donkeyod kindly reprints Maureen Dowd's Op-Ed of today, "Two Worn-Out Diplomats , One Fold-Out Bed," in which she describes Condi Rice giving up her bed on the Boeing 757 to British foreign secretary Jack Straw. Condi then slept in the aisle. Dowd proceeds to ruminate on the role of women in politics and in the media - hoping that Katie Couric is respected more than the female pioneers of a few decades ago, yet oddly, she also belittles the job Couric has been hired to do. This week's political news has made a 'woman's place' in our society, and what must be done to get to that place, more mystifying than ever. Unfortunately, Ms. Dowd's piece only deepened my confusion.
I think it absolutely appropriate, and even kind, that the rock hard Rice offer the soft bed to Straw, and that she take the hard floor. It also seems to be part and parcel of how she does business - personal service to another as a way of cementing the relationship. While she was entitled "National Security Adviser", she was really a lot more, and a whole lot less. She didn't focus on the job itself - as her lack of emphasis on terrorism sadly proved. Instead she was focused on Bush - she was his workout partner, his foreign-affairs tutor, and one of those who read him the news. She wasn't the country's National Security Adviser.
Cynthia McKinney's decision to change her hair style caused a crisis. It seems men get very upset when this happens, as all the criticism of Hillary Clinton's changes made clear while she was First Lady. In a piece called "The Party of Police Haters", Michelle Malkin follows her standard operating procedure and spreads smears and lies about the incident,relying on the word of Tom DeLay to label McKinney a racist. Tom DeLay, the oft-indicted, ethically challenged alcoholic who blamed the shooting in Columbine on the teaching of evolution and compared the E.P.A. with the Gestapo, is somehow Malkin's go-to guy on racism. DeLay, who did more than any Majority Leader in the history of the House to destroy ethics in our government, has promised to initiate an ethics complaint against McKinney before his forced "retirement." Malkin prides herself on her ethics and values - why rely on a guy who prides himself on being without ethics?
Malkin is catching up to Ann Coulter in their career long competition: who can be the most venomous, vicious and dishonest woman in American politics.
It is as if to succeed in Republican circles, a woman must show that she will sacrifice everything. Coulter and Rice have given up their morality, and also probably their ability to be a parent. Although Malkin is a mother, in order to establish her Fighting Republican credentials, she has subsumed her husband's career, and also has sacrificed any claim to being an honest, sincere human being.
The strength of his mother Barbara Bush is often considered the source for W's supposed fondness of strong women. It does seem that the dowager First Lady is ferocious, and unforgiving, and vengeful. Like Coulter, Rice and Malkin - she could not establish a family where there were two successful working spouses.
Couric, a widow who by all accounts had a great relationship with her attorney husband, has rarely, if ever, missed one of her daughters' soccer games. I hate to disagree with Ms. Dowd, but I think Couric has a lot more to fear from people other than the men she'll work with at CBS.