Via Hengler, expect little umbrage from the sisterhood over this, partly because it’s a liberal woman taking the shot at America’s most famous “gender traitor” or whatever — with King’s concurrence — and partly because it is, after all, a joke (although that fact didn’t save Imus and Chris Wallace). The question, as usual, is whether it’s always wrong to note a politician’s physical appeal or whether it’s only wrong when, as here and in Newsweek’s notorious Palin cover, it’s clearly being done to demean the subject. “Jennifer Granholm’s a babe” seems unobjectionable, as babes can also be brilliant and accomplished, but “Babe governor has her state on the fast track to ruin” is obviously more dicey. I will say that I think the occasional boasting on our side about Palin’s beauty really ends up doing her more harm than good, though. It’s well intended, in the same sense as my unobjectionable example about Granholm, but it inadvertently gives cover to the Silvermans of the world to use it in a demeaning way. Cry “sexism!” over this and the retort will be to ask where the sexism cries were when the emcee at the Boston tea-party rally remarked, “You hear that my lefty friends, you see that, conservative women — they’re smarter than you and they’re hotter than you.” Sure, it’s a compliment (twice over), but the gratuitous mention of her physical appeal will be exploited by her enemies to claim that it makes her appearance “fair game” or whatever. Best just to stay away from it.