On yesterday’s Meet the Press Tom Brokaw, Chris Matthews and David Gregory were opining about the failure of the Obamacare rollout.
Strangely enough, for men who are presumably full-throated supporters of feminism, they seemed to be laying the blame at the feet of the women in charge: Kathleen Sebelius, Marilyn Tavenner and Valerie Jarrett.
Worse yet, they seemed to be asking what kind of man feels a need to surround himself with so many women.
Ann Althouse has looked at the evidence and has espied a pattern of unconscious sexism. This puts her into high dudgeon.
To her mind, Tom, Chris and David were intimating, with their sports metaphors and martial images, with their referencing to more competent people named Bobby, Doug or Jim that the Obama administration gave too much power, too much authority, too much responsibility to a bunch of girls.
Althouse is not finished, not by a lot. She believes that these sexist males are really impugning our president’s manliness. Heaven forfend!
By her analysis:
So what does this say about Obama, not wanting to bring in real men, who take charge, who make the play, who exert authority? He's not man enough to work alongside real men? He needs to play with the ladies, ladies who don't know their place — who dither and float?
Althouse notwithstanding, the Obama administration seems to have gotten the message. It recently put a man in charge of the health care mess: Jeffrey Zients.
If a Republican had said any of what Tom, Chris and David said, media pundits would rise up and smite him for declaring war against women. He would be consigned to whichever circle of Hell contains all the unrepentant sexists.
Apparently, the feminist-sympathizers on NBC get a pass… from everyone but Althouse.
The trouble is: how do you know that these left-leaning men on Meet the Press were not just stating the truth? Given today’s political correctness, no one is really allowed to say that it makes the least bit of difference whether men or women are in charge. Everyone believes that men and women are equal, but most people understand that equal does not mean same. What if the the NBC-men were circumventing censorship to speak the truth?
The truth is, women have been in charge of Obamacare and they have, by all indications, failed. Would men have done better? We do not know.
Does being a woman compromise someone’s ability to exercise executive leadership in some situations?
Surely, we cannot determine the truth with absolute certainty. Surely, women do not hold a monopoly on incompetence. It is not a very good idea to extrapolate too far from a single example.
After all, the world has known many effective women leaders. Margaret Thatcher comes to mind, though she surrounded herself entirely with men.
To prove Tom, Chris and David wrong one would have to provide examples of effective women or men leaders who have delegated significant authority to a significant number of women?
Althouse is also disputing the implication that there is something wrong with a man who surrounds himself with women because he does not have enough manly self-confidence to hire strong men.
Would it matter if a male coach of a men’s football team hired a large group of female assistant coaches? Would it matter if a commanding general filled his immediate staff with female officers?
You might say that the Obamacare rollout was not at all analogous with fighting a war, but clearly Tom and Chris and David are great supporters of President Obama. They are offering what they consider to be good advice, though they know that if they stated it directly they would be excoriated by feminists. Or perhaps they have developed such well-developed capacity to self-censure that they do not even allow themselves to think such sexist thoughts.
To uncover their real beliefs Althouse had to ferret through their sports and military metaphors.
Yet, for all Althouse or I know, Tom, Chris and David might be right.