Man Alive

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Over at the Daily Beast, Sally Kohn catches David Brooks — David Brooks! — making a vicious partisan attack on President Obama.

On Meet the Press this weekend, David Brooks expressed the panic of older white male conservatives nationwide when he opined, “Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a—I’ll say it crudely—but a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair but certainly in the Middle East there is an assumption that he’s not tough enough.”

Ignore if you can the laughable irony of the Canadian-born D.C. resident and New York Times columnist not only championing but channeling the sort of red-meat, red-state masculinity that is far more Brooks and Dunn than David Brooks.

Kohn goes on to explain that our culture’s views of masculinity are changing and conservatives are being left behind. I am dubious about what she says about the U.S., but at no point does she even register the fact that Brooks was making a point about Middle Eastern views of Obama. If Kohn has evidence that traditional views of masculinity are out of fashion in the Middle East, I’m sure we’d all love to hear it.

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