Quotes of the day

“At least, unlike Paris Hilton and her ilk, the Dumb Blonde of ’50s cinema had a firm grasp on one thing: It was cool to be smart. She aspired to read good books and be friends with intellectuals, even going so far as to marry one. But now another famous beauty with glowing skin and a powerful current, Sarah Palin, has made ignorance fashionable.

“You struggle to name Supreme Court cases, newspapers you read and even founding fathers you admire? No problem. You endorse a candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate seat who is the nominee in West Virginia? Oh, well…

“On Saturday, at a G.O.P. rally in Anaheim, Calif., Palin mockingly noted that you won’t find her invoking Mao or Saul Alinsky. She says she believes in American exceptionalism. But when it comes to the people running the country, exceptionalism is suspect; leaders should be — as Palin, O’Donnell and Angle keep saying — just like you.”

“The ‘man up’ phrase is part of a series of supposedly tougher-than-thou statements from female politicians. During the primary campaign, Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell told opponent Mike Castle he was being ‘unmanly,’ adding, ‘Mike, this is not a bake-off — get your man-pants on.’ In the Colorado GOP Senate primary, Jane Norton assailed Ken Buck for not being “man enough” to run attack ads himself.

“The queen of such discourse is Sarah Palin. Praising Arizona’s immigration law and the state’s female governor, Palin said that Jan Brewer had ‘the cojones’ that President Obama ‘does not have’ to take on illegal immigration. Then, Palin blasted ‘impotent, limp and gutless reporters.’ And Palin got in on the ‘man up’ action the other day — turning the phrase on her own side. ‘Hey, politicians who are in office today,’ she said, ‘you, some of you, need to man up and spend some political capital to support the Tea Party candidates.’

“Ladies! If we’re so tough, so confident in our toughness and so comfortable with it, what do testicles have to do with it? The breakthrough appeal of the Mama Grizzly is that she combines the ultimate feminine act — motherhood — with fierceness. Have we really come a long way if cojones equals good and lack thereof equals wimpy?”

“We are 13 days out from 2 November, a date all observers (with the quaint exception of the White House) admit will be a midterm election political ‘tsunami’, and we are seeing a genuine meltdown of both the media and political elite, two groups not happy at all with the new American revolution called the Tea Party. Especially irritating to American Nobility is the fact that women are in front of this storm, leading the way and calling out the political establishment for disdain and punishment on election day…

“Women control the household accounts and we know when spending is unsustainable, threatening the very fabric of our families, or our country as the case may be. As one Tea Party rally sign aimed at big government succinctly put it, ‘My kid isn’t your ATM.’

“The Tea Party represents stakeholders in the American system; people who were never involved in politics or thought they had to be, yet realised that political corruption and incompetence threatened not only their families, but the future of the nation itself. Economic collapse, the shocking spending by an Obama administration that most analysts agree is in over its head, combined with remarkable contempt shown citizens during the debacle of the healthcare debate and legislation, have mobilised those stakeholders – including women and their families – to take action.”

“The point missed — or avoided — by Dowd is that men and women can be equally dumbfounded and equally ‘mean,’ if in sometimes gender-tilted ways. What is gratifying about this season is that we have enough women running that we can criticize them without resorting to the old catfight canard.

“Some women, just like some men, are simply unqualified and should be ‘refudiated’ on their merits or the lack thereof. That Queen Bee Sarah has led the hive of busy benefactors, meanwhile, should be cause for a celebration of sorts — and would be if the brewing brood were Democrats. Why, a swell of liberal women threatening to take over Congress with tough, manhood-withering talk would have the sisterhood in cackles…

“It is a testament to feminism that we have so many female candidates. That we may dislike or disagree with some — or find them foolish — is as the world turns.”

Happy birthday, MM! Click the image to watch.