to Berlin to memorialize the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of Soviet-style communism, one of the most significant events of the last century.


What do you mean you don't understand? It's not that hard to understand. The reason he won't bother to celebrate the fall of the Wall is because President Barely, got to see with his own eyes, his ideology physically crumble and 2 years later watched as the CCCP/USSR crumble along with it. Why would he go to a place to celebrate the downfall of an ideology he holds near and dear to his heart? Does that make you understand now? He might as well celebrate the death of his grandmother. Oh, wait.