• Re: Curtain Call for Dennis the Menace

    by  • March 20, 2012 • Uncategorized

    A couple of minor complaints were directed at my recent posting about Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s loss in the recent Democrat primary election. Interestingly, they weren’t concerned with any injustice I might have inflicted upon Kucinich.

    Rather, they focused on my next to last paragraph, which read:

    “That’s why I was miffed when [Kucinich] was recently ousted from Congress by another long-term Democrat incumbent, Marcy Kaptur (the two of them having been shoved together by redistricting). Kaptur may be every bit as silly as Kucinich, but I much prefer office-holding libs to be men rather than women. On the whole, women are generally viewed as being less rational and more emotional than men. So it’s considered only natural for them to be more liberal in their politics. In fact, in polite society, it can be considered unfair and discourteous to hold a woman accountable for having voted as a flaming lib. (“The poor dear; she just doesn’t know any better.”) As a result, it’s harder to unseat them once they’re in office. Look at how long it took Ohio Republicans to remove Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.”

    Now I’ll readily concede, I should have phrased that part more carefully. So let’s see if I can clear things up here.

    Taking the last point first, I was misconstrued as saying Jean Schmidt was a flaming lib in the manner of Kaptur. Let me assure one and all, that’s not an opinion I hold. Schmidt has long represented me as an office-holder, and admittedly, I have had major concerns with some of her actions. But no, Schmidt hasn’t been a flaming lib in Congress, nor is she anything remotely similar to Kaptur.

    But that leads to the next point. For years, Schmidt represented me in a fashion that was far less conservative than I would’ve preferred. While she wasn’t a flaming lib, she was certainly too lib for my tastes. That’s why I mentioned her within the context. It bothered me that it took my district, one of the most conservative in the state, so many years to replace her with someone more conservative. But sadly, because of double standards, that’s too often the way things run.

    In our culture, as I complained, “it can be considered unfair and discourteous to hold a woman accountable for having voted as a flaming lib.” Now if I had it to do over, I would drop the word “flaming,” so no one would think I was applying it to Schmidt. But if you think it isn’t harder to hold a woman politician accountable for acting like a lib than a man, then think again. There’re reasons why many of the more liberal Republican U.S. Senators are women: as in Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Kay Bailey Hutchison.

    I hope no one here wants to seriously argue that women aren’t “generally viewed as being less rational and more emotional than men.” Or that anyone will contend it’s not “considered only natural” for women “to be more liberal in their politics.” Feminists might hate these generalizations, but they are commonly held perceptions. If instead, I had said, women typically display greater sensitivity and awareness to others than do men, I doubt I would’ve heard a peep of objection. But in the same way, I would only have been noting a generally recognized difference between the genders. In any case, let me state, I’ve no problem supporting women in politics, as long as they’re conservative. Do you have a candidate in the mold of Margaret Thatcher or Sarah Palin? Hey, I’m all ears.

    Finally, let me note where I really slipped up. I threw in, “The poor dear; she just doesn’t know any better.” Now for having repeated that piece of condescension without explanation, I should do some penance. But please understand, that’s not my kind of expression. Rather, it’s something I once heard a well-meaning woman say in defense of a certain lady politician – one who, let’s say, will remain nameless.

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