Alex Blaze

I heard that Barack Obama fellow is something of a... faggot

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 25, 2008 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, gay bashing, gender, masculinity, sexism

A few weeks ago I decided to make a complete list of examples of the "Obama is a fag" media narrative. The idea that Obama is feminine, and therefore bad (these people aren't shy with making that connection), is one that's been used pretty constantly to portray Democratic men as weak and unfit for high office. The narrative goes further and asks for policy that is unquestionably masculine, that is, hawkish, unilateral, authoritarian, and stingy on social spending.

The reason is a gender ethic that has guided American politics since the age of Andrew Jackson. The sentiment was succinctly expressed in a massive marble statue that stood on the steps of the United States Capitol from 1853 to 1958. Named "The Rescue," but more commonly known as "Daniel Boone Protects His Family," the monument featured a gigantic white pioneer in a buckskin coat holding a nearly naked Indian in a death's grip, while off to the side a frail white woman crouched over her infant.

The question asked by this American Sphinx to all who dared enter the halls of leadership was, "Are you man enough?" This year, Senator Obama has notably refused to give the traditional answer.

This is old stuff that we're dealing with here, but deal with it we must.

Besides relegating good policy and Democrats to the back-burner, it's the adult equivalent of calling someone a fag on the schoolyard. It's not that they think Obama's actually into the same-sex lovin', they just want you to know that he's just not right, he's weak, he's just so... gay.

What I've found so far is after the jump. Feel free to leave comments with more examples and I'll update as I get them. Enjoy.

Tucker Carlson

11.27.2007 on MSNBC's Tucker

I mean, a Democratic political consultant, who's a friend of mine, said it best. At the very beginning of this process, he said, "I watched them at the debate and she's in his head. She rattles him. He's afraid of her."

He's a wuss, actually. He -- I'm serious. He should just come out and say, "Yeah, she's Clintonian."

7.12.2007 on MSNBC's Tucker

Well, everybody knows that a book club is no place for a man. So why has Barack Obama suddenly turned into Oprah? Willie Geist rounds up the girls, brings the chardonnay, and heads to the Oprah book club -- or the Obama book club -- when we come back.

7.11.2007 on MSNBC's Tucker

I mean, when he gets up there, he says we're waging a war against cynicism. That is too abstract. It has nothing to do with the concerns of ordinary people, and it is also, frankly, kind of wimpy.

7.2.2007 on MSNBC's Tucker

He seems like kind of a wuss, though.

12.14.2006 on MSNBC's Tucker

What a sensitive little man!

Joe Scarborough

3.31.2008 on MSNBC's Morning Joe

[video clip of Obama bowling]

SCARBOROUGH: Oh, that's so dainty. Ugh.[...]

SCARBOROUGH: A very human side? A prissy side.

Chris Matthews

3.31.2008 on MSNBC's Hardball

Because it isn't the most macho form there, I must say, but who knows?

Don Imus

4.17.2008 on ABC's Imus in the Morning

Stephanopoulos I thought was great, and the debate was fine. I thought Senator Obama was on the defensive most of the night. But they're both sissy boys or sissy girls, or whatever. Because they talk big when they're out on the campaign trail, wolfing on each other.

And then when they show up at the debate, they fold up like a couple of cheap lawn chairs. I mean, I don't understand that. And he's almost a bigger pussy than she is.

Laura Flanders

7.18.2007 on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight

They like Barack, but he's kind of become the female on this race. It's very interesting. He's seen as the weaker cute, attractive. And Hillary is the one with the balls.[...]

He's female enough for Oprah, and she's male enough for a lot of voters out there. It's fascinating. I mean, I think this is going to be an amazing election.


Lucy Berrington & Jeff Onore

1.7.2008 New York Post cover story

Yet it's not only Obama's policies and strategies that appeal to women. He is like a woman: slim, good looking, with long elegant fingers, appealingly dressed - all terms more typically ascribed to female candidates.

Those shots of Barack and Michelle sitting with Oprah on stools had the feel of a smart, all-women talk panel: Obama fit right in for reasons beyond race.

Peggy Noonan

6.14.2008 Wall Street Journal column

Mr. McCain is the old world of concepts like "personal honor," of a manliness that was a style of being, of an attachment to the fact of higher principles.

Mr. Obama is the new world, which is marked in part by doubt as to the excellence of the old. It prizes ambivalence as proof of thoughtfulness, as evidence of a textured seriousness.

Martin Linsky

2.26.2008 Newsweek column

But whatever happens from here on out, this campaign will always be remembered for the emergence of the first serious woman candidate for president: Barack Obama.

The McCain campaign

5.16.2008 statement from spokesperson Tucker Bounds

It was remarkable to see Barack Obama's hysterical diatribe in response to a speech in which his name wasn't even mentioned. These are serious issues that deserve a serious debate, not the same tired partisan rants we heard today from Senator Obama.

Kathleen Parker

5.17.2008 Washington Post column

Well, at least they didn't kiss.

I was bracing myself for the lip lock Wednesday when John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama.[...]

Obama and Edwards look and talk pretty, but Clinton, unflinching and steely, exudes pure brawn.

Monica Crowley

5.17.2008 appearance on the McLaughlin Group

If he is this prickly, he is way too much of a girly man to be president of the United States.

Michael Ramirez

5.19.2008 Investor's Business Daily cartoon

Photobucket

5.12.2008 Investor's Business Daily cartoon

obama dorothy 2

Mike Lester

4.15.2008 Rome New-Tribune cartoon

obama marie antoinette

Glenn McCoy

6.7.2007 cartoon

Photobucket

Maureen Dowd

5.14.2008 New York Times column

Obama is acting the diffident debutante, pretending not to care that he was given a raspberry by a state he will need in the fall.

4.23.2007 New York Times column

As the husband of Michelle, does he know better than to defy the will of a strong woman? Or is he simply scared of Hillary because she's scary?

2.24.2008 New York Times column

And when historians trace how her inevitability dissolved, they will surely note this paradox: The first serious female candidate for president was rejected by voters drawn to the more feminine management style of her male rival.

2.21.2008 New York Times column

Barack Obama has made an entrance in Hollywood unmatched since Scarlett O'Hara swept into the Twelve Oaks barbecue. Instead of the Tarleton twins, the Illinois senator is flirting with the DreamWorks trio.

2.14.2007 New York Times column title

Obama, Legally Blonde?

12.13.2006 New York Times column

Built on a cult of personality, her campaign will be ruthless in stomping on Obambi, as a Chicago columnist referred to the idealistic pol who was too naïve to steer clear of a sleazy fund-raiser who wanted to buy his favor with a sweetheart real estate deal.

Hillary hasn't waited this long and market-tested this assiduously for nothing. Obambi's message may be mushy communitarianism -- we're a crazy quilt and why can't we all get along? -- but her message is simply the Divine Right of Clintons.

So there is a second question, perhaps one that will trump race and gender. It's about whether he's tough and she's genuine.

11.11.2006 New York Times column

Talking about hope and opportunity and inspiration has propelled Barack Obama into the presidential arena. His approach seems downright feminine when compared with the Bushies, or even Hillary Clinton. He languidly poses in fashion magazines, shares feelings with Oprah and dishes with the ladies on "The View." After six years of chest-puffing, Senator Obama seems very soothing.

Because of the power of female consumers, some marketing experts predict we will end up a matriarchy.


__________

None of this is to take away from the fact that the media has also been alarmingly sexist against Hillary Clinton (she's presented as masculine instead of feminine, but the idea's the same: she doesn't follow gender norms so she's bad, and if she did she'd be weak). NOW is working on a list of attacks on her, complete with ratings!

I'm really just tired of people using "fag" and "that's so gay" as insults, even if they think they're being clever.


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Want to know what else is tiresome? Being given that trite, stock answer of "it's all about context and/or intent" whenever they use such remarks.

Good job, Alex. Great collection of damning evidence about the Attitude. And that's yet another tactic of the Grand Inquisitors. They attack your beliefs, and they attack your sexual orientation. Look what they did to the Templars.
And a few other examples I could name.

How many times I gotta remind ya'al Politics is a contact sport with no rules and no refs.

Want to know what else is tiresome? Being given that trite, stock answer of "it's all about context and/or intent" whenever they use such remarks.

Well, Lucrece, in regard to certain racial words, I respectfully disagree. Mark Twain is not automatically a racist simply because Huckleberry Finn contains the n-word, nor is Randy Newman for writing and recording his song, Rednecks.

But in regard to gender epithets, I do agree --- it's difficult for me to imagine a context in which "wuss" or "wimp" or "pussy" (when applied to a man) isn't a serious insult. And Arnold's coining of "girlie man" is never exactly a compliment, either.

Our society does need to get over the notion that all our presidents must have the physical build and swagger of football players. Females will never compete on a level playing field until it is established that having the NFL image is not a pre-requisite for good leadership and political effectiveness.

I do see this as a subtle but major difference between the two parties: While Dems try to nudge American society to transcend its prejudices, the GOP is willing to manipulate those prejudices just as they stand --- and thus they imply there is nothing wrong with such prejudices, and thereby they indeed re-inforce them.

Being conservative is one thing --- being ignorantly stagnant is another.

P.S. Alex, your comprehensiveness at drawing all these examples together is nothing short of excellent --- A superb job!

A.J.~ I wasn't clear enough. I was referring more to phrases like "that's so gay" and "you're a fag" that Alex pointed out.

I would like to think that I'm not such an idiot when it comes to the ability to discern such situations in literature and other expressive mediums ;).

But, yes, what I essentially wanted to convey was my frustration with straight people getting defensive over corrections, fighting so vehemently to justify their use of such phrase. If nothing works, they can always got to the lazy cop-out of "screw PC and the overactive sensitivities of prissy queens". That really gets me railing.

That's a really awful collection of statements. I had no idea it was so bad--or that daytime TV personalities were allowed to say things like that! When you put it all together, the evidence for this country's problems with gendered language and perceptions is overwhelming.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 26, 2008 2:41 AM

Alex, I was happy to notice that at least two of these fools have lost or will likely soon lose any platform from which to spew such garbage. It is gonna be really great to watch Fox news after the election. They who have concentrated on the importance of Executive power will shortly be calling out the importance of Congressional prerogatives (of the minority).

How is it that straight women are not offended by the characterization of their gender as weak? Women are physically superior to men, they live longer, can give birth and have a stronger constitution. I asked my Hoosier Republican ladies this question and they have no answer--mysterious as neither of them would have allowed McCain to call them a cunt. Well, they would have allowed it, but he would not have lived a day longer.

Enjoyed it Alex, Thanks!

Robert, I know Tucker Carlson lost his show even though he's staying on as a commentator.... who's the other?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 26, 2008 5:59 AM

I heard Don Imus is in deep crap again. This time over a racial remark (or is that again over a racial remark, pretty sure again!) Separately I have sent you a copy of the info from the net.

"How is it that straight women are not offended by the characterization of their gender as weak?"

They ARE offended. All you need to do is visit a few of the top feminist blogs to realize how angry women are (feministing.com, feministe, shakeville, etc).

And it isn't just straight women...queer women (like me) are also angry because an attack on Obama as a "girly man" is as sexist as it is homophobic.

Gerri Ladene | June 26, 2008 10:52 AM

Alex that was a very insightful list you put together. It really gives one a true image of how desperate those people are to hold onto their mindless dominating cowboy image of what a Presidential candidate should be, reminiscent of the Regan era. Clearly those small minds are expressing their own disillusioned gender variant leaning phobic attacks on the Presidential contender for his youthful compassion and expression, reminiscent of JFK. This is something totally unfamiliar to their own perception which they jealously subscribe to. But, then again this is American politics in the 21st century as maligned as it can be from major Medias control and consent to miss-information by people who do nothing more than promote paranoid phobic fear so their masters can retain control. I’m getting sick of this kind of media slandering myself it has been going on for to many years and is just how those with power use it to distract the population from the truth, old school stuff learned from Nazi propaganda machine still in use today!

Most of these comments represent the misogyny that people, often subconsciously, direct towards gays. It's not so much that they're saying that Obama is gay, but that's he's too feminine, even in comparison to Hillary, to be a good president.

But, the republicans are offering us just what we Americans need... Another macho, brainless, hawk making decisions based on who's tougher and who's got the biggest


muscles...

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 26, 2008 11:33 AM

Straight women are offended by characterizations of their sex as weak? Of Alex's above comment groups six were made by women. the only bit on the news I her is how women are waiting to be courted by Obama to vote for him.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | June 26, 2008 1:56 PM

Alex, your compilation of examples is damning, indeed.

Glenn Greenwald has written extensively of this phenomena in his latest book, "Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics." But your litany of examples is extraordinary. Why do Americans put up with such crap media?!!

On NPR this morning, I actually heard a person who was identified as a Hillary supporter say he'd never vote for Obama. Why? "Osama...Obama. There's only one letter distance separating them. And his middle name is Hussein, you know!"

That's not an exact quote, but close. The guy's planning to vote for McCain. I was so disturbed, I jumped out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom muttering, "Idiots...idiots!" And remember, this guy was an ersatz Democrat.

As much as I believe in representative Democracy, maybe there should be a test measuring a voter's awareness of current events, each candidates' voting history, the Constitution, and our government's institutions and processes before a person is allowed to vote. I am beginning to wonder if someone as stupid and uninformed as that guy should be allowed to vote.

"Straight women are offended by characterizations of their sex as weak? Of Alex's above comment groups six were made by women."

Oh, so I guess that means women can't be sexist too? Straight women aren't one homogeneous group and there are as many sexists as feminists. Read up on internalized sexism before you go picking on women, straight or queer.

Another spectacular compilation from Alex!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 26, 2008 11:32 PM

Not picking at all, but let's talk about it more rather than out of politeness letting it pass. I do not believe these commentators are internalizing a damn thing! They are pandering for dollars and we are letting them get away with it.

I don't know why these women are so sexist, whether it's internalized sexism, playing the field for some $$, or just thinking that they're being cute, the effect is all the same.

I know that there are lots of gay men who say things that I would consider homophobic (moving the discussion to more familiar territory for me). It's usually because of internalized homophobia, a lack of self-examination, having a different, but valid, definition of what's homophobic and what's not than I do, and a few, a small few, getting money for it.

But that last group gets the most attention, so there we go.