I’m skeptical of this “Republican women revolution” for many reasons, including the ones noted by Gloria Steinem and Stephen Colbert:
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Colbert is right—despite all the attention female Republicans get, in Congress, Democratic women outnumber Republican women 3 to 1. But it’s more than that. I’m highly skeptical that it’s pro-woman for women to basically run on the platform that they’re super dudely, except that they could have totally had abortions and didn’t. They’re like fantasy objects for wingnut men who have womb envy. Some of the wingnuttiest ones speak such fluent Dudese, the language of anxious masculinity, that you have to double-check that they’re not actually dudes spending their adult lives trying to compensate for the fact that they never got a date in high school. Like Michelle Bachmann, for instance:
Transcript, courtesy of Matt:
What really concerned me was Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said that we don’t want to see one country’s economy doing better than another. What? This is the U.S. Treasury Secretary? We don’t want to see Zimbabwe’s economy do better than the United States? Aren’t we supposed to be about the United States and making sure that our economy can be the greatest in the world.
Matt is alarmed by Bachmann’s paranoia about a “one world government” and her ready assumption that there was no such thing as a global economy before Obama took over, as well as her assumption that we can simply build up walls and have an economy that exists with no real trade at all. But these have been standard right wing populist tropes for ever. I’m just impressed at how she was so straightforward about the rationale behind this, which is a combination of “my dick-economy’s bigger than yours” and the usual fear of contamination. Meanwhile, I’m sure some of the electronics used to broadcast her opinions were made overseas.
This is why it’s not wise for leftists to even consider joining forces with right wing populists in opposing the corporatist agenda for the global economy. Left-leaning objections are due to the two-faced nature of globalization schemes, which are advertised as a way to help lift developing countries out of poverty but in reality often saddle struggling countries with debt, and prioritizing injecting American corporations into economies over developing their own economies in more sustainable ways. But as far as I know, there’s not a general objection to the idea of trade or interdependence on the left, though we’re saddled with our own idiots that confuse their aesthetic objections to American Apparel with genuine political analysis. (I’m not hating on the protesters like that blogger, but I do have to point out that nothing screams “overprivileged twit” like putting underpaid retail workers in a situation where they have to clean up feces, and thinking you’re striking a blow for the common man.) Nonetheless, so far I think that the left mostly supports plans to improve the economies of developing nations through trade, we just don’t think the current methods are doing a good job of that. Most of us get that some small nations would basically starve to death without trade, since they simply can’t make everything they need to survive.
But what’s even more fucked up to me than Bachmann’s strange beliefs about “one world government” or that the U.S. could create an economy that is completely self-sustaining is the sheer ugly, mean-spirited nature of her rant. She’s basically arguing that it somehow is bad if Zimbabwe does well. That it’s normal and good to stay up at night, resenting the possibility that Zimbabweans might watch cable TV and get three squares a day. She’s arguing that good Americans should, for reasons I don’t completely understand, be glad that huge portions of the world’s population go hungry and have poor access to clean water and health care. And that the reason is it proves our dick-economy is bigger than theirs.