Rush Limbaugh added to his long history of sexism yesterday with a particularly ugly attack directed at President Obama and his national security team. While discussing a CNN.com piece reporting that Obama heeded the counsel of three female advisors to intervene in Libya, Limbaugh dubbed the president and his male advisors "sissies" and "the new castrati":
LIMBAUGH: This is a piece by David Rodham Gergen. "After conversations with top players in Washington last week, mostly as I accompanied a group of Zuckerman Fellows" -- boy I wish I was part of that group, the Zuckerman Fellows -- "from Harvard on a field trip, here are some brief reflections on the mood there," at Harvard. We got a whole CNN piece on what they're thinking at Harvard. Remember, now, Harvard grooms people to do this, quote- unquote, "the right way." That's the purpose of Harvard, and the purpose of Yale, and Princeton and Brown, to train people to do this the right way, meaning the liberal right way.
"The head-snapping change in policy toward Libya has everybody guessing where the Mideast is heading, whether the U.S. has a good handle on it, and most of all, what Obama is trying to achieve." Get this next, see, get this next: "One irony, as a female friend put it, is that for many years many of us believed that if only more women could gain power, the world would surely become more peaceful. Yet, we now see that the three people who talked Obama into using force are women -- Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Samantha Power. Leading male advisers were opposed. Perhaps we should be less" -- we're talking about male liberals. Of course they were opposed. It's the New Castrati. Of course the males were opposed. They're sissies. And here's the number one, well, the leader of the club. He happens to sit in the Oval Orifice [sic].
Fox News' website the Fox Nation amplified Limbaugh's sexism, linking to a post on Mediaite with the headline, "Limbaugh: 'Sissy' Obama Dragged Into Libya By Women." On a similar note, on National Review Online, Mark Krikorian is complaining that three women "nagged" Obama until he gave in on Libya.
The phrase "new castrati" is a favorite of Limbaugh's. He has repeatedly used it to attack those on the left.
Following the release of a dubious report on "birth tourism" by the Center For Immigration Studies, Andrew Breitbart's website Big Peace highlighted the study's conclusions that hundreds of thousands of women visiting the United States give birth to babies here each year and that some of them are likely "terror babies" who will eventually use their U.S. citizenship to attack the United States in 20 to 30 years.
National Review's Mark Krikorian thinks it's just awful that women might play a role in making public decisions:
Look, I'm a sensitive New Age guy — I cook, I do laundry, I choke up at movies (well, Gladiator, anyway). But does anyone think our enemies abroad are as enlightened as we are about feminism? Steyn is right that the specific lesson they're learning is that nukes are the best insurance against invasion — but a broader one is that our commander-in-chief is an effete vacillator who is pushed around by his female subordinates. Prof. Althouse notes, "A feminist milestone: Our male President has been pulled into war by 3 women," and Senator Graham scored points with "I Thank God for Strong Women in the Obama Administration," but we're going to pay for this.
I don't know how much influence Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power had over the Obama administration's Libya policy, and neither does Mark Krikorian. What is clear is that Mark Krikorian thinks it is terrible that they are perceived as having been influential, and that it is terrible precisely because they are women. And no, I'm not over-interpreting Krikorian's comments -- he explicitly says this:
Before you send me any burning bras, the problem is not with women leaders — the enemies of the Virgin Queen and the Iron Lady can attest to that. The problem is not even with the president having strong female subordinates. Rather, Obama's pusillanimity has been hugely magnified by the contrast with the women directing his foreign policy and the fact that they nagged him to attack Libya until he gave in. Maybe it's unfair and there shouldn't be any difference from having a male secretary of state do the same thing, but there is.
Krikorian pretends that he doesn't (necessarily) think the influence of a female secretary of state should be viewed differently from the influence of a male secretary of state -- he's just describing the world as it is. But Krikorian's word choice gives him away: The three women, Krikorian writes, "nagged" Obama until he gave in.
Let's be clear about this: Mark Krikorian isn't describing sexism, he's demonstrating it.
We've previously documented that National Review Online's Ed Whelan baselessly attacked Elena Kagan for a brief she filed asking the Supreme Court to overturn one aspect of a 2007 Arizona law dealing with illegal immigration (a different Arizona law from the recently-passed SB 1070 that has been so much in the news recently). Now another NRO blogger has joined in the baseless attack -- Mark Krikorian.
The attack is so ridiculous, we didn't think we'd have to revisit it, but here goes. First, the attackers -- try as they might to gloss over the fact -- have absolutely no evidence that the brief actually has Kagan's input. She didn't sign the brief, is not listed on the brief, and had recused herself from working on the matter by the time the brief was filed.
Second, without additional evidence -- which neither Krikorian nor Whelan has presented -- there's no reason to believe that any particular brief filed by the solicitor general's office represents the views of the lawyers who worked on the brief.
Third, Krikorian misrepresents the substance of the brief filed in the case.
And finally, according to Krikorian's fellow NRO blogger Jonathan Adler, the position taken in the brief is perfectly reasonable and probably correct.
This Sunday's illegal-alien march in Washington will make it even harder to move amnesty - there's going to be a lot of anger, like at the gay-marriage protests that featured signs that could have come from a tea party. Hopefully, there will be lots of Che Guevara posters and "This Is Our Land" demands, along with the American flags that organizers no doubt bought in bulk at Costco to hand out.
Krikorian also labeled the rally an "illegal-alien-palooza" in a March 18 post:
It's not clear why the Post even agreed to publish the piece, other than it seemed salient in anticipation of Sunday's illegal-alien-palooza on the Mall. Until labor agrees to support an indentured labor program for "temporary" workers, business isn't going to back any bill and nothing's going to move. Wake me when something happens.
In a blog post, Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian advised respondents to the 2010 Census to avoid disclosing their ethnicity by selecting "[s]ome other race" and writing in "American." Other conservative bloggers and radio hosts have followed suit, mounting a campaign to thwart the Census' efforts to gather information on the topic, which the Census says is needed to enforce federal laws.
In a February 16 NRO post, Mark Krikorian denounced the American Principles Project's effort to appeal to Latinos through its new Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, which will be "[e]ncouraging increased support and advocacy among conservatives for comprehensive immigration reform." Krikorian wrote:
I wasn't at today's press conference announcing the new effort, but the reporters I've spoken with said promoting Obama's plan for amnesty and increased immigration ("comprehensive immigration reform") was a major topic. If the point is to increase the Republican share of the Hispanic vote, this sure isn't going to help; the only thing that will is closing down mass immigration so that -- as we saw the last time we did it -- immigrants and their children will Americanize over time and vote more like other Americans, i.e., more Republican.
From a January 21 post by Mark Krikorian on National Review Online's blog The Corner:
Derb and Jonah's discussion on why Haiti is a basket case misses the point, I think. The question is not "Why isn't Haiti like Denmark?" It's "Why isn't Haiti like Jamaica or Barbados?" Those places certainly have their problems, but they're not dystopian like Haiti. (Haiti doesn't just have the lowest per capita GDP, based on purchasing-power parity, in the Western Hemisphere; the next-lowest, Nicaragua, is at twice Haiti's level.) It's obviously not race -- Caribbean blacks are all from the same basic background. It's not because of their different colonial masters; while Britain's influence in the world has certainly been more salutary than that of France, Guadeloupe and Martinique are also French former sugar colonies in the Caribbean, and they're infinitely better off.
My guess is that Haiti's so screwed up because it wasn't colonized long enough. The ancestors of today's Haitians, like elsewhere in the Caribbean, experienced the dislocation of de-tribalization, which disrupted the natural ties of family and clan and ethnicity. They also suffered the brutality of sugar-plantation slavery, which was so deadly that the majority of slaves at the time of independence were African-born, because their predecessors hadn't lived long enough to reproduce.
But, unlike Jamaicans and Bajans and Guadeloupeans, et al., after experiencing the worst of tropical colonial slavery, the Haitians didn't stick around long enough to benefit from it. (Haiti became independent in 1804.). And by benefit I mean develop a local culture significantly shaped by the more-advanced civilization of the colonizers. Sure, their creole language is influenced by French, but they never became black Frenchmen, like the Martiniquais, or "Afro-Saxons," like the Barbadians. Where a similar creolization took place in Africa, you saw a similar thing -- the Cape Coloureds, who are basically black Afrikaaners, and even the Swahili peoples of the east African coast, who are Arabized blacks. A major indicator of how superficial is the overlay of French culture in Haiti is the strength of paganism, in the form of voodoo -- the French just weren't around long enough to suppress it, to the detriment of Haitians.
From Mark Krikorian's May 27 post on the National Review Online's The Corner:
It Sticks in My Craw [Mark Krikorian]
Most e-mailers were with me on the post on the pronunciation of Judge Sotomayor's name (and a couple griped about the whole Latina/Latino thing - English dropped gender in nouns, what, 1,000 years ago?). But a couple said we should just pronounce it the way the bearer of the name prefers, including one who pronounces her name "freed" even though it's spelled "fried," like fried rice. (I think Cathy Seipp of blessed memory did the reverse - "sipe" instead of "seep.") Deferring to people's own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English (which is why the president stopped doing it after the first time at his press conference), unlike my correspondent's simple preference for a monophthong over a diphthong, and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn't be giving in to.
For instance, in Armenian, the emphasis is on the second syllable in my surname, just as in English, but it has three syllables, not four (the "ian" is one syllable) - but that's not how you'd say it in English (the "ian" means the same thing as in English - think Washingtonian or Jeffersonian). Likewise in Russian, you put the emphasis in my name on the final syllable and turn the "o" into a schwa, and they're free to do so because that's the way it works in their language. And should we put Asian surnames first in English just because that's the way they do it in Asia? When speaking of people in Asia, okay, but not people of Asian origin here, where Mao Tse-tung would properly have been changed to Tse-tung Mao. Likewise with the Mexican practice of including your mother's maiden name as your last name, after your father's surname.
This may seem like carping, but it's not. Part of our success in assimilation has been to leave whole areas of culture up to the individual, so that newcomers have whatever cuisine or religion or so on they want, limiting the demand for conformity to a smaller field than most other places would. But one of the areas where conformity is appropriate is how your new countrymen say your name, since that's not something the rest of us can just ignore, unlike what church you go to or what you eat for lunch. And there are basically two options -- the newcomer adapts to us, or we adapt to him. And multiculturalism means there's a lot more of the latter going on than there should be.
In a blog post on National Review Online, Mark Krikorian asked if diversity policies touted by Washington Mutual, which was seized by federal regulators and sold to another bank on September 25, were the "[c]ause" of the bank's collapse.