“If all women are feminists, then this strategy can work. But if the most attractive women are Republicans, then it will start breaking down.”

Good looking conservative women threaten the liberal status quo.  Or, in the alternative, Republicans are the new sexy. 

But seriously, the writer here is saying something I’ve noticed for a while.  Republicans have always had the stereotype of being old, and, with that, unattractive.  People, particularly young people, (and, I hate to say it, but even more particularly, young women) eschew the unattractive and unsexy, and gravitate towards that which they would like to emulate.  Women like those described in the article were brave enough to buck that, and now they’re changing our impressions of what is attractive.  Interesting.

“What’s particularly disappointing is that the authors are clearly trying to understand people with a perspective different from theirs and are simply unable to pull it off. “

That’s Glen Reynolds (better known, of course, as the Instapundit), reviewing Naomi Cahn and June Carbone’s book Red Families v. Blue FamiliesThis seems right on point with my frustration with many liberals recently.  I often feel like I can’t tell if they are being willfully dense or are really living in such a closed world that they simply cannot understand anything else. 

Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast reviewed this book a few weeks ago, and their understanding of “red states” (aka The South) seemed to be based on nothing further than the movie Deliverance.  They literally had no concept and no idea what life in the south is like (it’s pretty close to life in the north, but with different accents and buildings are further apart); their descriptions involved rampant shotgun weddings and teen brides.  Not that those things don’t exist (well, I’m skeptical about the shotgun weddings), but they don’t exist any differently from the way they do in other states.  There are cultural differences, but they are no where near as simplistic and downright cartoonish as the Slate gabbers seemed to think they were.  The differences between individual families are far broader.  (I’ve lived in New Jersey, Georgia, and Tennessee.)
 
It’s not even that they are not trying to understand; it’s that they are and they simply don’t understand that life is not a stereotyped cartoon outside of the world that they know.  

I think that the whole “Obama’s not getting emotional enough about the oil leak” meme is just about the dumbest criticism of a president I’ve ever heard

Yet it seems to be everywhere, mostly from liberals (go figure). 

But don’t worry, he’s fighting back against it anyway. 

“I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.”

The fact that the president takes these critics seriously, and has decided that he can posture and showboat his way back into their good graces (as opposed to actually managing the situation), is just one more of many reminders that we sent a child to do an adult’s job.

Related: Instapundit has a round-up.

Do Women With Endless Childhoods Prefer More Feminine Men?

Instapundit links to a story about a study that found that women in countries with a cradle to grave style government and taxpayer funded healthcare have a tendency to favor pictures of men which have been subtly “feminized.”  The researchers posit that masculine men are favored for being more resistant to disease, but they are also (to the researchers) “uncooperative, unsympathetic, philandering, aggressive and disinterested in parenting,” therefore, it is beneficial to women to drop the desire for he-men as soon as reasonably possible. 

Setting aside the quibbles that there is no real reason to believe that tougher-appearing guys are poor father candidates or “uncooperative, unsympathetic” etc. (my experience is quite the opposite) and that evolution just plain doesn’t work that fast, I’d like to posit a different explanation, based on the ultimate sample: me. 

When I was younger, I was attracted to more girly-men.  I thought Johnny Depp was dreamy.  When I was 17-18, Leonardo DeCaprio was simply the epitome of sex appeal.  I deliberately sought out things like long hair and soft facial features. 

Leo and I aged at the same rate (he’s six years older than I am).  How come now he looks like a little boy to me?  No amount of viewings of Titanic or Romeo + Juliet can bring back the previous lust (Yes, I realize those are really obnoxious movies that inspire strong feelings.  But I was a teenaged girl and I loved them).  But now, Keifer Southerland?  Oh my, my. 

So, here’s my explanation for the researcher’s findings: Maturity.  Simple as that.  As I went from a girl to a woman, I began to appreciate men, not boys. 

Now, I may not have a bunch of fancy “research” to back this up, I may be missing some silly things like “sample size” or “scientific training,” and my idea lacks an obvious evolutionary basis, but think about it.  Women in these countries are children of the state for their entire lives.  Cradle to grave, it’s all the same.  They never grow up; they never have to.  And, perhaps, their preferences reflect that.

Why are California police detectives acting like 13 year olds?

East Palo Alto Police Det. Rod Tuason apparently posted the remarks on his Facebook page in response to a friend’s status update, which suggested that gun advocates who carry unloaded weapons openly — which is legal in California — should do so in places like “Oakland, Richmond and East Palo Alto” and not just in “hoity toity” cities.

“Haha we had one guy last week try to do it!” Tuason replied. “He got proned out [laid face-down on the ground] and reminded where he was at and that turds will jack him for his gun in a heartbeat!”

Several comments later, the detective suggested shooting the gun rights advocates, some of whom have carried firearms openly in recent weeks in California’s Bay Area, particularly at Starbucks locations.

“Sounds like you had someone practicing their 2nd amendment rights last night!” Tuason wrote. “Should’ve pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement … 2 weeks off!!!” — referring to the modified duty, commonly known as desk duty, that typically follows any instance in which an officer is investigated for firing his weapon.

Now, I don’t think that this is any real threat to our Second Amendment rights; it’s just some idiot blowing off steam.  But it reveals a shocking lack of respect and forethought by a person who we entrust with protecting that right and others who should have known better. 

I’m sorry, I can’t understand you with that tape over your mouth

So Cindy McCain, wife of the former presidential hopeful, has decided to pose for the Anti-Anti-Gay Marriage campaign “NoH8.”  The picture, similar to hundreds of others in the campaign, displays Ms. McCain, glamourously made up, heavily photoshopped, and hair wind-blown, and posed with duct tape covering her mouth and the (word?  phrase? symbol?) letters and number combination”NOH8″ written on her cheek. 

This has gotten a lot of buzz in the internet world.  I can’t imagine why folks are surprised; her husband has always been at least as friendly towards the subject of gay marriage as his former opponent, our current president.  (By the way, interesting to note how differently these two men’s positions, which are exactly the same, were portrayed by various media outlets.)  The comments in the CNN story consist of expressions of surprise and “you go girl”-type statements as if she’s doing something remarkably brave.  She’s not; she, and the rest of this campaign, are doing something remarkably silly.  Not because they are wrong on the issue, mind you.   I don’t think that they are.  But their interpretation of the issue is nothing short of stupid. 

The Advocate describes this campaign thusly: “All of the subjects are photographed with duct tape over their mouths to symbolize that their voices aren’t being heard on the subject of marriage equality.”  But duct tape over the mouth doesn’t symbolize voices not being heard; it symbolizes restraint from voices being used.  It’s similar to the “Day of Silence” campaign, where schoolchildren are encouraged to act like spoiled brats by refusing to speak all day long, in order to “symbolically represent the [supposed] silencing of LGBT students and their supporters.” 

Imagine, for a moment, that I am a Baptist preacher.  I preach against the sins of alcohol.  (They actually do that here in Tennessee.  No, I don’t get it, either.)  I even preach that the government should make drinking illegal.  I buy commercials and billboards, and do everything possible to make my opinion known. 

And nobody listens to me. 

Oh, sure, a few people might listen to me and agree.  And some (probably quite a lot of) people will make fun of me, and a few people will complain about me.  But no one can say that my voice is not heard, or cannot be heard, simply because the majority of people disagree.  So it goes with the gay marriage movement, and other gay rights issues.  They can speak; no one is preventing it.  Some people simply don’t like what they have to say. 

And let’s talk about the name of the campaign, the real principle of the thing: “NoH8.”  Obviously, the H8 is intended to indicate “hate,” in the sense that hatred, as opposed to just the inability to get married, is what they are really striving against.  Now, I know that it’s in vogue to proclaim that any opposition to your point of view is clearly the result of “hate” and to proclaim all of your opponents to be “haters,” but is this really the case?  Is it really true that all, or even the majority of, opposition to gay marriage stems from “hate”?

As best as I can tell, the main reasons given for opposition to gay marriage comes down to just a few broad arguments: religious beliefs, tradition, or social concerns. 

Many people believe that religion dictates that homosexuality is immoral and an affront to God.  Do you hate everyone who ever does anything immoral?  If you do, it must keep you pretty busy.  Most religions I’m familiar with indicate that you should love the sinner, even if you think they’re wrong.  The second argument is that marriage has always been between a man and a woman, so it should remain so.  Again, I’m not saying it’s a good argument, you’ve got to squint pretty hard to translate that into hatred.  The third argument is that gay marriage can lead to other social changes, such as kids being taught about gay issues in school without their parents’ consent (this was considered a powerful argument in the Prop 8 debate) or businessowners being forced to participate in gay weddings despite their disagreements with them.  Again, this is an argument about individual rights; it has nothing to do with hatred of anyone. 

Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t some people  out there who truely hate people just because they are gay.  I mean, I’ve never met them, but the internet certainly indicates to me that they exist.  So, of course, do KKK members, and neo-nazis, and people that want to beat up redheads.  We can deal with it.  But accusing your political opponent of “hate,” rather than engaging his or her actual arguments, is nothing short of lazy.  It implies that you don’t have anything substantive to say.  Or not say, as the case may be for the subjects of the NoH8 campaign.

No “Game Change” Here: Just More Sexist Gossip About Palin

When it comes to Sarah Palin, people aren’t even creative about the rumors they “report” about her; just pick the most sexist stereotypes about how women handle themselves in high pressure situations, and the world will eat them up.  At least that’s what the authors of the uber-buzz generating book Game Change seem to think. 

Now, I don’t make it a habit to take to heart much of anything said about a public figure in cases where the supposed witness is not willing to look a camera directly in the lens and personally attest to his or her story, or give a really good reason (I’m thinking mob threats might qualify) why that’s not an option.  That goes doubley-so for anything said by anonymous sources about Sarah Palin, who has faced no end of efforts to besmirch her character

As if those prejudices weren’t enough, even the authors of Game Change admit that their stories are not really based on what could strictly be called “reliable facts.”

Halperin and Heilemann tell ABC News their book is based on interviews with over 300 people. They add that many of the revelations aren’t based on quotes, but paraphrased statements.

So, the paraphrased statements from anonymous sources apparently add up to: an image of a woman that is completely at odds with the image of a woman who managed to be a mother,a successful two-term mayor, and the most popular governor in the country.  They claim (HT: Ann Althouse):

“Game Change,” the 2008 deconstruction, says the stress of vaulting onto the national stage caused Palin to have wild mood swings.

“One minute, Palin would be her perky self; the next she would fall into a strange blue funk,” the authors write.

The morning of her ill-fated CBS interview with Katie Couric, Palin – “her eyes glassy and dead” – was unresponsive to attempts to prep her as she was being made up.

“As they were about to set off to meet Couric, Palin announced ‘I hate this makeup’ – smearing it off her face, messing up her hair, complaining she looked fat,” the book relates.

Palin went on to give answers to Couric that were so incoherent the interview permanently damaged her.

Palin went into a tailspin. She stopped eating or sleeping, and drank only a half a can of diet soda a day, recounts the book written by John Heilemann of New York magazine and Mark Halperin of Time magazine.

“When her aides tried to quiz her she would routinely shut down – chin on her chest, arms folded, eyes cast to the floor, speechless and motionless, lost in what those around her described as a kind of catatonic stupor,” the book says.

“If I had known everything I know now, I would not have done this,” the book quotes Palin as saying.

She talked often about her baby, Trig, who spent most of the time in Alaska, and some John McCain aides thought she might be suffering postpartum depression.

There is not a single bit of mush in these rumors that doesn’t go straight to the heart of the most backwards, outdated, unprogressive ideas about women in the workplace.  She talked about her baby (something I have heard that parents do on occasion!), so she must have had postpartum depression; she threw tantrums and “shut down;” she complained about looking “fat;” she had mood swings.  I can imagine an old school good ol’ boy in an office somewhere listing these as lame excuses why not to hire a perfectly acceptable female candidate.  In the 1950’s.  His character today would be so over-the-top that nobody would buy it. 

It really goes to show how sexist liberals are at heart.  These stories are completely unbelievable; the person described here could not manage a bank account, much less successfully govern a state, nor could that person make multiple public appearences, hair and make-up intact, mind you, over the course of a presidential campaign.  The only person that could accept this is the sort of person who already believes that women are inferior and incapable.  Yet, liberals accept this without question.  It makes me sad.