Our friend Backyard Conservative has a terrific post on the rush of the media feminists to defend Hillary Clinton against Republican Party chairman Ken Mehlman’s charge the other day that Hillary is an “angry” candidate, and the electorate just doesn’t like angry people as presidents (see the track record of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and, yes, Hillary’s affable husband, Bill, who was savvy enough never to cater to reverse racism with words like “plantation” or scowl sarcastically when a president who happened to belong to the opposite party said something nice about his spouse).
Here’s what Mehlman said to George Stephanopoulos:
“I don’t think the American people, if you look historically, elect angry candidates….Whether it’s the comments about the plantation or the worst administration in history, Hillary Clinton seems to have a lot of anger.”
First Maureen Dowd leaped to Hillary’s defense (costs $$$ on TimesSelect, so I’m quoting Tom Bevan’s post on RealClear Politics), pronouncing Mehlman’s words “misogynistic.” Apparently you’re a misogynist if you say that a woman is angry but not if you say that a man is angry. Maureen wrote:
“Hillary did not sound angry when she made those comments – she’s learned since her tea-and-cookies outburst in the ’92 campaign. A man who wants to undermine a woman’s arguments can ignore the substance and simply dismiss her as unstable and shrill. It’s a hoary tactic: women are more mercurial than men; they get depressed more often and pop pills more often.”
Time columnist Margaret Carlson tried a different tack: It wasn’t Hillary who was angry but Mehlman himself:
“Funny thing, Mehlman looked angry when he said this.
“Funnier still, members of Mehlman’s own party are quite likely to ‘have a lot of anger’ for having to run on President George W. Bush’s record, and I’m not just thinking of Senator John McCain, a likely presidential contender.
“When Bush got the job, the economy was humming, Saddam Hussein was boxed in, Iran was moderating, the stock market was at or near historic highs, and the ice cap wasn’t melting. Thousands of Americans and hundreds of billions of dollars had not been lost in a war against a country that did not attack us. The Constitution was still intact; 9/11 had not been invoked to justify torture, wiretapping and locking up whomever we pleased for however long it suited us.
“Back then, those who worked and played by the rules could get ahead. A middle-income family paid lower taxes than an upper- income one and could count on a pension, afford health insurance, and fill up the tank for less than a day’s wages.”
Margaret’s history, economics, geology, and arithmetic are all a little off-base, of course (did anyone say “ditzy woman”?). Then, as now, the top fifth of all U.S. earners pays four-fifths of all tax–and now, as then, it’s mathematically impossible for middle-income families earning, say, $75,000 a year, to pay lower taxes than millionaires. The stock market started its post-tech-bubble dive in early 2000, when Bill was still in office–and from all reports, the economy happens to be humming right now. And believe it or not, Margaret, the ice cap didn’t start melting when George W. Bush took his oath of office in January 2001.
Finally, take a poll on what the American public thinks about eavesdropping on folks with Al Qaeda on the other end of their phone lines, or on whether it’s OK to lock up and play real loud Cristina Aguileira songs into the ears of those suspected to have been in on the 9/11 massacre.
As Backyard Conservative writes:
“Even if you didn’t read the stories about lamps crashing in the White House, or see Hillary’s version of the Howard Dean primal scream at one of her campaign rallies, if you’ve observed her at all, you know.
“Hillary is an angry person. Her liberal supporters like that anger–they’re angry too, so for them it’s a positive. For the rest of us it’s a negative.”
We’ll see who’s angry the day after the 2008 election. Or even after the 2006 election.