August 26, 2016

David Brooks thinks the woman candidate should be more "gracious" and "relinquish control" and assures her that "in surrender you’ll actually gain more strength."

Why didn't he or the NYT editors notice the sexism?

I guess he was distracted by the point he was intent on making, which is that having a lot of experience — Hillary's strong point — isn't that good if you haven't gained the virtues that we like to think experience brings. Within Brooks's way of telling it, whatever we don't like about Hillary would then be what she should have gotten from all that experience. What is it Brooks doesn't like about her? "[T]here’s often a whiff of inhumanity about her campaign that inspires distrust." She hasn't — like "[t]he people in public life we really admire" — arrived at "graciousness."

Now, right there, anyone versed in feminism should get suspicious. The woman is being criticized for not being warm enough and not being gracious.  Would a male candidate at her level of warmth and graciousness be called out for this shortcoming? Brooks could have gone straight for the distrust: We distrust her because of specific things she's done and the lies and half-lies she's told. But instead he smells some inhumanity about her that "inspires distrust."

Why contort yourself like that? It could be that Brooks got enthralled by his own cogitation about experience. She's got experience, so let's think about experience and the reasons why we value it and how that relates to why Hillary isn't all that she should be by now.

Brooks drifts into reverie — replete with names like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. — about how in the best people experience creates humility which transforms into graciousness. Based on that, he faults Hillary for the continuity in her manner over a long period of time:
Her posture is still brittle, stonewalling and dissembling. Clinton scandals are all the same. There’s an act of unseemly but not felonious behavior, then the futile drawn-out withholding of information, and forever after the unwillingness to ever come clean.
He's identifying the bad character trait of dishonesty. Fine. But in bullshitting it up, he lets out whiffs — I'll use his word — of sexism: She's "brittle." She should be more pliable. She should find her strength in "surrender." She should be gracious.

52 comments:

bagoh20 said...

3 words: Margaret Hilda Thatcher

damikesc said...

Now, right there, anyone versed in feminism should get suspicious. The woman is being criticized for not being warm enough and not being gracious. Would a male candidate at her level of warmth and graciousness be called out for this shortcoming?

Ted Cruz, for one, absolutely was.

Her posture is still brittle, stonewalling and dissembling. Clinton scandals are all the same. There’s an act of unseemly but not felonious behavior, then the futile drawn-out withholding of information, and forever after the unwillingness to ever come clean. He's identifying the bad character trait of dishonesty. Fine. But in bullshitting it up, he lets out whiffs — I'll use his word — of sexism: She's "brittle." She should be more pliable. She should find her strength in "surrender." She should be gracious.

She should surrender to others because she has fucked up basically everything she has done for decades. Her one success is a simple influence peddling operation. And she is treated as brittle by her supporters. Remember, just recently, how "Republicans being meanies" is why she is so secretive?

Nonapod said...

Would a male candidate at her level of warmth and graciousness be called out for this shortcoming?

Probably not. My guess is a male candidate would instead just be called an arrogant jerk, which may or may not be more insulting.

rhhardin said...

Lee's surrender to Grant involved grace on both sides.

Something women can't do, owing to the permanent grudge that gives so much to feminism.

buwaya puti said...

Brooks is a particularly silly hireling of the machine.

Hagar said...

David Brooks is a fool.

And it is Billy Jeff's behavior that is "unseemly;" Hillary! has managed the felonius part. That is her "experience."

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

but not felonious

If you're a Clinton, anyway.

Kevin said...

Can you write a weekly column in the NYT that calls Hillary dishonest and untrustworthy?

I think you're left with either praise or pseudo-critiques full of coded messages.

If that means your concerns can be discarded as sexist, that's a feature, not a bug.

Rick said...

Would a male candidate at her level of warmth and graciousness be called out for this shortcoming?

Why ask the question without answering it? Romney was criticized for lacking warmth so the answer is yes. Worse Romney was portrayed that way by partisan media even though it was largely untrue. His speech to the NAACP showed he wasn't the robotic aristocrat of leftist caricature.

So not only is criticizing Hillary for lacking warmth not sexist she's the beneficiary of a sexist double standard that she will be defended from accurate criticisms because of her sex.

David Begley said...

"[T]here’s often a whiff of inhumanity about her campaign that inspires distrust."

How about this, Brooksie?

She's a criminal who sold official acts to foreign governments for money (bribery) and will be owned by her foreign paymasters if she wins.

This is an election and not a criminal trial. Unless the deleted emails are leaked, we will never have proof of her criminality beyond a reasonable doubt.

The above is the ONLY issue in this election. Why don't people get this? We can't elect a criminal who is loyal to foreign governments.

SteveR said...

If Brooks didn't exist, the NYT's crowd would have to invent him.

Hagar said...

And I am tired of 5this jabber about "experience."
It is like the survey crew member who lists himself with having 15 years experience. No, he doesn't. He has 6 months' experience 30 times over, and he will never be a crew chief.

Kate said...

When I first read GWTW (I was 12) the notion that Scarlett wanted to be a Great Lady like her mother meant nothing to me. But Ellen O'Hara is who Brooks is describing: gracious, charitable, cool-tempered and morally sound. A peripheral character who is dead early on. Sorry, David, but you're stuck with Scarlett: grasping, conniving, manipulative and determined. Tomorrow is another day, and she will win you over, by God, no matter how much you don't give a damn.

Rob said...

The big news this morning is that Jimmy Kimmel acknowledged that the jar Hillary opened on Wednesday night had been pre-opened. The conclusion is inescapable: Hillary can't even open a jar of pickles without lying about it.

MadisonMan said...

[T]here’s often a whiff of inhumanity about her campaign that inspires distrust.

It's the constant lying and "It's not what is seems"-ing that inspires distrust.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Is the rule now that one can't criticize a public figure in a manner that resembles the stereotype of that figure's characteristics, e.g, sex, race, even IF the criticism is true? That is, in this matter, a criticism of a candidate who is a woman is a criticism of women candidates? Brooks isn't criticizing Clinton; he's attacking women candidates in general?

Note: Nowhere in Althouse's criticism of Brooks is there any discussion as to whether his criticism of Clinton is true or not. For Althouse, making a criticism that fits the stereotype (as she defines it) of woman is not allowed. Even if true.

This is where we're at in America now.

rhhardin said...

I can open a jar of pickles myself easily. If slapping the bottom so as to water-hammer the lid loose doesn't work, some discreet angled taps of the lid edge against the counter can be used to introduce microagressive microbumps on the lid to spoil the vacuum.

Bob Boyd said...

Saying there's "a whiff of inhumanity about [Hillary's] campaign that inspires distrust." is like saying there was a whiff of crickets in the subway car that inspired unease.

Doug said...

Reaching way too far for the insult to womyn, Althouse. This is why feminists aren't taken seriously. Most of Brooks' bilge is just better left without notice or remark.

rhhardin said...

Women are all into stereotypes.

Fernandinande said...

Why didn't he or the NYT editors notice the sexism?

And then what? Censor it?

David Begley said...

Rob

I knew that was staged. Hillary lies about everything.

Sydney said...

Her "experience" doesn't impress. The Senate was just a stepping stone to the White House. What did she accomplish there? Her tenure at State was horrible - and she should be held accountable for everything she did there- from the private server crap to the Benghazi debacle. The thing she excelled at the most was being a political wife. That is not the same as being a politician or leader. It is a Huma Abedin type role.

traditionalguy said...

Grace is giving. Hillary is no fool. She never gives. She grasps and hoards. Then for fun she prides herself in keeping EVERYTHING SHE DID SECRET.

It's a game with Hillary. She lies and she steals and then she hides it so well that no one can catch her, and then she sneers at the fools and says what does it matter now...I won, you know.

Bob Boyd said...

Shorter Brooks: Hillary doesn't even bother to pretend anymore and it would be so much easier for me if she would.

Sam L. said...

Sayeth the man who was impressed with a trouser crease. Not buying it.

Jeff said...

I didn't know that anyone cared what David Brooks thinks. He's not very good at it.

eric said...

I keep seeing people try to foist the idea onto my thinking that Hillary is sick. Maybe it's having an affect. Or is it effect?

Anyway, I listed to part of her alt right speech yesterday. Where she reads Milo headlines from Breitbart, hysterical. Seriously.

But what hit me was, she sounds sick. Really. Her voice sounds terrible. And I'm thinking to myself, is this because she sounds terrible and is sick, or have I been influenced by the meme?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I was under the impression that David Brooks is a conservative and a Republican. So, why is he trying to give Hillary Clinton advice?

Roughcoat said...

David Brooks is a girlie man. A pansy.

Tommy Duncan said...

So Brooks acknowledges Hillary is an expert at plausible deniability, but wishes she was less shrill and defiant?

So Brooksie, why do I care?

Curious George said...

"rhhardin said...
I can open a jar of pickles myself easily. If slapping the bottom so as to water-hammer the lid loose doesn't work, some discreet angled taps of the lid edge against the counter can be used to introduce microagressive microbumps on the lid to spoil the vacuum."

That was staged. As everyone knows, pickles are vacuum sealed, and you here a distinct "pop" when the lid is first taken off. No such pop with Hillary's effort. Everything about that despicable woman is a lie. Except those cankles. Those fuckers are real.

CWJ said...

"Clinton scandals are all the same. There’s an act of unseemly but not felonious behavior, then the futile drawn-out withholding of information, and forever after the unwillingness to ever come clean."

At least Brooks recognizes the strategy which I suspect all Clinton observers see as well, and in which all the Clinton surrogates are well versed. If only it actually bothered any of them.

Felonious appears to be open to discussion at the very least, but one thing is certain, it is anything but futile. That Brooks uses that word implies that he recognizes the strategy but doesn't understand it. On the other hand, he may not believe it futile, but thinks he's more clever than his readership.

David said...

"Would a male candidate at her level of warmth and graciousness be called out for this shortcoming?"

I think so, but the terms are different. Trump is called Hitler st the most extreme. Even his supporters concede that he's a bit of an asshole, and his detractors are explicit about it. (Crude, abrasive, etc) These are sexist categories for an aggressive male.

Hillary doesn't get treated the same way Because She Is Female. She is doubtless an asshole, but it's not polite to call her that. She is imperious, not naturally democratic and (a detractor might say) gives a strong whiff of totalitarian tendencies. But none dare call her s Nazi.

Hillary Clinton gets a tremendous benefit from deferential Sexism. I hope the poor thing can endure a little taste of Sexism's negativity from that nasty boy David Brooks.

Sebastian said...

"having a lot of experience — Hillary's strong point" Now that's funny.

Good to know that for progs rape is now "unseemly." Right up there with "careless." The next college boy accused of assault should use it.

@Doug: "Reaching way too far for the insult to womyn, Althouse. This is why feminists aren't taken seriously." Right. But of course the point of "feminism" is to reach as far as necessary for the insult, the slight, the sliver of glass that holds women down, because they are very very special and need protection from mean men.

Drago said...

Ron Winkleheimer: "I was under the impression that David Brooks is a conservative and a Republican."

Hilarious.

Brooks is merely a noted observer of the relative "crease-i-ness" of dress slacks only, as were all the great political observers of their day.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Good lord but David Brooks is useless. A "whiff of inhumanity..that inspires distrust?" Anyone who doesn't already distrust Hillary--apparently including Brooks--is too stupid to be considered fully human...well, an adult human anyway. What an ass. He's to stupid to be sexist, Professor, he knows not what he does...he's literally too dumb to be held accountable for what you see as sexism.

David Brooks should go fuck himself, as usual.

Bob Boyd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

David Brooks is such an idiot. A rather sweet idiot, perhaps, but an idiot.

Yancey Ward said...

Brooks is trapped by the fact of who his prime employer is. Ask yourself this- could he have written the column he actually seems to believe- that Clinton is corrupt and felonious, and that the evidence of all her experience is that she is utterly incompetent? The answer is, no, he could not write that column and expect the NYTimes to actually publish it. He is forced to couch his criticisms in language that downplays them, even to the point of violating the rules against sexist language. In my opinion, Brooks has become a whore, but one that still has a bit of shame.

Hagar said...

According to "Once upon a Time in Arkansas" (PBS/Frontline 10-7-1997) the Clintons' reputation among their neighbors was that Bill was pretty congenial, just wanted everyone to have a good time and did not turn vicious unless cornered, but Hillary was just mean through and through 24/7 52 weeks a year.

rightguy2 said...

What David Begley said.

Earnest Prole said...

Shorter David Brooks

Big Mike said...

I want a president who is presidential. What's wrong with that? I don't see that graciousness is necessarily a presidential trait, except that I expect a presidential president to be gracious in victory. See how close one can skirt up to a felony without being called on it is certainly not a desireable trait in a president.

JackOfClubs said...

I'm sure he would give the same advice about graciousness to Trump, but he doesn't want Trump to win. You don't give this kind of advice to people you want to lose. Al Gore was advised to be more likable, which is pretty much the same problem Hillary has. In Dec of 2000, he was advised to be gracious in accepting defeat, which is not exactly what is going on here, but no one thought that was especially feminine in his case.

rightguy2 said...

This is actually not a bad column, coming (as it does) from someone who is a serial supporter of bad presidential candidates. 'Gracious' as he describes it is not a female characteristic. And he is absolutely correct that Hillary has learned very little from her extensive experience, least of all a true sense of humility.

Lance said...

having a lot of experience — Hillary's strong point

Say what?! Bush and Obama have really lowered the bar. I remember when eight years as governor of a large state barely counted as adequate experience.

sunsong said...

“Her posture is still brittle, stonewalling and dissembling. Clinton scandals are all the same. There’s an act of unseemly but not felonious behavior, then the futile drawn-out withholding of information, and forever after the unwillingness to ever come clean.”
~ David Brooks

I agree with Brooks here. Fortunately and unfortunately we all judge and evaluate our presidents and presidential candidates. This is, imo, good advice for Hillary. (Along with - tell the truth whenever you can . ) Hillary is clearly a flawed human being with a lot of experience in government and politics. She can use some honest critics. The right continues their insane demonizing of any democrat president or presidential candidate. It might be amusing if it wasn’t impacting our future that both sides are disgustingly ugly in their characterizations of each other. This campaign, Election 2016 is and will be notorious for its ugliness. That’s nothing to be proud of, imo. Hillary would do well to be gracious and to embody the inspirational qualities of our great national and global leaders.

narciso said...

well brooksie has long since proved he's a knave, any other public official would have already been in prison, ask bob mcdonnell about that,

SukieTawdry said...

But does he like the crease in her pantsuit?

damikesc said...

The right continues their insane demonizing of any democrat president or presidential candidate.

The Right called a Dem candidate a Nazi?

Dems call EVERY Republican President a racist, bigot, and horribly unqualified for the office. Every single one.

Jonathan Graehl said...

This is what happens when you ponce it up and studiously *don't* address the very real evil+corruption that makes her untrustworthy. It's not some superficial thing you can pick up at a finishing school for ladies, you patronizing concern-sexist.