The inane self-congratulatory feel-goodery of pop feminism is captured perfectly in an old Onion headline: “Women Now Empowered By Everything A Woman Does.” To the feminist Left, the obvious corollary is that everything that doesn’t empower a woman is oppressive, chauvinistic, and of course, sexist. And that’s exactly the ideological vampire being embraced by Christine O’Donnell supporters this week.
Jeri Thompson leads the pack of those seduced by the politics of manufactured victimhood with her excoriation of Karl Rove, Sen. John Cornyn, and Delaware’s “blue-blooded patriarchies.” It’s not the timing of Rove’s criticisms she finds troubling; it isn’t that Cornyn and the NRSC arrived late to GOP Unity Hour lip syncing the words to “Kumbaya.” It’s that they offered their strategic assessment of a female candidate’s political baggage and electability:
Funny, I don’t recall hearing similar talk from the likes of Mssrs. Rove and Cornyn after Scott Brown won in Massachusetts, Joe Miller won in Alaska, or Rand Paul won in Kentucky. In fact, despite similar sliming by the state party apparatus before Paul’s victory Rove was downright supportive of him, saying on Fox News that Rand Paul could win the general election, just as he could win the primary. And this was after the state party did its darnedest to tear Paul apart and to make him look like an incompetent kook, in many ways similar to what the Republican political class has been doing to O’Donnell.
The difference here is that once the primary was over, the political elites in Washington stood by their men. Why won’t they do it for the woman?
Where is the evidence that gender played a role in Beltway criticism of Christine O’Donnell? I like and respect Jeri Thompson, but twisting concerns about O’Donnell’s electability into some sort of political wilding by neanderthal good ol’ boys is out there. We can disagree about whether a candidate is “flawed,” “irresponsible,” or “kooky,” but those terms simply aren’t dog whistles designed to bring out the woman-haters.
This smacks of an ill-conceived attempt to duplicate the ferocious mama grizzly support Sarah Palin garnered when her surrogates pointed out sexist attacks. Cry sexism, rinse, repeat, right? Er, no. Most Palin boosters didn’t unfairly tar her critics with identity politics-based smears. They defended her from specific, verifiable, and brutal cases of weaponized misogyny.
Thompson’s column is short on examples of sexism, long on baseless attacks, and devoid of any explanation for why sexist Karl Rove poured millions into Sharon Angle’s campaign. Mary Katharine Ham calls this approach “pulling a Meggie Mac“: continue reading on page 2 …