Sunday, November 19, 2006

Boys and girls together

Considering that most people didn't know her name two months ago, it's truly breathtaking to see how quickly Nancy Pelosi has displaced Hillary Rodham Clinton as Most Reviled Woman in Red America. When you come down to it, Clinton is just an ambitious junior senator, while Pelosi is, as we're constantly reminded, two heartbeats from the Oval Office. (And as we're not constantly reminded, those hearts belong to a moron who nearly choked to death eating pretzels and a drunk with a pacemaker who likes to play with guns, whose combined approval rating barely reaches fifty percent.) The blabosphere was ready to fling crap at anyone who replaced Man Mountain Hastert, but the thought of a woman in power really has the O'Reilly-McCain-Limbaugh axis checking their trouser Derringers every five minutes. Since it's hard to make the "frigid lesbo" charge stick to a mother of five -- just wait, it will be along -- let's snipe at her appearance. If a woman lets herself slide, she's beneath contempt; if she's slim, dark-haired and relatively unwrinkled at 66, she must be vain and irrelevant. It's the classic lose/lose. More troubling is the mountain that writers like Maureen "One of the Boys" Dowd are trying to make of the Hoyer-Murtaugh molehill. I believe Pelosi supported Murtaugh for majority leader not because he had the votes but because she wanted to show her gratitude to the man who stood virtually alone against the war for so long. In any case, the Speaker is majority leader of the House in all but name, so who cares? It was far more intriguing that the Republicans have given up on attracting African-American voters to the extent of choosing an outspoken white supremacist as Senate minority whip. Who says there are no second acts in American lives? (I know, Fitzgerald. Well, for him, there wasn't.)

At least The New York Times knows what matters. On page one for two straight days we read of the death of Bo Schembechler, legendary football coach and great American. He blew off a doctor's appointment to give a pep talk to his Wolverines, you know. And then, on the eve of the biggest game of the year, he died. I tell you, it's like Moses never getting to spike the ball in the Promised Land. Keith Jackson called the timing of his death "absolutely spooky," so it may actually be one of the signs and wonders we're told to anticipate. Would that make Pelosi the Scarlet Woman? Perhaps Pat Robertson will clarify when he's had time to recover from the election results.

The Michigan-Ohio State score? I don't know. Who cares?


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