Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 17, 2008
POLITICS: Is Barack Obama A Woman?

Seriously, you can't make people like this up:

[A] Barack Obama versus John McCain match-up still has the makings of an epic American gender showdown. ... The question asked by this American Sphinx to all who dared enter the halls of leadership was, "Are you man enough?" This year, Senator Obama has notably refused to give the traditional answer.
Senator Obama, for his part, will not be cast as the avenging hero in "The Rescue" any time soon ...He doesn't seem to want the role. You don't see him crouching in a duck blind or posing in camouflage duds or engaging in anything more gladiatorial than a game of pick-up basketball. If Mr. Obama's candidacy seeks to move beyond race, it also moves beyond gender. A 20-minute campaign Web documentary showcased a President Obama who would exude "a real sensitivity" and "empathy" and provide a world safe for the American mother's son. Mr. Obama is surrounded in the video by pacifist - not security - moms.

If Mr. Obama's campaign has fashioned any master narrative, it's that of the young man in the bower of a matriarchy - raised by a "strong" mother, bolstered by a "strong" sister, married to a "strong" wife and proud of his "strong" daughters. (Bill Clinton had a similar story, although his handlers highlighted his efforts to save his mother from domestic violence.)

"In many ways, he really will be the first woman president," Megan Beyer of Virginia, a charter member of Women for Obama, told reporters. An op-ed essay in The New York Post headlined "Bam: Our 1st Woman Prez?" came to a similar conclusion, if a tad more snidely: "Those shots of Barack and Michelle sitting with Oprah on stools had the feel of a smart, all-women talk panel."

As Moe Lane notes, Faludi and the New York Times probably think they are helping with arguments like this.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:08 AM | Politics 2008 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Hey, Barack has to break SOME kind of barrier. Since Bubba already broke the color barrier as the first Black President, it falls to Barack to break the gender barrier...

Posted by: Joel B. at June 17, 2008 4:04 PM

I think the better question is "Is Michelle Obama a woman?"


Posted by: Steve Johnson at June 17, 2008 5:46 PM

You would think that liberal journalists who want to help Obama would compare him to another not-especially-macho candidate with a strong mother and a controversial, left-leaning wife - Franklin Roosevelt - rather than encouraging the country to elect "the first woman President".

Posted by: Jerry at June 17, 2008 10:43 PM

I love that McCain is not the focus of right wing discussions. Where's the love for your candidate?

Yeah, I thought so.

Posted by: AstrosFan at June 18, 2008 5:38 PM

You have to consider Faludi's intended audience. She doesnt intend for all you cons to read and be persuaded by her editorial placed in the New York Times, instead she's seeking to pull in angry, female Clinton supporters into Obama's coalition. You know, that group whose collective ass McCain has been kissing ever since Clinton formally bowed out, but whose freedoms he seeks to take away to appease his religious right base. That one.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at June 18, 2008 8:23 PM

What "freedoms" (note you used plural) does McCain seek to take away? The "freedom" to kill unborn children only counts as one, and most women don't put a lot of value on that particular "right."

Posted by: Joel B. at June 19, 2008 3:17 PM

Actually Joel a majority of women (and Americans) do put a lot of value into that particular right. By your logic -- the claim that embryos are "unborn children" deserving of state protection and political rights including prohibitions against murder -- then God herself is the biggest mass murderer of all since about 1 in 4 pregnancies naturally miscarry.

Posted by: dante at June 19, 2008 3:37 PM

Also, God takes most of the rest of us via natural causes sooner or later. Go look at the proportion of young children who once died before reaching maturity, or the proportion of mothers who died in childbirth. Were they not still human and deserving of life? If God takes life, it is OK for humans to do the same?

Posted by: The Crank at June 19, 2008 3:55 PM

Can embryos vote? Can they carry a conversation? Can they fight in wars? Do they have the responsibiity to raise children and provide for them ? Can they even have the debate we're having? You say "if God takes life, is it OK for humans to do the same". Your own answer is yes....Iraqi civilians are acceptable collateral damage to you. So don't lecture me on the sanctity of life in the womb yet disregard the sanctity of life outside it.

Posted by: dante at June 19, 2008 5:11 PM
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