Oprah may love Harvey Mansfield, author of Manliness, but the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus doesn’t:

“I have a new theory about what’s behind everything that’s wrong with the Bush administration: manliness.

“‘Manliness’ is the unapologetic title of a new book by Harvey C. Mansfield, a conservative professor of government at Harvard University, which makes him a species as rare as a dissenting voice in the Bush White House. Mansfield’s thesis is that manliness, which he sums up as ‘confidence in the face of risk,’ is a misunderstood and unappreciated attribute.”

Well, I don’t think manliness should be apologetic. But Marcus seems to see it as the root of all our political problems, including the reason we’re in Iraq (it sorta is but it was Saddam’s testosterone, not GWB’s, that made the invasion necessary). Marcus concludes:

“Mansfield writes that he wants to ‘convince skeptical readers — above all, educated women’ — that ‘irrational manliness deserves to be endorsed by reason.’ Sorry, professor: You lose. What this country could use is a little less manliness — and a little more of what you would describe as womanly qualities: restraint, introspection, a desire for consensus, maybe even a touch of self-doubt.”

Didn’t somebody call that malaise?