Columnist Suzanne Fields suggests that Tammy Wynette might want to bake some cookies for the standard bearer of feminism, who will at last be permitted to address the Democratic convention:

“Hillary gets to speak, after all,” writes Fields, “but only to introduce Bill. He basks in applause, she glows. Is this the feminist dream, or what?

“The Democrats are the party of the radical feminists but their women are sidelined together at the convention in Boston like a Beacon Hill tea for the ladies auxiliary. Hillary, the most prominent of all, is relegated to ’wife of,’ standing by her man. Tammy Wynette would be proud. She should take a plate of her chocolate-chip cookies.”

The dilemma, Fields argues, was that the Democrats must present the two Johns as strong manly men, not “girlie men,” to use the term of the governor of California, capable of leadership in trying times–but of course John the Gaunt immediately capitulated and gave Mrs. Clinton a microphone at the convention.

As Fields notes, the “Mommy Party’s” Boston Tea Party, comes on the heels of The Governator’s remarks about girlie men, and the outcry from Democrats points to a problem they have:

“Democrats in California, who do not share the governor’s sense of humor, complained that he insulted women and homosexuals. To observe that manliness is best expressed by men and womanliness best expressed by women is neither misogynist nor homophobic, but it does expose the Democratic Party’s vulnerability to metaphors of weakness. The party is often characterized — celebrated, even — as the nurturing party, regarding the government role as ’maternal’ and all-caring, in contrast to Republicans, who emphasize self-reliance, self-discipline and a strong defense. The two Johns are determined to turn this perception around, if not in reality then certainly in rhetoric.”

Fields, by the way, mentions the revival of the Committee for the Present Danger by two real men–Republican Senator Jon Kyl and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman–and, if you missed their op-ed yesterday in the Washington Post on the urgent need for this committee to help us face the terrorist threat, then please do read it now.