I was just overhearing the TiVo'd "Hardball" from last night, with Laura Bush saying that people are sexist to oppose Harriet Miers. Wait a minute, let me get the exact quote: "Some are suggesting there’s a little possible sexism in the criticism of Judge Miers." Some. (Not me!) Suggesting. (Not accusing!) A little. (Not that much!) Possible. (Only maybe!) And it's not that you're sexist, but merely that there is sexism in the criticism. Not in you. In the criticism.
Ah, that Laura! How did she learn to talk like that? A hardcore feminist would say that our culture of sexism has trained women to speak in that modified, mediated, mollifying way.
And yet she still kicked ass. She called you anti-Miers folks sexist. That's how you heard it. That's how I heard it. She used the word: SEXISM! Ah, but she did swathe it so prettily in feminine wraps.
I go out to the big room to see Laura as she's saying these things. She's standing in a construction site of some sort, next to the President. She's wearing a light blue blouse over slim, beige pants. The first thing out of my mouth is: "Wow, Laura's lost a lot of weight! She's really slim!" And then: "Oh, I guess I shouldn't be the critic of who's sexist, when I look at a woman and the first thing I talk about is her weight." I slink back to my computer in the dining room.
The next thing I click to is this rather magnificent concoction, over at All Things Beautiful: "The First Lady and Professor Althouse." Alexandra von Maltzan has depicted Laura Bush as the Empress Josephine Bonaparte and me as Catherine The Great at the Temple of The Goddess of Justice. Of course, the first thing I think is "Damn. Catherine The Great is making me look fat."
UPDATE: Rechecking the TiVo, I see that it's the interviewer, Matt Lauer who says the line "Some are suggesting there’s a little possible sexism in the criticism of Judge Miers." Laura responds, "I think that's possible," and then moves to restating that Miers is very accomplished. So, Matt: I love your feminine ways!