I found that via Scott Adams, who's "Evaluating the Political Chess Board" today and observed:
Clinton surrogate Ed Rendel [sic] said something that was probably harmless in person, and in the proper context, but taken out of context by outragists it sounded like he was saying Clinton supporters are mostly ugly women. That didn’t help.Ha. I like the word "outragists." Nice coinage from Adams.
Anyway... this story reminded me of something I said 3 days ago after the NYT published its rather bad exposé "Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private" — you know, the one where they interviewed 50+ women and came up with basically nothing but pumped it up embarrassingly? I was trying to imagine how the NYT would defend itself after its prime informant, Rowanne Brewer Lane, said the Times distorted her story, making it seem as though Trump had demeaned her when in fact she felt flattered. I said:
I can imagine the NYT defending itself by saying that often young women do not understand the way they are being manipulated and exploited. Within that explanation, to say "I was actually flattered" is to reveal your naivete. That's how the manipulation works. He got her into a bathing suit and then, presenting her to the crowd, said "That is a stunning Trump girl, isn’t it?" How was she a "Trump girl"? Ah, but it felt flattering. Even now, she feels the relationship was very nice, very rewarding, but she doesn't know the import of her own words, the NYT will (I suspect) say. It will say, I predict, that her story was not distorted at all. The facts are all true. They are just viewed from a more sophisticated perspective.See how that connects back to Ed Rendell? The young and very pretty women who hope to be segmented off and treated well by rich/powerful men may — in Rendell's view — gravitate toward Trump because they think they have the kind of power that works within a Trump regime, but most women see themselves as losers in a competition like that and they're going to look to Hillary to save them from the depredations of the patriarchy. But poor Ed! He didn't know how to talk about that sort of thing.
Now, there's a big problem with that explanation. It's saying the woman doesn't understand the meaning of her own experience. That feels like a putdown — a putdown and a stereotype: Women are simpleminded and can be bought off with pretty clothes and flattery. There's a way to say that without provoking the ire of the great masses of women who matter when it comes to an election: Only the young and very pretty women are segmented off and treated so well they only have good feelings about it, and only they are being put down.
Meanwhile, here's Camille Paglia enthusing about the power of the beauty of Rowanne Brewer Lane:
Small and blurry in the print edition, the Brewer-Trump photo in online digital format positively pops with you-are-there luminosity. Her midnight-blue evening dress opulently cradling her bare shoulders, Rowanne is all flowing, glossy hair, ample, cascading bosom, and radiant, lushly crimson Rita Hayworth smile. The hovering Trump, bedecked with the phallic tongue of a violet Celtic floral tie, is in Viking mode, looking like a triumphant dragon on the thrusting prow of a long boat. “To the victor belong the spoils!” I said to myself in admiration, as seductive images from Babylon to Paris flashed through my mind. Yes, here is all the sizzling glory of hormonal sex differentiation, which the grim commissars of campus gender studies will never wipe out!I'm making a tag for Ed Rendell and going back and adding it to old posts, like this one from December 2008: "'Janet's perfect for that job. Because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family, perfect.' What Gov. Ed Rendell said about Gov. Janet Napolitano."