In its opening phase, at least, our war in Libya looks like the beau ideal of a liberal internationalist intervention. It was blessed by the United Nations Security Council. It was endorsed by the Arab League. It was pushed by the diplomats at Hillary Clinton’s State Department, rather than the military men at Robert Gates’s Pentagon. Its humanitarian purpose is much clearer than its connection to American national security. And it was initiated not by the U.S. Marines or the Air Force, but by the fighter jets of the French Republic.
Diplomats versus military men, helping versus security, beau rather than valor, Frenchies versus US Marines. How weak those lefties sound!
This is an intervention straight from Bill Clinton’s 1990s playbook, in other words, and a stark departure from the Bush administration’s more unilateralist methods. There are no “coalitions of the willing” here, no dismissive references to “Old Europe,” no “you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Instead, the Obama White House has shown exquisite deference to the very international institutions and foreign governments that the Bush administration either steamrolled or ignored.
This is what a Harvard education gets you; instead of calling liberals gay, Douthat says they "show exquisite deference," not manly resolve. But under the high tone is the same low mindset and Douthat is just another conservative who needs to prove that his tribe is more manly than the other tribe and that he is a manly man in good standing. Just as Kathryn Jean Lopez is firmly convinced that the more conservative you are, the more feminine you must be.
I thought of the unceasing reactions to [Sarah] Palin as I sat with two generations of anti-feminists at a book launch last week. Phyllis Schlafly, that brave lone warrior against the Equal Rights Amendment, and her niece, Suzanne Venker, have a book out called The Flipside of Feminism. Schlafly is an unapologetic fan of Palin — much more so than Venker — because she sees this. [This is false; Shlafly has stated that Palin is not up to the job. SoT] She knows this. She’s lived it. Having been called the worst of names simply because she was the most empowered of them all; refusing to surrender what’s only natural to an ideology that, masked as freedom, waged war on the complementary nature of the sexes.
You don’t have to want Sarah Palin to be president to acknowledge that the frenzy around her may have more to do with us than her.
On multiple fronts, the former governor of Alaska is actually much more complicated than most of the debates about her ever indicate. She’s that pro-life mom, a poster gal whom the Susan B. Anthony List was waiting for. But she’s also been known to get her inner Gloria Steinem on — which is ironic given that Steinem’s among those who would excommunicate her from the global sisterhood if she could. She’s very much the product of her times in this way — very much of the moment in this way. Born and raised in a culture where girls were educated as if they were an oppressed class in need of empowerment, often at the expense of boys, she’s representative of a culture that is increasingly coming to grips with the fact that the sexual revolution messed with some very fundamental things. Our opinions about politics sometimes merely reflect our inner struggles and longings in the messiest of ways, providing endless fodder for a ravenous media.
Note how Lopez's definition of feminine adjusts to fit anything Palin does.
Lopez doesn't call feminists butch, she just satisfies herself by calling them unnatural and not feminine. Mark Krikorian, however, throws all discretion to the wind and has a great time calling Obama effeminate.
They Know Who Wears the Pants in This Country
March 21, 2011 9:43 A.M. By Mark Krikorian
Look, I’m a sensitive New Age guy — I cook, I do laundry, I choke up at movies (well, Gladiator, anyway). But does anyone think our enemies abroad are as enlightened as we are about feminism? Steyn is right that the specific lesson they’re learning is that nukes are the best insurance against invasion — but a broader one is that our commander-in-chief is an effete vacillator who is pushed around by his female subordinates. Prof. Althouse notes, “A feminist milestone: Our male President has been pulled into war by 3 women,” and Senator Graham scored points with “I Thank God for Strong Women in the Obama Administration,” but we’re going to pay for this.
One of the reasons Khrushchev gambled on missiles in Cuba is that he perceived JFK as a weak man when they met in Vienna. Conversely, one of the reasons Khomeini released the hostages just as Reagan was taking the oath of office was his “Ronnie Ray-guns” reputation (something the air traffic controllers ignored — which itself became another lesson for our enemies). Do you think Putin and A-jad and Chavez and the ChiComs are more afraid of Obama now? It was obvious to most of us that Hillary has more, uh, stones than Obama, but to have it confirmed so publicly for less-attentive foreign goons means they’re that much more likely to try to push us and see how The One responds.
Before you send me any burning bras, the problem is not with women leaders — the enemies of the Virgin Queen and the Iron Lady can attest to that. The problem is not even with the president having strong female subordinates. Rather, Obama’s pusillanimity has been hugely magnified by the contrast with the women directing his foreign policy and the fact that they nagged him to attack Libya until he gave in. Maybe it’s unfair and there shouldn’t be any difference from having a male secretary of state do the same thing, but there is.
So we have the worst situation of all. Instead of a strong leader resisting calls for an unjustified military action — or even a strong leader resolutely supporting the military action — we have a timorous and irresolute leader reluctantly caving in to the demands of his staff. We are in for a heap of trouble.
I assume that calling the president a Nancy-boy is not meant to convert liberals but instead is meant to amuse the tribe. Sexual manipulation does not work on people who define their own sexuality instead of submitting to the group's definition of their sexuality. But many conservatives dearly love a male homoerotic bonding ritual in which women are put in their place and the steel rod of manly conservative resolve is mutually celebrated.