Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Roger Ailes -- the good one -- links to this article about right-wing comic strips. The article quotes Edward Bruce Tinsley, creator of "Mallard Fillmore" (who, as you probably know, may have to rethink his Teddy-Kennedy's-a-fat-drunk jokes after his recent DUI arrest), and Chris Muir of "Day by Day":

... Muir's girlfriend, the primary model for one of his characters, "is a total liberal." As it happens, the same holds true for Mallard creator Tinsley, whose wife is a civil rights lawyer. There's perhaps a lesson here. "It's a funny thing," Tinsley says. "All her liberal friends are incredulous that our marriage works, but none of my conservative friends have any trouble with it at all. They understand you can think differently about things and still be civil to one another."

Is it believable that they don't have any trouble with it? Sure.

Is it because they're very tolerant, as Tinsley claims? I doubt it.

My guess is that they think it's perfectly understandable that Tinsley's wife is a liberal because, well, she's a woman. Right-wingers think liberalism is emotional and irrational -- of course a woman would be a civil rights lawyer and a liberal. It's the hormones -- you know, the same ones that make women go to all those sappy romantic comedies and get so upset when the toilet seat is up. Women just don't have enough testosterone to be rational, i.e., conservative.

People on the right see liberalism as disproportionately distributed among women and gay men. That's why right-wingers write books with titles like Conservatives Are from Mars, Liberals Are from San Francisco. Here's another example -- Howie Carr, writing in the Boston Herald about the reaction of "moonbats" to Barack Obama's recent appearance in New Hampshire:

The fine silk scarves, the leather hats, the ponytails -- and these are the males I'm talking about.

As they listened to Barack's inane pap, their mouths dropped, their eyelids fluttered. Their knees grew weak. Timber, they're falling in love again.

This perspective, of course, spreads from the right to the mainstream media, as Digby noted yesterday in reference to Jeff Greenfield's CNN riff on Barack Obama's clothing choices, as well as the endless media references to Nancy Pelosi's Armani suits:

These fashion "stories" are planted by snotty GOP operatives to trivialize (and feminize) Democrats. All these liberals are a bunch of flaming metrosexual fashionistas, don't you know, thinking about their looks all the time, staring in the mirror, spending tons of money on their appearances. (Remember "Christophe" and the 300 dollar haircut? John Kerry and the botox?)

Democrats are nothing but a bunch of bitches and girlie-men, haven't you heard?

More from Digby today:

... there is an obsession among the press corps with a very peculiar form of gender stereotypes which they affix to the political parties.... it is ... part of a long term political strategy on the right to paint the Democrats as being odd, untrustworthy, hysterical, overly sensitive and soft --- what neanderthals think of as traditionally negative female characteristics. Not only does this narrative feed into these negative sereotypes, which benefits traditonal power structures in general, it feeds into a positive male leadership archetype, which has been appropriated by the Republican Party. It is what allowed a halfwit, manchild to be elected as a "grown-up" while the real adult was derided as some sort of Blanche DuBois character who had lost his grip on reality.

But that manchild is a man, so he's qualified to be the leader of the Free World. Democrats, by contrast, just have the wrong hormone balance to lead. They should stick to what they're built for -- marrying right-wing male comics.

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