Old Hillary

A rare political post. I’ve pretty much dropped out of politics, but reading that “Rush Limbaugh asked his listeners if Americans want to ‘watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis'” got me going.

Ann Althouse, as a woman getting older on a daily basis (like everyone else), can you laugh off this latest sally from your birthday buddy?

This is a reliable “all’s fair” conservative trope. When, in the 1980s, I wrote a book about the 1960s that conservatives didn’t like (and, in retrospect, I don’t blame them), David Horowitz didn’t find it sufficient to trash the book. He also had to point out that in my author picture I looked older than I was (i.e. I had not striven, as is the norm, to disguise my age), as if that discredited me, rather than him as a reviewer.

For the record, I think Hillary Clinton would be a good president and I don’t think she is too old to be president. (That mysterious “faint and concussion” the article mentions was, in my surmise, cover for a facelift.) However, a baby boomer myself, I also agree with those who are saying that it’s time for most of us baby boomers to have our arthritic fingers pried from the nation’s steering wheel. Just because pols of the Greatest Generation hung on into senility and decrepitude, earning admiration for their staying power and grit, it doesn’t mean we baby boomers couldn’t muster some late-blooming grace and retire into second lives of contemplative creativity and selfless service.

Published in: on July 1, 2013 at 8:34 am  Comments (1)  

The Ultimate Weapon

Here’s what she was almost martyred for.

Girls can do anything.


(Sorry I couldn’t figure out how to embed this video.  Well, I guess girls can’t do everything.)

Published in: on October 15, 2012 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  

How American Policies Helped Girls Go Missing in Asia

Here’s a shocker of an article about how the American obsession with population control in the 1960s and ’70s led American policymakers and NGOs alike to actually encourage sex selection. If traditionally male-biased families could assure themselves of having a boy right off the bat, the reasoning went, they wouldn’t have so many children. End result: 160 million missing females (and this “at a time when women are driving many developing economies”)—and a corresponding number of frustrated young males looking for trouble. Talk about unintended consequences!

Published in: on February 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

I’m you: Elizabeth Warren channels Christine O’Donnell


By Sissy Willis of sisu

“My mom and dad worked really hard. My dad sold carpeting, and then fencing, and ended up as a maintenance man. When I was in junior high he had a heart attack, and we lost our car,” lip-biting Scott Brown challenger Elizabeth Warren (above) — her voice breaking — explains “why she’ll fight for Massachusetts’ working families in the United States Senate.” A self-made millionaire, Harvard Law School professor and author of President Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, limousine liberal Warren has taken a page from last year’s Delaware Republican primary Tea Party winner Christine O’Donnell’s playbook. Warren’s subliminal message to the weak-minded among us looking for a savior? “I’m you.” And apparently it’s working:

Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren released her second video advertisement on Monday, which portrays her as a “gutsy” political outsider with “fresh ideas” …

Various people in the ad describe her as an “everyday kind of person,” someone with “everyone’s best interest at heart,” a “strong voice for the middle class,” and “tough.”

And this:

Poll: Elizabeth Warren soars 7 up over Scott Brown.


You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but in Massachusetts you can come close. Check out the body language of Democrat establishment pick for the former “Kennedy Seat” Elizabeth Warren (left) and much-ridiculed grasroots Tea Party challenger Christine O’Donnell (right), who beat the Republican establishment pick in the primary but lost in the general last year: The coy, tilted head, the earnest, moist eyes, the pursed lips that seek to soothe. And the words:

O’Donnell: “None of us can be happy with what we see all around us: Politicians who think spending, trading favors and backroom deals are the way to stay in office. I’ll go to Washington and do what you’d do.

Warren: “I want there to be a level playing field. I want small businesses, I want families to have a real chance. I want Washington to not to be on the side with the big corporations, but to be on their side.”

Cosmic convergence? Or just a cynical Democrat establishment ploy to restore the “Kennedy Seat” to its rightful owners?

Crossposted at sisu and Riehl World View.

Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

“It was one of those great, only-in-America Judeo-Christian moments”


You’ve got to believe you are here for a reason,” Senator Joe Lieberman told Sarah Palin back in the fall of 2008 when she was losing her bearings in the tense, over-scripted days leading up to her vice presidential debate with Senator Joe Biden.

By Sissy Willis of sisu

It was one of those great, only-in-America Judeo-Christian moments,” Senator Joe Lieberman told a delighted American Enterprise Institute audience yesterday evening, retelling the tale of a fateful meeting between him and Sarah Palin on the eve of her vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden October 2, 2008:

So I’m supporting my dear friend John McCain in 2008, and it’s the fall, it’s about a week before the vice-presidential debate … Governor Palin was in a hotel in Philadelphia practicing for the debate … The McCain campaign was in a panic. She just wasn’t registering, wasn’t doing well.

Then Steve Schmidt, who was John’s campaign manager, said to me, “Do me a favor. You’ve got something in common with her that the rest of us don’t have … You’re both religious. So go in and talk to her. Maybe pray with her” … 

So I went in, and she opened right up: “I’m off today. It’s a bad day.” Without washing dirty laundry in public, she was not happy with the McCain campaign: “They’re not handling me right.”

“You’ve got to believe you’re here for a reason,” Lieberman told her:

And she laughed and said there must be a reason. It’s so unbelievable that I’m here running for vice president.

Lieberman cited the Book of Esther:

…  that part where her uncle [cousin?] Mordechai tells her to go to the king to ask him to save the Jewish people from the evil prime minister, and then this sentence, when she’s reluctant, perhaps this is the reason you were brought to the king’s palace: If you don’t do it, somebody else will come along, and she said “Oh, that’s great.”

We’d never heard the story before, but a little googling reveals it was used for a bit of proto Palin’s-an-idiot spin at the time:

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman thinks that in order for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to beat her Democratic rival, Sen. Joe Biden, in tonight’s debate, she needs to keep it from turning into an “IQ test.”

What Lieberman was getting at was not at all that Sarah was dumb:

“What she needs to do tonight is get this public consideration of her back to who she is and her strong points and, frankly, get it away from being a, kind of, IQ test — she’s plenty smart — getting it away from being a, sort of, final college exam,” Lieberman said on MSNBC …

“Whether she can answer every detailed question, I don’t think that ultimately matters to the American people,” the Connecticut senator added. “She doesn’t know every detail, all the questions senators deal with, but, frankly, that’s her strength.”

“I think the point is, who is she as a person? I think that’s what people are ultimately looking for,” Lieberman said.

Everything happens for a reason? We’re hard-wired to see patterns. Palin/Lieberman 2012?

Crossposted at sisu and Riehl World View.

Published in: on September 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sarah Palin: The Tea Party is real winner of the debate


“I was very pleased with this debate, and, you know, very excited about the validation of the Tea Party movement,” Sarah Palin told Greta Van Susteren last night in a meaty analysis of the CNN/TeaPartyExpress debate that echoed our own take and set our woman-up, fight-like-a-girl heart on fire. Listen to full interview here.

By Sissy Willis of sisu

While some of our favorite bloggers and columnists and talking heads debated the winners and losers of last night’s CNN/TeaPartyExpress GOP primary debate, a shoot-to-where-it’s-going, not-to-where-it’s-been Sarah Palin disintermediated the usual premise of judging these contests. As she explained to Greta Van Susteren in a landmark “On the record” post-debate interview last night:

Here they hook up with a major news network, CNN — and more power to CNN for allowing that validation — of this grassroots Tea Party movement.

Participants from all over the nation being able, as a voice of “We the people,” asking questions of these potential presidents …

The winner in this really, I believe, was the Tea Party movement.


“Greta, this is one of the reasons that many of us really love your show because you have been one on top of this issue from day one, talking about the fraud, the waste and the crony capitalism.” From opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two women seem to have forged a sisterly bond through their shared mission to fight corruption wherever they may find it.

Palin and Van Susteren — the conservative Mama Grizzly and the liberal Fox News show host — may seem an odd pairing. A tough questioner, Van Susteren earned Palin’s trust early on by giving her a fair hearing where others, even Fox libertarian Judge Napolitano, were buying — and promulgating — the “lamestream media’s” Palin-is-Stupid narrative spin. Fortunately the Judge finally came to his senses.

Palin_greta_myrole copy

“I’m not gonna let the media dictate when a drop-dead date should be,” Palin answered Van Susteren’s inevitable will-she-or-won’t-she question:

In the meantime, I’m getting kind of a kick out of this, and I have to be honest with you. Getting a kick out of getting out there, giving a speech, making some statements about things that must be discussed, and then the very next day watching some of the candidates get out there and discuss what it was that we just talked about, like the corruption, the crony capitalism, the waste, the fraud … That perhaps is my role right now, is to get people talking about the issues that the American people deserve to hear discussed … I’m gonna keep doing that!

Mark America at US for Palin develops the theme in his must-read “Only One Republican is Shaping the Debate“:

While it is true to say the Tea Party won the debate, it’s likewise clear that the themes Governor Palin has been discussing since 2008 are really the foundation of the ongoing Republican discussion.

See also Dana Loesch’s insider’s analysis “CNN Shows MSNBC How a Debate is Done.”

Crossposted a sisu and Riehl World View.

Published in: on September 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

“I was still a young fighter pilot learning my trade.”

Air National Guard Pilot Heather Penney remembers 9/11. Who has an hour to listen to an interview?  (Wouldn’t you know it’s C-SPAN?)  It’s worth it, though—among other things, to gaze on and contemplate a tough, pretty broad who flew an armed F-16.  She says things like (on air defenses during the Cold War) “to defend our sovereign soil from the Soviet bear.” Fight like a girl, indeed. (Video unfortunately not embeddable.)

This should be required viewing for anyone (if there’s anyone left) who still thinks women are unfit to be full-fledged soldiers.

This sounds counterintuitive, but when the magnitude of the situation hit me, I really lost all emotion.  I didn’t have an emotional reaction at all.

It was really much more focused on what are the things that I need to do to enable us to protect our capital, what are the things that I need to do to facilitate us getting airborne. . . .

[Later, when getting ready to fly] It wasn’t so much that I kept my emotions in check.  It was just that they didn’t even exist.  They just weren’t even there.  But there was significant adrenaline.  And it was really just, “Dear God, just don’t let me screw up.”

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Small Change. Big Difference.

Please note our new tagline.  It comes from Sissy Willis of Sisu, who’s often singlehandedly kept this place alive.  I’ve considered crediting Sissy in the header, but I also like the idea of it rising from a thousand/a million/a billion lipsticked lips.

While we’re at it, let me direct your attention to our other slogan in the sidebar, which I love:  “We Are Broad Minded.”  First of all, I perversely love the poetry of many of the alleged demeaning slang terms for women.  I hear a kind of left-handed tribute in them.  Second, we are broad where a broad should be broad, and we are minded.  (And you damn well better mind!)  Third, I am determined to make this site unclassifiable as left, right, or center—it’s just about women and power, in all the possible meanings of “power”—though I’m aware that I haven’t yet figured out how to make that happen.  Please help.

Published in: on September 10, 2011 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  


There’s a gap.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  There’s a gap women are afraid to leap or don’t know how to leap.  I feel it.  We — the majority of us women — still don’t know how to be primary in our own lives, how to relate directly to the world.  We don’t know how to start our own engine; we feel guilt and fear at the very thought of doing so.  We are deep-down sure that the only way to go our own way is alone and that the only way not to be alone is to compromise so deeply it bites to the bone.

Sure, I’m exaggerating.  Go ahead, tell me about all the exceptions.  Tell me love is worth compromising for.  (It is, up to the borders of your integrity.)  Tell me I should be saying “I,” not “we.”  But I hear a lot of seasoned, accomplished women saying or hinting at some version of this — that they still feel derivative, secondary.  Men romanticize this and see it as devotion.  It completes them and it diminishes us.  It’s also safe and easy for us, an ancient shtick, an existential cop-out with perks.

Freud thought the gap was the absence of a penis!  It’s so much more — the collective memory of physical danger; millennia of forbiddenness; void of precedent; human cowardice and inertia, always more easily forgiven in women.

The best writer I know about this — so good her writing scares people, scares me — is my friend Dalma Heyn.  Here she is on the danger of a new backlash, not so much against women but within them — a retreat from the challenge and chaos of rapid change into old, familiar, outgrown ways:

Women, conventional goodness isn’t your friend. Maintaining your vision for the future is. If we do all the things we used to do when chaos frightened us with, oh, loss of love, loss of husbands, loss of social approval, loss of funds, loss of everythng, we lose something far more precious: We lose our hope for evolving as women. We mustn’t ever again let anything, especially a flagging economy, threaten our own ability to push through the confines of that old story, the Romance Plot, the one that hurls women back into the kitchen.  Yes, we all yearn for security, but it never did come in the form of  old ideas, old roles, old habits.  Don’t idealize what never was. We’ve spent years setting free a new narrative, one that promises forward movement in the home, in our relationships, inside ourselves. The old story that we fantasize as being magically problem-free, actually brought more women lifelong depression than it did safety and security.

What Dalma writes about is not spurning love, but rather the challenge of loving without lying about who you are.  I’m a widow, which is forcing me to confront the gap in myself.  Male friends tell me radiantly that I’ll always be one with my husband and that ours was a great love.  I hate to tell them it was never that simple.  Don’t misunderstand me:  it was great.  But it was also safe.  Under his wing, my strengths were first derivative and then hypothetical.  They became mine, but I was safe from having to decide how to use them.  Eyes riveted on him — his grandeur, his trauma, his unquestionable genius for living — I never had to answer my own hard questions. And, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, that cop-out did not serve him well.

Don’t chicken out, women.  Go on, evolve.  Yes, I’m talking to you.  Me.

Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 3:28 am  Comments (3)  

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