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October 12, 2005
Further Notes On "Sexism"

Yes, I have read the transcript from Dafydd at Big Lizards of the Matt Lauer interview. Yes, I know that Matt Lauer is not the greatest interviewer nor a friend to conservatives -- which calls into question why the Bushes bother to do an interview on Today in the first place. But I think that parsing the interview to claim that Laura Bush didn't agree with Lauer's contention that the criticism came from "sexism" is at best Clintonesque, and silly beyond belief:

Laura Bush: Thats right. And I know Harriet well, I know how accomplished she is, I know how many times shes broken the glass ceiling herself. Shes a rol[e] model for young women around our country --

Lauer: Some are suggesting --

Laura Bush: Not only that, she is very deliberate and thoughtful and will bring dignity to, uh, wherever she goes. But certainly to the Supreme Court, she will be really excellent.

Lauer: Some are suggesting theres a little possible sexism in the criticism of Judge [sic] Miers.

Laura Bush: Thats possible. I think --

Lauer: How would you feel about that?

Laura Bush: Thats possible. I think she is so accomplished that... I know, I think that people are not looking at her accomplishments and not realizing that she was the first elected woman to be the head of the Texas Bar Association, for instance, and all the other things. She was the first, uh, woman managing partner of a major law firm. She was the first woman hired by a major law firm, her law firm.

So, what was possible? What else could Laura Bush meant? She answered Lauer's question twice. And then she started talking about how critics refused to look at her accomplishments, which also sounds like a soft way of saying that we're hung up on her gender.

Give me a break. And Dafydd should not put words in my mouth -- I am not calling Laura Bush a "liberal", I'm saying that the White House has reached a point of desperation where they've fallen back on the liberal tactic of false victimization in order to stifle criticism -- and this isn't the first example. Ed Gillespie did the same thing last week with the exact same charge. Don't kid yourself into thinking that it's a coincidence.

It's been 24 hours since the Lauer interview. Has the White House backed away from the "sexism" slander? Have they issued a statement saying that the First Lady -- or Ed Gillespie -- were misunderstood?

Addendum: More from the New York Sun, a newspaper normally sympathetic to the administration:

According to several prominent conservatives, the initial White House reaction to outrage over the nomination of Ms. Miers was stunned silence. The administration did not expect the backlash, they said, and was not prepared to mount a defense. But as anger spread, conservatives said, Mr. Bush and his deputies appeared to have dug in against many of the people who have been their closest allies. ...

Mr. Miranda singled out a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie, who has been used by the White House as an ambassador on its judicial nominees. Conservatives first turned on Mr. Gillespie at a weekly off-the-record meeting last Tuesday conducted by the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, when he suggested that criticism of Ms. Miers had the "whiff of sexism."

"I think Ed Gillespie is way out of his league," Mr. Miranda said. "He's running this as if it's a campaign."

First lady Laura Bush stoked conservative anger yesterday by picking up the same line of defense during an interview yesterday with NBC's Matt Lauer. When asked if she thought the critics of Ms. Miers were motivated by sexism, Mrs. Bush said, "That's possible. I think that's possible." Rush Limbaugh expressed alarm at the persistence of this view on his daily radio program yesterday.

No one else, including the White House, claims that Gillespie and Laura Bush meant anything else.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 12, 2005 5:33 AM

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More from Captain Ed this morning on Laura Bush's response to Matt Lauer and he's not conceding the point to "Big Lizards." [Read More]

Tracked on October 12, 2005 9:46 AM

» Sexism? Harriet? Or something else? from The Anchoress
From the outset, let me say that - as I said yesterday - I do not think the resistance against Harriet Miers is rooted in sexism, and I was sorry to read that Mrs. Bush said it. Like Ed Morrissey, I’m shaking my head in wonder. That said, I re... [Read More]

Tracked on October 12, 2005 11:20 AM

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