"Big play" picks up on that football metaphor Obama used 4 times in his November 14th remarks. "We fumbled," he said, though in real football, it's an individual player who fumbles. But here was this "big play," and somebody fumbled. Was it "Kathy"?
The moderator David Gregory, immediately steps up to frame the next question in macho terms: "Who's got the muscle?" The manly (though 50-years-dead) JFK somehow shoulders his way into the conversation. Gregory turns to Chris Matthews and says:
You were making the point to me this week about, you know, where's his Bobby Kennedy? Who's got the muscle? When the president says, and he did say, "The user experience of this website is everything," who had the muscle in the White House to get it done and make sure the president gets what he wants?Muscle, muscle, muscle. If a right-winger had phrased the question that way, somebody would call this misogyny. These 3 men — Brokaw, Gregory, and Matthews — are hankering for a muscular man who can nail the big play. He depended on a Kathy when he needed a Bobby. And here's what Chrissy Matthews said:
Everybody goes to their battle stations when there's chaos.I'll see you your football metaphor, and raise you a military metaphor.
You always go to where you've been arguing before. But I've always been arguing this president doesn't have a chain of command, a very clear line of authority and unique responsibility. I remember Sebelius, who I like of course, most people do like her, she's a public servant.She's liked. Kathy's likeable enough. She's a good servant.
But when she was asked, "Who's in charge?" in that committee, under oath, she started to talk about someone, the head of C.M.S., who handles Medicare and Medicaid. Among 30 or 40 other responsibilities, this person had the rollout responsibilities.And was "this person" male or female? Female. Marilyn Tavenner. Can you say her name without vaulting back in time to your old macho icons Jack and Bobby? They knew what "responsibilities" to give their Marilyn.
Matthews reaches even further back, to an even manlier man:
Look at Japan, the occupation of Japan, it simple: Put one guy in charge, Doug MacArthur.Put one guy in charge. Doug. Call him Doug, not Douglas. Not — in the style of "Kathy" — Dougy. He's Doug. And there was a guy! Put one guy in charge.
You put somebody in charge and they're uniquely responsible for its success or failure. Obama doesn't do things that way. He's got floaters, like Valerie Jarett, floating around.Floaters. Like Valerie Jarrett. The disrespect! They can't even spell her name right in the transcript. Floaters, like Valerie Jarrett, floating around. Matthews being a good Democrat somehow feels secure that the double meaning of "floaters" won't bring on the accusations of racism that would surely have burst forth if a Republican had talked about Jarrett like that.
He doesn't want to have a real chief of staff, like a Jim Baker.He's saying — it's hardly subtle — that Jarrett's not a real man. You need a man. A man like Bobby or Doug or Jim.
He doesn't want to give authority to people, and I think it's been a real problem.So what does this say about Obama, not wanting to bring in real men, who take charge, who make the play, who exert authority? He's not man enough to work alongside real men? He needs to play with the ladies, ladies who don't know their place — who dither and float?