The Corner

They Know Who Wears the Pants in This Country

Look, I’m a sensitive New Age guy — I cook, I do laundry, I choke up at movies (well, Gladiator, anyway). But does anyone think our enemies abroad are as enlightened as we are about feminism? Steyn is right that the specific lesson they’re learning is that nukes are the best insurance against invasion — but a broader one is that our commander-in-chief is an effete vacillator who is pushed around by his female subordinates. Prof. Althouse notes, “A feminist milestone: Our male President has been pulled into war by 3 women,” and Senator Graham scored points with “I Thank God for Strong Women in the Obama Administration,” but we’re going to pay for this.

One of the reasons Khrushchev gambled on missiles in Cuba is that he perceived JFK as a weak man when they met in Vienna. Conversely, one of the reasons Khomeini released the hostages just as Reagan was taking the oath of office was his “Ronnie Ray-guns” reputation (something the air traffic controllers ignored — which itself became another lesson for our enemies). Do you think Putin and A-jad and Chavez and the ChiComs are more afraid of Obama now? It was obvious to most of us that Hillary has more, uh, stones than Obama, but to have it confirmed so publicly for less-attentive foreign goons means they’re that much more likely to try to push us and see how The One responds.

Before you send me any burning bras, the problem is not with women leaders — the enemies of the Virgin Queen and the Iron Lady can attest to that. The problem is not even with the president having strong female subordinates. Rather, Obama’s pusillanimity has been hugely magnified by the contrast with the women directing his foreign policy and the fact that they nagged him to attack Libya until he gave in. Maybe it’s unfair and there shouldn’t be any difference from having a male secretary of state do the same thing, but there is.

So we have the worst situation of all. Instead of a strong leader resisting calls for an unjustified military action — or even a strong leader resolutely supporting the military action — we have a timorous and irresolute leader reluctantly caving in to the demands of his staff. We are in for a heap of trouble.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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