- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 2, 2006


“Media people keep saying, as Hillary gears up for her presidential bid, that her big challenge in 2008 will be to prove that she is as tough as a man. That she could order troops to war. That she’s not girly and soft.

“This is the exact opposite of the truth. Hillary doesn’t have to prove her guy chops. She doesn’t have to prove she’s a man, she has to prove she’s a woman. No one in America thinks she’s a woman. They think she’s a tough little termagant in a pantsuit. They think she’s something between an android and a female impersonator. She is not perceived as a big warm mommy trying to resist her constant impulse to sneak you candy. They think she has to resist her constant impulse to hit you with a bat. She lacks a deep (as opposed to quick) warmth, a genuine and almost phenomenological sense of rightness in her own skin. She seems like someone who might calculatedly go to war, or not, based on how she wanted to be perceived and look and do. She does not seem like someone who would anguish and weep over sending men into harm’s way.”

— Peggy Noonan, writing on “Stop Spinning,” Thursday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

Sounds of silence

“The National Religious Campaign Against Torture has nothing to say about torture victims of the Saudi monarchy, of the Iranian mullahs, or of North Korean madman Kim Jong Il. Instead, the campaign is only distressed about supposed American policies of ‘torture.’ Its policy goals are somewhat vague, beyond simply condemning the United States. But clearly the campaign would like to expand the definition of torture to include all ‘cruel’ treatment and for international regulations to override all U.S. law. It denounces the U.S. rendition of foreign nationals with terrorism ties back to their native countries, whose regimes actually commit torture, as opposed to the interrogation tactics of the United States they condemn with pretended piety. But, oddly, the campaign will not denounce the torturing regimes.

“Perhaps they should remote the beam from their eyes before removing the speck in that of President Bush.”

— Mark Tooley, writing on “Tortured Logic,” Friday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Super fatigue

“Is anyone else out there drumming their fingers waiting for the superhero craze to be over? I mean, it’s not impossible. Westerns had their day in the sun and now are revisited mainly as genre curiosities. … Musicals came and went, as did films about mutant insects turned giant by atomic radiation. But 28 years after Richard Donner’s ‘Superman: The Movie,’ the No. 1 mythical archetype at the box office — with the possible exception of the Italian gangster — is still the dude in a cape with the secret powers and the schleppy everyday life.

“At this late stage, a comic-book-based blockbuster has to be genius on toast to rouse me from my summer slumbers. Both Spider-Man movies managed the trick, whether because of the appealing casting of Tobey Maguire or the genuine underdog quality of the Peter Parker character. Somehow Spidey really did seem to be flying by the seat of his red-and-blue unitard, making up the whole superhero gig as he went along. But Superman is such a hopeless goody-two-shoes, so filial and hardworking and clean-living, that awaiting the next installment of his adventures is like looking forward to the Sunday-school picnic.”

— Dana Stevens, writing on “Man of Stale,” Tuesday in Slate at www.slate.com

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