Friday, November 17, 2006

Welcome to 1976

Even Bob Herbert is telling us how "normal" Nancy Pelosi is--she's a grandmother of six! Whether he is being ironic is hard to tell, but I think he isn't. It feels like the 70s. "Really, she likes men." "Really, she's not a lesbian." "Really, she plans to marry and have children." "Really, she loves being a wife and mother."

The object, of course, is to "prove" that a woman with six grandchildren can't possibly be that liberal, because "nice" women with "family values" can't be leftists. The other object is to drum into us that the 1950s nuclear family is "normal" in America, when, in fact, it is not.

Pelosi herself sometimes buys into the "I am not the evil she-monster" myth. Consider her rush to call Hugo Chavez an "everyday thug" because he referred to Bush as the devil. Whatever one may think of Chavez, he nailed that one, and Pelosi knows it. At least, I hope she does. Did she have an obligation, as House Minority Leader, to chastize Chavez? I don't think so. But even if I am wrong, she could have just called him "tacky" rather than launch an obvious defense of Bush.

I have my doubts about Pelosi, but there are also a lot of things I like about her, and she has proven to be tougher than I thought any Democrat in her position would be. And yes, I am delighted to have a woman in charge. But there is no need to do cartwheels to prove that she is "normal." What passes for normal in this country is nothing to aspire to.

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