Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mark Steyn on Nancy Pelosi, grandmother to America

Mark Steyn is absolutely hilarious in his take on the way the media has fallen head over heels with grandmother Nancy Pelosi.

First he has fun contrasting the difference in how a couple of Washington Post writers differed in their depiction of the Pelosi grandchildren and John Roberts' two children.
Golly. One only hopes the wee ones understand that, post-coronation, Queen Nancy's ascension to the throne might cut into all this quality time. "Gran'ma Got Run Over By Her Reign, Dears,'' as the old song so shrewdly warns. But don't Republicans have families, too? Yes, but let's face it, they creep you out, don't they? If you have the misfortune to be nominated by the Bush administration, your kids get headlines like ''An Image A Little Too Carefully Coordinated.'' That was the Washington Post's Style Section on Chief Justice John Roberts' moppets: They didn't care for ''the 1950s-style tableaux vivant,'' or the ''freshly scrubbed and adorable'' look from ''a Currier & Ives landscape''; they sniffed at the ''seersucker suit with short pants'' of ''towheaded Jack'' and his sister's ''blond pageboy''; they didn't even like the name ''Jack.''
Suddenly, no story on or interview with Nancy Pelosi is complete without some mention of her status as America's grandmother.
''Having five children in six years is the best training in the world for Speaker of the House,'' Speaker Grandma said. ''It made me the ultimate multitasker and the master of focus, routine and scheduling.''

''How different is this?'' cooed Ruth Marcus [of the Washington Post]. ''Imagine Margaret Thatcher threatening to deploy her 'mother-of-five voice.' ''

Boy, did Thatcher get it wrong! That old Iron Lady shtick, talking about communism, and inflation, and boring old ''issues,'' when eve[ry] feminist reporter in town was dying to hear her favorite cookie recipes.
I wonder if traditional feminists are at all uncomfortable with all this celebration of a stay at home mother who now can have it all. And how little mention there is of her very wealthy husband who perhaps made all this motherhood and rise in politics possible. I've seen more mentions of her father politician than her husband. Why is he getting shortchanged? As the San Francisco Chronicle wrote recently, he is deliberately keeping a low profile. I guess having a multimillionaire husband doesn't fit the entire image. There's nothing wrong with having a husband who has made many millions in investments, but it is part of the complete picture and some mention of him should belong in the media profiles.

And, as Steyn notes, Barbara Boxer just hasn't succeeded with the whole soft grandmotherly image.
Alas, not every Democrat has got the lioness-with-cubs routine down quite so pat. On Thursday, Sen. Barbara Boxer advanced the notion that Condoleezza Rice can't understand ''the price of war'' because she's childless. ''You're not going to pay a particular price,'' she told the secretary of state, ''with an immediate family.'' In other words, her childlessness means she will never have to experience any personal loss for the decisions she makes. ''You can't begin to imagine how you celebrate any holiday or birthday,'' Boxer continued, accusingly.

Hmm. What I can't begin to imagine is a Republican senator getting away with hammering, say, Gloria Steinem for her childlessness. But, after 12 years in the barren wilderness, the left is overjoyed at the Fecund Coming. Over at Ms. magazine, I expect they're rolling their eyes while admiring the cynicism.
Pelosi needs to take Boxer aside and explain how to better to play the mother card without coming out as an attack shrew using Condi's status as a single woman against her in a policy debate. As Margery Eagan of the Boston Herald wrote,
Boxer’s words were a squirm-in-your-seat reminder of all those continuing double standards - between men and women, between liberal and conservative women. Since I lean toward the former, not the latter, I can say this without fear of impunity: the liberal “sisterhood” and we’re-color-blind-with-conditions hypocrisy drive me nuts. The sisterhood only embraces sisters who think like they do. No conservative of any color need apply.

In an interview with Fox News, Rice said she was confused at first by Boxer’s comments. “I guess that means I don’t have kids. What was the purpose of that?”

To stick it where it hurts, I’d say. In Barbara Boxer’s crowd, Rice deserved it. After all, she’s a Republican. End of story.