No more bets, no more bets! Whoever had "March 7" in the "When will some columnist write about how Obama is the first female president?" pool can collect your winnings, those winnings being shame at the existence of the internet and also the existence of words.
This idea for a column was played out last year, when I wrote about basically the same column somewhere else. In fact, the only year in which there hasn't been a "Obama Is the First Female President" column since Obama rose to national prominence was 2011, for some reason. The list:
- February 2008. Newsweek staff, "Obama: First Female President?"
- June 2009. American Thinker, "Our First Female President?"
- June 2010. Kathleen Parker, "Obama: Our first female president"
- May 2012. Dana Milbank, "Barack Obama, the first female president"
- August 2013. Daily Caller, "Barack Obama: the first female president"
lol do you get it
Basically the only change has been the transition from question to assertion. In 2008: "First female president?" In 2013: "First female president."
And in 2014, at the conservative Washington Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti gives us "The First Woman President." Sub-headline: "It’s not Hillary." Well, who can it be?
It is clear to me now that we have had a woman president since January 20, 2009. Barack Obama’s story is America’s story. It is our story. It is the female story.
Continetti, who is employing a rhetorical device called "sarcasm" in this column, makes essentially the same argument as all of his predecessors. First, Toni Morrison once called Bill Clinton the first black president, therefore it is OK to call Obama the first something-else president. Second, Obama is totally feminine, what with his relationships with women and his "sensitivity to women’s issues, women’s concerns, women’s priorities," in Continetti's words.
But mostly this piece is just another "Obama isn't as tough as Putin" essay, one of many in a pile this week as conservatives see their chance to push Democrats back into the "bad at foreign policy" column.
Barack Obama shares these incentives. His foreign policy abjures the stereotypically male, the reflexively violent, the stubbornly confrontational, and the unthinkingly gruff. He is not afraid to be called a wimp …
Obama's refusal to throw troops at everyone is a key flaw. "Words are more powerful than bombs," Continetti writes (again: sarcastically!) "Words scared Assad into not using chemical agents against his own people (he’s gassed them repeatedly). Words stopped Putin from invading Crimea (the invasion was rapid and successful)." (Tip: When you have to explain that you are being sarcastic in parentheticals, your sarcasm is not working well.) Democrats are weak and girly and so on, point made, got it.
Anyway, there's your column for the year. Here's next year's, by me, which will be published at 12:01 a.m. on January 1.
Obama: Definitely America's First Female President
Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison once declared Bill Clinton to be the nation's first black president. Well, then what does that make Barack Obama? Clearly: The nation's first female president.
After all, he is married to a woman and has two daughters, which is pretty feminine. He's appointed a number of women to his cabinet, although fewer than he has appointed men: feminine. He hasn't started any major wars [Ed. – Remember to remove this, as necessary] and, despite vastly expanding America's drone war, is therefore docile. And he's pro-abortion. And women voted for him.
But most of all: he's been declared the first female president by experts ranging from Dana Milbank to Kathleen Parker to Matthew Continetti. (Hm? Oh, the "Free Beacon." No, I hadn't either.) So there you go.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.