- The Washington Times - Friday, January 11, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Code Red: Washington put on full terror alert. The terror of horrific testosterone threatens to paralyze the nation’s capital. We haven’t seen fear like this since the capital expected the Confederate army to march down Pennsylvania Avenue after P.G.T. Beauregard and his men thrashed the Yankees good and proper at First Manassas.

What’s got some Democrats cowering in full fury, particularly the ladies and their liege men, is that President Obama, who imagined that his re-election victory entitled him to pick the second-term Cabinet he wants, has so far picked only men. It could have been worse. But for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the new recruits could have been all white men.

The president’s dilemma — should he choose his Cabinet by what he needs or work to mollify his critics in the ladies’ gallery — grew a little worse Thursday when Hilda Solis quit unexpectedly as secretary of labor.

“It’s as embarrassing as [heck],” says Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. “We’ve been through all of this with Mitt Romney. And we were very hard with Mitt Romney and the women binder and a variety of things. And I kind of think there’s no excuse with the second term.”

The New York Times, which is particularly frightened by what it imagines is a tsunami of testosterone about to drown us all, filed the first terror alert with a photograph of Mr. Obama meeting with a group of senior wise men in the Oval Office and (gasp!) they were all male folk. Not a frill or a fru-fru in the bunch.

“Mr. Obama’s recent nominations raised concern that women were being underrepresented at the highest level of government and would be passed over for top positions,” The New York Times reported, and posted an “analysis” of how the Obama administration compares with the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. Mr. Obama gives himself the best report card (no surprise there), but none of the three comes off as a lady-pleaser, as the politically correct define lady-pleasing. Mr. Bush appointed more women and minorities to the highest positions in his Cabinet, but they don’t count. Why might that be? Umm, well, you know, just because.

Nancy Hogan, the director of White House personnel, applies a bit of ritual goo on the president’s record. “We’re not only getting better than previous administrations but we also want to get better ourselves as well. The president puts a premium on making his team representative of the American people.”

So far, no one has said what ought to be the obvious, which is that the president should be free to choose whoever he thinks is best, regardless of whether his choices are male, female or other. In the real world, a place no one is any longer allowed to go, a president would sometimes choose a man, sometimes a woman, and not worry about it. This president would no doubt be comfortable choosing a gay caballero for his Cabinet. But no matter how stylish his frock, he probably wouldn’t choose a cross-dresser to preside over the Pentagon. Not yet.

Mike Huckabee, observing that the president’s second term appears to be long on testosterone and short on estrogen, mocks Mr. Obama on his radio show for his campaign rhetoric accusing Mr. Romney and other Republicans for conducting “a war on women.”

“Now a lot of those females who supported Barack Obama are scratching their heads, and they’re saying, ‘Whoa! How come there is so much testosterone in the Obama Cabinet and so little estrogen? Because if you look around, all of these high-powered appointments that he is making are all white guys.’

“You remember back during the Democratic convention how he accused Republicans of waging a war on women. A lot of women must have believed it, because he got 55 percent of the female vote. Mitt Romney got 45 percent. ‘Give ‘em contraceptives and abortions. But don’t worry about positions of authority. They shouldn’t be asking for such things.’”

Mocking the president and his party is easy to do, since they asked for it, kowtowing to the miserably politically correct in all they do. If the president, any president, wants to stock his Cabinet heavy on the testosterone or even one day a little heavy on the estrogen, it ought to be his call. Besides, testosterone has its appeal. You could ask the ladies.

Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.