The Corner

Manning Up

The health-care bill passed because Pres. Barack Obama rolled up his sleeves and fought for it like only a man can fight. The whole thing was directly tied to to the fact that he’s a male provider — a husband and father who knows what families need. Besides, building political consensus is a natural male activity. This could only have happened in a country that chooses men as presidents, election after election.

What, you think that’s a preposterous political analysis? Well, it’s what passes for thinking among Washington Post editors. Over the weekend, one of them, Vince Bzdek, announced that the bill passed because Nancy Pelosi is a girl:

The overhaul happened because Nancy Pelosi wanted it to happen, deep in her DNA. . . . The tenacity with which she fought for health-care reform is directly tied to her gender. . . . When Pelosi made expanding health care one of her top priorities, friends and colleagues say it was, without question, because she is a woman and a mother. . . . Pelosi said her fellow “caregivers” had a lot invested in reform, since they are the ones who provide most of the health care for their families and are acutely aware of problems in the system. . . . Some say that consensus-building approach to leadership comes more naturally to women. . . . It’s probably no coincidence that the United States, the last of the world’s industrialized countries to adopt a comprehensive health-care blueprint, also ranks at the bottom among those countries in the gender equity of its political bodies.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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