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Hullabaloo


Monday, September 29, 2008

 
Hey Flyboy

by digby

I was just watching Bill Maher on the old TiVO and he had on a guest named Lisa Schiffrin, one of The Corner's many wingnut welfare queens. She explained that the conservatives were more capable of solving the economic crisis because they use reason and facts to solve problems unlike the overly emotional liberals who are blinded by their feelings.

That's so true. For instance, a conservative would never publish something like this in a major newspaper:

Hey, Flyboy
Women voters agree: President Bush is a hottie!

I had the most astonishing thought last Thursday. After a long day of hauling the kids to playdates and ballet, I turned on the news. And there was the president, landing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, stepping out of a fighter jet in that amazing uniform, looking--how to put it?--really hot. Also presidential, of course. Not to mention credible as commander in chief. But mostly "hot," as in virile, sexy and powerful.

You don't see a lot of that in my neighborhood, the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (I'm told there's more of it in the "red" states.) I was mesmerized. I flipped around watching W. land on many channels. I watched the whole speech, which was fine. But a business suit just doesn't do it the way a flight suit does. In the course of this I peeked over at my husband, the banker. He was in his third month of reading a book about the Six Day War and didn't seem to notice.

Nonetheless, I know that I am not the only one who entertained these untoward thoughts. The American media were fully aware of how stunning the president looked last week. And they chose to defuse it by referring endlessly to the "photo-oppiness" of the event. The man uses overwhelming military force to vanquish a truly evil foe, facing down balking former "allies," and he is not taken seriously as a foreign-policy president. He out top-guns the Hollywood version, and all the media can talk about is the impending campaign commercial.

With a few exceptions: Brian Williams shook his head in awe at the clip and said, if I may paraphrase, "that, ladies and gentlemen, is a president at the pinnacle of success, having just won a war." The New York Post ran the hot shot on its front page. And Newsweek called it a photo-op but gave the president what can only be called a centerfold.

Meanwhile David Gergen, arguably as bloodless a creature as has ever graced too many White Houses and TV shows, actually broke into a grin and said: "This will set the standard for advance men for years to come." Advance men? I think it will set a new standard for women voters.

I decided to run a reality check among the soccer moms I spend my days with. At my daughter's East Side school, my friend Emily, a mother of two and probably a liberal, examined the picture of the president in his fly-boy gear that I just happened to have in my purse. She looked carefully, grinned and said, "He's a hottie. No doubt about it. Really a hottie. Why haven't I noticed this before? He looks so much better than Michael Douglas in that movie we saw," comparing the tired, indifferent megastar of "The American President" to the totally present leader of the free world.

Alexandra, an unmarried event planner in her 30s, e-mailed: "Hot? SO HOT!!!!! THAT UNIFORM!" In a more restrained way, my friend Maggie, a writer/mom, explained: "I think he is actually protecting me and my sons, and I find that attractive in a man." Suzi, who did her mom time and now writes biographies, also began with restraint. I asked, casually, what she thought about President Bush. She answered, carefully, "He's so confident. He is a very credible, trustworthy leader." "Yeah," I pursue, "but do you think he's sexy?" "Oh God, yes," she said. "I mean, that swagger. George Bush in a pair of jeans is a treat to watch." This from a soft-spoken woman inclined to intellectual pursuits.

Back on the West Side, among the liberals I live surrounded by, there was dissent. At my younger children's preschool, comments ranged from "well he's cute, but not my type" to "I can't think of anything more revolting." Many of them still cite Bill Clinton and his allegedly penetrating intellect as more appealing.

Liberals make such a fetish of intellect. But who cares how smart you are if you can't make a decision and follow through? Mr. Clinton could not seem to do that with foreign policy, or with Miss Lewinsky. Still, I concede that having a Republican president with sex appeal is kind of a new idea. We haven't actually seen one in living memory. more here (if you can stomach it.)


That was Lisa Schiffrin, of course. Using reason and fact to solve her "problem."

As we contemplate this next election, I think it's a really good idea to recall just how full-on nuts the right wing was when they were riding high. It's this kind of dizzy, delusional hysteria that got us in this fix and it's important that they not be allowed to airbrush this behavior out of history.


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