The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, January 12, 2007

The ol' right-wing shuck 'n jive

Considering what I know about the origin of that expression, it's probably a very inappropriate choice of words. But it's the first thing that came to mind when I read about the latest salvo of fake reactionary outrage. Sadly, it's one tactic that appears to draw in the media every damn time-- and never to point out that these feeble attempts at misdirection insult the intelligence of a 10 year-old. It worked wonders for the neo-fascists when it was about Mary Cheney during the presidential debates, and it was just as nonsensical then.

"The issue is, who pays the price?" Boxer asked Rice, who was appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss President Bush's strategic shift in the war in the Middle East. Boxer continued, "I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families." (. . .)

Reaction from right-wing media sources was fast and vicious. The Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post slapped a "Dem childless Condi slur" headline on its cover this morning, and featured an article referring to Boxer as "an appalling scold" and calling the exchange "breathtaking" in its "vapidity [and] sheer mindlessness." Murdoch's Fox News is airing affronted segments about what they are calling Boxer's "personal attack" on Rice, which they deemed "offensive to someone who doesn't have children." And the National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez classed the whole thing up with her blog post, headlined "The word I'm thinking of rhymes with witch," in which she commented, "When 'The View' loses Rosie, Barbara Boxer ought to take her seat at the catty table."

You see? Mary Cheney was a publicly avowed lesbian, but to actually say it is verboten. Condi doesn't have kids, so pointing that out is actually a vile smear. Now, I have some serious issues with the direction feminism is taking, particularly in academia. But this is one instance where I'd be the first to say-- whatever Boxer's intent was-- that the creepy right-wing backlash reflects more on their 19th century opinion that a woman's worth is based on her successful reproduction. And it says about the same of the mainstream press, which is really sad.