Posts Tagged ‘Mommy Party’

Regarding oneiroi’s recent post about Congress stepping aside and letting Bush quietly ream our democracy: MoveOn.org has created a petition that you can read and sign here. Go on record saying, “I’m outraged that Congress capitulated to President Bush and gave him more unchecked power to wiretap Americans without a warrant. I demand Congress act swiftly to reverse this reckless act.”

Because, seriously. Why the fuck did we elect democrats if this is what they’re doing with their time?

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I have already expressed my ceaseless, violent anger at the terms “Daddy Party” and “Mommy Party,” but now political gendering has gone a step further. Salon.com posted an article last week called “Hillary is from Mars, Obama is from Venus,” which basically argued that Obama is a bigger girl than Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that she has ovaries. Admittedly, Brooklyn Skeptic is guilty of regularly reinforcing gender stereotypes, but we’re just trying to be cute. The rest of the world is not cute.

Michael Scherer writes for Salon.com,

Throughout history, American presidents have been men’s men who puff their out chests against evil. Think Teddy Roosevelt on safari, Jack Kennedy in PT-109, Ronald Reagan on his horse, or George W. Bush with a chain saw clearing brush. If leaders show any slackening of testosterone, especially in wartime, they are quickly derided as wimps (George H.W. Bush), a Frenchman (John Kerry) or weaklings (Jimmy Carter). But on the Democratic campaign trail these days, where the first woman in U.S. history is making a serious run at the White House, gender roles are being swapped.

He cites Clinton’s tough-as-nails demeanor and Obama’s exultation to dream together as evidence of their misplaced genders.

I think we’re all just missing the boat here and being lazy with our lexicon. A person who believes he or she should rightfully be the president of the United States is going to have a particular set of personality traits that are not necessarily common in all people. These traits, I suppose, would be a dominant personality, with some delusions of grandeur, egoism, ambition and obstinance. One could also rightly suspect that the candidate would be uncommonly intelligent, personable, charismatic, and good looking. However, these second-ranked traits are not required to be president, and are easier to fake with the right staff.

As our political arena becomes ever-so-slightly more accessible to non-white-and-male Americans each year, we are beginning to see that these traits are exclusive neither to one gender nor to one racial background. Politicians, like members of every other profession that I can think of, can be basically anyone, assuming they have the above mentioned personality traits. So when Scherer talks about the flipped gender roles of the leading democratic candidates, Obama and Clinton, he, too, is being lazy. Scherer quotes Clinton saying that she is “not running because [she is] a woman. [She is] running because [she thinks she is] the best qualified and experienced person to hit the ground running in January 2009.” While Scherer interprets this as another masculine move, downplaying her femininity and underscoring her ambition (so unladylike), I see this as just another example of the presidential power trait (patent pending, jerk). Clinton believes she knows a better way and she thinks she should lead the county there.

Scherer shows Obama

[Singing] an empowerment ballad on the stump that would make most lady folk singers proud. “The decision to go to war is not a sport,” he tells crowds, rejecting the male metaphor. “We can discover the better part of ourselves as a nation,” he says. “We can dream big dreams.”

Sadly, under all of this inflammatory gender comparison (singing vs. sports), what is ignored is the actual power behind his words. While he isn’t clearing brush or womanizing, he’s calling for revolution of our political system. I don’t know if that’s “feminine,” but it certainly betrays his presidential power trait. He also knows a better way. He thinks he should be the one to lead the U.S. out of this shitshow we’re in. There’s no way that any of this is masculine or feminine. This is nothing but total politician. We need a third gender when we’re talking about politicians. Maybe it’s the presence of two assholes instead of typical male or female genitals.

So what? So maybe we should start listening to the actual ideas and strategies and stop trying to put every fucking thing into these circumscribed categories of acceptable gender behavior. No Mommy Party and Daddy Party. No bitch. No man’s man. No brush clearing. No Indigo Girls.

**Update: Scherer responds to readers tearing him a new one…

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Former Senator Rick Santorum, most notable for having this named after him (every “compassionate” conservative’s wet dream!), has recently been in the papers yet again. Despite the widespread disgust he garnered (as Bob Kerrey once said, “Santorum – that’s Latin for asshole”) and his loss of the 2006 Senate race, the man has still found ways to get in the news. The latest? He’s making movies. What are they about? Three Iranian brothers, one of whom becomes a terrorist. Who better to make a movie about that? Only in Pittsburgh!

On the other side of the spectrum, Hillary Clinton has finally chosen a campaign song. I know that we here at Brooklyn Skeptic have all been waiting with bated breath since she announced her nominees. And now she’s chosen a winner! But first, please, sit through this Sopranos spoof thing where she and Bill “I had my money on Smash Mouth” Clinton attempt to be funny. And the winner is? Celine Dion’s “You and I.” What better way to capture the hearts and minds of the American youth by using a Canadian pop star from ten years ago! Sign me up, I want to be a Hillraiser!

And finally, way to go Antonin Scalia for being yet another conservative to mention the show “24” and Jack Bauer. First it was Tom Tancredo, who was quoted saying “You say that nuclear devices have gone off in the United States, more are planned, and we’re wondering about whether waterboarding would be a bad thing to do? I’m looking for Jack Bauer at that time!” And now Justice Scalia has joined the Kiefer Sutherland fan club, stating “Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles” and “Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?” Now that I know that a former cast member of The Lost Boys can have such an effect on world politics, can I vote that we start listening to the Coreys more often?

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In a city only slightly less depraved than New York, but equally hated by most of America, our fine Mayor Bloomberg shuffled his Republican party affiliation off this mortal coil. Yesterday in Los Angeles, Bloomberg announced that he will now vote as an independent and run as an independent…if he so chooses to run for any particular office in the future…not that he is saying he is…it’s really more of a house-keeping type thing…you know, because…okay fine! He wants to be president, damn it! He just hates guns and loves abortion too much to be Republican. And he hates poor people to much to be a Democrat.

The gagillionaire Mayor explained to a California audience that included Gov. Schwarzenegger the many critiques he has for both the Republican and Democratic parties. The Governator retorted, “stop whining, you idiot!” He then got in his Hummer and drove away. After the disruption, Bloomberg continued to to address the crowd: “Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles, and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology.” He later added, “unless we’re talking about sweet, sweet capitalism.”

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MoveOn.org is inviting all of us to a virtual town hall to talk about Iraq with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, and Joe Biden. Earnestness is not my forte, but I think this is genuinely good.

Virtual Town Hall: Iraq
Tuesday, April 10
7:15 PM

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In a move that is totally 2007, the Barack Obama campaign team has set up a social networking site called My.BarackObama.com. You can think of it as Facebook‘s really, really timid cousin. You know, with fewer pictures of underage drunk girls and racist parties.

I, for one, am really happy about the development of this site. It’s another demonstration of Obama’s forward-thinking ways. Not only is he creating a community for his young supporters where they have a safe space to dialogue about their dreams for America, he’s making it just a little easier for me to find a husband.

Now, I like universal health care, peace and unions as much as the next guy. I’ll stand beside Obama as he takes on the Halliburtons and the Rangers and all the other ultra-right-wing organizations. But at the end of the day, I’m looking for one thing from my President and that’s easy access to potential suitors or at least drunken, liberal hook-ups.

I can just picture it now: I log into My.BarackObama.com and see I have a new message from HackeySacks1980. “Hey cutie… U R so liberal. U wanna chill 2nite??!”

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So the half-assed, luke warm political insult slinging has begun. Sigh. I wish they would just all get together and have a nice slapfight and settle this like adults.

McCain is definitely pulling out ahead in this one if only because he has literally no shame. Case in point:

“Some minutes later, after the news conference had ended, Mr. McCain, unbidden, said to the reporter, ‘Sir, I stand by my comments about Secretary Rumsfeld, by the way.'”

Really, really, Mr. Reporter sir. I don’t like that man one bit! Take me seriously! Unfortunately what he said about Rumsfeld wasn’t too salacious. It was along the lines of Rumsfeld being a bad Secretary of Defence. At which point all of America slapped their foreheads and said, “duh.”


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“In other words, liberal moment or conservative slump?

“Both, presumably, for reasons that could be explained in part by the ‘mommy party/daddy party’ cliché — that is, that voters typically favor Democrats (‘mommy party’) on social issues and Republicans (‘daddy party’) on national security.

“’At the moment, daddy seems to have messed up the war in Iraq,’ says Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review magazine, ‘so people are much more willing to listen to mommy, which helps Democrats.'” *

Mommy party and daddy party? Oh sweet fuck. How come I hadn’t heard of this moniker before?

I suppose if we lived in a less sexist world, and this wasn’t a term so obviously created by Republicans, I would hate the idea of this less. In fact, it would be possible to spin this in a positive way. Mommies are looking out for the good of the family (“country”), trying to keep everyone alive (less war, more health care, economic equality -> less poverty -> healthier people). Daddies have a stronger arm (more war), more alienated from the intimate workings of the family (“country”), but more closely related to the financial business of the family.

But, as a liberal, I see actual gender roles deviating from this paradigm, not only in my own family, but in like, every family. Also, I don’t hate men. Also, I don’t think Republicans are actually very good at dealing with money.
But even the above interpretation is the new version of the mommy/daddy definition currently in use. Just a few years ago, it meant something completely different. So to hear this described by a true-blue Repub, with possibly non-western philosophical leanings, circa 1999:

“The concept [is] that the Democratic Party is the ‘Mommy Party’ and the Republican Party is the ‘Daddy Party.’ This derives from the oriental concept of yin and yang, which divides the cosmos into yin, which is feminine, dark and negative, and yang, which is masculine, light and positive. The Democratic party is the Mommy Party in that it represents security, which must be pessimistic, just as mother and wife as traditional keepers of hearth and home are risk averse. Republicans represent growth, which results from risk-taking, which requires optimism, which father and husband need as they set forth to improve the conditions of the family. The family is in harmony, as is the cosmos, when yin and yang are in balance.” **

I personally, see this as ass-backwards. In this scenario, the Democrats are associated with “security” and the Republicans are associated with “improv[ing] the conditions of the family.” But this explanation was written in 1999, before Republicans cared about terrorists and while they were still interested in making sure Bill Clinton keeps his dick out of the public eye/Monica Lewinsky. Ah, simpler days.

Can we all agree at this point that, as a country, we’re not going to use terms like this anymore because it makes us sound so naive, so dated, so pricky? Can we just go ahead and take the issues and each decide where we stand on them, without associating them with deeply ingrained prejudices? Can we move forward and actually discuss important things like adults?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.


* “Leftward, Ho?”

** “Memo, 1-19-99; Mommy Party, Daddy Party”

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