Nancy vs. Sarah
A video making the rounds of the conservative blogosphere last week showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mangling a fact that wouldn't survive a high-school-level quiz about the United States.
In the video, the California Democrat says that "every month that we do not have an economic recovery package, 500 million Americans lose their jobs," which would be an achievement; the U.S. labor force is just about 155 million, and the entire population about 305 million.
The snark began flying: "Exit question: Which of the 57 states will be hit hardest by the downturn?" asked Allahpundit at Hot Air, alluding to a geography gaffe by President Obama. "Proving that leading Democrats these days really have a tough time with numbers, period, and not just taxes," wrote Rick at Brutally Honest.
Obviously, Mrs. Pelosi merely had a mental burp — her mind torn between saying the equivalent (and accurate) terms "five hundred thousand" and "half a million." Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit took the charitable interpretation, too, before twisting in the knife.
"I don't know that this really makes Nancy Pelosi 'dumber than soap,'" he wrote, referring to the title of the video. "But if Sarah Palin had said this, it would be taken as proof that she was unsuited for national politics."
Amanda Marcotte is back on the "No Sexism" beat and making as much sense as ever in reacting to the California divorcee who artificially conceived octuplets to bring her child total to 14.
Miss Marcotte was quick to deny at her site Pandagon the patriarchy brainwash them into that idea.
"The theory that women have a natural urge to have babies is one that's got a long and ignoble sexist history … None of that is to say that the urge to have children that some (but far from all) women experience isn't real, and that's my other giant problem with the ongoing preoccupation with [evolutionary psychology] theories to explain things that are cultural constructs … That something is a cultural construct doesn't make it less real, it just means that it's more changeable," wrote Miss Marcotte, who was dropped as head blogger for John Edwards' presidential campaign after an outcry over a series of vulgar blasphemies.
Conservatives were left clutching their heads and noting, among other things, how this understanding of sex as a changeable cultural construct sits alongside claims that homosexuality and transgenderism, which presuppose sex identity, can somehow be biologically given and unchangeable.
"Social construct theorists like Amanda are often trapped by inconsistencies in their own arguments which … are often selectively applied," writes Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom, who calls such theories "incoherent and frankly mind-boggling."
"Deconstructing — and so re- conceptualizing — the 'social construct' that Amanda suggests was built up by patriarchal forces to trick women into thinking the desire to procreate and 'mother' is a biological imperative is, to her way of thinking, good. Reconceptualizing the 'social construct' that tricks homosexuals or the transgendered into thinking that their behavior is biologically driven, on the other hand, is, reductive, evil, and Christianist. In short, she wants to have it both ways - and she wants this precisely because it puts her in charge of deciding for everyone else what is right and what is wrong, socially speaking."
Eligible for funds
Remember when the Obama administration reversed the Mexico City policy?
One agency now eligible for U.S. funds is the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which had a delegate say some … interesting … things about traditional-family breakdown at a colloquium last month in (coincidentally) Mexico City.
According to LifeSiteNews, UNFPA representative Arie Hoekman "denounced the idea that high rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births represent a social crisis, claiming that they represent instead the triumph of 'human rights' against 'patriarchy.'"
"'In the eyes of conservative forces, these changes mean that the family is in crisis,' he said. 'In crisis? More than a crisis, we are in the presence of a weakening of the patriarchal structure, as a result of the disappearance of the economic base that sustains it and because of the rise of new values centered in the recognition of fundamental human rights,'" LifeSite reported.
Another Democratic senator not only came out in favor of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, WorldNetDaily reports, but said she expected it to happen this year.
In an interview with Bill Press, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat, not only said she favored re-regulation of the broadcast airwaves but "I have already had some discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that's gonna happen. Yep.
"I absolutely think it's time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves. I mean, our new president has talked rightly about accountability and transparency. You know, that we all have to step up and be responsible. And, I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place," Mrs. Stabenow said.
The Fairness Doctrine required radio and TV outlets to give equal time to opposing viewpoints if it allowed any, which in practice usually meant not airing any. Its 1980s abandonment paved the way for nationwide talk radio, the one medium the right dominates. And that's not fair.
"Rizzuto" at Conservative Punk chimed in: "Conflict of interest Debbie?"
"As it turns out, Stabenow's husband Tom Athans … is the co-founder of Democracy Radio, which produced left-wing talker Ed Schultz. After a stint as executive vice president of Air America, which filed for bankruptcy in '06, [Athans] founded TalkUSA Radio, a liberal talk-radio network," he wrote.
Faster than …
We assume that Little Miss Attila has her tongue in cheek … otherwise she'd have an odd notion of a "superhero."
"What's better than a graphic novel? A graphic memoir, of course," she writes at her eponymous site (www.littlemissattila .com).
"But the subject would have to be suitably stirring to warrant the treatment usually accorded superheroes. You'd want a real-life hero: someone like William Ayers.
"William Ayers? Of course," Little Miss Attila writes before quoting a Publishers Weekly account of the deal that refers to the New Superhero as "the same figure dragooned into the 2008 presidential race in a controversial attempt to use his background in radical politics and a minor acquaintance with Barack Obama to undermine Obama's presidential run."
Little Miss Attila says she would "usually classify it as a 'minor acquaintance' when one couple baby-sits another's kids. I mean, I dont have children myself, but if I did I'd certainly make sure that any potential baby-sitters had at least attempted to bomb the Pentagon. That is parental due-diligence."
She has another idea for the publisher: "Next up: Teachers College Press will be presenting a life of John Wilkes Booth, who did not bomb the Pentagon — but at least managed to bag its Commander-in-Chief."
• Contact Victor Morton at email@example.com.